Top 5 hotels for a luxury stay in St. Andrews


Playing at the Home of Golf is a bucket list item for most golfers. The Old Course at St. Andrews is a club with a storied past, and crossing the Swilcan Bridge is a dream for any player. But knowing where to stay while you’re visiting the Scottish town of St. Andrews can take a little more research. Here are our top five hotels for a luxury stay in St. Andrews.

A room with a view at the Old Course Hotel

As the most obvious choice on the list due to its proximity to the course in question, the Old Course Hotel could simply rest on its laurels. However, the hotel is regularly named one of the best hotels in Scotland, and they work very hard to keep up their reputation. Nestled along the 17th fairway of the Old Course, you can’t beat the views from this iconic structure. While it was built in the 1960s, the hotel is decorated in a classic style with modern amenities, including dining and shopping. The Jigger Inn pub is the most famous 19th hole in golf, and offers a variety of Scottish beers alongside classic pub fare. There’s also a spa and leisure facilities, so you can get a much-needed massage after your day on the links.

Modern luxury in the heart of town at the Kinnettles Hotel

The Kinnettles Hotel is a short 200-yard walk from the Old Course and is right in the middle of town, affording you quick access to the best restaurants and shops in St. Andrews. The property is completely modern inside, with finely-appointed rooms of several sizes to suit any taste. The Haar Bar & Restaurant follows suit with local produce starring in an experiential dining show put on by Masterchef Finalist Dean Banks. While the hotel doesn’t offer the view of St. Andrews that so many may want in their hotel stay, its modern accommodations should be tempting enough to make up for it. And of course, the Fresh Inc. medispa on the premises helps, too.

Classic style at the Macdonald Rusacks Hotel

Second to the Old Course Hotel in terms of views of the Old Course, the Macdonalds Rusacks Hotel offers a more rustic stay in an older grand hotel. The rooms are a bit dated, in some part to preserve the history of the golfing greats who have stayed there, but still offer luxury appointments and amenities. If you get tired of looking at the Swilcan Bridge, you can also catch a glimpse of the West Sands Beach, where you may recognize the “Chariots of Fire” running sequence took place. The hotel also offers three dining options, including St. Andrews Surf & Turf, which offers the chance to enjoy classic Scottish oysters or lamb with a view over the 18th hole of the Old Course.

Scottish with a French twist at the Hotel du Vin

One of 19 feathers in this hotel chain’s cap, the St. Andrews Hotel du Vin & Bistro sits a block from the Old Course and overlooks the course’s first tee as well as the beach from its perch on The Scores, one of the town’s most iconic streets. The rooms have all been refurbished while staying true to the old feel of the place. Dining at the Bistro affords delicious classical French fare with stunning sea views in a cozy setting. The Hotel du Vin exudes both a cool, hip vibe while maintaining a classic Scottish air. You might forget you’re not in Paris until the Scottish tartans bring you back.

Luxury country living at Rufflets St. Andrews

Rufflets has been family-owned since 1952, and once you spend a day on the grounds, you may want to make it your home, too. Set on 10 acres of lush country gardens, Rufflets provides one of the most classic stays in St. Andrews, with hot water bottles in your bed at turndown to keep the chill away and homemade shortbread for a midnight snack. The resort is also home to Seasons Restaurant, which possesses two AA Rosettes and stocks the larder from the hotel’s gardens to provide Scottish cuisine for all palates. The hotel itself is about a mile from St. Andrews, which means you will be further from the Old Course, but it’s easy enough to get there, and you’ll be happy to come back to a relaxing estate when you’re done with your round.

St. Andrews is a charming city filled with fine restaurants, shops, and pubs, and staying at any of these luxury hotels will only add to your experience, whether you’re playing the Old Course or just enjoying the Scottish coast.

Ravi Coutinho is Founder and Lead Golf Travel Expert at Worldwide Golf Adventures. Worldwide Golf Adventures is a luxury golf tour operator that arranges custom golf vacations for clients around the world.

