Lida was invited to the ‘Gleneagles Experience’ recently and what an experience it was! Here is her blog
It was quite a hectic 24hrs but then Gleneagles Hotel has so much to offer and the team wanted us to experience as much of it as possible. My first surprise occurred when we were collected at Edinburgh Airport. We were taken out to the minibus which was waiting in a ‘Gleneagles’ allotted space! In fact there were two of them.
On arrival at the resort, about a 50 minute journey from Edinburgh, we checked in and had the opportunity to experience a hand massage before being shown to our rooms. What a lovely way to show off the Hotel Spa. I chose to use the very pleasant pool (the Adult only one as I was so looking forward to swimming as many lengths as I could) before dinner on the Sunday evening.
My Executive bedroom, in the Baird block, was just delightful and one of the lovely surprises was that it had a working fire, which I did use! All the amenities one would expect were available, including fresh milk for tea/coffee, a touch which I really appreciated. The bathrooms were luxurious and the under-floor heating was most welcome.
We were treated to a wonderful 3-course traditional dinner and of course we started off with haggis (Findony), which was served with neeps, tatties and a whisky sauce. It goes without saying that we were treated to the ‘piping’ in of the haggis, the ‘address’ to the haggis and the ‘toast’ to the haggis. This was followed by monkfish with braised beef cheeks, burnt leeks and white bean hummus. For dessert we were served a delightful chestnut and chocolate delice, fig confit and tonka bean ice cream.
After dinner we were invited to leave the Barony Room to pop outside for a little surprise which was a wonderful piped band who entertained us beautifully. I felt so sorry for them as it was freezing cold outside however we were all given lovely warm blankets to wrap around us whilst we listened to the band.
The next morning I decided to treat myself to another swim (not as many lengths this time) before a hearty Scottish breakfast. We then started on our experience of all the outdoor activities:
The morning kicked off with a demonstration of the dog handling followed by a walk down to the aviary to see the falcons and eagles. We had the opportunity to be ‘up and close’ to the falcons and have them perch on our hand, let go and watch them return. I learned a fair bit from the very knowledgeable team on site. The attention that is kept on the weight of each bird is something that I have not considered before.
The group was then split into two and we had the opportunity to experience the activities that Gleneagles has to offer namely, Segways, horse riding, clay pigeon shooting, air rifles and archery.
We then moved over to the golf academy (one can’t come to Gleneagles and not see the putting green at least!). We were all given the opportunity to hit a few balls in the practice/training area. This was my first ever go at holding a golf club and I fear it will be my last! It is much more difficult than it looks and I have a new found admiration for the Rory’s of this world!
Gleneagles can organise any sort of corporate event encompassing one or more of the activities that we took part it eg golf, Segways, shooting etc. Gleneagles has five indoor tennis courts and various different activities/events can be created within the arena space.
In terms of meeting space, the grand Ballroom, Edwardian in design, is located in the heart of the hotel and has a stage, balcony and sprung dance floor. This room can accommodate up to 260 theatre-style or 300 for a stand-up networking event.
- The Gleneagles Suite is the hotels flagship conference space with state-of-the-art AV facilities and capacity for 280 delegates theatre-style.
- The Barony, where we had dinner on the Sunday evening, is an elegant and airy room with views over the croquet lawn, accommodating up to 60 for dinner, and 80 theatre style.
- The Glendevon also has panoramic views over the lawns and hills beyond, is a historic room which has an adjoining sun terrace and can accommodate theatre-style seating for 120, dinners of up to 100 people and stand-up receptions for around 200.
- The Blue Bar in the Dormy Clubhouse right on the 18th hole of the King’s and Queen’s golf courses, is a showcase for Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky.
Further events spaces include the King’s and Queen’s rooms (available either together or separately), the top-floor boardroom (meeting space for 20) and the Terrace.
Finally, this blog will not be complete without mentioning the hotel’s elegant dining room, serving a high-end Modern Scottish menu, by acclaimed chef Andrew Fairlie – can’t wait to eat there one day!