Not for the first time, or the last, golfing eyes have settled on one of the world’s finest venues this week – one nestled in the heart of Perthshire. Glorious Gleneagles has again sparkled.
The PGA Centenary Course, Host Venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup, has welcomed male and female professionals for the inaugural and innovative European Golf Team Championships, with new Ricoh Women’s British Open champion Georgia Hall among those on show.
Hall, aged only 22, is an inspiration, just as next year’s staging of the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, the biggest team competition in female golf, can be for young girls. The event neatly coincides with Golf Perthshire’s own drive to encourage more girls, women and families onto the fairways, with a Family Golf initiative launched earlier this year.
The initiative is all about spending time together in Perthshire, sharing the beauty of the outdoors and creating lifelong memories. It’s exactly what five-star Gleneagles is famous for, too. On the superb Wee Course and the delightful pitch and putt layout (complimentary for hotel guests), children enjoy the buzz of striking a ball or holing a putt. For the more experienced player, the long-established King’s and Queen’s sit alongside the modern PGA Centenary, offering three superb championship tests. Of course, with country pursuits and activities aplenty, Gleneagles is far more than golf.
Indeed, inspired by its heritage dating back to the hotel’s opening in 1924, the luxury destination has been undergoing a significant transformation in recent times – with spectacular results. It prompted Golf Perthshire to have a peek at the changes within the ‘glorious playground’ and answer likely questions…
So, what has been the scale of the redevelopment work at Gleneagles?
After a multi-million pound investment project by new owner Ennismore, Gleneagles has a new look – strengthening its appeal to all guests, and notably families. With the skills and expertise of some of the UK’s most acclaimed designers, the hotel’s 232 luxury bedrooms, including 27 suites, are being lovingly enhanced, while wining and dining options are even more plentiful than before.
New restaurants and bars?
The Century Bar, the beating heart of the hotel, has been refurbished while a new opulent American Bar revives Gleneagles’ glorious past. Auchterarder 70, named after the hotel’s original telephone number, offers a chilled out vibe in the clubhouse, just as the elegant and historic Glendevon room provides relaxing afternoon tea. The Birnam Brasserie and The Garden Café, which stocks Gleneagles’ new fine foods range, are also on the menu for dining.
Anything else to mention across food and drink?
Together with The Strathearn, Andrew Fairlie, The Cellars and The Dormy there really is something for everyone – from relaxed clubhouse lunches to Michelin-starred fine dining. And just as there are family friendly rooms in the hotel, there are children’s menus in all restaurants.
What are the offerings for families on the estate?
There are few places in the world that offer the same breadth of opportunities and activities as Gleneagles, including over 50 outdoor activities. It boasts a world-class golf reputation, but it is the array of other sports and activities for all ages, culinary experiences and luxury hospitality that set it apart. Play 18 holes, fly a Harris hawk, ride horses, try archery, go off-roading, train gundogs, fish or go indoors and relax in an award-winning spa. The choice is yours.
Are there new developments for children inside the hotel?
Little Glen and The Den are exciting adventure areas for junior guests. Little Glen is a colourful and fully supervised crèche for young children with a variety of themes to stimulate play, while older kids can kick back in The Den, a recreation space featuring PS4s, a cinema, pool and air hockey and traditional board games. Hotel guests also have complimentary access to a fabulous indoor and outdoor swimming pool, as well as a gym, outdoor tennis courts, croquet and the pitch and putt course.
Again, you can always get in the swing at Gleneagles, just as the professionals are enjoying on team duty this week. Yet there is so much more on offer for families at one of Scotland’s most famous hotels. It simply continues to place Perthshire on the world map.
You can read more about the Golf Perthshire Family Golf initiative here.