Destination Kohler in the Kingdom of Fife
So named as it’s perched on the 17th hole of the Old Course, this building dates back to the early 20th century, erected on the site of a former railway station (the stationmaster’s house is now the hotel’s Jigger Inn). It’s attracted numerous celebrities and dignitaries over the decades, and in 2004, was purchased by Herb Kohler, later followed by a major multi-million-pound refurb which was completed in 2021.
Herb Kohler had a dream to create Kohler’s Resort and Golf destinations. The company has become renowned and has won many awards, with locations in Kohler and Green Bay, Wisconsin, as well as spa experiences and golf destinations such as Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run.
In 2021, The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa underwent a multi-million pound renovation, including the addition of 31 guest rooms and a penthouse on the fourth floor, complete with an internal lift and a balcony overlooking the Old Course. Guests can also book two adjoining suites. The Hall of Champions was redesigned to accommodate up to 450 guests, while the Conservatory was extended by 20 feet, allowing it to host up to 190 people. In November 2021, the newly renovated Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa opened a 74-seat restaurant and bar; the Swilcan Loft which overlooks The Jigger Inn and the 17th hole.
The Home of Golf
Located in the heart of St Andrews beside the West Sands beach of Chariots of Fire fame, the Old Course hotel stands sentinel over a town that has hosted numerous major golfing championships over the centuries. The coast on one side, St Andrew’s centre on the other, it’s within walking distance of landmarks including the ruins of the cathedral, the ancient university and the medieval castle. There’s also a plethora of boutiques, high-street shops, bars and restaurants to enjoy. And along with the two golf courses onsite, you’ll find a further nine in the vicinity.
Long walks on the dunes are a must and it’s easy to explore further afield into the charming countryside and quaint villages that are dotted along the Fife Coastal Route. This hotel is quite unusual for a golf and spa resort, in that it offers such close proximity to facilities and tourist attractions — many of its competitors are found deep in the countryside or on a far-flung shore. Look out to sea and you feel as if you are far from anywhere, yet turn in the other direction and you’re right in the hub of the St Andrews community.
St Andrews offers easy transport links and is only a 20-minute drive from Dundee airport, one hour fifteen drive from Edinburgh and one hour forty-five from Glasgow. Leuchars train station is a short 10-minute journey and Leuchars airfield is also available for private jet arrivals.
The hotel offers plenty of free parking and there are numerous electric chargers for cars too, which we used during our stay.
Rooms & Suites
The Old Course Hotel offers 175 rooms, including a penthouse and 35 suites, all equipped with modern, yet elegant and contemporary designs. Guests can expect to enjoy luxury and charm, with different views of West Sands Beach, the Old Course, or the St Andrews Sports Playing and Rugby Fields. Each room is complete with a modern Kohler Co. bathroom, accompanied by Kohler toiletries.
Escape to Eden
Eden rooms offer views of either the town of St Andrews or the hotel’s beautiful gardens with a king-size or twin beds and plenty of nods to the golfing heritage in the decor. While Old Course rooms make use of tactile textures in homage to the nation’s longstanding links with the textile industry. Upgrade to an Old Course Suite (with a chromotherapy bath), an Eden Suite, a Deluxe Suite (designed by Jacques Garcia), a Fairway/Deluxe Fairway Suite (located in the Millennium Wing), or the Royal and Ancient Suite, for private self-catering and dining facilities.
The Royal & Ancient Suite
The Royal & Ancient suite, situated above the renowned 17th fairway of the Old Course, boasts amazing views of the links courses and the sea, seen through its impressive floor-to-ceiling windows. This suite features a separate living room and is adorned with luxurious fabrics and tasteful design elements.
Finally, the Penthouse is the top dollar option, with a private lift/stairwell, a balcony with outdoor seating and a fire pit, a fireplace in the bedroom, a huge soaking tub, a dining table for up to eight and parquet flooring. The penthouse also interconnects with one of the Eden Suites, should extra space be required. All of the bedrooms and suites have KOHLER® bathrooms (with the brand’s plumbing heritage you can expect the very best), a reading corner and a writing desk. There’s also the option to stay in the next-door Hamilton Grand, housing 26 residences and apartments all of which are managed by the Old Course Hotel and provide access to its amenities.
