Verified Review icon check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit Default Owner Icon heart-filled Family icon
Book Online or call VRBO Booking Assistance: 888-829-7076
Book Online or call VRBO Booking Assistance: 888-829-7076

Gruinyards - The Best Views Of Loch Ness

Bedrooms 2
Space 1,100 sq. ft.
Property type apartment
Minimum Stay 1 - 4 nights


VRBO Bear stayed here

We found this property to be beary special

About the property

Beautifully bright top floor 2 bedroom vacation rental, fantastic views sleeps 6

Great News - the swimming pool is open again - it was closed for over a year following a fire (in the sauna) but it has now all been restored and is working again.

Gruinyards is a stunning two bedroom penthouse apartment in a historic Monastery with probably the best views of Loch Ness from anywhere. It is elegantly furnished and will give you a truly memorable holiday.

The apartment at Gruinyards sleeps four, or six with the sofa-bed. Or use the double Aerobed in the huge master bedroom to make it a family room.

There is access to all the facilities of The Highland Club, which is the name for the whole Abbey complex. There are extensive gardens on the edge of Loch Ness while the facilities include a swimming pool and spa in a former chapel, tennis, badminton, croquet, snooker and table tennis, all of which are free for residents. Archery, kayaking and fishing can also be arranged in the grounds.

With high sloping ceilings, Gruinyards manages to feel both spacious and cosy. It combines old and new, having magnificent stone mullioned windows but stylish contemporary furnishings. There are great views on three sides and it gets the sun all day long making it a fantastic place to relax whatever the weather.

The apartment has free Wifi, widescreen TV, films & DVDs, detailed maps & guides and a range of games and books.

We should mention that the Gruinyards is on the third(UK)/fourth(US) floor of the old Monastery building, and is reached by 75 steps (there is no lift) but this is why it has such good views. It also means there is no one above you and it is wonderfully peaceful there, like a nest above the rest of the world.

The apartment itself has a large open plan living-dining room with high sloping ceilings and a huge stone window that gives stunning views right along Loch Ness. There are also views over the hills to the east and the abbey cloisters to the south. The living room has a fully equipped kitchen area and an oak dining table that can be extended to seat 8. There is a large TV and a wide range of DVDs, as well as a selection of board games, maps and guide books. There is unlimited free Wifi internet provided in the apartment and an iPod dock for music.

There are two bedrooms: a very spacious principal bedroom which also has high ceilings and views on two sides. It is beautifully bright and airy and boasts a magnificent en-suite with a roll-top bath overlooking heather clad Borlum Hill.

There is also a very comfortable and cosy twin bedroom, a second bathroom and a double sofa bed in the living room. However we also have an inflatable double Aerobed (it has an electric pump and adjustable firmness which makes it extremely comfortable) available in the principal bedroom so that this can be used as a very convenient family room.

As a guest at the apartment you can also make use of all the facilities of the Highland Club. As well as being able to wander around the amazing Gothic abbey and cloisters, there is tennis, badminton, bowling, croquet, a barbecue area and fishing in Loch Ness all available in the lovely lochside gardens. Then there is the residents' lounge and games room with a full sized snooker table, table football and table tennis available. And now you can enjoy the beautiful new swimming pool, steam room and sauna in the magnificent setting of the old abbey church with its stone arches and columns. There is also a well equipped gym with weights and a wide range of rowing, cycling and other exercise equipment.

In addition activities including archery, air-rifle shooting and, tomahawk throwing, fishing lessons and canoeing can all be provided in the grounds or very nearby. More adventurous activities, such as white-water rafting, canyoning, abseiling and clay-pigeon shooting are all available locally, and of course there are daily boat trips and cruises offered just outside the abbey grounds.

