Welcome to Luxury Scotland’s August Newsletter

Mention the word ‘luxury’ and the expectations
of world travellers are instantly raised.

KINLOCH HOTELToday’s luxury travellers expect the highest levels of service and satisfaction and to achieve that, all elements in the service chain must work seamlessly, from transport and accommodation, food and beverage, specialist tours and concierge support.

At Luxury Scotland we pride ourselves on having the best of Scotland’s luxury hotels amongst our members who provide the complete travel experience and to support our collection of destinations we have a range of carefully selected partners that can help enhance that experience.

Scotland’s leading chauffeur Service with impressive experience in personalised itineraries to help you explore the finer things in Scotland.

Royal Yacht Britannia
Royal Yacht Britannia
A floating Royal residence that provides an unforgettable exclusive experience for small groups.

House of BruarHouse of Bruar
Scotland’s most prestigious independent store – a shopping paradise with the best of Scottish produce all in one place set in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.

A unique meetings and conference venue that can host small specialist business meetings, exhibitions, international conferences and product launches.

Highland SpringHighland Spring
The finest bottled water sourced in Scotland, found in all our member hotels.

Taittinger ChampagneTaittinger Champagne
Our favourite champagne.

Tennent's Beer Aged with Whisky OakTennent’s Beer Aged with Whisky Oak
A firm favourite with our guests that combines two of Scotland’s famous exports.

Georgian AntiquesAnd last but by no means least:
Georgian Antiques
Where you will find everything from antique jewellery to complete Victorian dining rooms to take back as your souvenir of Scotland.

For the past 21 years I have had the privilege of co-ordinating, nurturing and growing this little group of likeminded hoteliers who work together to provide one of the world’s great travel experiences. Within our members we have Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa, where Zach Johnson won the 144th Open last month, The Gleneagles Hotel, Trump Turnberry, Cameron House and Trump International, 5 of the great golf venues in the world, although wherever you are in Scotland you are never far from a golf course.

Belmond Royal ScotsmanAs well as world class golf and spa resorts there are also luxury town house hotels, country house hotels, city centre properties and with just four utterly spectacular rooms,21212, which is a Restaurant with Rooms situated in the heart of Edinburgh.

We also have two moving hotels, Belmond Royal Scotsman, the world’s most luxurious train and MV Hebridean Princess, the only cruise liner in the world with a Royal Warrant, both of which take travellers to those hidden treasures of Scotland not normally accessible through other forms of transport.

INVERLOCHY CASTLEAdding yet another magical dimension to the Luxury Scotland collection we have a couple of romantic castles, Inverlochy Castle being Queen Victoria’s favourite, Knockinaam Lodge which featured in John Buchan’s book The 39 Steps and Glencoe House, an all-suite hotel strategically located on the top of a hill in Glencoe with the most wonderful views and you have all that you need to plan the next holiday of your life.

Jeremy Hawkings Wherever you go this month, enjoy August!

Jeremy Hawkings, Chief Executive, Connoisseurs Scotland.

E: jeremy@luxscot.co.uk

Britannia’s Traditional Christmas

Britannia is a magical venue during the festive season and is a stunning setting for dinners and evening receptions, for either a corporate celebration or private occasion. Imagine celebrating an evening with friends or colleagues aboard The Royal Yacht Britannia where kings and queens, world leaders and celebrities were once entertained.

A red carpet welcome awaits as guests are piped aboard via the Royal Brow, an entrance previously reserved for The Queen and the Royal Family. All options include a highlights tour of Britannia giving guests a unique insight into life aboard in days gone by, with festive touches throughout the ship, an evening aboard Britannia is truly an event of a lifetime.

Britannia’s Traditional Christmas Dinner

(Available for 40 – 96 guests)

Enjoy Champagne and Christmas canapés especially chosen by our Executive Chef in the elegant State Drawing Room which is decorated with wreaths, garlands and a beautiful Christmas tree with ornate baubles. Britannia’s choir will sing a selection of festive songs from the elegant Grand Staircase. An exquisite four course menu is served in the State Dining Room and at the end of the evening everyone will be presented with a beautifully wrapped Christmas pudding, made on board, using Her Majesty The Queen’s secret recipe!

