Gleaneagles Hotel, Scotland

The Gleneagles Hotel is a haven nestled away in the valleys between the highlands and lowlands of Scotland. For centuries this area of the world has been sought after for its strategic advantages but today it draws crowds based on its natural beauty.

But Scotland is famous for more than its heather covered hills this country is the home of golf. This love for the game is evident at Gleneagles. Even before the hotel was completed, the golf courses were open and available for tournaments. With the famous James Braid designing them, it’s no wonder they were so popular. When the hotel was completed in 1924 it became an aspiration destination for celebrities and politicians.

The opulent façade, perfectly manicured lawns and romantic gardens set the tone for this premiere hotel. Its lobby is a blend of classic luxury and modern day tastes.

Whether you are staying in an Estate Room or Whiskey Room, you will be engulfed in luxurious fabrics, fine furnishings and a breathtaking view that are accompanied by world class amenities. Once you stay in these rooms, you’ll find it difficult to leave.  The Gleneagles staff has created the Glenmor Apartments to satisfy guests who never want to go home. These apartments give their occupants added privacy and space. Each apartment has a kitchen, dining area and sitting room.

For people who love to golf this is the only way to stay at Gleneagles because all residents of Glenmor have access to free unlimited golf. They can choose to try any of the three challenging courses from the King and Queen to the PGA Centenary that was designed by Jack Nicholas. If your swing isn’t up to par, then stop into the Golf Academy to get a few pointers from their master instructors.

Though I tried my hardest to improve my golf game, it wasn’t really working out for me. Thankfully Gleneagles offers plenty of other distractions that include: croquet, bike riding, hiking, falconry, off-road driving, archery, fishing, clay shooting and riding. To try it all, you’ll need to stay at least a week.

If sport isn’t your thing, then you might enjoy the Gleneagles Spa. This facility offers more than just body treatments and massages. They have classes in dance, two pools, two Jacuzzis, personal trainers and a gym. Though I love a good massage, I totally passed up the spa for my favorite pastime, shopping. This hotel has its own mall or Arcade as they call it. I was able to find knick-knacks, Scottish treats and luxurious sweaters. Thankfully it all fit in my bag home.

The restaurants at Gleneagles are all top notch. Scottish chef Andrew Fairlie houses his two-star Michelin restaurant at the hotel. His food is categorized as French but it has a Scottish twist. At the Strathern I enjoyed dishes such as smoked salmon and fresh asparagus in an atmosphere of fine dining. For golfers on the go, Dormy Clubhouse is the place to pop in for lunch or snacks between holes. If you’re with the kids you’ll need to become familiar with the The Club. It is the perfect place to get snacks or pizzas.

I don’t know if you would say this was a treat but I did get to sit down with Patrick Elsmie of Gleneagles to try something that is symbolic of Scotland, haggis. I must admit that it very scary looking but once I had my first bite I realized that it’s actually pretty good.

The hotel is only an hour away from Glasgow to the West and an hour from Edinburgh to the East which makes it the perfect place to base your Scottish vacation.