When travelling in Scotland, we prefer to base ourselves near where we will be touring distilleries, as it makes it a lot easier to get around and cheaper if you need to catch a taxi home.
Accommodation within walking distance, or a short bus ride, of your favourite distillery, is ideal as no one has to be the designated driver. The Station Hotel, Rothes, is a short walk to the Glen Grant Distillery Visitor Centre, and the Mash Tun is just up the road from the Aberlour Distillery.
However, if you can't stay near a distillery, the other best option is to pick a lodging with a fabulous selection of whiskies (like the Craigellachie Hotel); that way, you can do an extensive tasting with only the need to find your room afterwards.
Where To Stay In Speyside Scotland (When You Want To Be Near Distilleries)
Grantown-On-Spey is a relatively large town (vs Aberlour and Craigellachie, which are more like villages) - you'll find a great many accommodation and restaurant/cafe options here. Grantown on Spey is a bit further away from the majority of the distilleries (which are centred more around Aberlour, Craigellachie and Rothes), but it is closer to Inverness/Loch Ness, and near The Tomatin Distillery, the newly opened Cairn Distillery, and Balmenach Distillery (gin tours/tastings only). For more information see our map of Distilleries Near Grantown on Spey.
Located in the centre of Grantown-on-Spey, the Grant Arms hotel is a short stroll to the Craig Bar for a whisky tasting (and some apparently fabulous pies) or The Wee Puffin for dinner (and also perhaps a wee tasting). They have 50 en suite rooms to choose from, including two Four-Poster Rooms, one of which accommodated Queen Victoria in 1860. The hotel dates back to 1765 and is pet-friendly.
The Brooklynn Guest House is a beautiful little family-owned bed and breakfast in a well-maintained late-Victorian house just off the main street of Grantown-on-Spey. All four bedrooms have en suite bathrooms with walk-in showers. Sit down in the morning to a full Scottish breakfast, or perhaps a bowl of Golspie mill porridge (the benefit of staying at a bed AND breakfast), with gluten-free and vegan options available.
Aberlour (where you’ll find the Aberlour Distillery) and Craigellachie are two villages right in the middle of all the Spey distilleries with some fabulous options to combine accommodation and whisky tasting. For more information on which distilleries are nearby see our map of Distilleries Near Aberlour and Craigeallachie.
The Craigellachie Hotel combines the style and elegance of a bygone era with the most modern of hotel facilities. The hotel has 26 en-suite rooms to choose from, overlooking the River Spey and the famous Craigellachie Bridge. After a meal in the Copper Dog Pub, relax in the Quaich Bar and start tasting some of the 700 single malt whiskies that adorn its walls. The Craigellachie Hotel is right in the heart of the Speyside distillery region.
At the Mash Tun Aberlour there are five en-suite bedrooms to choose from, all named after local distilleries. A roll-top bath enhances The Glenlivet Room, while the Macallan Room, which follows the curve of the building, looks towards Easter Elchies House - the original home of The Macallan. Downstairs you'll find the Mash Tun Bar and Restaurant, home to a wide and varied selection of whiskies, including the exclusive Glenfarclas Family Cask Collection. The Mash Tun is just down the road from the Aberlour Distillery.
Just north of Craigellachie, in the wee village of Rothes, the Station Hotel is a short stroll from the Glen Grant Distillery and Visitor Centre. It is another excellent choice of hotel, especially for its wide selection of Speyside whisky, available in Toot's Cafe, Bar and Bistro, including their own Station Hotel Whisky. The Station Hotel has 15 en-suite rooms, six of which are suites.
While not as centrally located as our other recommendations, The Dell at Glenlivet is a superb accommodation option if you'd like to stay somewhere a little more secluded and right in the heart of the Highlands. The Dell is situated on the Glenlivet Estate - surrounded by over 53 acres of woodlands and winding paths. The Dell's luxury cabins (with woodfired stoves) are the perfect cosy escape to enjoy a good whisky.
Elgin is the home of the Glen Moray Distillery and is just down the road from the Benromach Distillery. If you base yourself in Elgin you're a short drive down the A941 (or bus or train - see our public transport accessible Speyside distilleries) to Craigellachie (see our map of Distilleries Craigellachie - North Moray).
The Garden Cottage is a small cottage/2-bedroom apartment located near an abundance of cafes and restaurants in the heart of Elgin, and most importantly, they're just a short stroll to the Drouthy Cobbler whisky bar and the Gordon and MacPhail whisky store (note: their original South Street location is currently undergoing renovations - they have a temporary store at 121 High Street). The Garden Cottage is a fabulous option if you want to self-cater (full kitchen) or travel in a group (up to 5 guests).
St. Michaels Guest House (Bed and Breakfast) are a 7 minute walk to Gordon and MacPhail's South St store (though see note above) and all of Elgin's restaurants and cafes. Perfect for couples or individual travellers, the St Michaels offers a full breakfast and eight room options, including superior king rooms, and family rooms. All rooms have private bathrooms.
Which Distilleries Should We Visit?
For more information on what distilleries you should visit while in Speyside, see our post on the Best Speyside Whisky Distillery Tours.
And if you're travelling with children, you need to read our post on the 50 Distillery Tours In Scotland Your Kids Can Actually Go On