Full details here:

The Magic of Christmas Dinner

(Available for 40 – 96 guests)

All of the above elements of Britannia’s Traditional Christmas Dinner option are included in The Magic of Christmas. In addition, Britannia’s resident pianist will entertain guests in the State Drawing Room with festive music, played on the original grand piano. Britannia’s magician will entertain guests throughout the evening with his amazing magic and lightning wit! After dinner, enjoy the exhilarating atmosphere of a casino and play the tables without losing any real money!

Full details here:

A Sparkling Christmas Reception

(Available for 100 – 380 guests)

Spectacular flambeux light the quayside as guests are welcomed aboard. Enjoy Champagne and Christmas canapés served in the elegant State Drawing Room which is decorated with wreaths, garlands and a beautiful Christmas tree. Explore the whole yacht and take in the atmosphere of Christmas days gone by while listening to Britannia’s talented jazz trio playing a host of Christmas tunes! Entertainment for the evening includes a roving casino and a Champagne and Whisky challenge!

Full package details here:

For further information or to make a booking, please contact the Events team through our enquiry form, or give us a call on +44 (0)131 555 8800.

Robert Burns Supper and Britannia’s Scottish Evenings

To celebrate the birth of our national bard, Rabbie Burns, we are delighted to be hosting a ticketed Burns Supper aboard The Royal Yacht Britannia.

Taking place on Friday 29 January 2016, you will be welcomed aboard by Britannia’s piper to experience an unforgettable Burns Supper. A delicious four course menu will be served in the State Dining Room by Britannia’s butlers. Featuring the very best Scottish ingredients, the dinner will be prepared by our chef Mark Alston and his team in the original Royal galley.

Traditional Scottish music will be played throughout dinner by Britannia’s musicians and, the highlight of the evening, the ‘Address to the Haggis’ will be followed by a Whisky Tasting in the State Drawing Room.

The evening also includes a red carpet welcome, drinks and canapé reception and a highlights tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia. Individual tickets (priced £165pp) or tables of 8 can be booked online, by email or by calling +44(0)131 555 8800.

A Scottish Evening can be held on board Britannia throughout the year. If you would like to have an event on board, similar to the above, please do not hesitate to contact us. Scottish Evenings can be held for private or corporate groups from 10-96 guests.

Whisky Tasting

The Admiral’s Whisky Tasting on board Britannia

For the first time, we are opening up his cabin to guests, enabling them to enjoy a private Whisky Tasting in relaxed surroundings.

The Admiral’s Cabin on board Britannia was where the Rear Admiral would meet with his Top Ranking Officers and plan the Yacht’s route when in Royal Service.

Britannia’s former Rear Admiral, Sir Robert Woodard, entertained many VIPs in his cabin, enjoying a dram with them, and this was his way of sharing Scotch Whisky around the world.

Guests arrive along the private quayside where they are greeted with the sight of majestic Britannia. A red carpet welcome awaits, before coming aboard via the Royal Brow, the entrance previously reserved for The Queen and Royal Family.

A highlights tour follows where a personal guide will give a unique insight into the history of the Royal Yacht and how the Royal Family and crew lived and worked on board.

The tutored Whisky Tasting will then take place in The Admiral’s Cabin. Relax and enjoy the ambience while savouring 3 different drams. Guests will enjoy hearing from our Whisky Expert as he talks through the flavour profiles of each Whisky and the five steps to appreciating Scotch Whisky.
The Tasting includes the following drams:

•    Johnnie Walker Blue Label
•    Johnnie Walker Blue Label King George V
•    John Walker & Sons Odyssey

Each guest will be presented with an official Glencairn Whisky glass, complete with an engraved Britannia crest as a memento of their evening aboard.
This exclusive experience is limited to 8 guests.

For more information, please make an enquiry or contact our Events Team on +44 (0)131 555 8800.

Scotland’s inhabitants are the most loyal to their region in the UK

A recent survey by a British Insurance Company shows that 83% of people living in Scotland have chosen their own region as the one they would want to live in the most, regardless of personal circumstances.

