Once you reach Monachyle Mhor you’ll be reluctant to stir. Inspirational gastronomy, stylish design and a personal welcome make this a truly special place. It’s run by siblings Tom, Dick and Melanie who were all raised here on what started off as a farm and is now a bijou gastro-bolthole that foodies and design aficionados traipse to from afar. The 2,000-acre farm, its produce, and the Lewis’ infectious enthusiasm remain firmly at the heart of Monachyle. Within the original stone farm buildings, 16 quiet rooms come with modern design and oodles of funk factor. Or if you want to sleep even closer to nature, book one of the cabins deep in the woodland. We loved it here, and found it hard to leave.
- The food is superb - well presented without being fussy, and bursting with taste and inspiration
- The rooms are fresh and original: they'll make you smile (and sleep well)
- We love the eye-catching (and family-friendly) Cabin In The Trees, and the eco-friendly Tiny House - a really romantic bolthole
- You can't get much more remote in the UK - and yet it’s only 90 minutes' drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh
- An atmosphere that’s intimate and friendly, yet also has a touch of Kensington sophistication
- A large deposit is required on reservation
- The snug little bar is the only nightlife here, so you’ll have to provide your own
- Not really geared up for children, except tinies (families generally prefer sister property Mhor 84 Motel just down the road)
- Not for budget travellers: food and drink costs can mount up
- If you're on a romantic break, be aware that some double beds are singles zipped together
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- 17 rooms
- Restaurant and bar
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car recommended
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
- Electric car charger
There are 17 rooms inside the old stone farmhouse and its outbuildings, and 3 cabins deep in the woodlands of the hotel grounds (see below).
The HOTEL ROOMS have been gradually decorated over the years, making for an eclectic mix of styles, from unfussy classic to spoil-yourself-rotten luxurious. Farmhouse Rooms tend to be more traditional and smaller, but have the best views over the loch. Courtyard Rooms are conversions of the horseshoe of outbuildings, and tend to be larger and lighter, with a distinct designer feel; the stupendous bathrooms are as good as they get. If you’re after unashamed luxury, go for one of the Feature Rooms: 3 have their own personal steam rooms - ideal for unwinding after a yomp on the fells - as well as a TV for rainier days, which you can watch from the sofa in front of your own stove.
Comrie-based interior designer Fiona Denholm has come up with some contemporary design ideas that make for plenty of pleasant surprises. Don't be surprised to find deer antlers and cobbler’s lasts in your bathroom, and windows between bedrooms and bathrooms. Ample use is made of natural materials, like wood, slate and linens, and designer furnishings sit alongside locally-foraged antiques. Everywhere you notice the attention to detail, from homemade biscuits to Laura Thomas toiletries, and a choice of pillows. The only drawbacks are that some double beds are single mattresses zipped together; and we have heard that bedrooms can be chilly on arrival (though ours was toasty).
If you fancy something a bit (or a lot) different, take a look at the WOODLAND CABINS. The most eye-catching - an award-winning design by George Clarke - is In The Trees, a stack of three tapering timber pods linked by internal stairs, with compact contemporary interiors and large windows looking out to Loch Voil. It's also family-friendly, with a double bedroom, a bunk room and a proper shower room.
Couples seeking a secluded escape might like to hole up in Tiny House, an eco-friendly, split-level timber cottage with one bedroom and a lovely woodland deck (firepit, outdoor seating and birdsong included); or in Corr, a top-spec cabin with underfloor heating (plus log-burner), a kingsize bed and a vast window to drink in the view.
- Central heating
- Cots Available
- DVD player
- In room treatments available
The award-winning cuisine is one of the main reasons for coming. Tom's meals are stylishly presented and have heaps of flavour. His secret is the quality of his produce: as a farmer as well as a chef, Tom is unstinting in his search for the very best ingredients. Where possible, meat comes from the farm, and in the case of venison and pigeon, is locally shot. (What cannot be used in the restaurant goes into the pies sold at the Lewis’ Mhor Bread bakery in Callander). Fresh, sustainable fish comes from Scrabster every day. Vegetables, some grown on Lisa's own veg plot at the hotel, are whatever is in season.
For breakfast, enjoy a hearty cooked breakfast of Scottish smoked haddock, kippers or Cumberland sausages, with eggs from the farm. Lighter options are available for those who can’t manage the works at this time of day.
