The Gleneagles Hotel,
The Gleneagles Hotel is all abuzz in 2014, celebrating 90 years since opening its doors and gearing up to play host to this year’s Ryder Cup (September). This is the year for golf aficionados to hit the greens at Gleneagles, once described as the “eighth wonder of the world.”
Set within 850 acres of Perthshire countryside, this stunning Leading Hotels of the World property is home to three championship golf courses— the PGA Centenary Course, The King’s Course, and The Queen’s Course; the PGA National Academy Course; Pitch & Putt and practice areas; a spa; 232 guestrooms and 26 suites; Scotland’s only two Michelin-star restaurant, Andrew Fairlie; and an array of outdoor activities such as falconry, horseback riding, off-road driving and clay shooting.
The Only Way to Play package offers guests the chance to play on the same 18 holes as Europe and America’s best golfers, as they test their skills on The PGA Centenary Course, host venue to the 2014 Ryder Cup. Between Aug. 15-31, and Sept. 30-Oct. 31, The PGA Centenary Course will be exclusively available for hotel guests. Included in the package is an overnight stay with breakfast and teeing off on those 18 holes. Rates start at $1,158 per room, per night and fluctuate depending on dates.
The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa,
Located on the edge of one of the world’s most famous golf spots, the 17th Road Hole of the Old Course, The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa features 144 refurbished guestrooms and suites—think a rich-red palette with silk-lined walls, private balconies, Kohler bathroom products, and views that will inspire even non-golfers. And although this Leading Hotels of the World property has an esteemed location, no hotel has privileged access to the Old Course, so guests tee off on the hotel’s own 18-hole, The Duke’s, originally designed by Peter Thomson and renovated in 2006 by Tim Liddy.
Onsite there’s also a great choice of bars and restaurants, including Sands Grill, Road Hole Restaurant and a traditional pub, The Jigger Inn, although golfers will feel right at home at The Duke’s Bar & Grill, serving a traditional Scottish golfers’ menu. Recommend guests take a detour to the Road Hole Bar, offering Scotland’s finest malt whiskies from over 200 distilleries. Oh, and there’s the divine Kohlers Water Spa, with a rooftop hot tub and thermal suite with its own hydrotherapy pool, plunge pool, Japanese steam room, sauna with light therapy and laminar flow showers.
The hotel offers myriad golf and non-golf packages; call for details.
Turnberry, A Luxury Collection Resort,
Located on the west coast of Scotland, the Turnberry, A Luxury Collection Resort offers heart-stopping views from the Ailsa course’s trademark 9th hole—it’s perched on a stony ridge on the edge of the sea. Here, too, the hotel’s landmark lighthouse casts an almost eerie shadow over the 13th century ruins of Bruce’s Castle, the reputed birthplace of Scotland’s hero king, Robert the Bruce. Golfers will thrill as they look out across this magnificent landscape—there’s the granite dome of Ailsa Craig, the lighthouse, the Isle of Arran in the distance, and the Mull of Kintyre. This is truly heaven on earth for any golf aficionado (or, really, anyone looking for inspiration of any sort).
The property, with its Edwardian tradition and timeless design, offers 149 guestrooms, including four oceanview suites; The Spa at Turnberry, offering ESPA treatments; six restaurants and bars; and two golf courses—the aforementioned par 70, 7,217-yard Ailsa, which is an Open Championship venue; and the 18-hole, 6,921-yard, par 72 Kintyre Championship Golf Course, with undulating greens, glorious fairways, and magnificent ocean holes. Away from the greens on the resort’s 800 acres of Scottish countryside, guests can try their hand at archery, falconry, horseback riding and off-roading.
The Great Golf Experience includes accommodations in a Classic room (minimum 2-night stay); daily full Scottish breakfast; dining on both nights in the resort’s signature restaurant, 1906; one round of golf pp on both courses; and full use of the spa facilities (call for rates).
Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island,
If an active vacation mixed with a bit of golf is what your client is looking for, then send them to west Scotland, directly to the Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island, part of the Relais & Chateaux collection. Set on an island at the mouth of Loch Creran, this charming property offers deluxe and standard rooms, but recommend the accommodations that lie in the surrounding gardens, the Luxury Spa Suites and the 2-bedroom Cottage Suites. They offer more privacy and seclusion, and they have their own intimate hot tubs. The surroundings are truly magnificent—and the outdoor activities are innumerable. Of course, there’s a 9-hole golf course, as well as a putting green area, but there’s also mountain biking, clay pigeon shooting, croquet, and countless watersports such as sailing, kayaking, and fishing. There’s only one onsite restaurant, but with a wine list that goes on for 40 pages and a “farm house cheese trolley” with a selection of around 40 cheeses, there’s really no need to leave the island.
The property offers fun packages, including one that pays homage to 007—the 2-night Aston Martin 007 Weekend, which captures the style and glamour of the films, and lets clients enjoy the thrills of driving a stylish Aston Martin around some key locations associated with them. They’ll pass Faslane Naval Base, featured in “The Spy who Loved Me,” and the loch by Crinan, the scene of a boat chase through the Bosphorus in “From Russia with Love.” Additionally, there’s an exclusive speedboat trip to Duart Castle, family seat of the real-life inspiration for 007, as well as a drive through Glencoe, setting for the dramatic finale of “Skyfall.” Rates are £1,365 pp (approximately $2,291) for April and October; £1,465 pp (approximately $2,500) May to September, based on two sharing a deluxe double room and including hire of an Aston Martin DB9; cocktail master class; private speedboat ride; and entrance to Duart Castle. Stay also includes free use of the golf course and driving range.
Drive an hour outside of Glasgow and you’ll find Cameron House, encompassing some 100 acres on Loch Lomond in the Scottish lowlands. This baronial mansion offers two championship-level golf courses—the 7,082-yard Carrick and the 9-hole Wee Demon course—spa treatments, four restaurants and countless activities including falconry and a seaplane experience on Loch Lomond. Part of the Preferred Hotel Group, the hotel has all manner of accommodations, including one that caught our attention, the stylishly done up Luxury Whisky Suite. Back to those golf courses, though…. With a name like Wee Demon, you know your golf lovers will be in for a fun time on the greens, with “deviously placed sand traps and water hazards.” The par 71 Carrick offers up stunning greens, majestic highland backdrops, brilliantly peppered with bunkers and a stupendous water hazard—the loch itself.
Cameron House offers 1- and 2-night Golf Breaks (call for rates and details).