Inverness Riverside & City Hotels
The Professional Traveller • Oct 09, 2020
Real Reviews of Hotels in Inverness
Inverness, the city at the heart of the Highlands and if we are honest hardly a city at all, more like a friendly town.
With a population of around 75,000 (including the suburbs) Inverness has a smaller feel than many other cities that spring to mind.
It has the beautiful River Ness flowing through the centre which gives the city it’s name – Inver means ‘mouth of’ so Inverness is mouth of the River Ness.
The River Ness flows down into Loch Ness a mere 6 miles to the South of the city.
If you are coming to look for Nessie aka The Loch Ness Monster don’t forget to check out the River Ness too as she has been sighted there previously as well.
Inverness really is at the heart of the Highlands because you are out in the countryside in whichever direction you go pretty quickly.
Of course if you are coming to visit Inverness you will need somewhere to stay. For this article I am focussing on hotels, rather than guest house or hostel accommodation as it’s hotels that I have mainly stayed in.
I’ve lived in the Highlands for 15 years and as such have stayed in many of the Inverness hotels.
Below is my guide and I’ve divided my list into those beside the river, and those located in the city but away from the river.
Inverness can get pretty busy and demand for hotels can be high which can result in some extraordinary hotel prices. Booking ahead can help ensure there is more availability for the dates you choose, as can travelling out of season.
Given that these hotels are located in the city centre there are few with free parking, and any free parking is very limited.
If you are looking for all my tips about how and where to find cheap hotels then check out my free guide here.
For now let’s get back to hotels in Inverness!
Under each description is a search box for each hotel.
If you enter your dates of stay it will show you the cheapest price for that hotel across the internet.
It’s the cheapest booking site I have found anywhere 🙂 and I can’t find another these low prices anywhere else, not even on sites where there is a loyalty discount of 15%.
Inverness Hotels Beside the River Ness
Premier Inn Inverness Centre
19-21 Huntly Street, Inverness, IV3 5PR
This is a hotel I haven’t actually stayed in but of course know where it is and it’s a Premier Inn so stays are similar across the brand.
The location is right beside the River Ness.
The hotel is located on a one way street so you need to approach it from the right direction or it can get a little confusing.
If you are approaching from Inverness you need to take the A82 through the city centre. When you cross the river you will see an Aldi supermarket on your right hand side, take the first left at the roundabout into Wells Street. Follow this along where it will bear right. You will then be following the river on your left.
There are some parking bays along this road and if you find one on the left then it might be a good option for parking. You do need to check the parking signs as some bays are for residents and some are for loading only.
If you are approaching from the A82 South then you need to continue into Inverness. Cross over the Tomnahurich Canal and keep straight on, rather than turning right at the roundabout. Keep going until you come to a set of traffic lights and bear left at the filter lane. This is Kenneth Street. Follow it until you get to the roundabout and take the 4th exit into Wells Street. Approaching this way gives you the maximum chance of finding a parking space by the river.
Street parking is generally free of charge from 6pm – 8am.
At the front of the hotel are some bays where you should be able to drop off your luggage if you haven’t been able to find parking.
Parking at this hotel is very limited (12 spaces) and you cannot book it in advance. There is a £10 charge for the parking for up to 24 hours. There have been some comments about having to pay again for parking if you leave and then return.
With parking being so limited some guests have been loathed to take their cars out at all for fear of losing their space.
If you prefer a cheaper option, with more availability, head for the Cathedral car park.
From the front of the hotel head straight across at the traffic lights. There is a slight right hand bend which is a junction. Turn left here. The Cathedral is directly infront of you and the car park is just past the Cathedral on your right hand side. There is also an electric car charging point there as well.
It is a pay and display car park which costs approximately £5 for 24 hours. You can use the RingGo service to pay by card or text. This is quite a handy service as you can renew your parking ticket without returning to the car.
The Premier Inn Inverness Centre has a Thyme restaurant offering the standard Premier Inn menu for evening meals. A buffet breakfast is also served there in the mornings.
