With their strategic locations ensuring they’ve overlooked decades of championship golf, Scotland has some of most recognisable luxury hotels in the world. The very first ‘golf resort’ was built at Turnberry. The iconic white-stone, red-roofed hotel sits atop a hill with the links laid out below. Set among rolling Perthshire countryside, Gleneagles wasn’t long following Turnberry’s lead. St Andrews has a choice of hotels, the famous Old Course hotel runs parallel to the 17th fairway (the balconies are where Phil Mickelson plays his second shot from!). The Russacks is another feature in the St Andrews townscape staring onto the 18th tee, whereas the Fairmont is a high quality addition that looks out to sea.
We’ll find other familiar friends on the tier just below these. Troon’s Victorian red-bricked Marine hotel also oversees events at their 17th hole. North Berwick has a hotel of the same name that runs alongside the 1st and 2nd holes. Carnoustie’s white-stone course hotel overlooks the 18th green and is particularly good value. Although less familiar to television viewers, we ought to really give a mention to the Machrihanish resort, Dornoch’s Royal Golf Hotel, and Nairn’s Golf Course View hotel also.
Carnoustie Hotel - Premier Option
Fairmont hotel, St Andrews
For the most part these luxury selections are focused on resort hotels like Gleneagles, Turnberry, Carnoustie and St Andrews, or the top-range 'country house' hotels like Greywalls or Dalmahoy. In addition to these dedicated golf ‘resorts’, the large cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen also support international standard five-star hotels complete with all the trappings with which you’ll be familiar with.
Dalmahoy hotel, Edinburgh
If you require a degree of luxury that goes beyond ‘comfort’, but stops short of the ostentatious luxury, then we invite you to consider our first-class ‘premier’ options. These are normally 4-star hotels where you can expect the same international standards from this category band. To some extent you get the best of both worlds. There are also a plethora of 4-star hotels throughout the cities of Scotland.
Ardgowan hotel, St Andrews
If you adhere to the view that all you need from a room is: Somewhere to sleep, a comfortable bed, en-suite facilities, convenient and central location, good cleanliness, safe environment, attentive and friendly staff, and would rather have the money saved in your pocket …then you’ll be fine. These hotels are typically the sorts used by ‘Brits’, business travellers, or short duration/ weekend-breaks.
17th hole, Royal Troon, with Marine Hotel (right)
Scottish castles undoubtedly have an air of class and romance about them. Unlike their English or Welsh counterparts, Scottish castles don’t tend to be heavily fortified defensive structures. Instead they’re more akin to ‘strong houses’ that clan territories were ruled from. The consequence of this is that many have been subject to high-quality conversions, while hopefully retaining their character.
Scottish castles don’t always have the largest room capacities. Demand easily exceeds supply so they can be expensive and book-up outside of the window that golfers typically observe when planning a trip. There is simply no point in us advertising something only to tell you that it sold out a year ago. We advise that you consider lead times in the region of 9–15 months, although it is possible to work inside of this timescale off-peak.
Serviced apartments (Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen) and AirBnB (nationwide) have grown in popularity in recent years. There is something of a trade-off going on here. Guests will normally find that we’re able to secure a higher level of quality ‘for their buck’ but the responsibility to provide food transfers to you.
There are also some options that permit a large party (8+) to ‘take out’ an entire mansion for their exclusive use. These can include individual bedrooms, luxury dining room, drawing rooms, and private indoor swimming pool
The Cairngorm. Great North Lodges
Scotland doesn’t lack for landscape, and we have witnessed another boom in specialist log cabins and converted hunting lodge accommodations. The big attraction is they’re usually located amongst stunning scenery. Cabins and lodges cater for all sizes of parties and bedroom combinations. They’re particular good for families sharing or groups.
Cabins and lodges normally look to achieve a minimum stay of 7 nights. They book out prescribed slots to their calendar. They are in high demand and will sell-out. It’s a ‘sellers market’. A ‘fixed’ base needn’t always be compatible with golfers either, who are more nomadic in their ambitions. Staying in a cabin or lodge tends to involve an additional transport burden.
Many visitors regard a B&B as a quintessential experience. They have a reputation for being friendly and intimate, often lending a more personal touch. They also enjoy a good reputation for their food, typically wholesome and generously served. For the most part, the quality is quite high, especially so in the golf playing regions. In terms of price, B&B’s are normally more expensive than a budget chain, and less expensive than a four-star hotel. It’s often a mistake to think they’re some kind of ‘cheap’ option. They don’t represent the bottom of the market.
Regulations mean B&B’s can’t exceed six rooms. It can become difficult to accommodate a medium sized party without splitting up. We’ll often need a property to be close to completely vacant at the time of enquiry to fit a group in. For high demand locations like St Andrews, this doesn’t happen very often.
Alun's focus on the details was extraordinary from the choice of courses and the timing of the tee times, the amazingly beautiful accommodations along with some excellent meal selections, and the transportation options he provided to get us from place to place. It was truly a wonderful experience and even though I initially viewed the trip as a bucket list “once in a lifetime” experience”Discover
Alun Davies is a master travel caddie. His attention to detail, and ability to give wise counsel is exceptional. Every step of my trip was expertly planned. The circumstances of my trip required at least a dozen major changes prior to departure. Alun not only stuck with me, he negotiated every request and concern professionally and enthusiastically.discover
They were thousands of dollars below other quotes that I received, in fact the prices were very similar to what I would have paid if I would have booked everything on my own. Using Faraway Fairways ended up being the best decision I made regarding the trip.discover
Alun was able to get us booked at every course we requested and he scheduled our tee times and caddies for times that allowed us the freedom to do some sightseeing on the side. In addition, he stayed in touch with the tide tables and was successful in altering a time to ensure the best views for us while we played!discover
You cannot go wrong with the support Faraway Fairways offered. I did this trip solo and all last minute but I have already begun to plan the next trip which will include my best golfing buddies. Thanks AlunDiscover