Gleneagles isn’t just for golfing legends and A-listers. Kids are welcome too, as Suzanne Baum discovered
Who would have thought Gleneagles was a place to bring the kids? Certainly not me. I mean why would the hosts of the Ryder Cup be interested in welcoming small children who are more likely to make sandcastles in those much revered bunkers. My own golf skills are more of a pitch and putt standard, but these days guests whatever their ability on the course are treated like royalty and that includes children.
Much of this is to do with modernising the hotel and adding kids’ facilities in which they host such an impressive children’s programme that we hardly saw our six-year-old son Jake, which allowed my husband and I to enjoy treatments in the ESPA spa.
Set within an 850-acre Perthshire estate about 45-minute drive from both Glasgow and Edinburgh, the hotel offers everything you could possibly ask for from a family holiday. The problem was finding the time to do everything we wanted. For once, the fact Jake is scared of animals was hugely beneficial as it meant we could miss out on a visit to the hotel’s equestrian school, falconry and gun-dog school-(hugely popular with other families) and fit in everything else.
Right from check-in,younger guests are treated to first class service with Jake being given his own form to fill in on his interests and hobbies. Swimming and pasta were on it and on the subject of food, if your child is a picky eater, despite being such a smart hotel the kids menus are very reasonable and they have the option to create and bake their own pizza.
From our airport chauffer driven taxi driver to the family tennis and golf lessons we had, the staff is all impeccably mannered including the doorman clad in a kilt who let out a huge belly laugh when my son asked him why a man was wearing a skirt.
We didn’t bring our teenage sons along, but wished we had for as there is lots for them to do with X-box, computer’s galore, a juke box and table football readily available. Together we hired bikes to explore the stunning scenery, swam in the indoor and outdoor pools, played croquet and pitch and putt! The highlight of the visit was Jake’s off- road driving lesson where kids get to learn to drive around the hotel grounds in a four-wheel drive!
Our bedroom was in the modern Braid House adjoined to the main building which included a bed so big it could have slept the whole family and child-sized bathrobes, slippers and branded bathroom accessories for Jake too. Having packed smart clothes I was excited to see guests walking through the hotel in their plush dressing gowns and was soon joining them en route to the spa. That is when I would briefly see Jake racing to the kids club filled with toys and though there were more than few eight-year-olds running about the place, the hotel still retains its elegance. I’m hoping Jake might think about golfing professionally when he grows up as hopefully that will get me back to Gleneagles.
For more details, visit www.gleneagles.com Rooms start from £255 B&B
Suzanne and family flew from Stanstead to Edinburgh on Easyjet (a one hour flight) Hotel transfer time 45 minutes