Set among the picturesque landscape of Ayrshire, Scotland, Glenapp Castle is an enchanting haven combining old-world charm with modern luxury. Surrounded by 110 acres of pretty gardens and nature-rich native woodlands, this magnificent estate is a welcoming sanctuary of tranquillity and refinement.
From its rich history and luxurious accommodation to its exceptional dining options and an array of local activities, Glenapp delivers an unforgettable experience for guests seeking a Scottish getaway as luxurious as it is unique.
Originally built in 1870, Glenapp has been lovingly restored to preserve its original architectural charm. Stately turrets, a magnificent oak staircase, and intricate woodwork combine to allow you to feel that you’ve stepped back in time to the grandeur of the Victorian era; however, unlike many other period manors and castles, Glenapp is bright and sunny, warm, and comfortable – and pleasantly draught and creak free.
There’s a selection of opulent accommodation options, which effortlessly blend period elegance with contemporary comforts. Every room and suite is individually designed, showcasing each one’s unique character and providing a luxurious retreat for guests. From the elegantly furnished deluxe rooms to the spacious and lavish suites, each detail has been carefully considered to ensure a restful and indulgent stay. All of the rooms and suites are wonderful, but if your budget permits, gift yourself the experience of the super-luxe Endeavour Suite – recently voted one of the best suites in the world.
Spanning 420 square metres/4,500 square feet and combining traditional baronial style with every conceivable modern luxury, this elegant four bedroom penthouse suite accommodates up to 8 guests. Seclusion abounds: It’s tucked away on its own floor and accessible through its very own private elevator. From The Endeavour Suite, you can watch the sunset and marvel at the stars, while taking in breath taking and iconic views over Ailsa Craig, the Isle of Arran, and the Mull of Kintyre. On clear days, you may even see the hills of Northern Ireland.
The Endeavour Suite also features a sauna, beauty & treatment room, as well as a library & games room, media room, period kitchen and a private dining area for up to 16 guests. A private rooftop terrace offers guests a 360-degree view of the estate and coastline, while your very own private chef and personal butler make it the perfect space for celebrating and relaxing with family and friends.
If you can persuade yourself to leave your luxurious suite, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the sights, sounds, and scents of 110 acres of private estate and local woodland as you stroll the carefully tended lawns and pathways, surrounded by a vast array of exotic plants, collected since Victorian days. A visit to the stunning walled garden is a must – as well as, of course, the Italian garden created by one of the world’s most acclaimed early 20th century garden designers, Gertrude Jekyll. We enjoyed archery tuition in the grounds and, while we can’t claim to be up to Robin Hood standards yet, it was great fun to learn a new skill. Be sure to wander down to the lake, where you’ll find perfectly placed seating areas for two, each with wonderful views: the ideal place to relax with a book or have a game of chess.
Glenapp is perfectly situated for guests to explore the beauty and heritage of Ayrshire and its surrounding areas. The hotel offers a range of activities and experiences catering to diverse interests – nature enthusiasts, for example, can embark on scenic hikes through the nearby Galloway Forest Park or explore the rugged coastline dotted with historic castles and charming villages, while golf enthusiasts are within easy reach of several world-class golf courses.The hotel can also arrange whiskey tastings, private boat trips to nearby islands, and visits to local distilleries and historical sites, ensuring that guests have a truly immersive Scottish experience.
Finest Scottish Dining
After exploring the grounds and places further afield, you’ll welcome the opportunity to relax over a sumptuous and beautifully presented afternoon tea, or perhaps a freshly prepared salad or savoury dish in the very pretty and recently restored Azalea Glasshouse Restaurant.
Glenapp Castle is a leading destination for delicious cuisine, with its fine dining and 3 AA Rosettes. Guests can choose between dining in the gorgeous traditional surroundings of the Castle’s elegant dining rooms, or the almost 200-year-old Victorian Mackenzie and Moncur Victorian Glasshouse: both impressive and distinctive venues.
The award-winning restaurants take guests on a gastronomic journey, showcasing the finest locally sourced ingredients, plus an artful fusion of traditional Scottish flavours and contemporary techniques. The talented chefs create seasonal menus that celebrate the best of Scottish produce, ensuring each dish is a work of culinary art. Whether indulging in a sumptuous breakfast, savouring a decadent afternoon tea, or delighting in an exquisite multi-course dinner, guests can expect a truly transportive dining experience.
The hotel’s castle dining room exudes elegance, with its refined decor, captivating views, and impeccable service. Each meal is thoughtfully curated and precisely detailed, from the presentation of the dishes to the knowledgeable wine pairings. The warm and attentive staff further enhance the dining experience, ensuring that guests feel pampered and cared for throughout their culinary journey.
Executive Chef, Joe Gould, and his team have created a truly memorable dining experience, which includes mouth-watering canapés, perfectly brewed coffee, and home-made petits fours. The fine a la carte menu and our seven-course tasting menu were bursting with local produce, with many of the ingredients coming from Glennapp’s very own on-site kitchen consisting of a 150-foot-long glasshouse, walled garden and polytunnels. Championing local produce is a cause the Glennapp team are passionate about, reducing the carbon footprint of each dish while heightening its flavoursomeness.
We highly recommend the wonderful 7 course tasting menu with wine flight. Delights include Roasted Salt Aged Duck Breast, Butternut Squash & Chorizo Ecressé, Sage & Onion Cabbage, Goats Curds & Pomegranate; Pan Fried Orkney Bay Scallop, Cep Puree, Honey & Sherry Confit Turnip, Pickled Grapes, Walnut Foam; Roasted Fillet of Scotch Beef, Broccoli, Caramelised Roscoff Onion, Truffle Hazelnut, Red Wine Sauce and a delectable Blackberry, Almond & Heather Honey Mousse, Blackberry Gel, Chocolate, Amaretti & Lime Crémeux, with Hazelnut Ice Cream.
Afternoon tea at Glenapp is also a pure delight, featuring a selection of delicate sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and an assortment of sweet treats, all served with a choice of fine teas or champagne. As for breakfast – it is simply one of the very best we’ve ever experienced at any luxury hotel in the UK.
To complement the exceptional cuisine, the restaurant at Glenapp offers an extensive selection of wines from around the world. The incredibly knowledgable sommelier and team are on hand to guide guests through the cellar’s offerings, helping them choose the perfect pairing for their meal. From crisp whites to robust reds, the wine list is curated to match the diverse flavours and textures presented in each dish, enhancing the overall dining experience. The wine paring with the tasting menu was excellent.
From beautifully presented dishes that celebrate the flavours of Scotland, to the attentive and knowledgeable staff, every aspect of the eating here reflects the hotel’s commitment to excellence. Whether indulging in a gourmet dinner, savouring an afternoon tea, or experiencing a private dining event, guests at Glenapp are treated to a gastronomic odyssey, which will linger tantalisingly in their memories long after the last mouthful.
Glenapp Castle is one of the very best luxury places to stay at in the whole of the UK for comfort, location, relaxation, true luxury, exceptional service and dining experience.
By Lisa Curtiss