There’s a road in Aberlour called The Red Road. Its name a memory of the rusty coloured dust it used to throw up while it was travelled along, supposedly. The Red Road was a favourite childhood walk – one I still go on today. Past the blackened warehouses of Glenallachie Distillery, we’d stop and throw bread to feed the ducks beside its cooling waters, carry on along the road by the farm and then down the hill where we would make a second stop – this time to peer through a slated wooden green fence at the large pond which sat in the grounds of the hotel below. The fence hid it so that it seemed almost magical. And I was told I couldn’t go and play there, which made it even more so.

That hotel was The Dowans Hotel. And growing up just a stone throw’s away from the Victorian Mansion, the glorious transformation its enjoyed under the ownership of the Murray Family has been a true joy to witness.

For me, walking from my car, the hotel is not the first thing I notice. Because as you walk around its side to its impressive front doors, it’s the view that takes you. The terraced gardens which overlook the Spey Valley. A spectacular view and one which always seems to look more beautiful than it did during the season that came before. After breathing this in, it is only then that you turn around and are hit by how attractive the large stone building is, with its charming turret and ornate details. I can’t think of many hotels where you are treated to a double whammy quite like this.

The Murray’s have been busy renovating the hotel since 2012. And after finishing the sixteenth and final room, Aberlour, the Country Meets Creative team was called in to capture it in all its glory.

Plush fabrics. Baths with a view. Scottish fine soaps. Seasonal menus which use the finest local foods. And a whisky list to die for. Like everyone else who visits this place, we rather enjoyed spending time here.

Each room has been designed with such finesse that whether your staying in a cosy, single en-suite room or a junior suite, the sense of luxury and the comfort gets you excited. It’s the type of hotel where, if you enter the room with your partner, one of you will lift your hand for a high five and do a little dance before jumping on the bed, or if your travelling alone, you’ll immediately grab your phone to take photos which will boast about where you’re resting your head for the night. We’ve all done it, let’s be honest.

The attention to detail is second to none and not just when it comes to the hotel’s interiors. The Dowans Hotel is how a family run hotel should be. You’ll be hard pushed to find a more friendly and attentive team who will spend time welcoming you and making your feel right at home. If you don’t believe me, head to their Facebook page – the reviews say it all!

The Murray’s have nurtured the hotel back to its full potential and The Dowans Hotel now stands proud. It’s magic has not been lost.



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