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Schloss Roxburgh hotel

A breakthrough for the Border? Schloss Roxburghe Hotel reopens

No longer are the Scottish Borders without a top-class hotel after these ‘game-changing’ renovations

 

The Scottish Borders have for too long been overlooked as merely a route to or from Edinburgh. It’s a beautiful part of the world – a patchwork quilt landscape of rolling hills and big skies, strewn with historic castles and pretty towns, with its own distinct character that makes it a destination in its own right.

The one thing it has lacked, until now, is a top-class hotel to draw in the smart crowd looking for luxury to go with the landscape.

The former Roxburghe Hotel, three miles from Kelso, has been taken over by the Hyatt group and given a thoroughly modern makeover. Traditional touches are still apparent – wood panelling, leather armchairs and open fires give a cosy, clubby feel, but a brand-new wing and stellar spa have elevated the former country house hotel to a major player in the luxury hotel arena.

78 rooms and suites are split between the historic manor house and the new modern wing. “Castle” rooms are classic in feel with canopied four-poster beds and traditional textiles, while “Estate” rooms are light, spacious and contemporary.

There’s Molton Brown toiletries, and Irn Bru in the mini-bar alongside local, small batch gin and artisan chocolates. For families or groups there are super-stylish one and two-bedroom cottages, some in converted outbuildings, some overlooking the golf course and fishing lake and some with their own private sauna.

The new restaurant Charlie’s combines French flair with “Scottish bistronomy”, essentially meaning great food in a relaxed setting. Expect to find classics done exceptionally well, like Tempest Beer battered Eyemouth haddock, whisky cured salmon or Galloway beef tartare.

Schloss Roxburgh hotel

Fine dining is in intimate Sunlaws in the manor house. Tasting menus use locally sourced ingredients – often from the hotel’s own garden – and come with wine, whisky or gin pairings. After dinner, pull up a stool or fireside armchair in the book-lined 1745 Bar and sample a dram of single malt.

A brand-new modern glass structure houses the new SCHLOSS Spa. No hushed, crepuscular relaxation rooms here, but a vast light-filled space with open fires and cushion-strewn loungers leading to an outdoor heated infinity pool, saunas and hot tub. You could easily hang out here all day and feel like you’re truly on holiday.

The Dave Tomas-designed golf course was opened in the 1990’s in suitably stylish fashion with a game between Colin Montgomerie and Sir Nick Faldo and has been ranked among the top ten inland courses in Scotland.

It’s certainly scenic, with elevated tees offering glorious 360 views across the countryside. The course winds through mature woodland with some holes running alongside the river Teviot, framed by the famous Roxburghe Viaduct.

It is a rolling, tactically demanding layout that represents modern course architecture at its best. From the tips, this championship course stretches to 7,111 yards but is designed in such a way that it sets up equally well for the club player from tees that are significantly further forward.

So 470-yard par 4s to test any tournament pro become a more realistic 395 from the yellows for the rest of us for the other 51 weeks of the year.

The holes may get shorter but that does not necessarily mean they become much easier. The bunkering, shaping of holes and contours of the greens sees to that.

Schloss Roxburgh hotel

Often, the fairways are generous enough to offer a straightforward safety-first route to the high handicapper, with the real trouble coming into play only if a more aggressive strategy is pursued.

The viaduct hole is undoubtedly the Roxburghe course’s signature. Every inch of the hole – and miles beyond – can be seen from the panoramic tee but the longer you stand on the tee the narrower the gap between the river Teviot to the left and the woolly bank to the right seems.

The property has also begun working with IMG Golf Course Services to build out the practice facilities, as well as drainage work to ensure the course is playable all year.

Alongside the golf, the Schloss Roxburghe is also becoming a home for field sports in the Borders. There’s a designated Shooting Centre where experts and beginners alike can try their hand at archery and clay pigeon shooting.

Or don your waders for fly-fishing in the Teviot, pick up a rod for the first time at the Trout Loch and when salmon is in season, nothing can compare to fishing in the open waters of Scotland.

At just an hour from both Edinburgh and Newcastle, SCHLOSS Roxburghe is a short hop if you’re looking to escape the city, but we’d recommend making this your outright destination for a brand new take on the beautiful Borders.

For more information on the Schloss Roxburghe Hotel, visit their website.

Have you ever visited the Schloss Roxburghe Hotel? If so, what did you think of the place? Let us know with a post on X/Twitter!

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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