The Fife Arms

5. Juli 2019

The Fife Arms is set within the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland in the scenic village of Braemar, famed for its annual Highland Games

In the heart of the Cairngorms National Park in Royal Deeside, with stunning Highland scenery all around

Owned by Iwan and Manuela Wirth, co-presidents of the internationally acclaimed art gallery Hauser + Wirth, the hotel draws from their deep respect for the local history, community and setting – a project sensitively evolved to breathe new life into the existing 19th century coaching inn and hotel built by the Duke of Fife.

The Fife Arms’ interiors have been masterminded by Russell Sage Studio (The Goring, Stapleford Park, The Savoy) – a charming blend of old and new, deeply luxurious with surprising touches of the British eclectic.

Throughout, there is a Scottish narrative, often local to Braemar itself, making the hotel a repository of stories. The Fife Arms is a celebration of local craftsmanship, from walls adorned with house tartan and tweed by Araminta Campbell and bedsteads carved to reflect the landscape, to gardens sculpted by celebrated garden designer Jinny Blom. Moxon architects has overseen a careful, sensitive and refined ‘craft’ restoration of the original listed building.

In keeping with Iwan and Manuela Wirth’s decades-long dedication to contemporary art, the works of internationally-renowned artists feature prominently throughout The Fife Arms, each one inspired by the Scottish landscape and culture which sits at the heart of this project. The hotel is also home to an outstanding collection of mainly Scottish art; Old Masters are complemented by newly and specially- commissioned murals, frescoes, installations and curios. Standing in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, The Fife Arms in Braemar offers guests many a way to re-connect with nature and take in the surrounding landscape. The Cairngorms boast breath-taking mountainous treks, beaches and golf courses in addition to thrilling water and snow sports, home to the only sled dog centre and permanent bridge-based bungee jump in the UK – something for every season and adventurer.

Elsa’s Bar – a nod to the Italian fashion designer, Elsa Schiaparelli, who was much admired by Frances Farquharson, the first wife of Captain Alwyn Farquharson of the nearby Invercauld Estate. Frances Farquharson’s home for almost half a century was Invercauld Castle and she surprised the locals by wearing Schiaparelli’s creations, even in rural Braemar. The Bar – a jewel box of a space – channels the glamour of Schiaparelli and is the perfect setting for a few scintillating drinks before dinner.

On the first Saturday in September each year, the ancient village of Braemar plays host to the world famous Braemar Gathering – a fine display of Scottish tradition regularly attended by the British Royal Family, featuring pipers, Highland dancers and athletes.

During their stay, guests of all abilities and interests can hunt, stalk, bird, mountain bike, shoot and fish on the large neighbouring estate, all arranged by the hotel’s ghillie, Ros Evans, who lives in Braemar and available

From local musical events at St Margaret’s Church, skiing in Glenshee, salmon fishing on the Invercauld Estate, and dining at Braemar lodge, to sightseeing tours of the castle, coastline or history behind Scotch whisky, there is plenty to keep everyone happy. Some retail therapy is also available, showcasing a variety of Scottish crafts and wares.

46 individually-designed bedrooms, each holding a story and paying homage to a tale, character, happening or place linked to Braemar:

  • The Royal Suites – 4 rooms, dedicated to Queen Victoria, the Duke of Fife, Princess Royal Louise, and Abdul Karim. Each is a celebration of their involvement in the expansion of Braemar as a destination for visitors from around the world.
  • Victoriana Suites – 11 rooms, each inspired by a key figure or event of the Victorian era.
  • Scottish Culture Rooms – 12 rooms, each devoted to a person who made a significant contribution to the cultural history of Braemar or wider Scotland
  • Nature and Poetry Rooms – 13 rooms, each dedicated to a poet, or work of nature.
  • Croft Rooms – 5 rooms, featuring traditional box beds
  • Artist’s Residence Room – 1 room, created by Neil Wenman, a director at Hauser + Wirth, designed as though British artist and member of the Bloomsbury Set, Duncan Grant, has taken up residence

Images: Sim Cabetty Clark (11); Ben Addy (1)

The Fife Arms, Mar Road, Braemar, Aberdeenshire, AB35 5YN, Scotland


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