The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire is a five star resort and a member of the Leading Hotels Of The World Group. After organising and attending a conference there recently, I can see why.
Gleneagles is a luxury hotel set in 850 acres of Perthshire countryside. It has 232 bedrooms, ranging from standard double and twin bedrooms to presidential suites. The hotel is situated in the middle of nowhere, but that's alright because there are more than enough activities on site to keep you busy.
Gleneagles was opened in 1924 by the Caledonian Railway Company and was hailed as 'a riviera in the Highlands'.
In the 1950s, golf and grouse shooting became part of the social calendar - an event that all of high society attended after the London 'season'. In 1982 it underwent a huge refurbishment and in 1986 it was awarded the AA's five red stars, which it has retained every year since.
The bedrooms themselves are outstanding - probably the nicest hotel rooms I've ever seen, and as an events planner I've seen quite a few! I just had a standard double room, which was huge and divided into a sleeping area and lounge area. I had two TVs - one wall-mounted plasma screen and one on a pedestal in the lounge - as well as a stereo. Being on the ground floor, the french doors of the lounge area opened out onto a private patio area, equipped with patio furniture. The bathroom was about twice the size of my bathroom at home and had two sinks, heated towel rails, a claw-footed bath and seperate shower area. The bedroom and bathroom were decorated in stylish shades of beige and grey and all the furniture and soft furnishings were of a high quality.
On the first night of our conference, I went round to all our delegates rooms delivering welcome gifts and their rooms were of a similar standard. The directors were even luckier as they had been allocated suites. The suites were decorated to the same colour schemes and had similar furniture, but they were enormous! I didn't have a chance to have a good old nose round, but they looked amazing.
The common areas between rooms are furnished and decorated to an equally high standard. There are a lot of little alcoves and areas furnished with sofas and tables where you can stop and have a cup of tea and the artwork on the walls is tasteful and interesting.
Because Gleneagles is so far from anywhere else, it's handy that they offer so many activities. The most famous activity is golf. Gleneagles is home to the Kings Course, the Queens Course and the PGA Centenery Course - all of which are of championship standard. I don't play golf, but the delegates who did assured me that these courses are of a very high standard.
Gleneagles also houses an Espa spa that offers a wide range of beauty treatments. As a thank you for organising the conference, our director offered me a treatment. I chose a Swedish massage, which left me completely relaxed and chilled out. The staff in the spa were friendly and the spa itself was very luxurious.
Gleneagles also has an activity school, where they offer shooting, horse riding, falconry, gundog training, fishing and off road driving. As part of our team building exercises, we all split off into teams to try our hands at clay pigeon shooting. The instructors that guided us were extremely competent and we all had a great time. I even managed to hit a few! The second day of our conference was given over to free time and we were all allowed to pick an activity to try. I chose to have a horse riding lesson in the equestrian school, which was great. Others chose to go out hacking, some went trout fishing and a couple did off road driving. All the feedback I received was very positive.
There are a number of restaurants, cafes and bars at Gleneagles to eat and drink at, ranging from Mediterrarean style, informal bistro, to Andrew Fairlie's two Michelin-starred restaurant. We took all our meals on site and they were all of an excellent standard, with a real emphasis on local Scottish ingredients.
The staff also scored highly. Over the course of organising this conference, I must have spoken to every member of staff at the hotel. All were courteous, polite and efficient and nothing was too much trouble for them. I had to have two cases of whiskey miniatures and ten Nintendo DS's shipped up there a couple of weeks previous to the conference and the staff signed for them and kept them safe until we got there.
Rooms at Gleneagles start at £385 a night for a classic double room and go up to £1990 a night for either of the two main suites. A budget option this is not. However, if you do want to treat yourself, there are all manner of packages and deals available on the web to bring the price down a bit.
I absolutely loved my stay at Gleneagles, both in terms of organising the conference and actually staying there. I would not hesitate to recommend it. It is expensive, but you really do get what you pay for.
Gleneagles Hotel is a 5* renowned hotel in Scotland with it's own golf course set amongst some stunning backdrop scenery. It is situated in Perthshire, just a short distance from Edinburgh Airport and is easily reachable by motorway or train.