Just a little note to take care with the name. There are two Premier Inn Inverness Centre’s! One is the River Ness one and the other is a little bit out of the city.
Pop your dates in below for quick search to find which site across the web has the cheapest price available – an easy way to find the cheapest prices quickly!
Church Street, Inverness, IV1 1QY
(Note this is the actual address of the hotel, but the car park is located on Bank Street, Inverness)
The Mercure has a lovely location right beside the River Ness.
The public bar and restaurant look over the River making it a pleasant spot to watch people and the river slip by.
I have stayed a couple of times at this hotel, family members have stayed and work colleagues. It’s one of my spots for meeting people for a coffee in the city centre.
A big advantage this hotel has is that there is a car park on site. It’s a pay car park with limited spaces. You can use your phone to pay for parking which is helpful as it sends a message when your parking is going to expire, allowing you to top it up without returning to the car.
If you are entering the hotel from the car park, Ness Bank side, you enter the hotel and then need to take the lift or stairs up one level to the reception area.
If you are entering the hotel from Church Street you will be arriving at the same level as the reception area.
Rooms are available looking over Church Street or the River. Whilst Church Street is quieter in terms of traffic there can still be noise from buses and pedestrians.
Rooms overlooking the river are further back from the road so the noise is generally a bit less.
The Mercure was refurbished a little while ago, giving a slightly different mix of rooms and upgrading the furnishings.
The compact rooms are just that, very compact.
The Mercure is also a pet friendly hotel.
If you are looking to stay at the Mercure pop your dates in the box below. It will quickly scan the internet and find which site has the cheapest price for you – saving you lots of searching!
7 Ness Walk, Inverness, IV3 5NF
The Columba Hotel has a lovely location. It looks across to Inverness Castle and is beside the River Ness (not directly beside the River as there is a road). The hotel has good views of the river and the castle from the front facing rooms.
I have stayed many times individually, family members have stayed and I have also stayed there with tour groups. I have also had lots of coffee catch ups in McNabs.
I have not stayed since the hotel changed hands to new owners Compass Hospitality.
The hotel has it’s own Victoria Restaurant and McNabs Bistro is located on the ground floor which has serves a bar menu all day.
Rooms do vary in size at the Columba. Some of the larger executive rooms are to the front with smaller and single rooms being towards the back.
There is no parking at the hotel but there is some on street parking available free of charge from 6pm to 8am with paid parking outwith those times. However, there are very few spaces on the street.
The hotel is located on a one way street and you need to approach it the right way because of a no right turn restriction at the junction.
You need to cross over Ness Bridge in Inverness in the direction going away from the Castle, so out of the city centre. Immediately at the end of the bridge turn left into Ardross Terrace and the Columba Hotel is just on your right hand side.
To get to the car parking continue past the Columba Hotel. The road bends round to the right a little at a junction. Turn left. You will see the Cathedral directly infront of you and the Cathedral car park is a short distance down on your right hand side. It is a pay and display car park which costs approximately £5 for 24 hours. You can use the RingGo service to pay by card or text. This is quite a handy service as you can renew your parking ticket without returning to the car.
It is probably no more than five minutes walk back from the car park to the Columba hotel.
If you want to quick check availability for the Columba Hotel and find the cheapest price just put your dates in the box below and you will find the cheapest price on the internet.
8 Ness Walk, Inverness, IV3 5NG
Located next door to the Columba Hotel this hotel also has a great position beside the River and overlooking the Castle.
The hotel is often called the Inverness Palace Hotel or simply the Place Hotel which can be confusing at times.
On the ground floor is Eight on the River, which serves evening meals and is also where breakfast is served. Also on the ground floor is The Brasserie. Both dining spaces offer the same menu – upscale classics.
I like the Brasserie area for a coffee and a nice piece of cake. It’s a nice bright space and I’ve used it a number of times for meeting people.
