No matter the distance, SmartFlyer’s Founder and CEO Michael Holtz is always ready to pick up and go, often at a moment’s notice, to spend the weekend in a city on the other side of the world. In 1990, driven by his love for air travel, Michael founded SmartFlyer upon graduating from Washington University. He is consistently recognized among Travel + Leisure A-List agents and sits on the advisory board for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Luxury Brands, IHG Luxury Lifestyle, and Seabourn Cruise Line as well as the Residential Condo Boards of One57 and The Richard Meier Buildings. This week he takes us to The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland. As you will see, the mecca for golfers is truly a destination resort, with activities for the entire family, and definitely worth a visit.
The Gleneagles Hotel has been the go-to UK country estate for the past century. Located beneath the iconic Ochil Hills with its own railway station, Gleneagles offers the perfect retreat for those looking for relaxation, fun, and adventure. The 850-acre estate embodies Scotland’s rugged natural beauty and offers guests a glorious playground of country pursuits and activities. Whether you come to fly a Harris’ Hawk, ride horses, play tennis, go off-roading, train gundogs, shoot game, fish, enjoy Michelin-starred dining, or relax in an award-winning spa, Gleneagles offers a world of unforgettable experiences.
The Gleneagles Hotel is ideal for both rural family retreats and couples looking for a cozy country escape. This hotel is particularly well-suited for golfers. Three championship courses have established the resort’s reputation as the perfect place to tee off. Gleneagles is just one hour from Glasgow and Edinburgh airports and surrounded by Scotland’s dramatic scenery.
The rooms at Gleneagles are individually inspired by the mountains and meadows, rivers and lakes of the Perthshire countryside. From the grandest room in the house, the Royal Lochnagar Suite, to the individually designed Estate Suites, all offer the perfect mix of homeliness and glamour. The suites and interconnecting rooms offer additional in-room cribs and cots for those traveling with little ones in tow and need those extra comforts of home.
The Royal Lochnagar Suite
The 1,646 sq.ft. Royal Lochnagar Suite features a luxurious four-poster bed with panoramic views across the Glendevon and Ochil Hills. There is a large bathroom with powder room, sitting and dining room. Beautiful new designs which feature the finest Scottish fabrics and textiles, antiques, and carefully curated artwork.
The 1,679 sq.ft. Two-Bedroom Tower Suite is the largest suite. Arranged over two floors within the hotel’s former library, there is an oversize bathroom and steam shower room. The spiral staircase leads to an elegant library and sitting area.
Two-Bedroom Whiskey Suite
The 1,184 sq.ft. Two-Bedroom Whisky Suite features stunning views of the estate, bathrooms with underfloor heating, and a generous-sized sitting room.
Pool and Fitness
The beautiful lagoon-shaped Gleneagles swimming pools are perfect for the whole family to enjoy. The hotel also offers an adult-only pool for a more private swimming session. We recommend unwinding after a swim with a dip in their thermal bubbling pool. Incorporating some of the finest gym technology in the world, the Gleneagles gym is one of the first in the UK to feature the full interactive range of strength and cardio equipment from the Technogym ARTIS and Skill ranges. The gym also offers fifty-eight live classes throughout the week in addition to personal training.
With twenty treatment rooms, a steam room, a hot sauna cabin, a dark vitality pool, a light-filled relaxation courtyard, and a healthy Spa café, the Gleneagles Spa is guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed. There is a range of Gleneagles oil blends available featuring natural botanicals from the Perthshire countryside. The 120-minute Long Exhale signature treatment is a highlight, featuring warm Jade Wavestones and full body stretches delivered with Flax Seed, Borage, and Sea buckthorn oils infused with Neroli, Rose Otto, and Sandalwood balm.
Restaurants and Bars
From bar snacks and brasserie classics to family fare and fine dining, Gleneagles is a culinary destination to savor with some of the top restaurants in Scotland. The Strathearn (below) immerses you in classical Franco-Scottish glamour and is ideal for a refined romantic meal.
Restaurant Andrew Fairlie (below) is an intimate two Michelin-starred dining delight, renowned for simple yet indulgent French-inspired cooking.
For those looking for a more relaxed dining experience, we recommend trying the family-friendly Mediterranean fare at The Birnam Brasserie or the classic comfort foods at The Dormy. Top off your meals with pastries and teas at The Glendevon and the Garden Cafe.
The Century Bar’s menu features more than 120 single malts, vintage Champagne by the glass, cocktails, carefully selected wines, and the very best local and international beers. There’s also the American Bar for more refined nights out and the Blue Bar to toast around a roaring firepit.
Endless activities include Air Rifle Shooting, Archery, Clay Shooting, Cycling, Falconry, Ferrets, Fishing (in local lochs), Game Shooting, Guided Hill Walking, Horse Riding (take show riding and dressage lessons), Lawn Games, Off-Roading, Polo, Salmon Fishing (in the River Tay), Tennis, Trail Rides, Tree Climbing, Nature Photography, and Zip Wiring.
Gleneagles is one of the greatest names in the world of golf. There are three championship golf courses and one 9-hole course. The King’s Course (“The best moorland course in the world,” says Top 100 Golf Courses) is a Braid-designed masterpiece and ‘inland links’ classic (below).
The Queen’s Course (“A gorgeous layout on the higher ground of the Gleneagles estate whose test and challenge confound its modest yardage,” says Golf Magazine) is a heathland course (below).
They complement the contemporary Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA Centenary Course (which hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup). There are extensive practice facilities including a driving range, a short game area, and two putting areas. Expert caddies know every inch of the courses. It’s also home to the PGA National Academy for Scotland.