For travelers seeking a culturally rich place to celebrate the winter holidays, Cameron House on Loch Lomond offers special activities for both families and couples during the last weeks of December. The luxury hotel adds a classic Scottish touch to traditional Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s celebrations, providing its guests with a variety of seasonal activities as well as the opportunity to simply relax and enjoy this festive time of year.
Throughout the holiday season, Cameron House will offer many of the standard activities – everything from boat rides on its Celtic Warrior yacht to spa time to rounds of golf. But there will also be an array of seasonal entertainment and Scottish holiday traditions, ranging from showings of such classic movies as It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street to performances by Christmas carolers and appearances by performers who specialize in amusing the youngest guests.
And meals, which are always stellar at Cameron House, will of course have a festive flair. In addition to splendid, holiday-themed banquets and special menu items at each of the its four restaurants, even the resort’s indulgent afternoon tea will take on a seasonal twist.
Guests who arrive on Christmas Eve will be greeted by a piper, and those who are interested can take the short ride to the “Watch Night” service at a local church at 10:30 that night, followed by warm mince pies and mulled wine upon their return. Young guests will be given a personalized gingerbread man upon check-in, and they can spend time with both Santa – at an afternoon Christmas party – and Mrs. Claus, who will read The Night Before Christmas in the evening and provide milk and cookies for her audience. Children will be given the chance to leave reindeer food outside and then it’s up to Mum or Dad to try to get the kids to sleep before the big day. Santa will return to the resort on Christmas morning – to much fanfare – and a lunchtime feast will be served. In addition, all guests are invited to watch Queen Elizabeth’s annual Christmas Day speech at 3 p.m.
December 26 is Boxing Day, celebrated in Scotland and the other Commonwealth countries. It started as a day when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their employers; now it’s an additional day of celebration during the winter holidays. On Boxing Day at Cameron House, guests can participate in a family treasure hunt or witness a birds of prey demonstration with the resort’s resident falconer, Graeme. They may also choose to prepare for the resort’s evening ceilidh – a traditional Gaelic celebration that usually involves much folk music and dancing, with an informal dancing workshop and kilt fitting. The ceilidh officially starts at 6:30 p.m. and includes a three-course meal and plenty of dancing.
In Scotland, the day before the new year is referred to as Hogmanay. Celebrations include such traditions as the signing of Auld Lang Syne, which was written by Scottish poet Robert Burns. Guests coming to Cameron House for the traditional New Year’s celebration can arrive on December 30 or 31. In either case, they’ll be greeted by a piper and ginger hot toddies. On the 31st, there will be another dancing workshop, and then guests can choose from a child-friendly “Family Hoolie” or the more adult-oriented, black-tie “Gathering of the Clans.” Each event features an elaborate four-course meal that profiles the finest Scottish ingredients and includes the much-anticipated “address to a haggis,” another tradition inspired by Burns. The new year will then be welcomed in style, with a full pipe band and brilliant fireworks over the front lawn of the resort.
On January 1, the resort will serve a champagne brunch. Other activities include boat cruises, falconry demonstrations, a golf competition, and evening entertainment.
Christmas packages range from two to four nights and start around $949 per person, double occupancy. New Year’s packages also range from two to four nights and start around $1,212 per person, double occupancy. Rates for the festive interlude of December 27 through 30 start around $375 per room per night. Rates approximate, based on current exchange rates.
Though it’s located just 20 minutes from Glasgow International Airport, Cameron House immerses its guests in an experience that’s worlds apart in terms of service. The property’s 132 rooms range from twin, double and family rooms that boast views of either the loch or gardens, to junior, contemporary, executive or whisky suites. In addition to its array of dining options, resort amenities include the award-winning Carrick Spa, the Carrick golf course and a complete Leisure Club.
Photo credit: Mark Harkin via flickr