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“Fabulous hotel - but avoid Sands restaurant” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa

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Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Old Station Road, St. Andrews KY16 9SP, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 19 Hotels in St. Andrews
Edinburgh, Scotland
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
177 helpful votes 177 helpful votes
“Fabulous hotel - but avoid Sands restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2012

Just back from a wonderful 2 night stay at the iconic Old Course Hotel. We started our stay with some treatments in the spa - and excellent it was too. The welcome and therapists were delightful and massages excellent. Nice thermal suite and chill out area. Not quite up to the Gleneagles spa superlative standards, but not far off. We had a huge Eden Suite which was just gorgeous. The bed was incredibly comfortable and the huge bathtub was fab. As it was a special occasion for us reception sent up some champagne and canapés which was a lovely touch. Breakfasts were brilliant - superb service and wonderful food cooked to order - the eggs Benedict were the best I've ever had. Sandra - the breakfast manager - runs a brilliant team, she's fab.

Throughout the hotel we found top class and attentive service with one notable exception - Sands Restaurant. Service was rushed and harassed, and at the same time painfully slow - guests were complaining and leaving because their food was taking so long to arrive. The menu is uninspired and really dull and way overpriced. We had a mashed potato side - it was cold so we asked it to be replaced. It cam back cold, again. The atmosphere of the place? Non existent - it's soulless, boring and completely at odds with the rest of the hotel. It's so far from 5 star that it's embarrassing for them. The OCH isn't known for its food - and I don't understand that. Why on earth don't they find a young ambitious chef with Michelin aspirations and give her or him a revamped Sands I don't know. At the moment it's one to avoid.
We'll definitely go back to the hotel (if they'll let me in after this review) as it is wonderful and with superb Scottish hospitality. We'll just avoid Sands!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OldCourseHotel, General Manager at Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 23, 2012
Dear Guest,

Many thanks for taking the time to review your recent stay at the Old Course Hotel. We endeavour to offer our guests a service that is as close to perfect as possible so I am very sorry to learn of your experience at the Sands Restaurant. I have passed your comments to our Food & Beverage Director to assist with our ongoing training needs and product development.

I would also like to thank you for your positive comments concerning the other areas of the Hotel which I will share with my team.

Once again, thank you for your feedback and I look forward to welcome you back to the Resort in the near future.

With kind regards,

Daniel Pereira
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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841 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (239)
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English first
Stirling, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2012

We have stayed in the Old Course several times and always found it to be impeccable. The rooms facing the course and the sea are stunning. Fabulous service. Simply cannot fault anything. Love it!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2012

-The best of this hotel is the view of the golf course. We stayed in an "Eden room" (w/o view of the golf course) and found the room experience average of a 4-5 star hotel
-Spa is very good, massage very professional, gym of good size but view is unfortunately not great
-Food and wine are of good quality and taste, but not nearly Michelin. We liked the grill better than the restaurant in the 4th floor (fillet has very good taste but was unevenly cooked)
-Service was very good. Thumbs up people!
-Overall, I guess it depends on priorities, for the same budget I'd rather invest in great food and more boutique experiences (e.g. the Waterside Inn). This hotel is way too big, and beyond view, not special

Room Tip: Make sure you choose room with view to the golf course otherwise not worth it
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2012

Just had my 9th visit to the Old Course in 4 years, and it doesn’t disappoint. There have been some renovations along the way, but the charming flavor of the hotel is the same. The guestroom views over the golf course to the sea are wonderful and there is nothing better than a cocktail in the 4th floor bar in early evening. The rooms are well appointed with modern bathrooms and accessible outlets to use / recharge electronics. There was even a US outlet at the desk so I didn’t even need an adapter. And of course the always appreciated free wi-fi. The staff is always friendly and helpful. If I had to find something to complain about it would be this, even though I have stayed there several (9) times every time I check in, the question is always “is this your fist stay with us?”. One would think in this day and age, they could find a way to track that. That said, I think this is one special hotel.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carnoustie, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2012

Everything is thought of here and to a high level. Make sure you upgrade to a course facing room its simply spectacular.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2012

Have just returned from a weekend in St Andrews which was sadly ruined by our experience in the Old Course hotel. Having stayed here before we decided on this occasion to stay one night at the Old Course and one night at the Fairmont hotel to see which we'd prefer for future visits. Echoing some previous reviews we found much of the hotel in need of a refurb and not as impressive as the last time we stayed. We were made to feel decidedly unwelcome after checking out however when we spent a glorious sunny day at the beach with our two children followed by lunch at the Old Course's Jigger Inn. Upon leaving the Jigger Inn our youngest needed the bathroom and we were challenged on entry to the hotel by a gentleman outside the pro shop. Spotting the ball we were carrying he advised that they did not want children iin the hotel as they had a special guest. Apparently the Manchester Utd team were staying at the hotel. We left the hotel absolutely disgusted and will not be back. If you are travelling to St Andrews with children, or otherwise, I would recommend the Fairmont where they seem to treat all of their guests with an exceptional level of customer service.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OldCourseHotel, General Manager at Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 4, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay at the Old Course Hotel.

