Setting the Scene
My husband and I agreed that we would take it in turn to organise our wedding anniversary gifts – alternate years seemed like a logical approach.
I seized the opportunity to take on year one after realising the theme was paper. I’d already had my eye on going to the British Moto GP and tickets = paper so this seemed like the perfect excuse. And with such a special occasion VIP seemed most appropriate. Year two, cotton I believe, would take a lot to beat this.
My beloved, exceeded all my expectations with an overnight stay at Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire. The beautiful hotel opened back in 1924 and has since become renowned for its dedication to excellence and is synonymous with top class golf (hosting the Ryder Cup in 2014).
Let me talk you through our Gleneagles Experience.
Set in the beautiful Perthshire countryside the entrance is as grand as you would expect for a luxury hotel with such heritage. With a golf-course on one side and superbly maintained lawns and duck inhabited pond you immediately know that this hotel takes pride in its appearance.
Although the hotel does offer valet service, we opted to park the car ourselves (my husband is a little OCD). It would be easy to mistake the car park for a super car exhibition; think I spotted my fave Carrera 4S parked between an Aston and Bentley.
The kilted concierge presented a genuine smile and welcomed us with sincere warmth.
The reception area is beautiful in a very traditional way; wood, leather and tartan furnishings n old-worldly way. I recently read an article in Conde Naste about luxury hotels embracing local design and culture and should not conforming to the modern minimalistic and white wall style now associated with premium establishments. Gleneagles I am pleased to say embraces Scottish style in every way.
Very efficient and friendly. The receptionist, dressed in a Gleneagles uniform, not only volunteered all the information we needed to ensure our stay at the hotel would be as enjoyable as possible but also gave us a short guided tour of the hotel. She did so in a very personable way – not in a robotic fashion that one often encounters in such establishments.
We declined the offer of luggage assistance – we only had an overnight bag and my husband is a strong fellow! The concierge graciously accepted our decision.
Our Sovereign Room was located in the newer wing of the hotel and the first thing that struck me when we entered the room was the incredible view. The large glass windows provided the perfect frame for the splendid scene of the hotel entrance with the scenic backdrop of boundless countryside.
The room was average in size but a comfortable l-shaped sofa was perfectly situated in the window where you could kick back, enjoy the view of finger through a selection of quality magazines.
Room décor was in-keeping with the rest of the hotel; dark wood and quality tartan, again evoking the feel of real Scotland.
The super-king bed was so comfortable that I almost crawled under the heavy blankets before I’d taken my jacket off.
The usual in-room amenities were available; Wi-Fi, mini bar, trouser press, hair-drier, iron and ironing board. Complimentary water (still and sparkling) tea, coffee and shortbread were offered and presented on a tasteful tray in the lounge area of the room along with the afore mentioned selection of magazines.
Flat screen TV, DVD player and iPod doc all provided for our use.
Wardrobes included quilted hangers presenting fluffy bathrobes and slippers to really help us chill out and unwind.
A warm luxurious marble bathroom played host to an elegant free standing bath, walk in rain shower, his and her sinks were adorned with a range of luxury toiletries (brand escapes me now) An internal toilet cubicle ensured privacy should a shower and a call of nature be required!
Although we didn’t participate in any of the activities there are a whole host to cater for the most diverse interests and physical abilities. These include; golf (obviously!) falconry and horse-riding to name a few.
As the spa was undergoing a refurb it would be unfair to comment on this, however the plans for the new development look amazing (they have a 3D CAD model to show guests) my husband was made aware of the refurb work when he booked. Good excuse to return to check it out!
Our stay included dinner and breakfast. Both of which were faultless experiences. In fact I could (and probably will!) write an entire review of this one day as a subsection in this post does not do it justice.
Dinner – With a great choice of restaurants it was hard to pick but we opted for fine dining in the grandeur of The Strathearn Restaurant. I have been to Desseo for lunch a couple of times and this is fab too!
The Strathearn serves classic French / Scottish dishes and boasts two Rosettes. Greeted by name by the maître d we were introduced to our waiter and escorted to our table. The dining room was large yet still managed to create a personal and intimate atmosphere.
The menu presented meat, game and fish options and our waiter was extremely knowledgeable and perfectly attentive. Food, wine and entire experience surpassed all expectations.
Breakfast – if only I’d known what was in store I would have not eaten so much the evening before. A breakfast banquet fit for a king (or queen!) is the only way to describe this feast. I am still undecided whether the hot smoked salmon, fresh quail egg omelette, slow roast ham hock, or the warm bread with honeycomb was my favourite. Although the Danish pastries and maple syrup pancakes could also be contenders. Coffee definitely left me with a zing and again the personal greeting and attentive service was second to none. Ooh I’m full just thinking about it, in fact looking back I don’t think I ate for the rest of the day!
Would I recommend?
Without a doubt. A definite must for those seeking a truly Scottish luxury experience.
Everyone! From family’s right through to romantic weekends, Gleneagles has it all.
Prices vary according to room type and availability so best to call to check.
Sunday special is a good option if you can be flexible around £295 for a Classic Double compared to £335 on a weekend.