The Gleneagles Hotel’s grand makeover

Gleneagles, the landmark 1920s Scottish estate, is transformed by a nose-to-tail renovation that recalls its historic reputation as the "eighth wonder of the world".

The Century Bar

courtesy of The Gleneagles Hotel

The trout are biting. The ferrets are racing. The golf caddies are assembled. And the scones are warming on the scone trolley, ready for a splendid Scottish afternoon tea. With 900 staff, from the kilted doormen to the gillies, whisky sommeliers to gundog trainers, The Gleneagles Hotel is a hive of activity. The tempo has quickened since Ennismore, a London-based investment and hospitality company, bought the 344-hectare country estate two years ago and completed a multimillion-pound refurbishment this northern summer.

Set in picturesque Perthshire, an hour’s drive north-west of Edinburgh, Gleneagles has its own train station (six hours from London), Scotland’s only two-starred restaurant (Andrew Fairlie), three championship golf courses, a falconry school, an equestrian arena, and a colourful history as a glamorous seat of country pursuits. It was labelled “the eighth wonder of the world” when it opened in 1924 and became a fixture on the British society calendar and the global golf circuit.

“Gleneagles has been more than a hotel for generations now,” says manager Conor O’Leary. “Our job has been to respect that legacy and ensure its appeal and longevity for future generations.” Plans include the development of a luxury camp nearby and a line of fine foods.

The hotel’s 232 rooms and suites are filled with light and antiques; corridors, too, are lined with historical curios, custom lanterns and carpets woven in old Persian patterns. The transformation of public spaces by an A-list of British design studios includes the revival of the hotel’s opulent American Bar with Art Deco-inspired furnishings and cocktails, an elegant afternoon-tea salon, The Glendevon, overlooking croquet lawns, the Parisian-style Birnam Brasserie and the lobby Century Bar, with a central illuminated cabinet of old and rare whiskies.

More than 20 outdoor pursuits are available, including country picnics via a new acquisition – a 1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud

From £265 including breakfast. The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland,

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