Gleneagles isn’t just a hotel; there are three golf courses, a spa, Scotland’s only 2 Michelin starred restaurant, 3 more casual restaurants, not to mention all the activities; a falconry school, off-roading, clay pigeon shooting, archery, horse riding. Plus, it’s all set within stunning Scottish countryside, grounds we fall in love with just a few seconds after arriving.
The journey is about an hour drive from Edinburgh airport. We hire a car from Green Motion (the cheapest available) which I’d recommend as you can then explore even more of the nearby scenery – it’s quite incredible.
The hotel is now owned by Ennismore, the clever chaps behind The Hoxton hotels and backers of Breddos Tacos. They’ve enlisted David Collins Studio to completely overhaul the hotel, work which wasn’t entirely finished during our visit, and it’s really rather stunning.
Our room isn’t quite ready when we arrive so we sit in the Century Bar and have a burger (£20), sorry, that’s an aged Angus burger topped with bone marrow, pulled beef and cheese rarebit, which is lovely.
Our Sovereign Room, no 160, is gorgeous. There are various shades of grey, it’s just big enough to fit a sofa at the end of the bed and there are views out onto the long driveway. The bed is luxuriously comfortable; the sort you long for at home but could never afford. The only downside is we hear guests walking to and from the nearby lift just outside.
There’s no bath in the bathroom (staying in a hotel is the only time I ever have a bath) but where the room lacks in size it makes up for it with the huge shower, which is plenty big enough to pirouette away to your hearts content.
The spa facilities (open till 10pm) are quite stunning. Two pools, one more suitable for kids, a huge jacuzzi and an outdoor hydrotherapy pool with jets and bubbles galore. The latter is a real treat; we find ourselves spending as much time in there as possible.
The breakfast room, The Strathearn, is absolutely huge, we’re talking cruise ship massive, and it’s full on our Sunday morning visit. Included in our price, we have the option of ordering from the menu or using the buffet. We do both, why not eh, with a salmon kedgeree being a highlight.
We go clay pigeon shooting against the backdrop of the frosty highlands. It’s a real experience and one I’d thoroughly recommend – mainly because our instructor, Drew, is so bloomin’ lovely. We finish with crackling (£4) and haggis on toast (£9) in Auchterarder 70, which overlooks the golf course, a short walk from the main house. A good spot for a craft beer and a quick snack.
The whole Gleneagles experience was impressive from beginning to end. Sure, it’s an expensive place to say, but if it is phenomenal scenery you’re after in luxury surrounds, Gleneagles is the one.
Would we stay again? Yes.