Scotland is castle country and you can see well-preserved examples across Aberdeenshire. Balmoral is perhaps most famous as a residence of the British monarchy, while Craigievar Castle was the inspiration for the iconic turrets of the Walt Disney logo. Drum Castle's unique structure is combined from medieval, Jacobean and Victorian features, set amid the ancient oak trees of the Old Wood of Drum.
Aberdeen's stages offer new shows all year round. The Lemon Tree, only 25 minute's drive from the hotel, is a popular spot for live comedy. Or choose His Majesty's Theatre with its busy and ever-changing programme of stage plays and musical productions. After the show, you can mix with friendly Aberdonians over new craft beers and ales at historic city pubs like Old Blackfriars.
On clear summer days locals flock to Aberdeen Beach and Queens Links. With its curved expanse of gold sand stretching to the mouth of the River Don, that dramatic coastal landscape makes for invigorating walks in winter too. There are family-friendly restaurants, amusements and a nine-screen cinema steps from the beach, plus a golf course where you can test your swing against the North Sea breeze.
Whisky lovers know that the blends and malts of Aberdeen's Speyside region are characterised by elegant and complex notes with a touch of sweetness. Whether you're an aficionado or a novice, you can learn more on a guided tour and tasting at one of the world-famous local distilleries. Macallan, Glenfiddich and Aberlour are all less than an hour's drive from the hotel.
Aberdeen has a long-standing knack for producing high-quality snacks and sweet treats. The region's famous shortbread makes a great treat or gift and you can even take a tour of Dean's Shortbread Factory, about 30 miles from the hotel. Every visitor should also sample Aberdeen Rowies, a traditional fisherman's snack of savoury bread rolls eaten with butter and jam.
Spey Bay, Fochabers, Iv32 7PJ
The Scottish Dolphin Centre is based in Spey Bay where Dolphins are seem reguluarly feeding wild and free, along with seals, ospreys, the occasional otter and a whole host of other wildlife.
Glen Garioch Distillery, Distillery Road, Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire AB51 0ES
One of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, based in the histroic market town of Oldmeldrum. It sits in the sheltered heart of the valley of the Garioch and is the most easterly Scotch Whiskey distillery in the world. Experience a magical tour of the unique distillery and warehouse, including a taste of the award winning Highland Single Malt.
The Tramsheds, 179 Constitution Street, Aberdeen, AB24 5TU
Satrosphere is Scotland's first science centre using interactive, hands on exhibites and live science shows. They engage visitors with science to help them discover more about the world and the science of how things work. There is a range of lunches, free wifi, free carparking and a science shop to visit.
Duff House, Banff, Aberdeenshire AB45 3SX
William Adam's creation Duff House is one of Scotland's most important houses. The beautiful estate surrounding the house stretches for miles and remnants of its former glory can still be seen in the area. Duff House contains a wonderful collection of paintings and furniture on loan from the National Galleries of Scotland. Relax and enjoy delicious food and drink in the tea room. The gift shop is the perfect place to find a special or unusual gift.
Braemar Castle, Braemar, Aberdeenshire, AB35 5XR
Braemar Castle is situated in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park and close to Balmoral Castle in Deeside. Braemar Castle was built in 1628 by John Erskine, second Earl of Mar, one of Scotland's most influencial noble men. Hear stories of the colourful characters associated with the castle and discover the part played by the castle in the story of Scotland. Guided tours are available and last 45 minutes - 1 hour.
Milton of Crathes, Banchory, Aberdeenshire AB31 5QH
The Milton Art Gallery is an elegant, friendly gallery situated in beautiful surroundings next to River Dee. The gallery specialises in showing orginal art and high quality craftsmen, all produced locally by highly skilled craftsmen. There are regular exhibitions, a clothes and gift shop, a restaurant, children's play area and a visitors centre for the Royal Deeside Railway preservations society.