Highland Apartments by Mansley combines the best aspects of staying in a top-end self catering apartment with some of the benefits of a hotel; plus secure parking and the most central location imaginable in Inverness. It is absolutely ideal for anyone wanting to stay in the city for its own sake, or who wants a touring base from which to explore some of the very best that Scotland has to offer. We'd strongly recommend it to any friends we knew were visiting Inverness, and would do so to you, too.
Inverness has long been the capital of the highlands, and it is fitting that it became Scotland's (then) fifth city in celebration of the start of the Third Millennium. The city lies at the north end of the Great Glen, where the River Ness flows into the Moray Firth, and has been a natural focus for lines of communication to and through the highlands for most of the last two thousand years. Inverness is a great place to visit in its own right, but it also serves as an outstanding base for anyone wishing to tour the the magnificent far north and north west of Scotland; whose interests lay to the east in the distilleries of Speyside or the wonderful coastline of Moray and Aberdeenshire; or who wants to head south west for a spot of Nessie-hunting or Munro-bagging. The city is also the starting and finishing point for the fabulous and increasingly popular North Coast 500 circular driving tour.
Today's visitor finds a bustling and cosmopolitan city with a surprisingly compact centre. Anyone wanting to stay here has no shortage of options available to them. There are some fine hotels in and within easy reach of the city, plus a wide range of self-catering options, and no shortage of guest houses and B&Bs. Our most recent visit to Inverness revealed another option, and an extremely attractive one. We spent two nights staying in Highland Apartments Inverness, part of the portfolio offered by Mansley Serviced Apartments who also own the renowned Knight Residence in Edinburgh. For those who've not tried serviced apartments before, what you get is a combination of the best bits of self-catering with some of the benefits of staying in a good hotel.
Highland Apartments by Mansley stands right in the heart of Inverness. You couldn't actually imagine a more central location. Most visitors will know Ness Bridge, which crosses the River Ness from the city centre. Highland Apartments occupy the upper floors of the "By The Bridge" development, which stands on the corner of Bank Street (running along the bank of the River Ness) and Bridge Street, part of the city centre and a continuation of Ness Bridge. This places the apartments squarely in one of the classic views of Inverness, with the river and bridge in the foreground and the city beyond. Extend this view just a little to the right and it takes in Inverness Castle, which rises above the far side of Bridge Street from the apartments.
Highland Apartments by Mansley offers sixteen luxury apartments over the three upper floors of the development. They come in a choice of styles and sizes and include one and two bedroom apartments, many with balconies (in some cases very large balconies) offering beautiful views overlooking the River Ness, Inverness Castle or (more distantly) Ben Wyvis. The apartments are fully and comfortably furnished, and equipped to a very high standard, with flat screen TVs in the lounge and each bedroom, though you are likely to be too busy enjoying yourself to use them a great deal. We found that the WiFi worked exactly as advertised, and so did everything else. Items like microwave ovens, dishwashers and induction hobs come as standard, and you will also find on arrival the makings of your first morning's breakfast, including milk, croissants and orange juice. So far we could have been describing a top-end self catering apartment, but what sets "serviced apartments" apart is that first word, "serviced": there is a weekday housekeeping service which adds some of the benfits of staying in a hotel to the experience. What we found especially nice was that the welcome pack and instructions were so very clear, straightforward and informative, adding greatly to the enjoyment of the stay. Residents are also offered discounted dining at Zizzi’s restaurant on the ground floor of the building.
If central Inverness has a drawback, it is down to the awkwardness of parking in the city. This matters, as many visitors will be using Inverness as a touring base. Highland Apartments by Mansley overcomes this problem in the best way possible, by offering a secure parking space for each apartment in a garage in the basement of the building. Suddenly staying in central Inverness becomes a truly enjoyable experience, with the usual "but" about parking removed. The joining instructions given in advance are as clear as all the other instructions on offer, and worked perfectly. We entered the postcode given into our sat-nav and it took us directly to the tiny lane from which the secure car park is accessed. It is so nice when things just work.
Our stay at Highland Apartments by Mansley led us to wonder about the history of development on such a central site. Its occupation of such a photogenic location meant we could look at a number of photographs we'd taken in previous years, and it was fascinating to see that at some time between 2003 and 2009 what was formerly a block of distinctly unattractive offices has been given such a remarkable makeover, with the result that you see today.