Lunch and dinner offer the best of what’s in the garden or the market. You’d be daft not to try the Orkney scallops (hand-dived of course) and oysters, and the farm’s lamb, pork and beef are superb. Unlike many other top-notch restaurants Tom takes vegetarians seriously and the veggie options easily rival the main menu (let them know before you arrive and you'll even get your own menu). There’s a serious wine list too, carefully researched by Tom who travels worldwide in search of the best suppliers. Water is from the hotel’s own spring. Choose to sit in the stylish light conservatory (great in summer for enjoying views of the loch while you dine) or the cosy panelled inner sanctum, ideal on cold winter evenings. Both are hung with family photographs of the Lewises.
If you fancy eating out, Monachyle Mhor’s sister hotel Mhor 84 is only 6 miles down the road, serving a more relaxed menu all day. And there are plenty of good options in Callander, 17 miles southeast. Options include Callander Meadows or The Barley Bree in Muthill.
- Coffee / tea making
- Vegetarian options
- Walking, whether it’s a stroll to the end of the glen (Monachyle means the ‘narrowing of the wetlands’), or a shin up the nearest peak, Stob Binnein (1165m). Monachyle lies in part of the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, an area with a variety of wildlife and a fragile environment. Ask the Lewis family for hiking ideas - and order a packed lunch from reception the evening before
- For more information on walks, cycle routes and birds/wildlife in the park, visit the David Marshall Lodge Visitor Centre, half a mile north of Aberfoyle on the A821. Several waymarked trails start from the Visitor Centre
- Mushroom foraging. In season, the hotel can provide you with your own forager (for a fee)
- Between May-September, bee therapy is offered. Don't worry, there's no stinging involved - a specially-designed hut with a hive attached magnifies the bees' vibrations, creating an ambient space with deeply relaxing results
- Fishing: well, this is Scotland. The hotel will arrange a day’s fishing with boat, ghillie, permit and equipment. Expect to catch trout, Arctic char, or salmon. Deer stalking can also be arranged
- Visiting Rob Roy’s grave in Balquhidder, an evocative spot. Rob Roy MacGregor, made famous in the 19th century by Sir Walter Scott’s historical novel, was the wild leader of one of Scotland’s wildest clans in the 18th century. His grave has the words ‘Despite them’ defiantly etched on its headstone - a reference to the rival MacLaren clan
- Watersports, like water skiing, kayaking and windsurfing, can be enjoyed up the road at Lochearnhead
- There are heaps of great golf courses nearby - 52 of them within a 30 mile radius to be precise. The nearest course is in Callander, 17 miles away
- Bicycle hire can be arranged by the hotel - a great way to explore the Trossachs
- Shopping. Callander has plenty to offer if you enjoy buying outdoor clothing, drinking coffee, or just wandering. Pop to nearby Aberfoyle for one of the best butchers in the UK
- Beauty treatments, massages, facials by a local therapist can be arranged in your room - subject to availability so request in advance
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Cooking classes
- Horse riding
Couples with babies, or with well behaved older children, are welcome in the hotel, including in the restaurant; in-betweens might not feel so comfortable here - the cabins might be better.
Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
The Cabin In The Trees is very family-friendly, with a double bedroom and a separate bunk room, plus a proper walk-in shower: perfect for an adventurous family wanting an off-grid escape.
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available, Family Rooms
Babysitting available by arrangement
Baby cots available on request (extra cost)
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Monachyle Mhor is situated on the banks of Loch Voil, in the Trossachs National Park in the Scottish Highlands.
Those visiting from afar should fly Glasgow or Edinburgh (80km). From Glasgow, you can take the seaplane straight to Loch Voil, in front of the hotel. The hotel can arrange; or contact Loch Lomond Seaplanes. It's also possible to drive from both airports (about 90 minutes). For a list of airlines serving these airports, click the links at the bottom of the page.
From the Airport
Taxis can be arranged by the hotel, or you may prefer to hire a car (see below).
The hotel is off the M9 towards Stirling, leaving at Junction 10 along the A84 to Callander. After Strathyre, it's about 9 km (4 miles) along a road hugging Loch Voil. There's a power outlet if you need to charge your car (bring your cables). See our car rental recommendations.
You can take a train to Stirling, see Seat 61 for more details. From there a regular bus service runs from Stirling to Callander. From Callander, you'll need to take another bus, through Strathyre. Just before Lochearnhead you can be dropped off on the main road where the turn off to Monachyle is. But you'll need to do the last four miles by taxi, which the hotel can arrange.
Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.com
More on getting to the UK and getting around
- Glasgow 80.0 km GLA
- Edinburgh 80.0 km EDI
- Beach 0.1 km
- Shops 13.0 km
- Restaurant 10.0 km