There may not be a lovelier place to golf than Scotland, and Gleneagles resort has one of the most impressive backdrops for a game. The hotel, located on 850 acres in the Perthsire countryside, has three championship golf courses and is home to Scotland's PGA National Golf Academy. Guests can arrange to work with coaches to improve their game or arrange their own tee time. The course is also open to the public. There's also a topnotch spa with therapists who can massage achy muscles after a long day on the green. If you prefer to watch, rather than participate, book your trip for September 26-28, 2014 when Gleneagles plays host to the Ryder Cup.
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Be Queen or King of The Manor
We arrived under cover of early darkness, not unusual for Scotland in January. Still, driving up the ever-steepening hill from the Gleneagles train station the white gleam of our manor house beckoned us on the horizon; only occasionally hiding behind a tree or the rise of another, smaller hill. Finally approaching through the gates, it was as if half the hillside was lighted up, a landlocked lighthouse welcoming us home.
From the window of my bedroom I could look out over the village and far into the hills opposite of us, the sparkle and glow of a sleepy town seeming to be a form of comfort. Alexander House runs the perfect gamut between being removed from hustle and bustle, yet convenient to all modern comforts. The house itself strikes the same, not easily achieved, balance - being both modern and containing all modern amenities, yet also built with traditional lines and historical details intact.
From their website, "Hidden high in the Perthshire hills at the end of a farm track, this brand new house gleams inside and out and is sustainably built. Water is from a private bore hole, there is a ground source heat pump and a reclaimed Scottish slate roof." It also has an outdoor heated pool, indoor jacuzzi, sleeps up to 20 people comfortably and features two dining areas and two living areas as well as a billiards room.
Don't discount visiting in winter as so many do, it's the perfect place to bunker down with friends or family even in the chilly month of January.