Gleneagles Townhouse brings country opulence to the city of Edinburgh

Divinely elegant, Gleneagles Townhouse – the younger brother of the famed Perthshire resort town – brings a touch of luxury and country style to the capital, stirring up not just cocktails but the entire Edinburgh hotel scene.

It is the first time that Gleneagles – the magnificent estate which is home to a hotel, three championship golf courses, a spa and the only restaurant in Scotland with two Michelin stars – has extended its admired brand beyond the hills of Perthshire during of its 97 years of history.

The magnificent listed building in St Andrew Square, which opened a new chapter as Gleneagles Townhouse in the summer of 2022, is no stranger to innovation. Before becoming a boutique hotel, the place originally housed the British Linen Company, then the Bank Of Scotland.

Upon entering the lobby, I immediately noticed three things: a delicate floral scent, a fabulous golden staircase, and a beautiful Art Deco bar in the hotel restaurant, setting my expectations for the room very high.

Gleneagles Townhouse offers a warm and fragrant welcome.

Gleneagles townhouse is home to glamor

The Master Suite was beautifully decorated with white and blue ceramic lamps, contemporary artwork, and soft fringed cushions. As I admired the room’s antique rug and meticulously restored furniture, I noticed a book on the nightstand titled The House Of Glam – Lush Interiors And Design Extravaganza, which perfectly summed up the design of the decadent but playful.

All of the boutique hotel’s 33 tranquil rooms — master, house, or nook — are charmingly beautiful and, most importantly, devoted to serious comfort. Decorative throw pillows and four premium duck feather pillows invite you to doze, nap and fall asleep, making the king-size bed divinely dreamy.

There is a coffee machine, a set of emerald green tea cups and complimentary sweets nestled on a beautiful wooden cupboard which also houses a drinks trolley showcasing the best of Scottish drinks.

Gleneagles Townhouse features stunning detail.

Quiet opulence

Quiet opulence is the name of the game, with the spacious and elegant bedroom also featuring a grand seating area and a dark stormy vanity. But the winning feature of the bedroom is its freestanding bathtub with gold detailing.

Scottish heather-scented bath salts, shower gel and body lotion are provided, enticing you to soak in a warm bath and take a moment for yourself to regain your energy. That’s exactly what I did.

Feeling refreshed, I wrapped myself in a cozy bathrobe and put on the incredibly soft hotel slippers before making myself a cup of green tea. Everything from my tea bag to bath salts is sustainable, recyclable and made in Scotland.

Taking advantage of the hair dryer and ghd hair straightener in the room, I made sure I didn’t look out of place in the area around the hotel. Last quick glance in the standing mirror and my partner and I took the fancy elevator down to the ground floor, ready for dinner.

Notice the freestanding bathtub in the background.

Spence Restaurant

The boutique hotel’s restaurant is The Spence, which looks exactly as it sounds — plush velvet sofas surround sleek marble tables and rose-tinted granite columns rise to an embellished ceiling .

Another wonderful feature of the peach and gold dining room is its etched cupola, with light also flooding in through large arched windows.

Still looking up, my partner and I noticed cameos from famous Scots – including economist and philosopher Adam Smith and novelist Walter Scott – watching dressed-up diners peruse the restaurant’s tantalizing menu.

Chef Jonny Wright’s enthusiasm for Scottish natural pantry and local ingredients is evident. From Argyle rock oysters and west coast langoustines to raw scallops from the Isle of Mull, the freshest seafood was represented in abundance, with scallops finding their way to our table.

The hotel restaurant – The Spence – is absolutely stunning.

Local and delicious products

Accompanied by apple and Persian lemon, the dish, nicely presented in a scallop-shaped bowl set on crushed ice, was unique but not the tastiest.

My crab crumpet however was cooked to perfection. A generous portion of sweet crabmeat was placed on a hot but still crunchy crumpet with spiced butter. Decorated with slices of radish, parsley and yuzu, this starter alone is reason enough to book a table at Spence.

Our mains – seared salmon with summer squash and basil, and aged beef and bone marrow burger with melted cheese – came to the two of us letting out an “oh, wow” and taking pictures of the dishes.

My salmon sat on a layer of finely cut seasonal vegetables, instantly reminding me of how French restaurants would serve ratatouille. Our server also poured a creamy basil sauce on my plate which complemented all the other flavors really well.

gleneagles townhouse
Fine dining at Spence.

My partner’s burger featured Ogleshield, sometimes described as “the West Country’s answer to raclette” – the traditional Swiss melted cheese.

While the raclette is usually served with boiled potatoes, the melted cheese also worked well in the burger which was accompanied by sweet pickles and fries sprinkled with Scottish Blackthorn sea salt and rosemary. The popular weed lifted the side beautifully and gave it that high-end touch you expect in fine dining establishments.

Room for delicious treats

For my dessert, I opted for a coconut mousse with passion fruit and mango. Light and summery, it was a treat. Across the table, my partner finished his summer berry cheesecake eclair before I even had a chance to ask for a taste.

The staff were fantastic too. Always there with a smile when we needed help, but never intrusive. And as a bonus, Spence’s in-house sommelier guided us through the restaurant’s extensive wine list. What a wonderful experience.

Speaking of mouth-watering food and a pleasant atmosphere, we also made a point of sampling The Spence’s breakfast offering.

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The Lamplighters rooftop bar is only open to hotel guests and members.

We ordered Marrbury smoked salmon and scrambled eggs served on sourdough, and “The Classic” – poached eggs, avocado and grilled halloumi on sourdough. Both portions were incredibly generous and appetizing.

The all-day dining restaurant, The Spence, is open to everyone, but the hotel’s rooftop bar, Lamplighters, is only accessible to hotel guests and members, as is The Strong Rooms, the elegant fitness and wellness area located in the former bank vault.

Members Club at Gleneagles Townhouse

Although being a guest of the hotel gives you almost the same privileges as being a member, there are two exclusive areas – the Note Burning Room and The Telling Rooms – which you can only access if you purchase a membership.

When hotel manager Willem van Emden isn’t spending time with Townhouse members, he can often be found in the lobby greeting guests and making sure everyone is having a fabulous time. And his close-knit team is following in his footsteps.

Guests and members can enjoy delicious drinks at the stylish rooftop bar.

Gleneagles Townhouse describes itself as a ‘place to gather and be glorious’, but it’s more than that. It’s a luxurious – but not pretentious – destination where everyone feels appreciated and welcome.

So if you have a birthday or anniversary coming up and want to spend your special day being pampered in the heart of Edinburgh, I’m sure Gleneagles Townhouse and its caring staff will exceed your expectations.

Travel Information:

Gleneagles Townhouse is a 33 bedroom hotel, all day dining restaurant, rooftop bar, wellness area and members club.

Address: Gleneagles Townhouse, 39 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2AD

Rooms: From £495

Membership: From £1,100 plus £175 membership fee


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[Gleneagles Townhouse brings country opulence to Edinburgh city]


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