Playing at the Home of Golf is a bucket list item for most golfers. The Old Course at St. Andrews is a club with a storied past, and crossing the Swilcan Bridge is a dream for any player. But knowing where to stay while you’re visiting the Scottish town of St. Andrews can take a little more research. Here are our top five hotels for a luxury stay in St. Andrews.
A room with a view at the Old Course Hotel
As the most obvious choice on the list due to its proximity to the course in question, the Old Course Hotel could simply rest on its laurels. However, the hotel is regularly named one of the best hotels in Scotland, and they work very hard to keep up their reputation. Nestled along the 17th fairway of the Old Course, you can’t beat the views from this iconic structure. While it was built in the 1960s, the hotel is decorated in a classic style with modern amenities, including dining and shopping. The Jigger Inn pub is the most famous 19th hole in golf, and offers a variety of Scottish beers alongside classic pub fare. There’s also a spa and leisure facilities, so you can get a much-needed massage after your day on the links.
Modern luxury in the heart of town at the Kinnettles Hotel
The Kinnettles Hotel is a short 200-yard walk from the Old Course and is right in the middle of town, affording you quick access to the best restaurants and shops in St. Andrews. The property is completely modern inside, with finely-appointed rooms of several sizes to suit any taste. The Haar Bar & Restaurant follows suit with local produce starring in an experiential dining show put on by Masterchef Finalist Dean Banks. While the hotel doesn’t offer the view of St. Andrews that so many may want in their hotel stay, its modern accommodations should be tempting enough to make up for it. And of course, the Fresh Inc. medispa on the premises helps, too.
Classic style at the Macdonald Rusacks Hotel
Second to the Old Course Hotel in terms of views of the Old Course, the Macdonalds Rusacks Hotel offers a more rustic stay in an older grand hotel. The rooms are a bit dated, in some part to preserve the history of the golfing greats who have stayed there, but still offer luxury appointments and amenities. If you get tired of looking at the Swilcan Bridge, you can also catch a glimpse of the West Sands Beach, where you may recognize the “Chariots of Fire” running sequence took place. The hotel also offers three dining options, including St. Andrews Surf & Turf, which offers the chance to enjoy classic Scottish oysters or lamb with a view over the 18th hole of the Old Course.
Scottish with a French twist at the Hotel du Vin
One of 19 feathers in this hotel chain’s cap, the St. Andrews Hotel du Vin & Bistro sits a block from the Old Course and overlooks the course’s first tee as well as the beach from its perch on The Scores, one of the town’s most iconic streets. The rooms have all been refurbished while staying true to the old feel of the place. Dining at the Bistro affords delicious classical French fare with stunning sea views in a cozy setting. The Hotel du Vin exudes both a cool, hip vibe while maintaining a classic Scottish air. You might forget you’re not in Paris until the Scottish tartans bring you back.
Luxury country living at Rufflets St. Andrews
Rufflets has been family-owned since 1952, and once you spend a day on the grounds, you may want to make it your home, too. Set on 10 acres of lush country gardens, Rufflets provides one of the most classic stays in St. Andrews, with hot water bottles in your bed at turndown to keep the chill away and homemade shortbread for a midnight snack. The resort is also home to Seasons Restaurant, which possesses two AA Rosettes and stocks the larder from the hotel’s gardens to provide Scottish cuisine for all palates. The hotel itself is about a mile from St. Andrews, which means you will be further from the Old Course, but it’s easy enough to get there, and you’ll be happy to come back to a relaxing estate when you’re done with your round.
St. Andrews is a charming city filled with fine restaurants, shops, and pubs, and staying at any of these luxury hotels will only add to your experience, whether you’re playing the Old Course or just enjoying the Scottish coast.
Ravi Coutinho is Founder and Lead Golf Travel Expert at Worldwide Golf Adventures. Worldwide Golf Adventures is a luxury golf tour operator that arranges custom golf vacations for clients around the world.