Gleneagles ScotlandGleneagles – Hole in One
When it comes to appreciating the finer things in life, you’ve always been a little ahead of your time. Your beverage of choice in undergrad was Glenlivet Archive 21-year-old single malt. Your first car was a fully restored 1968 Oldsmobile 442. It comes as no surprise, then, that your passion for golf came to fruition at around age seven. So what’s a plaid-loving, nine iron-swinging, youngin’ by Pebble Beach standards to do? Well, head to Gleneagles in the rolling hills of pretty-as-a-picture Scotland.
Why now: There’s a whole slew of new golfers from Ireland and the U.K. that are lending a refocused interest on the game of golf itself (instead of scandals surrounding their personal lives). Also, 2014 is the year that Scotland hosts the Ryder Cup, which is the golf equivalent of the Super Bowl in America. This is not only your chance to play on a course like a pro, but a bucket list trip for the seasoned golfer.
Good for: Couples, groups of friends and families. It’s an ideal stop on the way to track down your Scottish ancestry with Mom and Dad.
- The food. Besides its claim to fame for golf, Gleneagles is a food destination. It’s got the two-Michelin starred Andrew Fairlie, a life-changing gastronomic experience for even the most hyper-critical food aficionado. Then there’s the less formal Strathearn which serves up gourmet meals which by any other standard would be Michelin-starred. (See this week's Food section for recipes straight from Gleneagles.)
- Scotch-tasting. You are, after all, in Scotland and The Bar transports you to the days when smoking jackets were au courant and it was time to break out the pipe in your Scottish manor. With 120 types of whiskies, there should be something for every palate, from sweet to peety.
- Partaking in very “when in Scotland” sports like falconry, shooting, wildlife photography, dog training and cycling. Doesn’t cycling sound so much more sophisticated than biking? Yeah, thought so.
- Hitting the links. Even if you took away the deeply comfortable suites, boutique shopping, gourmet food and ESPA spa, you’d be left with one of the best golf courses in the world. If you’re not a golfer, we have no doubt that you’ll develop an appreciation for the game after a weekend at Gleneagles.
Suggested stay: 2 Days
What to know: Positivity, civility and dignity. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to vacation at a cross between the English estate of Match Point and Clue (sans the murder mystery), just head to Gleneagles.
Gleneagles is a destination unto itself; it’s secluded (aka, in the middle of nowhere) so get ready to settle in and enjoy a grown-up weekend. This is a pilgrimage trip for any golfer, but what’s surprising here is that you’ll be putting alongside more Natalie Gulbises than Greg Normans. (The Brits are bred for the sport at such a young age that they might as well drive out of their mothers’ wombs in golf carts.) And while the three championship courses are obviously the major draw, once you check into Gleneagles, you won’t want to leave until you check out. Why would you with a world-class spa, lodge-style suites decked out in tartan and Restaurant Andrew Fairlie? Gleneagles also features the invite-only Blue Bar (as in Johnny Walker Blue). A perk that is certainly not lost on you.