Our Room During Our Stay
The Road Hole
The Old Course Hotel has six restaurants, but we must begin by talking about The Road Hole. This three AA Rosette Awarded restaurant has epic views of the Old Course and the North Sea via floor-to-ceiling windows. It serves meals all day, a weekly Sunday roast and classy afternoon tea with Deutz Classic Brut Rosé Champagne. Local meats and seafood take centre stage on the award-winning menus.
Our Dining Experience at The Road Hole
Post Dinner Drinks
Located next to the restaurant The Road Hole Bar boasts an impressive selection of 293 whiskies with 251 Scottish Single Malts and 15 Scottish blends, and is located right next to the restaurant. In addition to its whisky selection, the bar offers an array of cocktails, champagnes and wines, making it the perfect place to take in a pre or post-dinner drink.
More Drinking and Dining Options
The Jigger Inn dates back to the 1850s, with a welcoming atmosphere, wooden beams, open fireplaces, home-cooked food and traditional decor. Often referred to as the 19th hole, it has lots of golf memorabilia to peruse as you eat. Sup on its exclusive beer; Jigger Ale.
Tuck into seafood from the nearby East Neuk fishing villages, alongside produce from local farms and breweries at Hams Hame Pub & Grill. Set beside the final hole of the Duke’s Course, The Duke’s Clubhouse has an outdoor terrace, open in the summer months, and The Captain’s Room, available for private dining or events for up to 20 guests.
Our Dining Experience at the Jigger Inn
New in 2021, Swilcan Loft (named after the stone Swilcan Bridge which can be seen from the hotel) is the 74-cover restaurant and bar on the fourth floor, serving international cuisine. With floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor terrace, this has quickly become the new destination restaurant and bar in St Andrews offering unrivalled views of the town and golf course.
Our Dining Experience at the Swilcan Loft
Start The Day Off Like a Pro
Breakfast is served in the Road Hole restaurant, which offers both a la carte options served to you as well as a hot buffet and cold continental buffet.
The Kohler Waters Spa
The hotel’s destination spa has been inspired by the healing properties of water; as such treatments and services incorporate water-based therapies, like hydrotherapy, Vichy showers, and hot and cold plunge pools. Hidden on the rooftop is a garden with sea views, plus there’s a 20-metre indoor pool and hydrotherapy pool, a thermal suite and a relaxation lounge. Expert therapists offer personalised therapies in the 13 treatment rooms, with an emphasis on holistic wellness to restore balance and harmony to both mind and body. In total, the spa covers a whopping 2,300 square metres. The hotel also has a fitness centre, for those not getting their daily activity on the premier golf courses…
The Old Course and The Duke’s Course
St Andrews is the capital of golf, and this hotel is the place to be for those interested in the sport. Kohler owns both The Old and Duke’s Courses and in 2006, American golf course designer Tim Liddy re-modelled the latter, which had been built in 1995 as the first heathland golf course in Scotland.
But it is The Old Course which takes the title of the most famous golf course in the world, having been played by golfing legends for over six centuries. It is the ultimate test of golfing skill, with challenging bunkers, tricky greens and unpredictable weather conditions; a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many golfers, with a deep sense of tradition — and it staged the Open in 2022. The hotel itself is full of memorabilia, including paintings of famous golfers and black-and-white photography reminiscing the course in its past iterations.
Rooms in The Old Course Hotel are rumoured to have been stayed in by royalty. It certainly seems likely, given that this was the town chosen by the heir to the throne for higher education, and it is one that regularly hosts social, as well as official, HRH visits. So whether you’re a royalist, a keen golfer, a foodie, or a spa-seeker, The Old Course Hotel with its admirable outlook is a fantastic choice for a seaside getaway.
This property is included in our guide to the best luxury hotels in St Andrews as well as the best golf hotels in Scotland.
Address: Old Station Rd, St Andrews KY16 9SP