A Home From Home
PHOTOGRAPHY Simon Murphy
WORDS Charlotte Hogarth-Jones
The Edwards family have been visiting the Glenmor estate at Gleneagles since it first opened more than a decade ago. In that time a new generation has arrived, with three lively boys joining the Edwards throng, bringing joy to parents James and Kate and to doting grandparents Stewart and Anne
“We originally bought our home at Glenmor in our children’s names,” says Anne Edwards, “because we wanted it to continue with them, and now this lovely place is for our grandchildren too. My husband Stewart says his greatest wish in life is to be around to renew the tenure in 2058!”
Glenmor, a thoughtful development of seasonal ownership properties, sits behind Gleneagles, overlooking a vast moorland in the heart of Perthshire, on the southern flank of the Scottish Highlands. The Edwards family from Gloucestershire, who have been coming to Gleneagles for more than 30 years, realised instantly that what Glenmor offered – the chance to purchase a week or two each year in a stylish, comfortable home from home that was part of the hotel – was the perfect way for them to enjoy Gleneagles as their family expanded. “We’ve had weddings, birthdays, all sorts of celebrations here,” says James. “We’ve been snowed in here, my eldest son learnt to crawl here, and we’ve invited many friends here. The staff are incredible – we’ve known some of them for many years.” Glenmor offers a collection of beautifully appointed two-, three- and four-bedroomed holiday homes in keeping with the style of a Scottish lodge. Each property has been designed with comfort and privacy in mind, and guests can come together for lunch or drinks in The Tryst, their very own “clubhouse”, or stroll down to the hotel and enjoy all the amenities there.
Inside, Glenmor offers the same luxurious standards as Gleneagles, with elegant, modern decor and furnishings, and subtle Scottish flourishes such as tweed, checks and plaid. And several years on, the landscaped grounds are maturing beautifully, with grass, trees and shrubs set around a charming little loch, with woodland on one side and heathery moorland on the other. “Having the place at Glenmor enables us to have a longer stay at Gleneagles,” says James. “With two little ones [Otto, 4, and Luca, 2], we find it a bit more relaxing and we can be more at home. We’ve been up to Gleneagles four times this year, twice at Glenmor and twice in the hotel, so it’s nice to mix the two. But with young children you need that space, so Glenmor is ideal and we don’t disturb other people.” His mother Anne agrees. “Glenmor works because we can have the whole family here, it’s comfortable, homely and well-designed. Before we arrive, we put in our order at Waitrose and they deliver to Glenmor. Then the concierge puts everything away, so all we have to do is turn up and cook. Or we can have a chef from the hotel cater for us, or eat at any of the restaurants. After that we can have as busy or relaxed a week as we like.”
And at Gleneagles either of those choices is a pleasure, where guests have a wonderful array of options. As a busy mother of three boys, James’s wife Kate enjoys going for a massage in The Spa and a manicure in the Nail Bar. “I don’t get to do it often enough,” she laughs, “but I love the fact that while I’m there, the children can go to the kids’ club for a couple of hours for free, which means I can relax and have some proper time off.” Later, she can take the children to the pool or relax in the hot-tub. Besides myriad walking opportunities, from a strenuous hike through the hills to a gentle stroll around the grounds or a woodland nature walk, guests can choose from any number of sporting thrills and outdoor activities.
“My father is obsessed with deer-stalking,” says James. “He will spend all day following a beast for 15 or 20 miles, over the hills and crawling through undergrowth. He’s completely immersed in nature, away from everything, no mobile signal, nothing. That’s what he really loves. And now he has passed that love on to our son Hugo, who is 12.” For Hugo’s grandfather Stewart Edwards, Gleneagles has left an indelible impression thanks largely to the staff. “In a world of uniformity, unlike most luxury hotels of the world, when you awake in Gleneagles you are aware that you are somewhere special. While there are several reasons for the hotel’s success, for me, one of the main reasons it stands out must be attributed to the staff.”
“It’s true,” Anne concurs. “When we draw up at the hotel we always get a big hug from Andrew the doorman. He always remembers us. That is why Gleneagles is unique, so special. Of course it’s keeping up with modern times, but it’s not forgetting the past. For me that’s very important. I’m so pleased we started this journey 30 years ago, and have kept it up with Glenmor. We have so many lovely memories; we absolutely adore it.”
Seasonal ownership at Gleneagles is available from £10,110 for a full week every year until 2058 or from £5,560 for a short break. Glenmor homes are available for rental from £2,720 for a seven-night stay in a two-bedroom home during the main season. Two-night viewing visits are available from £295 to experience a Glenmor home and include a 90-minute accompanied sales presentation. To reserve your visit or find out more about Glenmor, please call 01764 694321 or visit gleneagles.com/Glenmor – terms and conditions apply.