AUSTRALIAN Wayne Grady celebrated runners-up spot in golf’s British Open in 1989 with a taste of true Scottish hospitality.
He did not have far to walk either as his luxury suite was only a bunker away from the Royal Troon Golf Club at The Marine Hotel.
This beautiful sandstone hotel overlooks the 18th hole and Wayne certainly had a spectacular view, with his wide bay window overlooking the golf club and further afield out to sea and across to The Island of Arran.
Wayne has a plaque marking his win outside the suite and my family and I were afforded the same luxury with a night’s stay.
Troon is a lovely upmarket seaside town, just 40 miles from Glasgow and boasts golfer Colin Montgomerie as one of its famous sons.
And where better to stay than The Marine. Steeped in history, this four star hotel, recently aquired by The Puma Collection, was rated an AA 4 star hotel in 1912 and is the only hotel in Scotland to keep its rating. And its not hard to see why. The place oozes an easy-going class. From the tartan trousered concerige who keeps in trim running after the customers, to the friendly, but efficient receptionists and the attentive house-keeper, you know you are going to be in for a good time.
There are 89 bedrooms, of which twelve are deluxe and four suites and if ours was anything to go by, they are well looked after. They have a certain old-fashioned elegance about them. Ours was made up of a beautiful sitting room, where the sofa bed was bagged by Ruaridh (5) and Flora (2), mainly because of the huge television they had spied. CBeebies in bed, pure bliss!
The room had spectacular views across the water and the children were spoilt by the lovely sunset. They were transfixed too by the coffee table which featured a huge bronzed hippo, complete with its sleeping child. Flora was anxious we did not disturb it too much!
The other room did not disappoint either, tastefully decorated and with a small, but adequate and spotless bathroom. The hotel also has a lovely leisure facility, with a pool that everyone can stand up in and at a good temperature. It also has a gym and spa. The two AA Rosette Fairways restaurant has lovely views to drink in as you dine on top notch food, my beetroot carpaccio melted in the mouth as did the tender lamb and lovingly made dessert of a lemon tart. Breakfast did not let us down either. They say the proof of a good hotel is the first meal of the day and the diners in the packed restaurant certainly tucked in with relish!
A good night’s sleep meant we were up early and off to The National Trust of Scotland’s crown in the jewel, Culzean Castle and Country Park.
Only a 20 minute drive from Troon, it was given to the trust in 1945 by the Kennedy family. The castle was designed by architect Robert Adams and sits in 560 acres of estate land, which are now a country park. The top of the castle houses The Eisenhower, a six-bedroom hotel, with fabulous views across to Arran.
The park is made up of a stunning walled garden, ponds and adventure playground. There is a gas house exhibition, restored Victorian vinery and the beautiful Camellia House and pagoda. This corner of the West Coast of Scotland is a real gem and worth a longer visit than we enjoyed, but there’s always another time, soon!
The Marine Hotel, Troon. Log onto www.pumahotels.co.uk/hotels/scotland/barcelo-troon-marine-hotel for availability and special offers. Information on Culzean Castle, Maybole can be found at www.nts.org.uk