This grand and stately lady celebrates her 90th birthday this year, and you wouldn't know it by looking at her. She's had a busy time and packs a punch in entertaining with the 2005 G8 summit and the 2014 Ryder Cup under her belt (or should that be skirt?) as well as having 232 rooms, 14 event suites, a selection of bars and restaurants, 3 championship golf courses, and a destination spa! As well as being home to the only two Michelin-starred restaurant in Scotland.
The Gleneagles Hotel is located just off the A9 in the middle of Scotland, handy to reach from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth or Stirling. It has it's own railway station a mere 5 min drive from the property.
We were met at the front of the hotel by the friendliest porters we have ever met. Polite, enquiring and helpful. These helpful chaps guided us to check in as we took in the surroundings. The impressive foyer was filled with guests relaxing, drinking tea, chatting - not at all the stuffy image we'd had in mind.
Check-in was pain free with a map provided to help you along the way! It wasn't needed thankfully, but handy for knowing where everything was outside of the main hotel (the map also lists walking, cycling & jogging routes on the estate).
We were shown to The Braid House wing through a shopping lobby with a difference. Wood-panelled, bay windowed shops showcasing items such as whisky, golfing goods, cashmere clothing, as well as a nail bar and hair salon.
The Braid House bedroom wing is a recent addition and joins seemlessly to the older building. Heading to our room we passed by the Deseo restaurant, a cafe area and the ESPA Spa, with a quick peek out to the heated outdoor pool.
The room was spacious with a separate seating area with remote controlled gas fire at the window (with views of the main/original hotel building). A mini bar, hospitality tray, TV, desk with paperwork, umbrella and ironing board were also provided - not surprisingly everything you may need!
We discovered the seating area was an ideal size for a room service breakfast with a view (even better when the mist disappears and you get a view of the Ochill Hills)
Modern, white tiled bathroom with robes, slippers, toiletries as well as a separate shower room for those who don't want to lounge in the large bath tub.
Of course, a turn down service is provided with a bottle of water beside your bed each night, as well as a sheet outlining what is on at Gleneagles the following day - containing the all important weather report!
Being surrounded by such beautiful scenery, most of the hotels activities take place outdoors, and it's not all just golf as residents can receive falconry, gundog, shooting, horse riding and even off road driving lessons. On site there are also tennis courts, a pitch n putt course, a hedge maze and a few small lochs where fishing can be done.
We took part in falconry, gundog and truffle hunting (planted truffles however) and these activities were fun as well as educational.
We reach the most important part of any stay - breakfast. This can make or break a stay for us!
The breakfast selection here is heavenly. Everything you could ever wish for. The surroundings of The Strathearn lend to the magnitude of the task ahead.
Included in the price of your room (if breakfast is included otherwise it's £32) is a choice of beverages, which in addition to the usual choices includes champagne and even a Bloody Mary.
Start by picking something off the Classics Menu. These are freshly prepared dishes such as kippers, steak and chips, haddock, omelettes, a full range of delights made to order.
Then wander through to The Long Room for hot and cold buffet counters, juice bar, breakfast omelette station and much more. You could safely spend the whole of the breakfast serving time here. Which incidentally is from 7am to 10am weekdays and until 10:30am weekends.
We absolutely loved our stay at Gleneagles, which is probably the best hotel we've ever stayed at! Peaceful surroundings but with so many activities taking place each day if you want to try your hand at something new. With impeccable service and lots of considerate touches such as a little packet of shortbread or your journey home when checking out, it's a five star hotel, and you certainly do get a five star service, in fact it's more than a hotel, it's like a compact town where everything provided is high quality - though we did have two very minor gripes - the only beers in the mini-bar were mainstream lagers even though there are some wonderful breweries within a short drive of Gleneagles and despite being in the modern wing of the hotel there were no sockets beside the bed to charge our phones (but that did mean we relaxed a bit better without staying up late being glued to them!).
B&B prices from £245 per room, per night (1 Nov - 31 March 2015)
Green fees from £70 (off-peak, Nov 2014 - March 2015)
October 2014 green fees: PGA Centenary Course - £175, King’s or Queen’s Course - £125.
The golf course is open to visitors and you do not need a handicap to play.
The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland
T: 0800 704 705 (UK Freephone) or 1 866 881 9525 (US Freephone)
We stayed as guests of the hotel.
UPDATE: We returned to the hotel to dine at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie in 2016, read about it here.