The Gailes Hotel and Spa, Irvine, Ayrshire - A luxury spa and golf break on Scotland's beautiful south west coast - Scotland on Sunday Travel
If you're in the market for a staycation on Scotland' s beautiful south west coast, The Gailes Hotel and Spa is ideal. This recently refurbished family-run destination just outside Irvine is the ideal getaway for those seeking to soak up a luxury spa break and take in the spectacular scenery this coastline has to offer - particularly for golfers of any level. There are world-renowned links courses aplenty nearby, not to mention the hotel's own course and a driving range that alone would make it worth bringing the clubs along. There's also a stylish nautical-themed retaurant and bar, Coast, open to residents and passersby. Gailes now also has all the now-familiar Covid measures in place, such as hand sanitising stations, contactless check-in and table service only, to ensure guests' peace of mind throughout their stay.Budget or boutique?Boutique.Room serviceKing or queen sized beds come as standard, as does free wifi, flat screen TV and tea and coffee. There are also family rooms, dog friendly rooms, suites - one with its own kitchen and one with its own spa - and a penthouse, which has both a spa and a kitchen and is popular for weddings.Wining and diningThe newly-expanded Coast restaurant has a separate bar and lounge area, where guests can kick back around the bespoke fire or on an outdoor terrace, perhaps with one of the many cocktails on offer.The kitchen draws on the wealth local ingredients, with traditional fare such as a mixed seafood platter, cullen skink, and treacle-cured shin of beef and fillet medallion, available alongside the likes of Morrocan spiced vegetable crepe, soba noodles, and sizzling cajun fajitas.Worth getting out of bed forThis is a dream destination for golf lovers. There are three courses - Western Gailes, Dundonald Links and Gailes Links - on the hotel's doorstep, while Open Championship venues such as Royal Troon, Turnberry and Prestwick are all within easy reach. The hotel also boasts Ayrshire's only instructive and entertaining Toptracer driving range, where the ball is tracked on virtual courses such as Pebble Beach.After warming up on the range, we played the world famous Dundonald Links next door, which last hosted the Scottish Open in 2017. The course was recently bought by Darwin Escapes which is developing an extensive £25 million luxury golf resort, with a new clubhouse and lodges due to open soon.
Beyond the courses, there’s the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum at Alloway, the Vikingar! Viking experience at Largs, the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, castles galore – Culzean, Dean, Dundonald, Kelburn - and for a walk that doesn’t involve hitting a ball, the Smuggler’s Route along South Beach, Troon through Fullarton Woods for fantastic coastal views. Little extrasThe hotel's Si! spa could be one of the region's best-kept secrets and is a great place to hang out and for those who aren’t so keen on playing golf. After unwinding in the thermal suite, a range of treatments are on offer from expert therapists. A perfet way to round off a session of lounging around and being pampered is by taking afternoon tea, perhaps on the outdoor spa deck with a glass of champagne, followed by a dip in the outdoor hydro pool.Guest book commentsThe Gailes is ideal both as a destination in itself and a base to enjoy all the Ayrshire coast has to offer. It is perfect for those looking to enjoy a luxury spa and golf break in the area but who - for whatever reason - may not wish to patronise rival venues such as Donald Trump's Turnberry down the road. It’s also dog friendly, with beach walks that will keep everyone in the family happy.Prices
Dinner, bed and breakfast with a bottle of prosecco from £70pp; Spa breaks including dinner, bed and breakfast from £125pp
The Gailes Hotel & Spa, Marine Dr, Irvine KA11 5AE (01294 204040, https://www.gaileshotel.com)