Images Courtesy of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
St. Andrews. The work strikes excitement as well as fear in the hearts of golfers. It’s a golfer’s mecca with 11 world-class golf courses in the county of Fife just outside of Edinburgh Scotland. The literal mother of all golf courses, the Old Course, is there along with some of the top courses in the world. Enthusiast travel afar to the golf resort voted among the best in the world by Conde Nast and that has two of the top fifty golf courses in the world, the Fairmont St Andrews.
The resort sits perched on a bluff overlooking the rolling hills of their emerald golf courses down to the sea. The grounds of the resort cover 520 acres on a dramatic coastline faced by the North Sea and Tay Estuary with view of the St. Andrews skyline. Golfers can be seen coming and going throughout the day with clubs it toe from across the oceans in anticipation of days filled with rounds in the land of golf. As wonderful as the golf experience is at the resort, the Fairmont Resort and Spa Saint Andrews offers so much more.
Guests are greeted by a dapper host bedecked in a kilt cut from the tartan colors of the area. He is quick with a robust welcome in his thick Scottish brogue and probably a joke or two to lighten the spirit. Once inside the resort is expansive but oddly cozy with a roaring fireplace and inviting sitting areas to thaw out from the often inclement weather for which Scotland is known. The resort offers vast open spaces, a modern and contemporary design, decadent artworks and a grand atrium. The Zephyr atrium is impressive with a centerpiece of a dangling light art piece by George Singer with 20,000 steel discs, in a mobile art installation that runs the length of the cavernous room. Beyond the opulent creature comforts, the resort boasts an engaging collection of paintings of the local landscapes as well as commissioned multimedia artworks by Scotland’s favorite sons, and daughter, John Cleese and Annie Lennox.
There are 212 contemporary accommodations with comfortable furnishings, modern electronics and five star amenities. The décor integrates touches or tartan as well to ensure guests are further immersed in their Scottish environment. What guests will remember most will be the panoramic views over the emerald green golf courses as well as the crashing waves of the North Sea.
The 17 suites offer more space and additional features including soaking baths and a separate living space. The Kingdom of Fife Suite is the hotel’s largest and most opulent accommodation with a spacious outdoor balcony, separate living room with a fireplace and dining room with seating for four. For large families or VVIPs there are two Manor Homes with two or four bedrooms, farmhouse style kitchen and the amenities and features of a family home as well as access to the resort’s facilities.
After a hard day at the links or exploring the area, an exceptional Scottish dining experiences awaits the Fairmont’s guests back at the resort. There are several dining options from their all day dining brasserie, the Squire as well as their Italian restaurant, La Cucina.
For a feast with a stunning view, take the short stroll down to the St Andrews Bar & Grill which is the clubhouse restaurant. The setting is upon a steep cliff overlooking the golf course and St. Andrews Bay. In the evening the setting changes from a golfers respite to a romantic restaurant as the sun sets across the bay and the town of St. Andrews. Guests dine inside in the modern and chic setting or our doors on the expansive deck overlooking the grounds.
The fare is local seafood on display in a large ice boat for the choosing. Other will opt for their mouthwatering juicy steaks and duck. Where possible, all the ingredients are sourced locally and the chef creates innovated dishes to showcase local recipes, traditional and products.
Another must have experience is The Savoy Afternoon Tea which is an indulgent few hours immersed in the height of the UK’s high tea tradition in the lovely atrium of the hotel. Guests dine on fine Wedgwood porcelain tea sets with colorful flower designs that begs one to stick their pinky finger out with each delightful sip. Speaking of which there are over 100 teas to choose from as guests take in the details, practice, and precise tradition of pouring and presentation, and service. The tradition of the Fairmont High Tea has been shared throughout their properties by one of the finest high tea experiences in the UK at their sister property, the Savoy. While the men are out thrashing through the links, dainty society ladies gather for chatting away the afternoon only interrupted to gaze upon the next set of delectable dishes presented. Guests dine on scrumptious savory finger sandwiches and canapés, the irresistible fluffy scones with whipped butter and fruit jams or the sweet cakes and treats.
As one would expect, there are several options to bend the elbow and quench the palate. The Kittocks Den is a proper pub with high back leather chairs, a fireplace and warm and welcoming environment ideal for a lite bite or to partake in a dram from their extensive menu of single malt whiskies. The Rock and Spindle is named after a rock structure on the coastline below the resort, and is a sports bar, with plenty of viewing screens to watch the football or PGA Golf or to play a few games on the pool table or darts.
St. Andrews and the Fairmont offers a wonderful travel experience for guests of all interests. In particular, it is the Mecca of golf and heaven on earth for lovers of the sport. The Fife coastline posses some of the most beautiful holes in Scotland if not the world with views rolling green fairways broken by challenging ruffs and bunkers as well as those gorgeous scenes of the coastline just beyond the cliffs.
The Fairmont offers two of the area’s top courses with the Torrance Course, which is a Par 73, 7,230 yard long championship course and has hosted numerous championships and qualifying tournaments. . The Kittocks Course is a 7,192 yard long Par 72 championship course and a favorite of hotel guests and visitors alike.
St. Andrews, courtesy of Visit Scotland
If golf isn’t your kettle of fish, there’s so many other things to do and see around the area. The area is so stunningly beautiful, the best thing to start out with a brisk walk along the Fife Coastal Path coastline to see the dramatic cliffs, waves crashing against the rocks and the beautiful wildlife and fauna. The 1.6 mile long footpath offers a stunning coastal walk to St. Andrews to the hotel grounds. St. Andrews has idyllic beaches as well perfect for families with bays of with gentle waters for swimming or just lazing about and catching some rays.
Coastal Walk, courtesy of Visit Scotland
Beyond taking in the natural vistas, St. Andrews is a charming quaint town ideal for walks through its cobble stoned streets to peruse the shoppes or to grab a pint and lunch at bistro. This is a fantastic area to visit steeped in history with many sights to see such as the ruins of the St. Andrews Castle which sets on a cliff overlooking the North Sea.
St. Andrews Cathedral, courtesy of Visit Scotland
Even more riveting is the St. Andrews Cathedral which is a ruined Roman Catholic built is 1158. It is a beguiling structure spread over acres with numerous historic relics to admire a museum as well filled with numerous medieval sculptures and relics to admire. The hotel offers a schedule shuttle to take guests to and from town throughout the day.
For those looking to match their sightseeing with their affinity for a bit of cocktail culture, Scotland is of course known for their fantastic whiskies and now for Gin as well. Nearby the resort is the Darnley’s Gin and a worthwhile stop will in the area. It’s a set in charming stone farm cottage and a place to see the process of creating craft gin and their use of local botanicals such as elderflower, grapefruit, cinnamon, ginger and other seeds, roots, fruits, herbs, berries and spices and of course juniper. You can even make your own or simply take the tour and have an exquisite tasting.
After a long day on the links or exploring the area, guests will want to settle in for a bit of pampering and the ideal location for the royal treatment is at the Fairmont’s St Andrews Spa. Guests can choose from a wide list of treatment options that range from massages to facial and relaxation therapy.
There’s also a 16 meter long pool as well as a Jacuzzi, or wet and dry sauna to relax those sore muscles. The resort offers a gym with the latest fitness equipment as well.
St. Andrews is a fabulous place for lovers of golf as well as those looking to take in the richness of the history, culture and nature of Scotland. The Fairmont St. Andrews is a luxurious resort offering world-class amenities services to make the most of wonderful destination.