Scotland has many fine assets for visitors looking for an escape in spectacular surroundings, and one of its chief qualities are the exquisite golf courses it has to offer.
Famed for their championship statuses as well as their beauty, many of these golf courses sit within easy reach of some of Scotland’s finest hotels.
Here, our friends at the Good Hotel Guide share 10 of the best hotels for golfers in Scotland…
Chef Geoffrey Smeddle and his wife, Katherine, run this luxurious restaurant-with-rooms in an 18th century coaching inn close to St Andrews and the Fife coast. You will be greeted with a decanter of sherry in the bedrooms while common rooms have log fires and the restaurant has a Michelin star. Meanwhile, the hotel is close to the famed Royal & Ancient Golf Club, where golfers covet a chance to play at the Old Course – but be warned, it’s popular so get there early!
At this converted Speyside villa, brimming with stylish antiques and plenty of whisky to warm the cockles at the end of a long day, this pristine hotel is surrounded by beautiful grounds while the restaurant serves the best of Scottish produce. When it comes to activities, you can visit distilleries, castles, the Falconry Centre or the famous herd of Reindeer on the Cairngorm Mountain, but there are also a number of challenging and awe-inspiring golf courses close by including Grantown on Spey, Boat of Garten, Kingussie, Newtonmore and Ballindalloch Golf Course.
A spot for quiet contemplation on the edge of the Cairngorms national park, Douneside House is a beautifully refurbished country house hotel brimming with panelled walls, low armchairs by a grand piano and a library with an open fire. Food uses organic vegetables from the hotel’s own garden, while drinks outside are one of the great summer joys. Meanwhile, for golfing enthusiasts the nearby village of Tarland has a nine-hole course, and there are several high quality 18-hole courses in the area.
With sea views stretching across the bay towards the hills of Cumbria, Balcony Bay Hotel has an intriguing history, linked to the 17th-century smuggling trade. These days the whitewashed hotel is entirely respectable, with an old-fashioned charm and beautiful gardens for birdwatching as well as golf clubs within a half-hour’s drive.
This small hotel on the peaceful shores of Loch Sunart, Kilcamb Lodge on the Ardnamurchan peninsula is remote but accessible. Decor includes flowers, comfy sofas, and walls hung with pictures and maps. The hotel looks towards the loch and mountains and details are an important part of the customer service – a jar of home-made shortbread and a jug of iced water in the room, a Thermos flask of fresh milk ready for the morning and drinks and canapés in the lounge before dinner. Ask about golf, boat trips or bicycle hires, or simply stroll to the shoreline in search of otters and oyster catchers.
A beautiful Georgian stone cottage outside Inverness, The Dower House is rich in beauty. Outside, find a miniature orchard, a large goldfish pond, woodland paths and a riot of colour, while inside it’s about fresh flowers and first rate breakfasts.
Steeped in stories of baronets and scandalous affairs, Coul House is a simple and lovely hotel with extensive gardens, magnificent with mature trees. Dogs are welcome, rooms are beautifully decorated and dinners are served in the chandelier-lit dining room. In an environment as beautiful as this, activities are all about being outside, and there are also a number of golf courses nearby as well.
Catch sight of this impressive Victorian hunting lodge through the trees as you approach and as you get closer you will also discover the manicured grounds running down to Loch Snizort. Rooms are cosy and bathrooms are decadently large. The view stretches over the lawn to the loch beyond while gin-and-thyme smoked salmon and other scrumptious items pepper the menu. Meanwhile, the surrounding area is a spectacular opportunity to get out and enjoy the location.
Watch for roaming deer as you follow the drive to the Milligan family’s Victorian country house on the banks of the River Tay, this grand old house – built in the 1880s – has a wood-panelled bar packed with malt whiskies, period features and traditional furnishings. Chef Scott Scorer gives a modern twist to the classics, using trout and salmon fresh from the river. The hotel’s partner is Blairgowrie Golf Club offers two of the finest Championship Courses and one of the best nine-hole courses in Scotland while other courses are also close by.
Through splendid gates up a wooded drive, this 19th-century Scottish baronial castle is brimming with oak-panelled halls, magnificent staircases and Corinthian columns. The spacious, immaculate lounge, with its deep, high-backed sofas, has the feeling of a grand entrance hall while the restaurant serves French–Scottish dishes using produce from the Victorian greenhouse and the kitchen garden. The hotel is surrounded by four championship golf courses within an hour of the castle: Royal Troon, Prestwick, Western Gailes, and Turnberry. The hotel’s concierge team have good relationships at all these courses and are happy to arrange any golfing requirements.