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Lodgings Fit for the Royals: A Historic Hunting Lodge in Scotland, Revamped by Hauser & Wirth

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Lodgings Fit for the Royals: A Historic Hunting Lodge in Scotland, Revamped by Hauser & Wirth

January 22, 2019

The most regal place to stay in Scotland? That would be Fife Arms, a newly opened hotel with 46 guest rooms in the town of Braemar, Aberdeenshire, in the famous Highlands, an area first made popular when Queen Victoria visited the area and purchased Balmoral Castle.

The hotel is housed in a former hunting lodge, originally remodeled by architect Alexander Marshall Mackenzie (who also designed the Waldorf Astoria in London), now owned by renowned art dealers Hauser & Wirth. Together with Moxon Architects, designer Russell Sage, and a team of local artisans and craftspeople from Aberdeenshire, Iwan and Manuela Wirth were careful to preserve the building’s grand architectural details (dark wood moldings, marble, chimneys, and timber-frame windows), then fitted the interiors with 12,000 Victorian-era objects and furnishings. The result, they say, is “more like a private country house than a hotel.”

With the blueprints for the original building housed in the National Archive and a grand opening attended by none other than His Royal Highness Prince Charles himself, it’s a new opening with an already historic legacy. Take a look inside.

The team preserved the hotel&#8
Above: The team preserved the hotel’s grand, old-world flair, including an ornately carved wooden fireplace surround.
The 46 guest rooms and suites range from lush and jewel-toned to simpler. Here, one of the Royal Suites features a carved canopied bed.
Above: The 46 guest rooms and suites range from lush and jewel-toned to simpler. Here, one of the Royal Suites features a carved canopied bed.
Another royal suite, done floor-to-ceiling in patterned wallpaper, with the requisite tartan blanket.
Above: Another royal suite, done floor-to-ceiling in patterned wallpaper, with the requisite tartan blanket.
Guest rooms feel, charmingly, like they&#8
Above: Guest rooms feel, charmingly, like they’ve been there for decades, as in this one, with an en suite fireplace and collected finds.
A vintage desk looks out at the countryside in another room.
Above: A vintage desk looks out at the countryside in another room.
A simpler Croft Room, &#8
Above: A simpler Croft Room, “inspired by a traditional Scottish croft house,” with a built-in cabin bed hand-painted by artists with scenes of the surrounding countryside..
The eccentric Artist&#8
Above: The eccentric Artist’s Studio, tucked under the eaves, has a cabin bed, and gives visitors the sense they’re staying in the attic room of an eccentric artist.
&#8
Above: “It was said that if you were looking for someone in Braemar, the first place you should look was the public bar at The Fife Arms,” notes the team. The pub, The Flying Stag, is newly opened in the same tradition, with dark wood banquettes and collected portraits.
Another drinking establishment, Elsa&#8
Above: Another drinking establishment, Elsa’s Bar, has more modern fittings, perfect for “a pre-prandial aperitif.”
The historic building has original gables and Victorian gardens designed by Jinny Blom, a former Chelsea Flower Show medallist and garden designer to the royals.
Above: The historic building has original gables and Victorian gardens designed by Jinny Blom, a former Chelsea Flower Show medallist and garden designer to the royals.

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