Since acquiring Gleneagles in 2015, Ennismore has taken a proactive role in refining the brand, enabling the Perthshire hotel to return to its roots as a luxury, rural escape from the pressures of modern life.
Since opening to the public in 1924, the 850-acre Gleneagles estate has established a global reputation as one of the world’s pre-eminent resort destinations – a ‘Riviera in the Highlands’. Set in the heart of Perthshire’s stunning rural landscape and green hills, Gleneagles today is the ultimate escape; a place where guests expect and receive the best.
“Gleneagles was developed as a playground for people escaping London. Ennismore has helped us get back to our proud heritage,” explains Bernard Murphy, General Manager. “People are living increasingly urban lives. We all need a break from that. I think Perthshire, and to a lesser extent Gleneagles, benefit from that desire to escape to the country. If you look at brands such as Barbour and Hunter, both are positioned in the city, but at their heart they remain rural brands, reflecting those values of clean air, green spaces and the chance to unwind.
“Located in the heart of Perthshire, we‘re less than an hour from Edinburgh and Glasgow airports. We’re easy to get to, but provide that tangible feeling of escape and tranquillity which people increasingly crave.”
Bernard continues: “While our biggest markets remain Scotland and England, our overseas market is steadily growing. Air lift is key to that growth. Edinburgh Airport has done a wonderful job at growing direct services into Scotland, allowing us to attract new business from Australasia and the Far East as they route through the Middle East. Having the Etihad, Emirate and Qatar services now servicing Scotland is a welcome boost for Gleneagles.”
Renowned for the quality of its golf (Gleneagles hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup), the hotel continues to attract visitors seeking the chance to enjoy the great Scottish outdoors, whether through golf, field or equestrian sports. It’s this combination of space, activities and comfort that Bernard hopes can be fine-tuned to appeal to corporate events organisers seeking a memorable location for smaller-sized events of up to 40 delegates,
“Launching in Easter 2018, we’ll be unashamedly promoting Gleneagles as a conference destination that represents a step change from the day job,” says Bernard. “Many corporate set ups already have fantastic meeting facilities in their own offices; the concept of providing a meeting room has become hollow. Our offer will encourage delegates to enjoy a different mindset, allowing them to think differently, free from office distractions and interruptions.”
Food and drink naturally form part of that high end offer. As Bernard explains, the quality of food and drink is consistently named by focus groups as the number one reason why people choose Gleneagles. Home to Scotland’s only two-star Michelin restaurant, Andrew Fairlie, Gleneagles offers exceptional choice. The hotel’s wellbeing offer is also evolving, with the addition of a new beauty salon in Autumn, complementing the range of wellness treatments on offer from the luxury Spa at Gleneagles by ESPA.
In early 2017, several projects with artists across Scotland helped enhance the visitor experience through the refurbishment of Gleneagles’ public rooms. “The depth of thought and research that went into the refurbishment was incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it. Our principal designer, London-based David Collins Studio, taught me so much about Scotland, Scottish heritage and crafts,” says Bernard. “If you take our Century Bar and Glendevon Room in the first instance, you could lose yourselves for hours examining the fabrics, the carpets and works of art within each room. Everything has a story. We have catalogues, available to guests, that help explain the provenance and story behind every item.”
It’s this attention to detail that underpins Ennismore’s approach to the evolution of Gleneagles, ensuring Scotland’s pre-eminent resort remains relevant in a global marketplace, delivering an authentic Scottish environment where guests can relax, unwind and savour Perthshire’s unique landscape.