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Comments (13)

  1. Pete says:

    I’ve played golf now for over three decades and often dreamed of playing The Old Course at St Andrews. If I travel to St Andrews for a week what are the chances of me getting lucky in the ballot? If I’m unlucky how easy is it to get to play some of the other courses at short notice?

    • Ravi Coutinho says:

      Hi Pete,
      Note that at least two golfers are required to enter the old course ballot. Your chances of success for an entire week are quite good in general, but it depends on when you travel. In April, you would essentially be guaranteed to get a tee time, whereas August would be a little dicier. Most courses in St. Andrews reserve a certain amount of times each day for walk-up play.

  2. Janet Gordon says:

    As a golf widow we had a trip to St Andrews a couple of years ago for my husband to play a couple of rounds. Personally, I would be more than happy to stay at Kinnettles right in the town. St Andrews as a town is a real surprise.

    For the last 50 miles of the drive into St Andrews we were driving through very small towns and I didn’t have great hopes of St Andrews. Much to my surprise it is a really buzzing town with plenty of trendy shops, cool cafes and great restaurants, loads of history too.

    I’d rather have all that than a view of grass with a few holes in it.

    • Ravi Coutinho says:

      I think you’re not alone in that sentiment! :-) St. Andrews has so much to do and is such a beautiful town, it’s really not a disadvantage to stay in the center of town at all, even for the biggest golf fans.

  3. Tara White says:

    I’m not a golf fan myself but it’s good to know there are some excellent hotels if you’re around St Andrews to make the most of your stay. I actually quite like the more home away from home, cosy and classic appeal of some of these places, like Rufflets and the Macdonald Rucksacks Hotel. Nice that the latter also gives you a more authentic slice of life there with local cuisine on offer too.

    • Ravi Coutinho says:

      Yes, even if you don’t golf, these hotels and estates make for a really enjoyable stay. And the entire town is full of so much interesting history and beautiful sightseeing, it’s truly worth it.

  4. Bob Brown says:

    Even if you are not into golf it is worth visiting St Andrews. The sense of history and tradition is quite something. St Andrews has had a golf course for around 600 years and before that shepherds bashed a ball around with wooden clubs that they had fashioned themselves. It’s not surprising that the place attracts golfers and visitors from all over the world.

    • Tara White says:

      I hadn’t realised the place had a golf course so many years ago before this. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular with golfers, and as a non golf fan I wouldn’t mind going for the chilled out vibe and the history and scenery, it does seem like it would be a relaxing trip.

    • Ravi Coutinho says:

      Absolutely! Because it’s a college town, it has a vibrant life beyond the golf course, as well as the history and the beach and everything else. There are quite a few excellent restaurants, museums, and other attractions beyond the Home of Golf itself.

  5. Vijay Patel says:

    I am pretty much sure and I hope that my stay in St. Andrews will be great because of your blog, I was very confused about hotels to stay in Andrews, but your blog will help me a lot. Since it is my first time to Andrews, I started exploring for the options to stay online and that is how I came across your article. These hotels are very luxurious and the ambiance is amazing. Thanks for sharing these amazing tips and will look forward to another of your blog.

  6. Andy says:

    I’ve just been reading the October edition of Today’s Golfer and they’ve got a very glossy supplement on global golfing destinations. It’s made me think that as my friends and I enjoy our golf so much that we ought to look at arranging some trips. Re-reading this piece I’m thinking that maybe we should start from the home of golf before we spread our wings too far.

    • Ravi Coutinho says:

      A trip to St. Andrews should certainly be at the top of any golfer’s bucket list. Make sure you brush up on the different ways of playing the Old Course, as it’s not as easy as simply calling them up and booking a tee time. Having said that, there are certainly enough courses besides the Old Course in the St. Andrews area to make it a bucket list-worthy destination!

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