The hotel has many facilities for guests including its own restaurants, bars, leisure facilities, games rooms and other sporting activities; golf, off-road, equestrian, claypidgeon shooting, falconry and chauffer services to nearby places.
The hotel also hosted the G8 Summit meeting in 2005 for world leaders and has been host to many famous faces in its time as well as major events such as golfing championships.
The rooms vary in size and price but all are maintained to a very high standard. I don't have prices to hand here but these can be found out by giving the hotel a call.
The hotel also caters for functions and events such as conferences or weddings in one of its many rooms or even in the grounds of the hotel. Many facilities are available to assist such as audio/visual, projection screens, laptop linkups and more.
Occasionally the hotel may allow for special requests; one I've heard of from a previous customer is a small business party being able to have a dinner meeting in the drinks cellar surrounded by all the whiskey, wines and ales.
Although I haven't stayed in the hotel myself I have been to a wedding there and have been told about the accomodation being very immaculate and to a high standard.
My husband had been hankering after staying at Gleneagles for quite a few years, and so we decided to take a trip up to Scotland in March, with a two night stop at the hotel. We had read for many years of the various awards the resort had won, and this only intrigued us more. We booked online on the Gleneagles website, paying £185 per night for our classic room (the basic level) which also included breakfast. We also took advantage of the offer for a free bottle of house wine in the room, when booking online. We e-mailed the hotel a couple of times before our stay to make dinner reservations, and were very impressed by the speed of their reply and the attention to detail. We found the resort, situated near the village of Auchterarder, very easily. The hotel is approached up a long drive which cuts its way past the golf courses, and sweeps round with a view on your right of the hotel nestled amongst trees and formal gardens. We ignored the instructions on our confirmation and self parked our car in the car park. We should have driven up to the front entrance and had our bags taken care of and our car parked, and in hindsight this would have been easier. From the car park you approach the main entrance from the gravel roadway which sweeps around to the front door. The hotel is built of a light stone accentuated by the rows of sash windows with a steep grey slate roof, broken up by white sash dormer windows and lots of chimneys. The building is not a regular shape, and so has real character. To the left of the old building is attached the new wing, representing a definite change of style. This wing is built in a more modern style, but in subtle ways still fitting in with the old. Where the buildings join, the new wing is cladded with the de rigeur (and controversial) timber, but here is seemed perfectly in place. The timber made the new building blend in with the countryside and the aesthetic transition between old and new much easier.
The new wing has balconies leading off most of the rooms with small shrubs in pots at intervals between the balconies. The ground floor rooms at the front have small terraces instead with small palms giving a little privacy. The building is constructed of a light sandy concrete, and is very angular, which sounds awful but is actually perfectly suited to the surroundings. The top of the new wing is topped off with tall oblong chimney stacks which not only serve to separate the top sets of balconies, but also define the whole building and offers a similarity to the original building with its rows of traditional chimneys. In front of Braid House is a manicured lawn with a few benches to sit. We went inside through the sturdy revolving doors to a long space leading towards a small check in desk at the far end. The space, which has a very traditional feel, has a few sofas and places to relax and is fairly dark, with lots of wood panelling and has the atmosphere of a stately home. We approached the desk to check in; the extremely helpful and friendly receptionist commenting on the fact it was our anniversary. This was surprising and charming considering this fact had been a throw-away remark on one of our e-mails. We were told that we had been given an Estate Room in the new Braid House part of the hotel, and this room upgrade of two categories was very much appreciated. We went to fetch our suitcase, which was taken care of for us by the bellman, and waited for our room to be ready. Only a few minutes later we were personally shown to our room, through the rabbit warren alleys of the old building lined with upmarket shops with dark wooden façades, and with the smell of an old country house into the modern light and airy new extension. The two styles are very different, but are well designed to make the contrast very endearing. I was glad the hotel had decided against trying to build an extension in the style of the tradit
