We spent a glorious week at Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland over half term. After a very long lockdown this past winter, we were all craving a get-away and what a get-away it was!
Due to all the travel uncertainty with train and flight cancellations we decided to drive up from our home in London and the journey was far better than expected. We left at 6.30am, did two quick stops and were at the hotel enjoying drinks on the lawn that afternoon. Our drive home wasn't as smooth, taking almost nine hours door to door, so I would definitely recommend an early start if you're driving.
We had unexpectedly wonderful weather, a joyous surprise for May in Scotland! The hotel had opened a lovely alfresco bar with deckchairs and lawn games, so we enjoyed drinks outside each day.
Gleneagles is housed in a beautiful old building with extensive grounds and an amazing golf course. The service throughout was outstanding, especially considering they were at full capacity and had only just recently re-opened. We had an inter-connecting suite and double room in the main house, both were very spacious and luxurious.
The hotel has some amazing activities on offer. We took advantage of the pitch and putt mini golf, lawn games, bikes, the pool and gym and the kids club for our littlest who is two. All were complimentary. We also booked an Off-Road driving experience for the older children, my husband enjoyed clay shooting, and I had a divine massage. We had planned to book some more activities for the children once we were there, but everything was fully booked. As we had our car, we took the opportunity to explore Edinburgh for a morning and nearby Sterling Castle.
There are a few restaurants on site: The Strathearn, The Birnam Brasserie and The Dormy, which is housed at their golf club. Luckily, I had pre-booked all of our breakfast and dinner slots as everything was fully booked by the time we arrived. My husband and I enjoyed a few formal dinners at The Strathearn and we ate as a family at both The Birnam Brasserie and The Dormy. There was an ice cream hut on the lawn which the children loved and two bars at which we had pre and post dinner drinks.
My top tip for Gleneagles, especially if you're staying during Covid is to pre-plan and book EVERYTHING. All the activities you may want to do, your swimming and gym slots, kids clubs and all your meals at the restaurants. I planned our trip with military precision (which did take some of the joy and spontaneity away) and I’m so pleased I did. We had a fun itinerary, but would have loved to try out more of the activities on offer which unfortunately were all fully booked.
We normally prefer smaller, boutique hotels to larger resorts (even when travelling with our children) and whilst Gleneagles is big it was perfect. We have another week booked for later in the year and we can't wait to get back up there.