It does have it’s own parking, although spaces are very limited (only 22 in total). These spaces are often used by those using the leisure centre as these are open to non-residents who are members of the leisure centre.
There is some very limited on street parking bays available, which are generally free from 6pm – 8am.
The nearest car park is the Cathedral car park. The details of this are as above as it is the same for the Columba Hotel.
Like the Columba Hotel you need to approach the Best Western Palace and Spa from Ness Bridge, heading out of the city, otherwise you can’t turn down the one way street which is Ness Walk.
The hotels at the front are generally larger and bright with views of the castle and the river.
There is an interesting option to rent a townhouse or cottage which are both part of the hotel, but give a feeling of independence. These sound ideal for groups as they are self contained but part of the hotel.
One of the lovely things about the Palace Hotel is the pool area. It has a small pool and jacuzzi. Alongside there is also a good sized gym area.
There is a also a nice beauty service, called Sleeping Beauty, which is run by an independent company in the hotel. They have a wide range of treatments including massages, facials etc.
I’ve stayed at the Palace Hotel with tours and on my own and I enjoyed using the pool as a nice change when travelling.
The Palace hotel is also pet friendly.
Enter your stay dates in the search box below and you will get shown prices from across the internet with the cheapest price at the top. I can’t find cheaper prices anywhere else!
7-17 Ness Bank, Inverness, IV2 4SG
I have never actually spent the night at the Glenmoriston Town House, but I used to eat there every fortnight when attending a local speaking club meeting. I’ve also enjoyed some Christmas and other group meals there too.
The Glen Mhor is surprisingly large with 110 bedrooms.
It does not have a lift which can be difficult if you are on the 3rd floor so if stairs are a problem be sure to request a lower floor room.
There is a mix of rooms with deluxe and larger rooms being the ones overlooking the river.
The hotel is located on the same side of the river as Inverness Castle and the hotel is beside the river (albeit a road directly between the hotel and the river).
If you are looking for a nice alternative to a room – the hotel also has a selection of apartments within it’s buildings, not necessarily in the main building. These are completely self contained and range from 1 to 3 bedroomed apartments.
Parking is available on site. The car park entrance is on Haugh Road, the B862 which runs at the rear of the hotel.
Space is less than the capacity of the hotel but there is quite a lot of on street parking available beside the river, which is free during the evening and night, for daytime it is best to check the signs.
The hotel now has a Waterside Restaurant located on the ground floor at the front of the hotel. It has a varied menu with an early evening menu available as well.
There is a cosy little bar at the back of the hotel called Nicky Tam’s Whisky & Wine Bar. In the winter months there is a nice woodburning stove and it’s a pleasant spot to meet up with people.
The Glen Mhor is also pet friendly.
Pop your dates into the search below to quickly find where the cheapest price for this Inverness city hotel is on the internet.
12 Ness Walk, IV3 5 SQ
Ness Walk is one of the newest additions to the hotels in Inverness.
It’s a 5 star hotel and definitely a luxury option, with beautiful spacious and well decorated rooms right through to luxury toiletries.
The hotel occupies a lovely spot just beside the River Ness. It is just a few minutes walk from the Castle so is away from the noise of the centre.
It is also set in lovely grounds which mean the rooms have either views across the gardens to the river, or garden views.
Some rooms have terraces and there are also huge floor to ceiling windows to make the most of the location.
For those wanting something even more special there are a couple of suites.
The hotel has it’s own restaurant, the Torrish, which features a two course menu for £30 (although there are a number of supplements for certain dishes, such as £10 supplement for Venison loin). The menu has a real Scottish focus with some interesting takes on dishes. (Prices and dishes will vary according to season.)
The hotel also has a wine and whisky bar, the Torrish, which also promises great cocktails.
There is free parking available at the hotel on site.
I haven’t stayed in this hotel but it’s on my list for sure!
If you are looking for the largest rooms, a house type feel to the hotel, a very friendly welcome, and a little quieter location compared to the city centre or river side itself then this could be the hotel for you.