Gruinyards is ideally located, not only for Nessie spotting and exploring around Loch Ness, but also for climbing Ben Nevis, stunning walks in the Glen Affric and Glen Nevis nature reserves, dramatic waterfalls, the romantic ruins of Castle Urquhart or cycling the Caledonian Canal. Inverness and Fort William are both less than an hour’s drive away while Skye is just over an hour away. At Fort William during the summer you can take the 'Hogwarts Express', a steam train ride that passes over the famous Glenfinnan viaduct. There is also skiing at the nearby Nevis Range ski centre, while the cable car up Aonach Mor runs throughout the year. Also very highly recommended is the remarkable historic fort and working army base at Fort George. However much of the time you will probably just want to relax in the apartment looking at the view and taking in the wonderful surroundings.


We are happy to take short break bookings (less than a week) throughout the year. The online booking option is only available for stays of 4 nights or longer but we can take 2 or 3 night bookings as well.

If you would like to stay for less than four nights PLEASE contact us direct to get a price for these stay lengths. As a guide, 2 nights will work out at about 65% of the weekly rate and 3 nights 75%. However we would urge you to consider staying longer, not only because it is better value, but also because once you arrive I can promise you won't want to leave!

More Details


Fort Augustus Apartment Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • apartment
  • floor 4
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1100 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM / Check-out: 10:30 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Lake View
  • Lakefront
  • Monument View
  • Mountain View
  • Rural
  • Village
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Free Wifi
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Foosball
  • Game Room ...
  • Games ...
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Pool Table
  • Stereo ...
  • Television
  • Video Library ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Tennis ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool ...
  • Heated Pool
  • Indoor Pool
  • Sauna ...
  • playground
  • ruins
  • water parks
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • rock climbing
  • sailing
  • ski lift privileges
  • skiing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • whitewater rafting


Your penthouse apartment in this beautiful Abbey will not disappoint.

VRBO Bear stayed here

Apr 20, 2016

My visit to Gruinyards with my family was everything a vacationing bear could wish for: a spacious and comfortable penthouse apartment with breathtaking views of Loch Ness and the surrounding countryside. The apartment was well appointed with everything we needed for a magical family get-away. Our host obviously took great care in preparing the space, with cozy and attractive furniture, dishes and utensils in the kitchen, games and puzzles, an organized binder with brochures for all of the area’s attractions, and manuals for all of the appliances. He even made sure we had tea and tasty biscuits upon our arrival. Gruinyards is located on the beautiful grounds of a nineteenth century Abbey in Fort Augustus. There was plenty for my family and I to do whether we wanted to venture out or stay close. It is conveniently located near several sites of historic interest including Fort Williams, Urquhart Castle, and the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition. Cruises of the Loch left regularly from a dock right next to the Abbey. Within the grounds we explored a fun playground, a super-human-sized chess set, and played croquet. My cubs especially enjoyed the heated pool, while I took a refreshing trip to the steam room and sauna. A wide range of food was just a short walk away with the Boathouse pub right on Loch Ness, the restaurant at the Lovat Hotel, and a market that had everything we needed when we didn’t want to venture out. The owners of Gruinyards have created a wonderful and relaxing space that we hope to visit again. This was one of the best vacations we’ve ever had. Thank you!

5/5 -
(2 traveler reviews)

100% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
Gruinyards - The Best Views Of Loch Ness
average rating of 5.0 based on 2 reviews

Both location and the flat are terrific. Gorgeous buildings, park-like setting.

  • 5 of 5

This penthouse flat in a 100% charming huge converted old abbey/monastery (google Highland Club, Ft Augustus) was perfect for us. Sitting on the southern tip right on the shores of Loch Ness, the grounds here are truly beautiful! From your window seat you'll see the lake, mountains, mature trees, dozens of scampering resident bunnies on the lawns below... a truly magical place. Parking is plentiful and easy. It's a convenient central home base to explore the Highlands from. An easy walking path gets you to the main street where there are good pubs to grab a meal or a pint, some shops, a small grocery store, a major system of locks for getting boats in and out of the loch - fascinating to watch - and the occasional cute guy in a kilt! The flat is lovely, comfortable, not fussy, has everything you'd probably need including washer/dryer combo, reliable wifi, plenty of space, a large very comfy bed (we didn't use the two twin beds so can't comment there), nice shower, large living room/kitchen area with huge dining table. We feel lucky to have found this flat. What a unique find! (Oh, did I mention there are 75 steps and no elevator? We didn't mind this at all but it's something to consider for certain.) Highly recommend!