ional hotel, and had opted for the ultra modern touch. The corridors of Braid House are wide, carpeted in a cream checked carpet with the large solid black guest room doors at an angle to the corridor, which avoids the usual featureless effect of rows of identical doors. Our room, at the end of the corridor on the second floor, overlooked the hotel grounds and further towards the Perthshire Hills, which was a lovely sight. The room itself was very large with a wide entrance leading into the main bedroom space with floor to ceiling windows on one and a half sides of the room. The carpet was in a contemporary checked pattern, the king sized bed covered in white bedcovers and a green tartan style throw. The brown leather headboard with mirrors either side above the bedside units, added to the modern stylish feel, complemented by natural tone wallpaper and light beige and orange curtains. There was a large desk and TV unit, a sofa near the window with table, and matching bedside tables. The room had two large closets with black louvre doors either side of the bathroom's double louvre door entrance. All of the furniture - dressing table, TV unit etc were in a black wood with contrasting silver handles. The bathroom in the same style, was very modern and generously sized, with a double sink, free standing bath with shower attachment. The separate shower (with two heads) and toilet were each contained behind their own green frosted glass doors. The grey slate floor and neutral wall tiles gave the bathroom an extra feeling of quality. The bathroom also benefited from having a circular window giving natural light. Back inside the bedroom, a large open fire effect fire was a feature of the room, controlled by its own remote control, which also controlled the dimmer effect of all the various forms of lighting and also closed and opened the curtains. I think Gleneagles have really got these rooms perfectly right. They are very much
in the style of many modern 5 star hotels, reminding me of the Lowry in Manchester, if perhaps slightly more conservative. The style is very clean and uncluttered, with an emphasis on quality fabrics and furniture. This contributes to the relaxing and serene feeling of the rooms. All the little in room items that you might need are included, plus a lot more. A proper hairdryer, a minibar, iron, board and trouserpress, safe, DVD player and also a Bose bedside radio/CD player. The TV serves many purposes apart from just viewing the satellite channels. It offers free access to the Gleneagles website, internet access for a supplementary charge, games which you can play via the TV remote control (and which are too addictive!) and all the usual bill viewing facilities. Most of the rooms in Braid house have a balcony or terrace, and our balcony leading off the bedroom, looked out to the side of the building, and so was a very private place to sit. The hotel had left us a bottle of Moet et Chandon in the room with a card welcoming us to the hotel on our Anniversary. This again was a lovely touch, and we were very surprised and pleased that the hotel so far was living up to its reputation and our expectations. I can imagine numerous hotels that wouldn't care less if it was your anniversary or would try and sell you a bottle of plonk to have in your room. We had also been left a bottle of wine, due to us booking online, and we were quite impressed that this hadn't been forgotten or replaced by the bottle of champagne. The hotel is obviously associated with golf, but it isn't a foregone conclusion that to stay here you must play the game. My husband and I have no interest in the sport, but there is plenty to do around the estate. For instance there are three short (between 2 and 5km) signposted walks around the estate that take you around, past and sometimes through (watch out for flying golfballs) the golf courses. There is a we
ll equipped gym in the spa, as well as a large leisure pool and a lap pool. There are the usual Jacuzzis and saunas, and also an outside hot tub, ideal for the winter! The hotel is also a short drive from Perth and Stirling, and convenient for both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Although you feel as though you are in the middle of nowhere, the good transport links make it actually quite a convenient place to escape to. The organised leisure activities are also plentiful. There is off-road driving, cycling, falconry and fishing amongst others to participate in. The hotel also has tennis courts and a croquet lawn. The hotel has more than ample dining options. The award winning contemporary restaurant, by Andrew Fairlie is one of the two fine dining options, along with the Strathearn, which is housed in much more traditional surroundings. For a more casual alternative, there is the Club Restaurant adjacent to the spa, and also the Dormy Restaurant in the Clubhouse. The main bar just inside the main entrance is the main choice for pre-dinner drinks, although the Club also has a small informal bar area. There are also a couple of lounges where I am sure you can be served drinks if you wanted. On both of our evenings we went for a cocktail in the bar. The bar, like much of the hotel, was quite classically elegant, with subdued light and lots of huge comfy seats and sofas. The bar was positioned in the centre of the room, and the large picture windows looked out on two sides over the estate. We didn't wait long at all for service, as can often be the case in large cocktail lounges. The cocktail menu consisted of a few variations on the martini theme, predictably quite a lot of whisky based cocktails, but most of the classics were not indicated, probably due to the fact that people will just order them anyway. We sampled a couple of martini variations, as well as a Cosmopolitan. The menu was not the best I have seen, mainly due to the
