Gleneagles Best Hotel In The World – Our stay, booked through Leading Hotels of the World, was a last minute reservation at Le Sirenuse in Positano (Amalfi Coast, Italy) due to a change in Italian law regarding Covid testing for people who have entered the UK. Since I had accumulated points through the Leaders Club membership, I paid for the first day in cash and booked two additional nights with the points. Here you can read about the LHW experience (Sterling membership) and your next stay at The Fife Arms booked through Grand Luxury Hotels (Connoisseur status). LHW benefits didn’t really apply (which was disappointing). Even for a paid stay. No upgrade, no welcome gift, no check-in receipt (later revealed they sent the gift to the wrong room). WiFi was free anyway and actually when we got into the type of room we paid for, it was standard check-in times so there was no need for early check-in or late check-out. .
The review revealed that many aspects of a ‘normal stay’ were affected by COVID-19 application restrictions (for which the hotel is not responsible), but by the Scottish Government, which imposed additional restrictions for 16 days. During the ‘reset’ period, it was a great disappointment that there was nowhere to swim.
Gleneagles Best Hotel In The World
The stay, mainly due to very strict Covid restrictions (mandated by the government), was certainly not the typical Gleneagles experience I was expecting, but that was not reflected in the price. Yes, I would love to go again. You want to be able to choose the right room the first time and be able to go swimming, use the gym or get a spa treatment without any discomfort. It would be nice to have hot water in the faucet and it wouldn’t take 15 minutes or so every time you need it.
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Gleneagles is approximately 50 miles (about 50 minutes drive) from Edinburgh Airport in Perthshire. The nearest small (small) town, Auchterarder, is only 2.5 miles away. There is no variety of shops, but there is a supermarket, essentials and a good Café Galley Chocolate where we had lunch one day which was fine. The location was perfect for walking around the property and it was easy to drive to other nearby areas such as Clochry and Perth.
Another day we went to the Scottish Antique & Arts Center near Dun. Afterwards we visited nearby Calandair and had lunch at Buttercup Café in the picturesque village of Down.
The highest category of rooms was the Estate Room in the Main House (the traditional building) or Braid House (the new side extension). I specifically wanted to stay in the main house and booked this but upon check in found we had been given a room in a new extension. The website says that all estate rooms have “spectacular estate views”. To be fair, the standard request on my LHW profile is for a balcony and the new extended rooms only have balconies, but #587 was at the back and had a BALCONY, but a very disappointing view. We asked to be moved to the accommodation we reserved in the main house (#362) with a great view on the 3rd floor above the front door.
The Braid House room was beautifully decorated and felt more luxurious and larger than our room in the Main House (with a bathtub and shower and twin sinks). Our room was nice, it wasn’t very luxurious, the bathroom was smaller with only a walk-in shower (and I hadn’t bothered with a bath before) and one sink. Great when you get a few wash basins in a hotel. Like the bedroom, the bathroom was immaculately clean and well stocked with Asprey London ‘Purple Water’ toiletries. There were good showers, underfloor heating and double glazing (translucent for privacy). The only problem was getting hot water!
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The room itself was quite spacious, with a huge (and extremely comfortable) king size bed, a decent sized wardrobe with an iron and an ironing board (ask ‘ma’am’ first if not already provided it) and travel stock. A styled drawer unit combining an extra drawer with a hidden mini bar and a tea/coffee maker (and delicious bread served on the go). It had air conditioning, a large ultra modern flat screen TV and a sofa by the window.
Due to Covid restrictions (and the hotel was overcrowded and requested by the Scottish government) the rooms were only serviced once a day with no turn down service. It was well maintained during our stay, but there was no hot water on the first evening. We informed reception and agreed to review again in the morning before an engineer came to inspect. This morning there was still no hot water, but that was resolved very quickly (there were air bubbles in the system). The hotel later called to apologize and we subsequently sent a bottle of Moet in return. Thank you very much. Having said that, the problem resurfaced when hot water was needed for the sink or shower, which was extremely frustrating and never resolved.
I had a very last minute reservation so the hotel called me on the Saturday before I arrived on the Monday to make a restaurant reservation. We also had to book a time for breakfast and dinner. Unfortunately there weren’t many slots available for our first choice but we booked all our meals.
On our first evening we ate at Dormy (the golf clubhouse), a few minutes’ walk from the main hotel. Open all day from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 pm depending on weekend/weekday mornings (our government may be closed at times during your visit). We could not serve alcohol. It wasn’t really enough for us (I love a G&T before dinner, there were plenty of great Scottish gin options, and International Scottish Gin Day was coming up), but the hotel offered a good list of non-alcoholic options . Lots of food options (vegetable space), service was good, social distancing wasn’t an issue as the restaurant was spacious and had plenty of tables.
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We also had breakfast at Dormy the next morning. The service was ok (breakfast) but the food selection was quite limited and the atmosphere was completely lacking. It definitely felt like I was getting a secondary breakfast experience by mostly not getting the timing right. (Strathearn) The hotel’s own restaurant. Fortunately we got a reasonable amount of time for the other two breakfasts which were much better to eat.
We couldn’t wait to eat at Andrew Fairlie Restaurant, the only two star restaurant in Scotland. Unfortunately, when I originally booked, the hotel indicated that there was no dinner option. They passed our details to the restaurant (apparently bookings are processed independently) and promised to call back if there were any cancellations. To at least have reservations as a backup, I booked Birnam Brasserie for the second night and Strathearn Restaurant for the final night.
During the day on the second day, restaurateur Andrew Fairlie suggested that there were vacancies that evening (at the perfect time). This was such a great food experience that it got its own blog post. You can read all about the meal here.
In our time, due to (government) Covid restrictions, the American Bar, Blue Bar and Auchterarder 70 (located in the Dormy clubhouse) remained closed as did Century Bar in the evening. We noticed on our second morning that an outdoor area with a canopy had been created next to the Garden Café next to the Spa. An inquiry revealed that this place allows guests to drink alcoholic beverages after 6pm and before the 10pm curfew last night (if resident). Fortunately, they were able to arrange a table for us in the evening before dinner time at Birnam Brasserie.
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Again, very disappointing, there was basically nothing available during our stay and we tried to book a swim time before arrival. When we arrived, we checked in again, but we couldn’t use the pool unless we wanted to swim at 6:00am (first time slot) or 8:30pm (last time slot). Likewise, gym sessions were available within very limited hours. I always love to try different spa treatments, but there were (very) limited beauty treatments available at Bob & Cloche’s separate beauty lodge on the grounds gatehouse, but the Spa was not open for treatments.
We are not golfers, so this is not a blog to read you about golf options in Gleneagles.