With Scotland being one of the most popular destinations for a couples getaway, The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa offers the most idyllic and heavenly escape in St Andrews.
Dazzling coastlines, rolling countryside views and a medieval town that carries a bunker of great antiquity. However, if that wasn’t quite enough for you, let’s add the luxury of pitching up your stay, right next to the famous fairways of the world’s most famous golf courses.
The Old Course Hotel welcome
Following a successful multi-million-pound renovation last year in 2021, this plush five-star plot now boasts 175 sumptuous rooms, including 35 suites with impressive views of West Sands Beach and The Old Course. The Old Course is a St. Andrews hotel that is centrally positioned right by St Andrews Links, meaning that you have plenty of choice and preference as to where you would like to swing your clubs.
After a speedy and direct train journey from London up to Scotland, me and my partner were greeted promptly by a very friendly and helpful front-of-house team who were passionate and knowledgeable when kindly offering suggestions of things to do in the area.
The Deluxe Fairway Suite was a remarkable, stunning large space inside the Millennium Wing with exceptional views over the 17th hole of The Old Course and West Sands beach.
As expected, the room showcases pictures hanging on the wall of past-time famous golfers. The bed was of superior size, layered in all of the deluxe pillows and linen to sink into after a busy day of exploring or a night cap in the hotel’s bar. Lantern chandeliers and wallpaper with a neutral white and grey colourway combining bold stripes, offering that contemporary yet classy design.
Floor-to-ceiling windows create a bright and airy space, with a balcony to watch all of the shots produced by golfers on the 17th hole. The bathroom is large with marble flooring, a double sink unit and a powerful walk-in rainfall shower. As somebody who is into their sports, the fact that Sky Sports was available to watch on the generously sized TV was the icing on the cake! This suite provides the ultimate personal service, helping to set the stage for the most unforgettable experience.
A warm-up in the Swing Studio
With our bags unpacked and after a quick freshen up, we head down to the swing studio which is on the ground floor of the hotel, as there was a bit of time to kill before dinner in the evening. Knowing that we were teeing off on The Duke’s Course the following morning, we thought what better way to get some additional practice in on our golf swings. With a top-of-the-range golf simulator, this bit of kit is ideal for warming up. We selected one of the 60 integrated golf courses, where each riveting shot (we wish!) made against the interactive screen gave us a breakdown of our statistics.
The Jigger Inn
As somebody who likes to get involved with beer culture, I was told about the historic building that is The Jigger Inn. Dating back to the 1850s when it used to be the stationmaster’s lodge, this pub is conjoint with The Old Course Hotel and distinctively known as the most famous 19th hole in golf. It was only right to pay an obligatory visit to this home of golfing memorabilia, for a pint of Jigger Ale, available only at The Jigger Inn.
Dinner at The Road Hole Restaurant
With the best part of the day done, it was time to head back to our suite and get ourselves ready for dinner. We kicked off the first evening at the Road Hole Restaurant, where we enjoyed some fine dining; along with the stunning views of the famous 17th hole of The Old Course.
Dinner here focuses on the very best of Scottish seafood and grills. To start, hand-dived scallops and poached duck egg; followed by a delectable grilled scotch fillet steak for the main, washed down with a beautiful glass of red Valpolicella Ripasso wine. Concluding the evening, we ordered the Scottish cheese selection which came with the most divine truffled honeycomb, to combine the Miller’s Damsels biscuits with.
18 holes at The Duke’s Course
Rising into the morning from a very satisfying sleep, we got changed into our golf clothes, with gloves at the ready for some putting action! But, first things first, we needed to fuel up with some breakfast. Fluffy pancakes with fresh fruit and cream and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon… ok, now we’re ready to see what the full 18 holes have in store for us.
We made our way to The Duke’s Course, just a short 15-minute transfer from the hotel. This 18-hole course is available to play all year round, comprising of two loops of nine holes, with five separate tee positions on each hole; offering flexibility to golfers of all levels to be able to choose your own desired course length.
The Kohler Waters Spa
What is a weekend getaway without benefitting from the feeling of elevation, after a spot of pure pampering and relaxation. The award-winning Kohler Waters Spa is a must-visit for the ideal place to unwind across the 13 treatment rooms available at the hotel. The spa offers the option of both single and of course couples treatments, light lunches, a fitness centre and Thermal Suite; including a hydrotherapy pool, 20m lap pool, sauna, plunge pool and steam room. On top of what’s already to offer, you can also experience some water-based treatments using the benefits of natural mineral-rich water
I decided to go for a hot stone massage as I’d never had one before. Wow! Trying something new definitely paid off. This ancient ritual was executed to a superb level by massage therapist Claire. 80-minutes later and my body is left feeling alleviated of any unwelcomed tension and stress and with my vitality and balance restored.
Dinner at The Swilcan Loft
For our second evening, we head up to the newest of the restaurants, the Swilcan Loft. Launched in the Autumn of 2021 the restaurant takes its name from the small stone bridge on St Andrews Links golf course. Swilcan Loft can be found on the fourth floor and features floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor terrace; helping to supply the continuous flow of uninterrupted views across the course, West Sands Beach and the iconic Hamilton Grand building.
To kick things off, poached pear and Strathdon blue cheese salad and chicken liver parfait. Rump of lamb with mini shepherd’s pie, creamed potatoes and seasonal greens for my main, with my partner choosing the salmon with smoked cheese and herb crust. A solid finish, with a classic yet never boring sticky toffee pudding. If you like a cocktail, then ‘The Burnside’ is a must.
Before bedtime, we had an espresso martini nightcap in the hotel’s bar. A very relaxed, traditional and comfortable room for intimate conversations and romantic views.
Exploring the local area
With West Sands beach only a short five-minute stroll away, we went to enjoy a walk alongside the wonderful coastline views that Fife has to offer. We wandered into the delights of charming St Andrews, exploring the cute shops and bars.
I love ice cream no matter what season of the year it is, so it was an absolute must to make a bee-line for Jannettas Gelateria. Be warned, by the time you have worked your way through the queue of this popular dessert parlour, you may find yourself vacillating for another stint of time, deciding on which flavour to pick.
If you’re looking to explore some of Scotland’s wilderness and are willing for a short road trip, then less than a two hours drive away you will discover some superb national parks. The likes of The Cairngorms, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park are considered to be some of the most famous to offer splendid views for couples.
The Open 2022 will return to Old Course in St Andrews this summer.Taking place from Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th July, the 150th Open Championship will be hosted on the Old Course Golf Course for the 30th time, more than any other venue, welcoming back the game’s greatest players to undoubtedly one of the most iconic courses in the world. In celebration of The Open 2022, Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa is offering unique premium golf packages where you can follow in the footsteps of the legends of the game. With a Suite Golf package, you can recreate your own Championship round and play the course with a guaranteed tee time, and enjoy the wealth of world class links courses nearby too.
In a nutshell
Whether you’re looking for a round of adrenaline-fuelled golf on some of the best courses in the world, experiencing full relaxation at the only Kohler Waters Spa in the U.K, or kick-starting a romantic couples weekend getaway, Old Course Hotel is ideal.
For those looking to go all out with a penthouse stay, rates are charged from £2,355 per night for double occupancy with breakfast. Featuring a free-standing bath, and spacious balcony with a fire pit and telescope; this penthouse provides the ideal private haven for couples or newlyweds. Standard room rates start from £220 per night.
To discover more, visit: oldcoursehotel.co.uk
Imagery courtesy of The Old Course Hotel.
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All imagery courtesy of The Old Course Hotel.