The research shows that Scotland has the most loyal inhabitants, followed by the South West in second place with 73% and both Wales and the North East in third place with 60% of the inhabitants choosing their own region as their ideal area.

According to those who joined the survey, the reasons why they feel Scotland is the best area to live are the abundance of green spaces (54%), low criminal levels (39%) and the quality of health services such as hospitals and doctor practices (39%).

When asked what would be the main reasons why they would consider moving away from their ideal region, those who took part of the survey have chosen a new job as the strongest reason, followed by ‘to be closer to family and friends’ and finally ‘to be in a more rural area’ as their three strongest reasons. In comparison with the answers by inhabitants from different parts of the UK, those living in Scotland show to be not only the most loyal and content with the area where they live in but also the most satisfied with local services.

There has been an increase in the number of people relocating from different parts of the UK to Scotland due to lower property rates, free healthcare (especially free prescriptions) and free higher education to those living in the UK for longer than three years. Scotland is seen by many as an interesting area for property investment and as a more peaceful and cheaper region to settle in and retire.

The research below is important to Scotland, it shows how its people feel comfortable where they live regardless of their political views.

To learn more about the survey see below:

For the following question please imagine you could live anywhere in the UK, regardless of your personal circumstances (e.g. jobs, family, money etc.)…

Which ONE, if any, of the following regions would you most want to live in?

  1. South West 20%
  2. South East         13%
  3. Scotland 11%
  4. London 9%
  5. Yorkshire and the Humber 9%
  6. North West 8%
  7. Wales              5%
  8. East of England 5%
  9. North East 4%
  10. West Midlands 3%
  11. East Midlands 2%

Top Ten loyal regions (the percentage of those from each region that stated their own region as they would want to live in the most, regardless of personal circumstances)

  1. Scotland 83%
  2. South West 73%
  3. Wales  60%
  4. North East 60%
  5. Yorkshire and the Humber 56%
  6. North West 50%
  7. South East 43%
  8. London 41%
  9. East of England 30%
  10. West Midlands 27%
  11. East Midlands 22%

Which, if any, of the following are main reasons why you like the local area that you currently live in? (Please select all that apply)

All Scotland
It has green spaces (e.g. parks, countryside etc.) 56% 54%
There is a low crime level 39% 39%
There are good shopping facilities (e.g. shops, supermarkets, shopping centres etc.) 38% 29%
There are good health services (e.g. doctor’s surgeries, hospitals etc.) 36% 39%
The area is well-maintained by the council (e.g. clean streets and public areas) 29% 28%
There are good schools (i.e. they provide a high standard of education) 28% 26%
There is a good community spirit 27% 27%
It is great for socialising (e.g. plenty of restaurants, bars, clubs etc.) 21% 18%
There are community social events available (e.g. fairs, farmers markets etc.) 16% 15%
Other 14% 16%
There are good job opportunities 9% 8%
Not applicable – I don’t like the local area that I currently live in 9% 11%
Don’t know 5% 5%

Which, if any, of the following are reasons why you would ever **move away** from the local area that you currently live in? (Please select all that apply. If you would never move away, please select the ‘Not applicable’ option)

All Scotland
For a new job 32% 34%
To live closer to my family or friends 26% 25%
To be in a more rural area 26% 22%
If there was an increased crime rate in the local area 22% 17%
Not applicable – I would never move away from the local area that I live in 19% 22%
For a property investment opportunity (e.g. to buy and live in a property in an up-and-coming area) 13% 14%
To study or receive further education (i.e. at university, abroad etc.) 7% 9%
Don’t know 7% 8%
For better health facilities (e.g. doctor’s surgeries, hospitals etc.) 7% 4%
To be in a more urban area 7% 9%
To be closer to better schools 7% 3%

G+V Hotel Edinburgh has joined Luxury Scotland

We are very pleased to announce that the G+V Hotel, Edinburgh has joined Luxury Scotland.