Even though this is a luxury hotel I’m sure you still want to find the best price so pop your dates into the box below and find the cheapest prices on the internet quickly.
Inverness Hotels in the City Centre
72-74 Church Street, Inverness, IV1 1EN
The King’s Highway is a Wetherspoon hotel. It is attached to the Wetherspoon pub although there is separate entrance and reception area for the hotel.
Church Street is a one way street so you need to approach it from Friar’s Lane. If you are coming through Inverness on the A82 from the A9 then take the left at Shore Street Roundabout. Then move over into the right hand land ready for the traffic lights. Turn right at the traffic lights and Church Street is the first turn on your left.
If you are looking for parking when you enter Church Street my recommendation would be to take any space you see. It isn’t far to walk to the King’s Highway from anywhere in Church Street but once you get to the hotel entrance itself there isn’t much parking available.
The first thing to say is that there is no parking at Wetherspoons. There is some on street parking available and this is free after 6pm (double check the signs) through until around 8am. There are quite a few loading bays on Church Street and these get used for parking after 6pm as well.
The nearest car park is the 24 hour Rose Street multi-storey car park. It is located at 24 Rose Street, Inverness, IV1 1NQ. You take a ticket on entry and then pay at the pay stations on the ground level when you leave. A lift serves every other floor.
This car park has quite small parking bays and there are lots of concrete pillars to take care when parking. I’ve had my car door dinged in this car park too.
On exiting the car park turn right, follow the pavement around with the bus station on your left. Keep walking past Charlie’s Cafe. You will come to Academy Street which you need to cross. Continue walking in the same direction ie. away from the bus station and you will find Church Street. It runs parallel to Academy Street.
The King’s Highway is a mid budget room, and it can have some very good prices available. Several years ago it was refurbished and it is less budget and more mid range than it was.
However, there can be some rooms that experience street noise from Church Street. This is mainly people in the street rather than traffic.
Rooms at the back tend to be quieter but also a bit darker. Some of the rooms can be quite small which is not surprising given the city location of the hotel.
There is a lift that will take you to your rooms and there is a secure door between the pub and the hotel area.
Breakfast is available to buy in the pub area. I have found this OK for an early breakfast but if you leave it until mid morning the pub is starting to fill up with people drinking. I don’t really enjoy eating my breakfast surrounded by people drinking.
I wouldn’t eat in the pub in the evening. It’s busy, noisy and often has a number of people who have had quite a lot to drink there. As a single traveller I don’t like the atmosphere and as someone who chooses not to drink alcohol it’s the type of place I avoid.
There are plenty of nice places around Inverness to eat with a much nicer atmosphere.
Of course Wetherspoon’s is known for it’s budget priced food so it is probably one of the cheaper places to eat.
I’ve stayed here a number of times when working in Inverness and having an early start. I’ve found it good value with clean and tidy rooms.
To find the absolute best prices for the King’s Highway just put your dates in the box below and you will see which site has the cheapest price.
63 Academy Street, Inverness, IV1 1LU
I have stayed at the Pentahotel on one occassion and used it for coffees and catch ups a number of times.
The hotel is located in Academy Street, which is one of the main streets in Inverness with plenty of through traffic and buses.
There is no parking on site. The nearest car park the Rose Street multi storey car park. 24 Rose St, Inverness IV1 1NQ. You collect a ticket on entry and then pay at the pay stations on the ground floor before you leave. You can pay by card and it costs £7 for 24 hours with £5 every 24 hours after.
Take care in this car park though as there are plenty of concrete supports that can make parking a bit tricky. Some of the spaces are quite tight and both me and my family member have had a car door dinged here. As such I would recommend keeping going up until you find more space. There is a lift which serves every other floor.
When you come back down to the ground floor head away from the library (grand building on your left as you exit the car park) and walk past Charlie’s cafe. The exit from the bus station joins Academy Street where the Pentahotel is.
The ground floor of the hotel is the PentaBar with the reception area to the rear. The bar serves burgers, grills etc.
