One of the finest golf resorts in Britain and Ireland has just got better
The Roxburghe: Backstory
This resort was until recently owned by the Duke of Roxburghe, who lives a few miles away in Floors Castle – the largest inhabited castle in Scotland.
A keen golfer, the Duke commissioned Dave Thomas in 1997 to design a course on his estate, using a Jacobean mansion as its clubhouse and hotel.
The Schloss Hotel group bought it in 2018 and has been investing significantly – £30m was spent during the months it was closed over winter 2018/19 – in polishing this fixture in our GB&I Top 100 Resorts Top 100 further.
The Roxburghe: Golf course
Thomas has created one of his best layouts here, one that makes excellent use of the natural slopes and beauty of the Scottish Borders while adding a little more nuance than The Belfry creator is often credited with.
Elevated tees offer numerous opportunities to capture the beauty of the countryside setting and it is in fine condition all year round despite sitting on some low-lying land.
The Roxburghe has a classic signature hole, the par-5 14th that encounters a spectacular viaduct towering high above the course.
In short, it is one of the finest parklands in Scotland.
The Roxburghe: Accommodation
The journey along the tree-lined drive up to the hotel informs guests they are in for a treat.
The converted mansion house – built in the 19th century – is the most handsome of buildings, exuding a robust, opulent style that these days seems impossible to create.
Stepping inside only raises the pulse further: it is all wood panels, spectacular staircases, high ceilings, brawny fireplaces, grand paintings and plush furnishings.
The 22 bedrooms (as many as 57 may be added, along with lodges) continue the theme, complete with four-poster beds, underfloor heating, iPod docks and high-end linen.
The highlights might be the hotel’s public areas, though; the drawing room, the dining room and especially the lobby bar.
The Roxburghe: Dining
This might actually be the star of the show at The Roxburghe, who have clearly made a first-class hire to run their kitchen.
Breakfast in the main Sunlaws restaurant is a la carte – which can be tedious if you are rushing in a morning but service was excellent – and afternoon tea exquisite.
But our highlight was dinner in the lobby bar (pictured above), which is the less formal of the two options but proved an extremely wise choice: the Caesar salad starter, the beetroot risotto and steak mains, and the classic Cranachan dessert were sensational.
The Roxburghe: Activities
The golf course is the main attraction, but only for now, because by 2020 a brand-new spa complete with heated outdoor pool will compete for that honour.
Until then, you can entertain yourself with walks around the gorgeous garden and woodland and fishing in the world-famous Tweed.
Don’t leave without trying either clay pigeon shooting or Tomahawk throwing under expert tuition of Tracy.
The Roxburghe: Getting there
The Roxburghe looks tricky to get to, given it enjoys such a remote and tranquil location.
But train routes are excellent from London or you could fly to Edinburgh and drive 45 minutes south.
The Roxburghe: The deal
Stay at Schloss Roxburghe from £235 on a bed and breakfast basis. Visit the Roxburghe website for more.