variations trying to be a little too different. The drinks we ordered however were very enjoyable, but maybe not as good as we had sampled the day earlier in the Balmoral in Edinburgh. This evening we were surprised at how quiet the bar was - it could have benefited from being a little more lively. No doubt the hotel is suffering too from the lack of American travellers. The first evening we dined at Andrew Fairlie Restaurant. This is actually a small restaurant, with a modern but intimate setting. The service we experienced was impeccable. The menu is priced depending on the number of courses - for three courses the cost was £55. The menu includes at least one vegetarian option for both starter and main course and also has a couple of fish/seafood dishes. For starter I ordered one of the restaurant's signature dishes, home smoked lobster, with a lime and herb butter sauce. This was one of the best restaurant dishes I had ever tasted, and would have made an equally good main course with a whole lobster. The smokiness perfectly complimented the tenderness of the lobster. My husband chose the Skye Scallops with Pigs Cheek and Celeriac Puree. He also commented that the various elements of the dish worked perfectly together For main course, I decided upon the Cep and Potato Pave with Artichoke Barigoule, which was a very finely and intricately layered stack. Although the appearance was a little dull, the flavours were very well suited. What could have been a very bland dish, was executed so well that it was very tasty. My husbands Venison with Confit Potato and Sauce Grand Veneur similarly did not disappoint. For dessert we both chose the Sorbets with Cinnamon Madeleines. In total we spent £150 in the restaurant, including a bottle of wine and mineral water. This I think was a very fair price for the quality of food and service in a 5 star hotel. Breakfast is served in one of the more traditional dining rooms of the hotel, with a
pomp and ceremony that you very rarely find. The service is very professional, quite unusual for this meal, when you often get the impression the staff are half asleep too! There is a good choice of cold breakfast items, and also a vast array of hot food, which is served for you from the hot plates. This was much better than helping yourself as is often the case. The following evening we had booked a table in the Club Restaurant. According to the hotel directory the bar also served cocktails, but this turned out not to be the case, so we returned to the main bar again. The Club is a very casual alternative, with no pretentions. However the service is far beyond what would be expected from a restaurant of this kind usually. The food is typical bistro fare, and we ordered a Tomato and Red Pepper Soup and Smoked Salmon with Sour Cream for starters. For main course, we chose the Oven-Fired Chicken Saltimboca with Linguine and the Salmon. All the dishes were of a very good quality, in particular the smoked salmon and the Chicken (which had potential to be disappointing, but which was actually one of the most satisfying chicken dishes I have tried). Although the setting was more casual, and the menu sounded fairly simple, you didn't feel it was out of place in a hotel of this sort. The cost of £77 was fairly expensive for this style of restaurant, but was justified due to the service and quality. The hotel was a great combination of a traditional resort with a modern twist. It was exciting to have such a contrast from the old part of Gleneagles, which does definitely have the feel of a country house, to the sparkling newness of the fashionable new wing, more in the fashion of a stylish contemporary 5 star hotel. We checked out of the hotel, perfectly happy with our stay. We were given some shortbread for our journey home, and again it is the little touches that make hotels such as this very special indeed. In terms of v
alue for money, a similar hotel such as Banff Springs in Canada costs more, and due to its size cannot hope to offer the kind of personal service we experienced at Gleneagles. Similarly properties here in the UK, such as Cameron House, also in Scotland are similarly priced but without the reputation and I am guessing the attention to detail. I therefore thought the whole experience represented good value for money. We have become very jaded when staying at hotel that wins lots of awards. Having stayed at the Best Hotel in the World (according to the Daily Telegraph), the Jumeirah Beach Hotel a couple of months before, we were a little dubious about how Gleneagles, another consistent winner (Best UK Hotel) would fare. We were pleased though to at least on this occasion, be able to agree wholeheartedly with the accolade! I would definitely return to Gleneagles. If I considered staying at various other Golf or Country House Resorts, I think I would probably decide not to gamble on them (and staying at hotels here in the UK is regularly just that ? a gamble!) and return to Gleneagles instead.
