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“Afternoon Tea in St Andrews: a pleasant experience” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa

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Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 18 Hotels in St. Andrews
Certificate of Excellence
Gartocharn, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Afternoon Tea in St Andrews: a pleasant experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2014

This was a treat for my daughter, who was leaving St Andrews, after 4 years at university there. We arrived on a particularly wet afternoon, booked in for 3.30 p.m. The staff were very attentive but required to be told that we'd booked one wheat-free option. However, this was not a problem and my sandwiches, scones and cakes arrived on a separate stand to my daughter's. Darjeeling tea (my afternoon choice of tea) was not on the list - just 'Afternoon Tea'was listed but the waiter said Darjeeling was possible. My teapot (small family size) arrived with just one bag in it and I doubt that the pot had been warmed before filling, because the teabag never infused properly. I asked for a second pot and this was slightly better but I think the staff need to know the full science of producing a perfect cup of tea - and maybe ask the customer exactly how many tea bags they would like - as a tea-planter's daughter, I am quite fussy about my tea. There was nothing special about the food; my wheat-free (probably gluten-free) sandwiches were slightly dry on one side, especially the brown ones and the fillings were sparse. My GF scones were lovely and not crumbly. The selection of cakes was fine; including a fruit-slice; a flapjack, a delightful brownie (best of the lot) and a macaroon. My daughter particularly enjoyed her lemon meringue tart and a spectacular dark chocolate sponge cube - not too sweet and very moist. Her cheesecake slice was very insipid.
It was a very nice place to be on a miserable wet, afternoon - but although we had a window table, from our vantage point, we couldn't see the golf course because the garden vegetation had grown too high.
Having been for afternoon tea at the Ritz in London, I could not help comparing the experience. But this would be unfair because the price in London is more than double what we paid at the Old Course (£20 per head). So I would say this was value for money but with a very little more effort, this could have been turned into a 'special' tea: train the waiter to make tea properly; absolutely no dry sides to the sandwiches and a little more filling in them; and perhaps some colour in the cake platter - they were dull. If the macaroon had been pink or green, perhaps a strawberry tart or a cake with coloured icing and there had been a small mint leaf or borage flower placed in the middle of the cakes, and parsley or basil amongst the sandwiches, it would have been so much more colourful and 'special'. So pleasant describes it perfectly.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fredatheflea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OldCourseHotel, Director of Operations at Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 5, 2014
Dear Guest,

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

I am very sorry to learn your experience of Afternoon Tea did not meet our usual high standards. I have since met with our executive head chef, Martin Hollis to share your comments regarding our food offering and will closely monitor this moving forward. We have also addressed your comments regarding the serving of tea with the team as part of their ongoing training and development program.

As you can see from this forum we do receive many positive comments regarding our Afternoon Tea, and I share your disappointment but would like to assure you we are all working extremely hard to consistently exceed our guests expectations.

Once again, thank you for your invaluable feedback and I hope we have the pleasure of welcoming you back to the Resort in the future to experience our customary levels of 5* hospitality.

Kind regards,


David
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,501 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (425)
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English first
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2014

The hotel facilities and accommodation were first class, especially as we stayed in a suite over looking the old course, road hole and views stretched to the sea as well as the royal and ancient clubhouse, couldn't have asked for more! Breakfast was a vast buffet selection, kippers and porridge served to the table, with views across the old course, wow. It suited us fine that no one was using the bar in the evening or during the day, with views across the old course. The adrenalin began to run, unfortunately we hadn't secured a tee time by ballot or prebooking a year in advance, so the only other option was to queue from midnight the previous evening or take a chance that arriving at 8am, would guarantee enough drop outs would allow us a game. All players arrived at 8am and were out on the waiting list....and by 3:10, we teed up on the first! Nerves and history......

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Golflove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dundee
Level Contributor
37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 30, 2014

First visit to the old course hotel where my friend and I enjoyed a pink champagne afternoon tea. Lovely setting in the conservatory which has views across the 17th. Hole.
Cakes, scones and sandwiches were delicate and delicious. Lovely staff who were very attentive and friendly. Pink champagne was lovely and all in all a delightful afternoon. Would highly recommend.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Elizabeth W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rye, New York, Usa
Level Contributor
65 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2014

It was just perfect. Perfection does not come cheap but the room rate became somewhat more reasonable in recent years. I travel a lot and usually it is not that difficult to point out one or two areas of possible improvement. But not this time.

Breakfast buffet was also wonderful. Don't eat too much. That affect you golf swing!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank okiyu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2014

We've just returned from a 3 night stay at the Old Course Hotel for my husband's birthday.As golfers,to open the curtains of the suite and see the iconic clubhouse,golfers teeing off the first,struggling with the road hole and driving down the 18th with the sea in the distance was the most thrilling,incredible sight.
The hotel staff were friendly and courteous,the golf stewards were very helpful to ensure that we got to play the old course(plus the beautiful Kingsbarns and the parkland Duke's course) and the spa was a lovely break after a long day's golf.
The only disappointment was the food which was good,but not of the standard to match the rest of the hotel.
Tip:have a whisky at the road hole bar on the 4th floor-incredible selection of drinks plus the best golf view in the world.

Room Tip: Choose a room overlooking the golf course-well worth the money.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Heidirosenfeld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Andrews, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2014

The Road Hole bar and restaurant on the fourth floor of the Old Course Hotel offers fantastic views of the Golf courses at St Andrews Links and the special set menu lunch at £18.50 is also fantastic value at this luxury hotel. Marco made us most welcome and handed us over to sommelier Remy who looked after us with great humour.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Arabjim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2014

I was in Old Course on Saturday for morning coffee in library and requested biscuits , we got a biscuit on the side of the saucer ( not quite what would be expected ! )
Also we went there for lunch on sunday 25th may to road hole restaurant. Three course set meal food could not be faulted except they tried to charge us for pudding . This was explained as a fault a the till !!! . Then my mother had to ask for horseradish sauce for her roast beef , I heard other people asking the same thing . Waitress then tried to bring my coffee before my pudding .
Standards slipping here I think

Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank 573Liz_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OldCourseHotel, Director of Operations at Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 5, 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for taking the time to review your recent visit to the Old Course Hotel.

I am extremely concerned to learn of the levels of service you encountered during your visit as they are most definitely not the levels of service which we pride ourselves upon. I would like to ensure you that I will personally address these issues as part of our ongoing staff training and development programme.

I am very sorry these issues impacted upon your stay and I hope you will visit again to enjoy our customary levels of service.

Kind regards,
David
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

Property: 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: 144
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 Hotel St. Andrews
Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort And Spa
Old Course Resort
Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa St. Andrews, Scotland

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