  • Submitted: Sep 10, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Brenda, Thank you very much for your kind comments, really pleased that you had a great time and everything came up to expectations. Also you are right to mention the stairs, it's something we take for granted now but should make clearer in the description. I guess it's the price to be paid for the wonderful view, but the absence of a lift is because one couldn't be installed due to the historical importance of the building. Jonathan.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0
Qualicum Beach BC Canada

Unique experience in Scotland

  • 5 of 5

Excellent property. Large, well appointed. Unbelievable views of Loch Ness. Historic Monastery, beautifully restored. If you have a chance to stay here don't pass it by.

  • Submitted: Jun 26, 2014
  • Stayed: June 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 2

Property Manager

Jonathan Norris
Member since: 2014
Speaks: english, french, german, russian, bulgarian
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
February 15, 2018

About Jonathan Norris

I am an architect who has specialized in the restoration and conversion of historic buildings. My wife is a lecturer (professor) in Mathematics at Kingston Business School and we have two boys.

Jonathan Norris purchased this apartment in 2008

Why Jonathan Norris chose Fort Augustus

I was working for the company which bought the old abbey and converted it into apartments (it used to be a monastery and boys school, but had been empty for a number of years). When we were given the opportunity to buy an apartment in the old abbey I was in the fortunate position of being able to assess what I thought would be the nicest apartment in the whole development and reserve it!

What makes this apartment unique

We love the apartment at Gruinyards not only because of the fantastic view down Loch Ness, which was the original reason for choosing it, but also because it has windows on three sides. This means that not only do you get to see three different views, but also that you can get the sun shining in all day long. Because it is up on the third floor (fourth floor if you are American) it isn't overlooked and is amazingly light even on a grey day in winter. I love the sloping ceilings, which mean it manages to be both cosy and spacious at the same time. And like everyone, I love sitting in the window seat looking out over the Loch, watching the constantly changing light on the water, the mountains and the trees. The apartment is really well laid out and is just somewhere you feel very comfortable and at home in, so that it can be really difficult to motivate yourself to do anything except just lounging around enjoying being there.


Nearest Airport
37 Miles
Nearest Barpub
200 Metres
The Boathouse restaurant
Nearest Ferry
250 Metres
Boat trips on Loch Ness
Nearest Golf
0.5 Miles
Fort Augustus Golf Club
Nearest Train
31 Miles
Nearest Motorway
300 Metres
Nearest Restaurant
200 Metres
The Boathouse restaurant
Nearest Ski
22 Miles
The Nevis Range
Nearest Beach
50 Metres
Shore of Loch Ness
Car: recommended

Fort Augustus, situated mid way between Inverness and Fort William, at the southernmost tip of Loch Ness, next to the Caledonian canal and the fast flowing river Oich and river Tarff, is a charming destination in its own right. Loch Ness cruises set off from the swing bridge, with Castle Urquhart and the Loch Ness visitor center just a short drive away. However it is also ideally located climbing Ben Nevis (or skiing at the Nevis range), visiting numerous dramatic waterfalls and stunning walks in the Glen Affric and Glen Nevis nature reserves. Fort William, forty minutes away, boasts the Ben Nevis distillery and, during the summer, the Jacobite steam train service up to Mallaig. Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, is less than an hour away, the journey there, along either side of Loch Ness, one of the most spectacular there is.




Manager's Cancellation Policy

  • Canceled bookings will not receive a refund