Without any hesitation, without any doubt I deem Ivybank Guesthouse to be one of the most charming, one of the most ravishing properties I have ever stayed at throughout my whole experience as a traveler so far. I was attired in a thorough contentment by staying for five nights last January at this guest-house based in Inverness, run by lovely Fiona: after an enchanting pleasant ten minutes' walking from Inverness railway station, along which I acquired a superb impression of the beauty of the capital of the Highlands, I discovered this place to be dipped into an elegant and peaceful area located in a lightly raised-positioned hill in proximity to the town center.
Few seconds after ringing the bell the door opened and I was warmly greeted by Fiona, with whom I have the chance to exchange some emails prior to my arrival: the first impression, needless to say, was absolutely positive and I felt like I have been knowing Fiona for a long time, thanks to the genuineness of her blithe welcome. Once crossed the threshold of this fairy-tale house, I was introduced to the common areas whose astonishing furniture represented an authentic delight to my eyes and emanated a dense sense of warmness (I would recommend to sit in the armchair and to relax by the beautiful fireplace next to the entrance, for a true peace of mind!) anytime I came back after long days exploring Inverness and its surrounding areas. The downstairs area features an excellently equipped library, with ancient and new books concerning the most manifold subjects (ranging from history to geography, from art to religion), a colorful living room giving shelter to a baby-grand piano (according to Fiona, it would have been lovely to listen to her sister playing the Haydn's sonatas, whose score were still placed on the piano..!), and a wonderful breakfast lounge, where the morning meals are enjoyed thanks to the mellow music, ranging from Rod Stewart to the traditional Celtic tunes, accurately selected by Fiona each day.
After a few steps' climb up a beautiful oak ladder I was introduced to the Mull Room, the superb double room for single use Fiona assigned to me: this accommodation was spectacular, the lay-out surprisingly and pleasantly unusual featuring an amusing tower bathroom reachable after few stairs: the bathroom is provided with a heating that is easily manually manageable thanks also to the automatic time-controlling system. Fiona and I shared a funny comment according to which I was "The Prince in the Tower", and it could not be truer..! What else could I say about the room..? The elegant bed was soft and comfortable, the satellite television featured a multichannel selection, the tea facilities were equipped with delicious Border biscuits, and from the window I could enjoy a nice view of Edinburgh Street.
Fiona personally cooks a breakfast to die for: according to anyone's preferences and tastes, she sublimely provides eggs cooked in any style you like, ranging from scrambled to fried eggs, from poached to boiled eggs, and as an accompaniment for the eggs a substantial selection of tomatoes, sausage, bacon and mushroom are included in this succulent full Scottish cooked-breakfast dish. Before this, though, Fiona successfully tempted me by proposing a dish that I've never encountered in Scotland until my arrival in Inverness: the porridge, a dish made by bolling oats in water, which reveals itself to be a indubitable source of energies for my long walks everyday and which is enriched either by strawberries and by fruits of the forest. Beside all this sort of good things there is a buffet set with cereals and homemade jams and marmalades.
Fiona was absolutely lovely and amiable: always ready with an enlightening smile to provide advices regarding the best activities to do and the best itineraries to follow in Inverness and its county, always ready to satisfy any exigency: for instance I still remember vividly when I was telling her about the slight nostalgia I have for my classical guitar and she offered to lend me her own instrument in order to practice a bit, as well as when I asked whether there was a laundry service in the area and she offered to clean my linen. This personal touch was among the highlights of a superb stay at the Ivybank Guesthouse.
In summary I would recommend everybody to keep highly in consideration this fairy-tale property for a stay in Inverness: needless to say, if I ever went back to Scotland I would not stay anywhere else!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.