As much as I love London for its proximity to the rest of Europe, the most charming places I’ve found in the last year have been in my own backyard, throughout the UK. My first trip in 2018 was just a quick plane ride away – to the legendary Gleneagles resort in Scotland.
Gleneagles is a really intriguing brand – it’s recognised well beyond just Scotland or the UK. It’s familiar to many due to its famous golf courses and near 100-year history; but to others who know it a little better, it’s recognised for being an 850 acre outdoor playground where you can escape from your busy life and face off with raw nature.
Ok, so it wasn’t all raw nature for me – I was softly introduced with a few luxury touches before I went out into the wilderness… It all started with a chauffeur pick-up from Edinburgh airport. The drive went quickly, and before I knew it I was passing Stirling Castle and approaching the grounds of the estate.
We checked into the beautiful Royal Lochnagar Suite, which was like a royal time machine – we felt like we were Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. It was an apartment-sized suite and overlooked the manicured grounds of the hotel. We took in a late lunch and then I ditched Mister Gunner and got a bit of me-time!
What I loved about this place is that, even though it specialises in outdoor pursuits that really showcase the ruggedness of Scotland, it also welcomes you back with as much pampering as you can get your hands on. So my first priority was to visit the Bob & Cloche beauty salon, where I got a facial, manicure before a wash and blow-dry.
And it wasn’t just the amenities that were welcoming, the staff were amazing – I’m sure most people think of the word ‘family’ as a bit of a cliche when describing their colleagues, but this was something different. There are around 900 people who work at Gleneagles, and everyone we spoke with really adored the property and their colleagues. They were open, friendly, witty types who were able to kill you with kindness on the one hand, but tickle your humour with the other – a really wonderful departure from the stuffiness that some might expect from such a prestigious establishment.
And so many of of the staff members had worked there decades, and those who were new seemed to aspire to stick around for a very long time. They all spoke positively of management and the owners and had a genuine respect and love for the place – it made such a difference to our stay. Something really right is going on with this hotel, and it was really disarming – we were constantly chatting, patting dogs, and listening to stories of the hotel’s rich past. It had character on tap.
Anyway I hope my video and photos below go some way to giving you an insight into our amazing stay. If you’re after a country escape where you can return from a day outdoors to beautiful food, wine, whisky and luxurious comfort – I’ve found your next holiday! Yay!!!
* Sponsored article disclaimer: Although this article is sponsored, all opinions are my own. Ash x