UK Enterprise Awards 2021

68 | UK Enterprise Awards 2021 Jul21076 Best Luxury Self- Catering Apartment Company - Scotland The Highland Club is a holiday venue in Scotland which allows guests to stay in the heart of a venue that is rich with history. Having been a stronghold standing during the Jacobite war with the English, an Abbey after it was given to the church by the family whose estate it was, and a heritage exhibition, it now provides a ‘home away from home’ for holidaymakers, surrounded by a stunning waterfront and rolling greenery. The company behind a number of outstanding self-catering holiday apartments, The Highland Club is located in Fort Augustus Abbey, Loch Ness, and the surrounding areas. Fundamentally, nestled in such picturesque surroundings, its holiday homes make themselves idyllic and beautiful getaways from the hustle and bustle of everyday life that will help their clients find themselves and the perfectly relaxed break that they needed, in any of its 109 luxury apartments. Mostly built for holiday rentals – and with an extensive breadth and depth of history that a customer can delve into – the individually owned apartments were developed by the Santon Group in the 90s. Before this, about 200 years before, in fact, The Highland Club was an English stronghold built in the highlands during the war between the English and the Jacobites; it became a highly fraught point of contention over the course of the war, with the two sides vying for control over it. It was such a central point in the highlands that it made itself a crucible for clashes between the two sides. After this, however, the fort became St Benedictine’s Abbey, the Lovat Estate donating it to the monks and making it so. The Abbey only closed in the early 90s, becoming a small heritage exhibition before the Santon Group turned it into a holiday destination that now brings joy to a vast myriad of holidaymakers every year. Although most of the apartments are individually owned, as aforementioned, a few of them are residential. However, all of them are self-catering; this is a type of holidaymaking destination that has significantly grown in popularity over the last few years, allowing the guests to have total control over their holiday from the timings of activities, the food, and everything else – in essence, there are no restrictions enforced on The Highland Club’s part apart from check-in and check-out. Essentially, this is a term used to describe the hiring of a cottage or apartment for a set number of people for a set amount of time, providing a ‘home away from home’ experience. It allows guests to move their usual routines and priorities to somewhere else, giving them the full freedom to explore the local area and all it has to offer, whether the guest’s priorities are the historical sites in the local region, city and urban exploration, or simply having a relaxing week away from the business of their everyday life in an idyllic area of the UK. There are even some cottages that allow dogs, and The Highland Club encourages all clients to double check the specifications of the cottages they’re interested in before booking, with rules and conditions applying to varying areas of the site such as a rule disallowing dogs in the Abbey itself. However, they are allowed to be walked around the grounds, providing routes that are beautiful jaunts through the countryside and site. In addition, The Highland Club tries to make the experience of finding a cottage that fits to a client’s specifications as simple as possible with the user-friendly and intuitive website and the ingrained search tool it uses, which allows a visitor to filter cottages by pet-friendliness. The Highland Club is also a private holidaymaking venue reserved only for its visitors and owners. If necessary, simply showing a staff member the key will be enough accreditation, but the site is in a private enough area that families can rest assured they will be entering a safe, well looked-after environment. Furthermore, the buildings themselves are surrounded by towering trees and rolling fields, with views of the mountains in the distance that give one a true sense of being removed from any stressors and pressures of contemporary, everyday life. At its core, The Highland Club is the most concerned with ensuring all of its visitors have an amazing time. Thus, it is easy to reach, although The Highland Club recommends that in order to sightsee and explore to the fullest extent that the region allows for, guests should bring a car. There is plentiful parking at the site itself, car rentals available from places such as Inverness Airport, Inverness Railways Station, or the town proper, and there is also a petrol station in Fort Augustus village itself to assuage any worries on that front. In order to book a place in a cottage at The Highland Club, it invites clients to go through its site. There are, due to this, a few different ways to book. It has created its website to be as easy to use and friendly to people of all technological acumens, with its filters ranging from building type to budget, number of nights they wish to stay, number of bedrooms a client needs, whether they would like a loch view, and whether they require a ground floor apartment. Also, if a client already is aware of the building they wish to book, then they can simply go through the home page and click on the relevant building on the interactive map, from which they can immediately see its availability for booking by selecting the arrival date and the number of