I was obviously very concerned to read your review and would like to reassure you that whilst the privacy and comfort of our guests is paramount to us, we would not knowingly wish to upset daily visitors of the Resort to achieve our goal. Please be assured that I have highlighted your feedback with our team as part of our continual improvement and development program and I do hope that we are able to welcome you back to the Resort in the near future.

With kind regards

Daniel Pereira
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2012

Celebratory afternoon tea - should have been in the conservatory, but we were moved to the Road Hole Grill when we arrived, due to another function being on. Fabulous big table for our party matched by the beautiful views over the golf course and the West Sands.
The food first - suffice to say the assortment of sandwiches, scones, pancakes and cakes was amazing. However, the sandwiches differed from the selection on the menu we were given and no-one told us what we would be getting. This resulted in us having to ask for some different ones when the plates arrived - it then took another half an hour for some plain ham sandwiches with no chutney or no mustard to arrive. By this time we had already moved onto the scones and were just about to ask the waitress to cancel the sandwich order.
This was the biggest issue of the afternoon - the lack of top class service to support the fabulous afternoon tea. We were served our pots of tea 15 minutes after sitting down, but it took another 15 minutes for the tea stand with all the food to arrive - by which time the tea was lukewarm at best. We then spent the next 15 minutes asking for things for the table - only one small milk jug for the table, an extremely small dish of cream and jam - we had to ask for more - twice!
No-one came near our table to see if we needed anything - we constantly had to call waitresses over as they passed us by - for more tea, for replenishments of items. This was irritating - we had to keep catching someone's eye - not the most relaxing experience when it is a birthday celebration.
Also, there were far too many cakes and scones for 5 people - over 30 cakes and 15 scones and pancakes. We had asked at the beginning did we need to order for 5 people or only 4 - the description of what we would get did not match at all what came. An order for 4 would have been more than sufficient - fortunately, they offered to box the remaining 15 or so cakes etc to take home.
All in all, a great experience for my 80 year old parents - it was a celebration of my mothers birthday - but it could be so much better if the staff focused on the guests rather than meetings in corners of rooms and running around with paperwork in their hands.
Afternoon tea is not just about an amazing cake stand, it should be about ensuring your guests are well looked after - topping up tea, bringing clean cups and making sure empty milk and cream bowls are replenished. Could do better!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OldCourseHotel, General Manager at Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 4, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay at the Old Course Hotel.

We regularly receive positive comments regarding our afternoon tea so I was disappointed to read your review. We take great pride in providing our guests with the highest standards of service and cuisine and I am extremely sorry that on this occasion we failed to meet your expectations.

Please be assured we will address the service issues you described as a matter of urgency as part of our ongoing training and development program. Thank you also for highlighting the ‘sandwich options’, this is certainly an oversight on our part and I can only apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly on your next visit to the Old Course Hotel and I will be pleased to oversee your visit.

With kind regards,

Daniel Pereira
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa

Address: Old Station Road, St. Andrews KY16 9SP, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Fife > St. Andrews
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in St. Andrews
#1 Romantic Hotel in St. Andrews
#2 Luxury Hotel in St. Andrews
#6 Family Hotel in St. Andrews
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 134
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bordering the renowned 17th ‘Road Hole’ of the Old Course in the Home of Golf, the Old Course Hotel enjoys a spectacular location overlooking the famous links courses, the West Sands beach and the beautiful Scottish coastline.Discover the historic university town of St Andrews, just a short stroll from the resort, and explore the surrounding countryside of the ancient Kingdom of Fife.With a combination of classically elegant and contemporary interiors, the hotel offers quietly confident service, luxurious facilities and a warm welcome in the finest traditions of Scottish hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort And Spa
Old Course Hotel, Golf Hotel St. Andrews
Old Course Resort
Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa St. Andrews, Scotland

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