A few miles outside the bustling Scottish city of Glasgow stands Crossbasket Castle, a centuries-old building that will open as a luxury hotel in May, following five years of meticulous restoration. The property is a new member of Connoisseurs Scotland, a prestigious group of top-end hotels and other tourism entities.
The castle features nine bedrooms, one of which is an impressive four-story bridal suite; extensive public areas; a new banquet hall that can accommodate up to 250 guests, and a collection of art and original antique furniture. The grounds include manicured gardens, a stretch of woodland, a series of nature walks, and even a river complete with waterfalls.
Here’s a bit about its history: It was occupied by various prominent Scottish families over the years but was ultimately abandoned and entered a state of total disrepair. Craftsmen using traditional materials and techniques have refurbished more than 600 years of wear and tear on the building, ultimately restoring it to its original splendor. One of the biggest challenges presented to these workers was the extent of damage done by wind and rain; the building wasn’t watertight, so it was full of leaks and rotted wood and also needed a new roof.
Rain figures into the castle’s history in another way, too. One of its former owners was Charles Macintosh, the inventor of a special waterproof cloth that he ultimately turned into the famed “mac” raincoat. One of the nine bedrooms is now named for Macintosh, and the other eight also bear the names of past owners. Each room is unique in its own right, with individual décor and touches that reflect the history of the property.
The oldest part of the building is its original 15th-century tower, built on a rise above an adjacent river. What was originally intended to improve the castle’s defensive position has been recreated into a romantic four-story suite served by a sweeping stone spiral staircase. The Lindsay Tower Suite gives its occupants the perfect vantage point from which to survey the grounds, plus a four-poster bed, a couple’s bathroom with luxurious shower and roll-top bath with clawed feet, and a dressing room.
Another highlight is the newest addition to the property, The Roosevelt Grand Hall, which was built in a style that complements the rest of the castle. In addition to providing the latest in audio/visual offerings, special lighting, a dance floor, large stage area and bar, the facility also has a viewing balcony that’s set high over the property’s waterfalls. Catering for all special events is provided onsite, with menus being overseen by celebrity chefs Albert Roux and Michel Roux Jr. That pair will also oversee the hotel’s new restaurant, called Albert and Michel Roux Jnr at Crossbasket, and handle all food and beverage arrangements within the hotel.
Crossbasket is managed by Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI), which also manages other renowned independent properties around Scotland. Along with the castle, Connoisseurs Scotland’s other members include four golf courses, country house hotels; an all-suite hotel; the ultimate luxury train, Belmond Royal Scotsman, and the only cruise ship in the world with a Royal Warrant from HM The Queen, Hebridean Princess.