The rooms are quite stripped down, which gave it quite a budget feel in my view. Everything was comfortable and clean and there is a lift from the ground floor.
Rooms at the back of the hotel should be a little quieter than those at the front but given it’s location there is likely to be some noise wherever you are in this hotel.
The Pentahotel is pet friendly, with the price for pets £20 extra per stay rather than per night.
To find the best prices for the Pentahotel put your dates in the box below and you will see which site on the internet is the cheapest so you can book and save quickly.
18 Station Square, Academy Street, Inverness, IV1 1LG
The Royal Highland Hotel is often referred to as the Station Hotel, because that was what it was originally and it is located right next to Inverness railway station.
This can make it a good place to stay if you want to explore other parts of Scotland by train. There are trains going North, South, East and West from Inverness.
It has 86 rooms and the entrance to the hotel is adjacent to the main entrance of the railway station on Academy Street. The foyer is quite grand and has a number of tables and chairs in the foyer as there is a little bar and coffee area tucked in the corner. It’s called the Art Gallery Cafe because of a number of artworks, including a large piece on the stairs.
Also on the ground floor is the hotel restaurant. The menu is mixed and varied, with everything from fish and chips to curry and carbonara.
The reception desk is just inside the main entrance. There are also toilets on the ground floor and lifts to the rooms.
There is no parking available at the hotel. There is extremely limited parking outside the front entrance but this is usually full.
As such the nearest car park is either Rose Street Multi Storey car park. 24 Rose St, Inverness IV1 1NQ. You collect a ticket on entry and then pay at the pay stations on the ground floor before you leave. You can pay by card and it costs £7 for 24 hours with £5 every 24 hours after.
As mentioned above this car park is a little tricky to park in sometimes due to the concrete pillars and narrow spaces. However, it is well lit and has a lift.
The easiest way to reach the Royal Highland hotel is to turn right when you exit the car park into the bus station area. Follow the footpath round, with the bus station on your left and walk past Charlie’s Cafe, also on your left. When you get to the junction with Academy Street turn left and follow this along past various shops until you reach Station Square, which will be on your left. You will see the entrance to the railway station and the hotel.
Whilst I have never stayed at this hotel myself I have eaten there a number of times and enjoyed many a coffee in the Art Cafe. Family members who have stayed found the experience a bit noisy and the rooms quite hot.
Given it’s location this hotel is likely to experience some noise wherever you rooms is located.
For those arriving by rail the location is fantastic and if you want to park your car up for a few days and explore by rail it is also ideal.
Some of the rooms are on the smaller size in this hotel. The Royal rooms are larger.
The Royal Highland Hotel is pet friendly.
To find the cheapest price for your stay at the Royal Highland just use the search box below, it searches across the internet so you don’t have to.
Luxury City Centre Hotel
Culduthel Road, Inverness, IV2 4AG
The Rocpool Reserve is located outside of Inverness city centre itself, just over half a mile from the city centre infact.
Rocpool is definitely a luxury hotel. It has four different types of bedrooms to choose from hip, chic, decadent and extra decadent.
Some extra decadent rooms feature a hot tub on a terrace outside the room and also double voyeur showers which sound interesting! All the rooms have large beds – emperor sized infact.
The Rocpool is also a fine dining restaurant featuring great ingredients with interesting touches or combinations. A 3 course meal is around £50 per person not including drinks.
The bar also serves lighter bites and some pub classics such as fish and chips at £13.50 per person.
Free parking is available at the Rocpool Reserve for guests and diners.
Put the dates of your stay in the search box below and quickly get to the cheapest price on the internet for the Rocpool Reserve.
Looking for Things To Do In Inverness? Check out my guide here.
Looking for hotels in the Inverness area, rather than in the city itself. Check out my guide to hotels within 1 mile and 5 miles of the city centre.
Find Prices to Suit Your Budget Quickly
Use the map search to find hotels that fit your budget super quick
Find the Best Inverness Deals
Check out out the current top deals for Inverness below