Fairmont St Andrews

Hotel in Fife

5-Star Hotel, Spa & Golf Course

As you’d expect from a hotel with two world-class golf courses, the Fairmont St Andrews has a strong golf theme to it.

On arrival we could sense there was a Ryder Cup buzz in the air, as the famous competition was only days away. We were informed that a handful of the world’s top players would be staying at the hotel during the event. But we were here for an even more special occasion: our daughter’s first birthday.

After being greeted by a charming concierge dressed head-to-toe in traditional Scottish attire, we held Izzy’s hands as she slowly made her way down a golfer’s hall of fame, which boasts photographs of household names ranging from Nick Faldo to Tiger Woods. Izzy decided not to rush to our room; maybe our one-year-old was taking her time to admire the stunning photos, or maybe she was just getting to grips with her first ever pair of shoes. We finally arrived at our ‘Deluxe Room With A Sea View’, and what a view it was. Gazing out of our capacious window, we looked directly onto the pristine golf course, with a path leading to the cliff-top clubhouse. The clubhouse is perfectly situated between the Torrance and Kittocks Golf Courses, with a spectacular panoramic view of the bay of St Andrews.

It seemed fitting that I should indulge in a quick ‘back nine’, but this was our daughter’s birthday, and her wish was my command. We thought the more sensible option would to be to take her for a swim in the luxury pool, so Jo and I took it in shifts to splash around with Izzy, whilst the other enjoyed a few minutes in the sauna. Children are allowed in the pool until 6:00p.m., so as the big hand reached the top of the clock (sorry, I’m too used to talking in kiddy language), we got out and strolled back to the room. On our return we were surprised by a cheery member of staff bearing a cake for Izzy with a single candle in it, which was a lovely, heart-warming touch.

Jo and I realised that since Izzy’s arrival a year ago, we had only ever had one meal out together on our own. We had read that Fairmont offers a babysitting service through a company called Little Royals, and after speaking to a few guests about it, we heard only good things. As our sitter, the delightful Kirsty, arrived, we felt instantly calm about leaving Izzy and headed to the Italian Eaterie La Cucina. We were treated to some traditional cuisine, and took our charismatic European waiter’s suggestions of shared bruschetta platter, followed by a classic pizza and pasta combination. I was delighted to see that the restaurant offered one of my favorite Italian white wines, Gavi, which complimented the meal to a tee.

One of the best things about having a young child is that you are almost guaranteed to see the sunrise. Every. Single. Day. Occasionally this can be a little tiring, but the next morning was no chore. Through my blurry eyes, the misty dew that lay on the golf course was a vision of dreams and once again I found myself wondering if I’d manage to get a couple of holes in. However, breakfast was available from 5.30a.m., so we headed down to The Squire Restaurant, named after the golfing legend, Gene 'The Squire' Sarazen. A traditional buffet of Scottish nourishment was exactly what the doctor ordered, and Izzy seemed to be more than happy to make a serious dent in her bowl of porridge.

It always amazes me that our daughter wakes up at the crack of dawn, and then demands to go to sleep an hour later. After a couple of strong coffees at breakfast there was no way Jo and I would be sleeping again anytime soon, so we settled Izzy in her buggy and took her on an early morning stroll through the hotel grounds.

Although there was no one playing yet, we were ever aware of the fact that someone could shout “Fore!” at any moment. We treaded carefully, made our way to the clubhouse, indulged in a 3rd caffeine hit, and sat outside on the decking taking in the dramatic coastline scenery in the cool morning air. We watched as the first golfers of the day appeared, and teed off onto a flawlessly kept green. Would it be rude if I asked them if I could tag along, just for one hole? As if by magic, Izzy’s wakening grumbles answered my question, so the three of us huddled together and admired the unique landscape, accompanied by the dawn chorus.
This was an unforgettable experience and the perfect way to celebrate a first birthday. There had been no golf involved in our stay but the Fairmont St Andrews was definitely well above par.

John Harfield is a travel writer and photographer based in Edinburgh

Photographs courtesy of Fairmont St Andrews

Reviewer's Rating
Ambience Incredible Staff, Elegant
Services Business Center, Free Parking, Restaurant, Room Service, Fitness Center, Swimming Pool, Health Spa, Family Friendly, Conference Rooms, Wedding / Personal Event
Cost High
Number of Rooms 300+ rooms & suites
Relaxation, Golf

Room and Suite Categories

Atrium Rooms (22 m²/237 ft²); Fairmont and Fairmont View Rooms (22 m²); Deluxe Rooms (22 m²); Junior Suites (26 m²/285 ft²); Deluxe Suites (54 m²/579 ft²); Studio Suites (37 m²/403 ft²); Executive Suites (66 m²/707 ft²); The Kingdom of Fife Suite (141 m²/1,523 ft²) and 5 bedroom Manor Homes (375 m²/4,037 ft²).

Additional Ambience Information

Extremely friendly and helpful staff. The hotel has traditional Scottish décor with golf memorabilia.

Last updated on 01-10-2014

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