I could say I really do not know where to begin with Gleneagles but, in fact, let us just begin with this view – the grandest of views which greets you as you drive up the tree lined boulevard to arrive at the grandest of hotels. And what makes this hotel grand is not necessarily its decadent interiors or its divine food or indeed the host of activities on offer, although it has all those things, but the service. Step into Gleneagles and you can expect to be treated like royalty. From the moment your car door opens upon arrival until the moment it shuts again upon departure, the staff are here to make sure your stay is just as absolutely perfect as they can make it and whilst a break here is perhaps not for the bank balance conscious among us, it is most certainly one of those occasions where you get what you pay for. And then some.
I knew Gleneagles for the golf but it turned out to be so, so much more. This place is vast and even exploring the manicured grounds is an adventure not to be missed. During our two night stay we indulged in the most luxurious of massages at the spa whilst Hunter was kindly taken care of by a Little Royals babysitter and my only regret was that we did not make the time to dip into the freeform outdoor heated pool there and then… because the snowstorm that ensued the following day meant that we had to pass up that opportunity (but it is always good to have an excuse to come back is it not?).
We learned the basics in a falconry lesson, just the most fantastic experience, and took Hunter to meet the ponies at The Arena where he full on face snuggled what was surely the most patient Shetland in all the world. We walked the dogs around the grounds in the sun and in the snow and we took Hunter to play in Little Glen and The Snug – the most beautifully decorated ‘playrooms’ but not as you know them… think knitted toadstools and a Gleneagles station complete with wood train, slides and crafts and books and toys and a movie corner and games consoles galore and even a photobooth – one thing you can guarantee here is that your children’s needs are well taken care of (have a browse of the family facilities and activities here).
Our room was decadent with its own fireplace and sumptuous cushions, a view of the old hotel from our balcony and a perfectly appointed bathroom complete with roll top bath and rainfall shower. But what really melted my heart were the matching monogrammed bathrobes and slippers… for all three of us.
We dined at The Dormy, The Century Bar and, my personal favourite, The Birnham where, and I do not say this lightly, I ate the best scallops of my life – pan fried in a citrus butter in case you were wondering and so utterly delightful that we rearranged our second evening’s dinner plans just so I could order them two nights on the trot. The lobster roll at The Century Bar was also a highlight and one so good we could not resist stopping in for a final lunch again (which we paid for) before leaving… you might be sensing a theme here. In fact there were so many parts of this stay that were just so special we would gladly repeat them exactly. And one day, for a special occasion, I really hope we do.
With thanks to Gleneagles for kindly hosting our stay