Located about an hour from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, you’ll find The Gleneagles Hotel, nestled into Scotland’s lush, rolling countryside. Opened in 1924 as a leisure escape for High Society, the main building looks like a country palace. And a vacation at Gleneagles is filled with modern luxury touches—spacious rooms, fireplaces, cozy bathrobes, and heated bathroom floors—that set a palatial tone. Splurge for a room in the Braid House, which has balcony rooms with stunning views of the verdant glens.
Just as it was in the ’30s, Gleneagles is a haven for sports and outdoor activities without giving up the finer touches of a luxury vacation. Known as one of Scotland’s premier golfing destinations, the resort hosted the Ryder Cup in 2014 and has three championship courses. If you aren’t a golfer, take a cue from British royalty, by trying horseback riding at the equestrian school, clay-target shooting or archery at the shooting range or even try your hand at falconry.
After you’ve had your fill of sports, make reservations to go off-roading on a Scenic Safari, then break for lunch with a Champagne picnic. If you want to go beyond Gleneagles, the resort offers complimentary rides to the train station, so you can explore nearby Perth and Stirling, home of the William Wallace monument.
For those who consider relaxation to be the highest indulgence, The Spa at Gleneagles has a crystal steam room, sauna, and Arctic mist shower. For a true taste of Scotland, try The Source treatment, which includes a foot massage with local river rocks, a full-body exfoliation, and an herbal wrap sourced from the local countryside. Then, indulge in a little retail therapy at the hotel’s luxury boutiques.
For dinner, Gleneagles is a destination unto itself. The property is home to Andrew Fairlie, Scotland’s only restaurant with two Michelin stars, serving local Scottish lobster and Highland lamb. And Strathearn, Gleneagles’ white-tablecloth dining option serves local game. And what’s a trip to Scotland without Scotch? Sip more than 120 types of single malt at old-world The Bar, or light up a Cuban cigar at the Johnnie Walker Blue Label “Blue Bar.”
Rates start at approximately $535 per night for a classic double.