Luxury LifeStyle – Stylish stays and luxury living
If high-end luxury breaks are your cup of tea, then golfers and outdoor pursuit enthusiasts will be glad to know that the famous Gleneagles Hotel has retained its old-world style, charm and elegance over lockdown.
Since opening its doors in June 1924, Gleneagles has been one of Scotland’s most iconic hotels and sporting estates. Set beneath the Ochil Hills in the heart of Perthshire,
it has been the go-to destination for travellers for nearly a century, bringing royalty, celebrities – and everyone in between – under its roof to enjoy stunning cuisine, fine wines, whiskies and scenery.
Now under new owner Ennismore, the 850-acre estate embodies all the natural beauty of Scotland’s countryside with a glorious playground of country activities for guests to enjoy. Pursuits include fishing, clay pigeon shooting, falconry, off-roading and equestrian activities. Or if you prefer a more relaxing indoor experience, the indulgent new spa is due to be unveiled in the coming weeks, so watch this space
An overnight stay starts at £485 for a Country Room with bed and breakfast, but with a series of special offers on the website, a well-deserved luxury break could be just the ticket for a staycation to remember.
www.gleneagles.com and 01764 662231.
The Balmoral on screen
Always a favourite with travellers to Edinburgh, The Balmoral Hotel has opened its doors to TV cameras, providing a unique glimpse behind the glamour.
Describing itself as “a love letter to Scotland”, the hotel offers Michelin-starred dining, French-Scottish bistro fare, award-winning afternoon tea and a serene urban spa. The famous Bar Prince also provides a range of elegant cocktails for discerning palates as part of the Neighbourhood Cocktail Club (Fridays 5pm-7pm), and is famed for its luxury rooms and service.
An option for the more well-heeled traveller, many hotels like the Balmoral were forced to cope with a collapse in bookings and an absence of guests in lockdown. On this backdrop, the Rocco Forte Hotel gave unprecedented access to the Channel 5 team as it followed the staff during 2020, navigating the challenges and triumphs.
Richard Cooke, general manager of The Balmoral, said: “For me, this documentary is about the people who give The Balmoral personality – our guests, the many suppliers who work with us and our incredible team, the custodians of our beautiful property.
“I’m truly delighted to see their genuine character shine through each episode, demonstrating their love for hospitality and world-class service.”
Inside The Balmoral: Scotland’s Finest Hotel, airs on Friday May 21 at 7pm on Channel 5.
Stays begin at £250 per night with special offers available.
www.roccofortehotels.com/the-balmoral-hotel and 0131 622 8826.
Forest bathing and foraging at Glamis Castle
With its 1,000-year history in the heart of Angus, Glamis Castle is celebrating the healing benefits of the outdoors this summer and has invited visitors to experience a series of nature-based activities.
Designed to help people escape everyday life, Glamis Castle is offering foraging experiences for all the family, where participants can learn to identify and forage plants for food, cosmetics, medicine and cocktails before taking part in a practical session.
For those who are looking for a more sensory experience, forest bathing may fit the bill. Originating from Japan, the practice focuses on helping people relax both body and mind. Head forester Mike Napier will take participants around the grounds with a short talk about the surrounding landscape, followed by some calming breathing techniques among the trees.
General manager Helen Buchanan said: “We are proud to be home to such spectacular grounds and gardens, and we hope these wellbeing-focused sessions will prove beneficial and, above all, fulfilling to those taking part.”
Foraging takes place on May 25 and June 23. Forest bathing is on June 13 and July 11.
www.glamis-castle.co.uk and 01307 840393.
Animals After Hours
If you’re heading further afield, After Hours at Edinburgh Zoo can accommodate most budgets and ages.
Taking the step to open up the gates in the evenings as warm summer nights approach, the zoo is giving visitors even more opportunities to see beautiful animals in action. Why not relax to the sound of an acoustic set by the main lawn, follow a new digital trail, maybe enjoy the local food and drink kiosks or simply soak up the atmosphere and enjoy your visit at your own pace? With adult-only evenings available, the zoo is also offering excusive family and member nights, too.
With newly-hatched penguin chicks, adorable meerkats, pandas, gibbons, tigers and many more ready to welcome guests, it’s an evening experience not to be missed.
Adults-only evenings start June 11 and 12; member-only evenings June 4 and July 17.
Prices from £7.50 (free entry for carers and under threes).
Book online: www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/events-and-experiences/afterhours/
Luxury LifeStyle – Stylish stays and luxury living
Tags: Luxury LifeStyle