If you happen to find yourself watching the sun rise, inhaling the scent of the ocean with a sea breeze in your hair, all while having just had possibly the best sleep of your life, then you’ve probably just spent a night at the Golf View Hotel and Spa in Nairn.
Have I ever been tempted to take to the green and swing a golf club about for fun? Not one single time in my life. Did that stop me from having one of the most relaxing and spirit-cleansing stays imaginable at this gorgeous coastal retreat? Absolutely not.
Less than two miles from the train station, you find yourself at the impressive entrance to the hotel, quite frankly a little breathless – not from the walk, but from the sheer beauty of the location.
The historic building, dressed from head to toe in decadent red ivy, faces directly on to the ocean front.
What a knockout view.
It may have been a little foggy when we arrived, but was that a hot tub I could see poking out through the mist…?
Once inside, the view was as clear as a crystal ball, and what I could see in my immediate future was a day or two of complete relaxation.
Fluffy white robe-clad guests wandered the hall in slippers, oozing calm, straight from the spa.
Which brought me to my first question – when’s my turn?!
Instantaneously, a cheery face appeared at reception to give us the lay of the land including when we could have access to the spa, which turned out to be any time we wanted. Praise-be!
Our treatments had been pre-booked, but we were free to commence chilling in the sauna or pool whenever we wanted.
Thoughtful details make you feel like a celebrity when staying at the Golf View
Upon reaching the room, ready to dive into my swimsuit, I stopped in my tracks. Were they sure that this room was for me and not Kim Kardashian?
With a vestibule area bigger than some entire hotel rooms I’ve stayed in complete with fancy coffee machine, I could already tell that this was a swanky affair.
Venturing on into the impressively-sized room itself, your attention is first grabbed by an enormous solid wooden bed, the kind that’s just begging to be jumped on, dressed with cloud-like pillows and cosy tartan fabrics.
Slowing down enough to finally take in the rest of the room, the feeling of celeb status grew when I spotted not only a tray of delicious sweet treats adorned with a ‘welcome’ message spelled out in icing, but a personalised copy of the ‘Golf View Gazette’, complete with my name, the times of our spa treatments, and a weather report for the following day. Now that’s class.
The surprises weren’t over yet though. I swung open the bathroom door to reveal an elegant copper roll-top bath, with a window view on one side and a TV on the other. Did I really have a reason to leave the room at all?
Actually, yes. Spa treatments were calling…
Relaxation awaits at the Coast Spa
The Coast Spa uses Ishga products in an array of rejuvenating treatments. Bringing the Scottish seashore from your surroundings to the spa bed, you’ll find Hebridean sea salt scrubs and heated seaweed clay masks ready to whisk you away to a place of tranquillity.
For me there was only really one choice – the Ishga full body massage. Sixty minutes of pure bliss.
An added bonus to our stay was access to the thermal spa area located at the poolside. In an other-worldly experience, you can make your way from a steamy Volcano Stone Bath to a colour-changing Experience Shower, before ending up in a stress-reducing Himalayan salt room.
The pool itself is an absolute dream, with wall-to-wall windows so that you don’t miss a moment of that glorious view, and an outdoor hot tub for those wishing to brave the bracing Scottish temperatures – which of course I had to give a go. Chilly, momentarily, but then fabulous.
A culinary adventure at Hickory Restaurant
With rumbling bellies after a long, hard day of unwinding, dinner was calling. The Golf View Bar leads on to Hickory Restaurant where breakfast, lunch and evening meals are served. Soft leather seats, plush velvet booths, and marble tables make up the chic dining room which yet again, boasts those panoramic sea views.
The AA Rosette awarded restaurant’s menu brimmed with fantastic traditional Scottish, seasonal ingredients that had us eager to dive in.
Heritage tomatoes with gazpacho, goat’s cheese fritters and toasted sourdough sent me off to a fresh and fragrant start, while my mum demolished a gorgeous and artistically presented dish of kataifi (a shredded pastry) tiger prawns, mango and chilli sauce and a curried foam.
With the starters setting the bar high, the mains couldn’t come fast enough. With only two veggie-friendly options on offer, I decided on an artichoke risotto with oyster mushrooms and asparagus, although I have to admit that I was shamelessly salivating over my mum’s plate of utterly divine chicken and haggis wellington.
Served with confit potatoes, turnip puree, braised carrots and whisky sauce, it really was a plate-lickingly-good thing of beauty.
Desserts were a banana baravois (a custard dessert) served with toffee popcorn, dark chocolate and peanut ice cream for mum, and an embarrassingly indulgent chocolate torte served with rum soaked cherries, honeycomb and vanilla ice cream for me.
Stuffed to the brim and with that dreamy cloud bed calling my name, it was definitely time to hit the hay.
Coastal walks are ideal end to Nairn staycation
We woke refreshed, after a blissful night’s sleep, and lazily made our way down for a lovely breakfast, choosing the traditional Scottish, and my all-time-favourite, eggs benedict, with just enough time left for one more dip in the hot tub.
Looking around in the light of day and deeply breathing in the fresh morning air, I felt a weight had been lifted thanks to the joy of our stay.
The location of the Golf View couldn’t be more perfect for those who like to explore, and that we did. Enjoying a stroll along the dazzling seaside in the fresh air is the ultimate way to blow the cobwebs away.
You’ll find yourself spoiled for choice with places to stop off for snacks and drinks, and the town centre is just 20 minutes away if you feel like stepping out for dinner to end your Nairn trip. The highly acclaimed Sundancer restaurant being just one option to consider.
This was one weekend away that I’d happily relive over and over.
The Golf View Hotel and Spa
The Seafront, 63 Seabank Road, Nairn IV12 4HD
Call: 01667 452301