The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa, St Andrews – Scotland on Sunday Travel
The Old Course is as synonymous with St Andrews as bread is with butter, and its namesake hotel has dominated the course’s skyline since the 1960s. Owned by the Kohler Group, the luxury hotel has 175 guest rooms, ‘Kohler Water Spa, Gym, AA Award Winning Restaurant and Golf Shop. It is a leisure resort that has become a destination for golfers and those looking to unwind for a weekend.
Cosé in 2020 and operated under restrictions in 2021, the hotel has had a facelift, with new rooms, a penthouse and a restaurant added to the already large offer. Large, bright event spaces are available, ideal for weddings at a hotel that’s not just for golfers. I went to find out why this is not the case.
Our room – one of the new 31 “Champions Wing” – was bright and spacious with a small balcony overlooking the course and the beach. With a light gray and dark purple color scheme, the bedroom sported two queen-size beds, a desk area, armchairs, and a modern en-suite bathroom with a rain shower and double sinks.
The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa currently has six restaurants and bars. If that wasn’t enough, they recently added an 80-seat restaurant, Swilcan Loft. Located on the fourth floor, the Swilcan Loft is next to the AA Road Hole Rosette and in a very different style. With floor-to-ceiling windows, it has a city cocktail bar vibe with jewel-toned seats, light wood floors, light gray paneling, and beige leather banquettes and serves all-day dining and international fare with fine dining options. Scottish products. We had appetizers of a poached pear salad with blue cheese and walnuts, and a chicken liver parfait. The main courses were a fillet of hake with mashed potatoes, pancetta, smoked mussels and spinach cream and a scotch sirloin steak from the Black Islands, with fries and Bernese sauce. The desserts were a lime and coconut rice pudding and a chocolate pie. Arrive early for a cocktail or two, with Scottish spirits, such as Arbikie’s positive climate gin or vodka, Nadar. My fruit pastel concoction was a refreshing and sweet start to dinner. Then an old fashioned Glenfiddich at the Road Hole Bar was a great way to end the evening.
For something more laid back, The Jigger Inn, located in the former station master’s house, is ideal. Small in size, this whitewashed bar has everything you would expect from a traditional pub – a large portico of whiskeys and spirits, sports on TV, and a menu of heartwarming classics. Go for the Cullen Skink and you won’t be disappointed.
Worth getting out of bed for
The obvious answer is golf, but if a four ball isn’t your thing, St Andrews is a gem of a town. We walked along the beach and the castle ruins and came back through town. There is a small cinema as well as a range of restaurants, bars and cafes.
If you prefer to relax at the hotel, the spa is a must with its swimming pool, its thermal suite including sauna and hammam and plunge pool. But it was a personalized 50 minute massage that really put me in weekend mode and helped heal my back and shoulders after 18 months of working from my living room table.
Noble Isle toiletries, comfy bathrobes and slippers, a fully stocked tea and coffee station as well as the ability to enjoy the view at sunrise or sunset from the balcony made this room special.
Renowned as the ‘Home of Golf’, the five star luxury hotel is located on the world’s most iconic golf course – The Old Course – overlooking the 17th Road Hole and next to the Swilcan Bridge, the most famous golf course. , with breathtaking views over the coastline. Ideal for golfers, it is also ideal for gourmets and curists.
Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa, Old Station Road, St Andrews, KY16 9SP (01334 474371, www.oldcoursehotel.co.uk)
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