Glenapp Castle Hotel in Scotland
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Glenapp Castle ~ Press Reviews

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Robb Report Luxury Resorts (Summer 2007)

Victor Victorian

While helping General Dwight Eisenhower plan the D-Day invasion in 1944, Winston Churchill stayed at Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland.  The leaders selected this stretch on the country’s southwest coast because it was similar to the beaches in Normandy where the operation would unfold. 

Today, the Ayrshire coast and countryside remain much as they were in Churchill’s time, and Glenapp Castle is once again fit for discerning clientele.

Graham and Fay Cowan, who lived at Glenapp after Fay’s parents acquired the property in 1994, spent six years renovating the castle before opening it as a resort in 2000.  Decades of neglect and haphazard remodels had left the 19th-century Victorian manse in a depressing state, but the Cowans employed 25 workers to rebuild the interiors to their original splendor. 

The couple, meanwhile, spent much of their time at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips de Pury & Co. purchasing antiques by the lot. “Whatever it was we figured we needed it,” recalls Graham. “There were 74 rooms we had to fill.”

The Cowans, who still manage the resort, did not employ a designer – which may come as a surprise to guests who stay in one of Glenapp’s exquisitely furnished accommodations.  The rooms and suites overlook either the castle’s 30-acre gardens or the Ayrshire coastline and Irish Sea.

  • Location
    In the countryside of Ayrshire, 100 miles southwest of Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Accommodation
    Decorated with antiques, the 17 guest rooms and suites afford either garden or ocean views.
  • Recreation
    Salmon and trout fishing, mountain biking, bird watching, walking tours, and playing golf at courses including Creachmore and Royal Troon.
  • Dining
    Chef Matt Weedon recently earned a Michelin star for his cuisine at Glenapp castle.  His six-course tasting menus can be enjoyed in either of two grand dining rooms.
  • Worthy Diversion
    The castle is adjacent to 10,500-acre hunting concession that is rife with partridge, pheasant, and deer.  The resort can arrange both driving and walking shooting safaris.
  • Rates
    Doubles from $735 to $1,160.  The castle is open to individual reservations from late March through November and from late December to early January.  It is available throughout the year for exclusive-use bookings for as many as 34 guests.

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Scottish Romantic Hotel of the Year 2011 and Five Star AA hotel A Relais & Chateaux Hotel Five Star Scottish Tourist Board Hotel
Glenapp Castle Hotel, Ballantrae, Ayrshire, Scotland KA26 0NZ
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