By Lottie Gross
For the perfect socially-distant bubble holiday, these lodges with hot tubs in Scotland are ideal.
Whether you’re looking for a quick weekend away just outside the cities of Edinburgh or Glasgow, or you want to get deep into the Highlands or find yourself a unique spot on the fringes of Scotland’s coastline, there are literally hundreds of choices for a fantastic escape with your own outdoor hot tub.
The joys of self-catering lodges in Scotland lie within the flexibility afforded to you on check-in. Bring your own basics for the fridge – some lodges will provide a welcome pack – and then get out to the local shops or markets to sample some of the finest Scottish produce. If you’re on the coast, you might find fish shacks on the seafront selling their catch of the day, and in the towns and cities farmers markets are the perfect place to stock those cupboards with local favourites such as haggis, potatoes and turnips (for that classic dish, neeps and tatties).
Lodges with hot tubs are great for the whole family, too, and many are dog-friendly. Bring your best friends, the children and grandchildren, or simply just get away with your partner for a romantic long weekend. Whatever you decide to do, there’s a lodge with a hot tub in Scotland for you.
Which is best – a wood-fired or electric hot tub?
One of the key differences between lodges with hot tubs in Scotland is the type of tub they provide. They're not like the inflatable hot tubs we have in the garden in the summer. While many will have a proper electric hot tub plumbed in and ready to go, lots of places are favouring the more eco-friendly option, a wood-fired hot tub.
There are a few things you need to know before deciding which is best for you, though. For starters, the wood-fired hot tubs usually take some preparation. In these, the water is heated by a log burner inside the hot tub and it can take a couple of hours to get warm during summer, and even longer during winter (around four hours). It can also be difficult to regulate the temperature of the water – although this can be done if you add larger firewood to the burner once you’ve reached the optimum 37-39°C temperature.
Finally, wood-fired hot tubs don’t come with jets, so it’s essentially an outdoor bath. For all these cons, though, the pro is that they’re more environmentally friendly, quieter and, all in all, a rewarding activity when you get it right.
The electric option is certainly easier to use, so if you’re after on-demand soaks with bubbles then this is your best bet.
How do I choose the best lodge with a hot tub for me?
Once you’ve got your head around which type of hot tub you prefer, the next most important thing to understand before you book is the location of your lodge. You might want to be able to hop into the capital city, Edinburgh, or perhaps you prefer to be out in the sticks in a completely remote location.
Lots of lodges sit within lodge parks where there are facilities like shops and playgrounds – perfect if you’re taking the family and there are kids in tow – while others are stand-alone accommodation options on estates or farmland.
Think about what you’re going to do when you’re there. Do you want day trips? If so, try not to book somewhere too remote so it’s easy to get out and about. Want complete privacy, peace and quiet? Avoid lodge parks and book a stand-alone place with plenty of land around it.
Also think about when you’re going. If travelling in winter, remember it might well snow and small, remote roads might be difficult to pass. If in summer, think about the traffic – Scotland is a supremely popular road trip destination so you might want to head off the beaten track if you’re travelling during peak season.
The best lodges with hot tubs in Scotland you can book now
Loch Tay Highland Lodges and Glamping Park
The best lodge for a range of accommodation
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Sitting in the Highlands of Scotland, Loch Tay is a gorgeous, narrow freshwater loch with great views of Ben Lawers and the surrounding hills. On its shores lies Loch Tay Highland Lodges, a small park with accommodation options ranging from glamping domes to woodland cabins and entire houses – many of which come with their own sizzling hot tubs.
We love the octagonal woodland cabins, with their modern compact kitchens, cosy bedrooms and log burners. Hot tubs sit out the back with a low fence for privacy and decking, and there’s a picnic bench and barbecue for outdoor fun.
Perfect for families and couples, the park has onsite activities such as canoe hire, gorge walking and archery, while just beyond its boundaries lies a world of possibility. Try a Highland safari to spot red deer and all sorts of birdlife, or play a round at Killin Golf Club. There are boat trips on the loch, a restaurant onsite for those nights you don’t fancy cooking, and many of the lodges are dog-friendly, meaning the mutt can come too.
Glen Dye Cabins & Cottages
The best lodge for rustic charm
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Glen Dye Cabins and Cottages is simply spectacular. Its wild location on a 30,000 acre estate offers forest and moorland on the banks of the River Dye, and views of the granite tor of Clachnaben and Cairn o’ Mount mountain pass. Surrounded by nature, this is a truly serene escape.
But it’s not all rustic cabins and lodges. Glen Dye’s superbly finished accommodation options, each with their own thoughtfully curated artworks, bookshelves and furnishings, are a real treat. The Bothy is a favourite, renovated in 2020 with new flooring and more. It sleeps two, dogs are welcome and there’s a wood burner, wood-fired hot tub, outdoor kitchen and barbecue, and a record player with some excellent records to spin.
Each lodge, from the small bothy to the larger lodges, is in its own secluded spot and as a guest at Glen Dye, you get access to the Glen Dye Arms – their BYOB pub – and you can purchase their eggs and vegetables grown in the gardens.
Once arrived, your desire to leave Glen Dye and find things to do might just dissipate – it’s such a dreamy spot – but if you are feeling active, get out for a hike in the woods, swim in the River Dye or visit Banchory, Stonehaven or Dunnottar Castle.
Glenbeag Mountain Lodges
The best lodge for mountain views and winter skiing
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
The Cairngorms National Park is one of the best places to go skiing in Scotland, and so the cosy lodges at Glenbeag are a brilliant option for a winter hot tub getaway. The cabins, built from sturdy wood and topped with grass roofs, have one or two bedrooms, open-plan living and kitchen areas, and some even include their own sauna.
The decor is a little lacklustre, but what’s inside doesn’t really matter here. The 360-degree mountain views – all visible from your own hot tub – are truly spectacular.
Nearby, head into the Cairngorms National Park for skiing in winter or hiking in warmer weather, or play a round on Dalmunzie Golf Course just next door or visit the brilliant Braemar Castle.
Lottie is an NCTJ-trained journalist, an experienced travel writer and an expert in creating compelling digital content.
Lottie has been in the travel writing business for nearly a decade and has writing and photography bylines at The Telegraph, The Times, The Independent, the i and National Geographic Traveller. She's done broadcast work for BBC Radio 4 and have contributed to a number of guidebooks and coffee table titles during her career.
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