Known in the past as Hotel Missoni,  G+V Hotel, Edinburgh is a member of Quorvus Collection, a new generation of expertly curated luxury hotels in Carlson Rezidor’s growing global portfolio. As well as the only five-star hotel on the historic Royal Mile, the hotel is a contemporary landmark boasting iconic design, 136 rooms, an award-winning destination restaurant, an urban spa retreat and a vibrant gym.

The name G&V is an abbreviation of George & Victoria and relates to the address in the heart of Edinburgh on the corner of George IV Bridge and Victoria Street, one of the most celebrated areas in Edinburgh, walking distance to many of Edinburgh’s renowned attractions.

The hotel’s brand new website will be live soon, showcasing its new exciting interior décor. We are very much looking forward to working with this exceptional property and sharing all their news, offers and events with you.

Luxury Scotland Golf Resorts offer Offbeat Adventures beyond their Famed Courses

Those visiting Scotland for the first time are pleasantly surprised by what an active and outdoorsy place the country can be. For those seeking a more active vacation that enables them to experience Scotland’s natural beauty, hotels that belong to the Luxury Scotland collection of luxury properties offer the ideal getaway. Three member properties are best known as meccas for golfers, they provide a surprising array of opportunities that go far beyond clubs and tees. Gleneagles; The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa; and Trump Turnberry all provide unique and offbeat outdoor activities that may set their guests’ hearts racing.

Gleneagles has garnered much recognition in the golf community for more than 90 years, most recently as the host of the 2014 Ryder Cup competition. But the resort, located near Perth, is also noted for its other recreational opportunities, which span the spectrum from falconry to gundog training and from archery to indoor tennis. The resort also offers a full spectrum off-road driving experiences – a particularly interesting challenge for North American guests, since these jaunts involve driving on the opposite side of the road (or forest or stream, as the case may be). An especially enjoyable off-roading adventure involves taking an Argo Cat, an all-weather, semi-amphibious, all-terrain vehicle, out for a spin on Gleneagles’ property. Argo Cats have long been used throughout the Highlands of Scotland, as they enable landowners to reach very steep, rocky or swampy areas that would otherwise remain inaccessible. These vehicles are eight-wheel drive, and guests age 10 and older – and measuring at least 4.5 feet tall – can get behind the wheel and navigate Gleneagles’ special course that involves both land and water in a very memorable off-road experience. Fees start at £125/$192* for a 45-minute lesson.

On the east coast of Scotland, in the historic town of St. Andrews in the Kingdom of Fife, rests the The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa. The Old Course is where golf began, and this year St. Andrews welcomes golfers from around the world as the 144th Open Championship returns this month. The hotel overlooks the famed West Sands beach, which movie buffs will recognize as the backdrop for the 1981 Academy Award-winning film Chariots of Fire. Visitors and guests enjoy walking, horseback riding, kite flying, volleyball, windsurfing and sand castle building on West Sands, but the resort’s own “Chariots for Hire” program offers a whole new beach experience. Guests can rent “sand bikes,” which boast chunky tires that make them ideal for travel through both sand and snow. Thanks to the bikes’ low tire pressure, riders feel as if they’re floating over the miles of white sand along the beach. Bikes can be rented for £10/$15* per hour, £15/$23* for a half day or £25/$38* for a full day’s adventure.

In the town of Ayrshire, guests are flocking to a third famed Scottish golf resort, Trump Turnberry, for a “Wildgoose Treasure Hunt.” Such hunts, which arm guests with a GPS and turn them loose to explore the hotel’s property, have become the rage across the United Kingdom. Participants receive a Samsung Galaxy tablet that’s loaded with Turnberry’s GPS app, allowing them to embark on a treasure hunt that provides a grand tour of the resort’s vast estate. Along the way, guests trigger hot spots and can work together – or against each other – to tackle a variety of challenges. The activity is ideal for corporate groups and also for families; groups of four to 12 guests can participate, as long as they’re age 8 or older. The cost of this activity is £20/$31* per participant, and these hunts take one to two hours. In case that’s not adventurous – or Scottish – enough, guests can also participate in a mini version of the Highland games. A kilted instructor organizes teams and coaches them in a variety of fun events, including a traditional caber toss and the not-so-traditional “haggis hurl.”