I am responding to an opinion that was written about The Gleneagles Hotel over a year ago. On reading this article I went through a series of different emotions firstly anger and then across the spectrum of denial to suddenly fall into dismay. I was traumatised by the nightmare story that these two people had had whilst staying at Gleneagles. I have a somewhat biased opinion on the hotel as I love it but I by no means wish to impose my opinion on any one else. Instead I would like to put a bit of information on to the highway and argue the case of a second chance for the hotel. I have been somewhat lucky in the fact that I have a lot of contact with the hotel and am there on a regular basis. Over the last year and a half there have been a huge amount of changes to the hotel in refurbishments. There is a whole new feel to the hotel itself it is not as imposing as it once was but still retains the grandiose appeal of a premier resort hotel. On the various occasions that I have been at the hotel the reception received has been nothing apart from friendly and professional, granted there have been times when there has been a delay in checking in due to the misfortune of arriving just after a large group, in which instance a retreat to the bar for a quick pint usually does the trick. I have rarely seen anyone wait twenty minutes to park their car as I have usually seen the guests bring their car to the front of the hotel to unload the bags and then let the porters park their car (I don't have a car so have been unable to experience this) My meal in the Strathearn restaurant was nothing short of spectacular the food was cooked correctly and to perfection and the service was nothing short of professional and friendly. Incedentally there is now a new restaurant The Andrew Fairlie restaurant with the head chef Andrew Fairlie as an accredited michelin star chef. Haven't eaten there yet but hope to soon!! I
write this in a slightly biased opinion as I have been lucky enough not to have had bad service at the hotel, and not to force my views on anyone else but just to ask you to give it a second chance you would not be sorry. It is a fantastic hotel and certainly worth a visit if not an overnight stay just to take a look around.
Gleneagles Hotel in Perth, Scotland is a 5 red Star (AA and RAC) hotel offers many facilities and is mainly geared to golfers. It has received various awards for its food and service including Hotel of the Year, Best otel in the World and many more. On a visit earlier this year (March 2000) myself and my partner stayed just one night at this hotel and we are certainly glad that it was just the one night. This must be one of the worst hotels in the world. The service was non existant. It took 20 minutes to find a parking space. We then had to take luggage on a long walk from the car park to the door. There was no door staff to help. We then had to que for 30 minutes to be checked in. On check in we were treated very badley. The receptionist never asked to confirm our dinner reservation or offer to have someone take our bags to our room. The hotel is very very large and they couldn't even give us directions to the room. This bad service continued throught the day. Room service was slow and very expensive and bad value for money offering very poor products. The club room in the lesiure centre was even worse. We sat down and waited 30 minutes for someone to take our order. No body came so we walked out. We instead went in the main bar and were served after 20 minutes of watching the staff standing talking to each other in an empty bar. The staff were very rude and looked down at us for some reason. What should have been the highlight of the stay, the evening meal was the worst part of all. The Stratedon Resturant had 3 AA rosetts for food quality when we went. (it now has 2). We were sat at the back of the room next to the door and screen off from everyone else. Serice was very slow again 30 minutes to take the order. We then waited 30 minutes for our starters to which one arrived and the other didn't come for 10 more minutes. The main course was again late we had to ask where it was and again only one turned
up. It was dumped in front of me and my partners came 5 minutes after. The food was awful. The duck was still bleeding as though it had not been cooked at all and the sauce tasted burnt. It was sent back and returned 10 minutes later and it was obvious it was the same duck just chucked back under the grill some more. We walked out at that point to the horror of the rest of the resturant. The bad service continued for the rest of that day and the next. We complained to the duty manager who found it hard to believe. They offered us £100 compensation. The stay cost over £400. I wrote a letter to the Managing Director on my return home and they did thankfully return all of my money. We shall never be returning.