Picture the scene . . . . A luxury loch-side retreat in Highland Perthshire; not so far from home that you’ll spend the next 48 hours recovering, but far enough to feel like a different world. Maybe you’ve escaped the usual Christmas madness and it’s just the two of you; perhaps it’s a festive treat for the whole family or a group of friends. Either way, you’re soaking up the view of snow-capped Ben Lawers (and soaking away the aches from hiking up it earlier) from your private hot tub. From here the sparkling Loch Tay feels like your giant infinity pool. You’ll maybe pop down to the Hot Box for a sauna and dip in the loch later, perhaps accompanied by a wee dram round the fire pit. Or maybe you’ll just stay right here and ask someone to pass you another glass of champagne.
Tonight? Who knows. A delicious dinner at Taymouth Marina Restaurant is a 1 minute walk away. The roaring fires of the Kenmore Hotel are just a short stroll, or the bright lights of Aberfeldy (and some great pubs, restaurants and take-aways, as well as that lovely looking art-deco cinema you spotted on the way through to Taymouth) are a 10 minute drive. Then you remember you’ve already pre-booked a special dinner, cooked and served in your lodge by a private chef and butler. It is Christmas after all. Every detail has been organised by the Taymouth Marina team. They even do the dishes . . . the chef & butler that is, not Taymouth Marina team; though they’d probably do that too; nothing seems too much trouble.
Tomorrow? It’s Christmas Eve so obviously it’s a stressful flurry of last-minute present buying and gift wrapping; car packing and motorway tail-backing; sprout topping and potato peeling and all the usual pre-Christmas chores. Right? Actually, no. More like long walk to clear the head and work up an appetite for coffee and cake at that cracking little tea room by the river Angus mentioned. Maybe some sledging too. Not too much. Just enough to make that hot tub extra enticing.
Christmas at Taymouth Marina is magical. You arrived yesterday with presents wrapped . . . and less obscene in quantity than previous years, thankfully limited by boot space. Everyone had decided they’d rather have this holiday together than a load of presents they don’t really need or want anyway. There was a wee bit of stress getting everything ready, then realising you’d forgotten sledges, but you picked a couple up at the big Tiso on the edge of Perth as you headed up the A9. Less than two hours pretty much traffic-free driving and you landed in this loch-side winter wonderland. The Christmas tree you requested is looking beautiful in the living room of your lodge. The food hamper with essential provisions (cheese & port obviously, as well as all you need for some slap up full Scottish breakfasts) was waiting. You’ve already decided every Christmas should be like this.
Christmas itself is extra special obviously, but for many people it’s the run up to the big day they enjoy the most. The parties and present buying can easily become a bit of a drag and there’s nothing festive about Amazon, so why not do something different this year. As well as all the usual attractions of a break at Taymouth Marina (the Hot Box sauna, luxury accommodation with your own private hot tub, the whole of Highland Perthshire on your doorstep) there are shopping opportunities aplenty and dozens of festive events across the area, with Aberfeldy, Dunkeld, Pitlochry and even Perth itself all within half an hour or so. From unique arts & crafts to artisan food & drink; from browsing buzzy Christmas markets to losing yourself in the retail mecca that is House of Bruar. There’s something for everyone.