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Review: SCHLOSS Roxburghe, Hyatt’s new Scottish resort hotel (Part 2)

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This is Part 2 of our review of SCHLOSS Roxburghe, a new addition to the Hyatt hotel portfolio located in the Scottish Borders near Kelso.

Part 1, click here, looked at the history and location of the resort and took a tour of the different room types. In this part we’re going to look at your eating and drinking options, the spa and the holiday cottages which are also part of the estate.

Hyatt provided my room and meals for two nights as well as a spa treatment but HfP paid all of its other expenses.

Restaurants at SCHLOSS Roxburghe

The hotel has two restaurants. Below is a picture of Sunlaws Restaurant which is the fine dining option. This was closed for the winter when I was there but I was told it will re-open in April:

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

The second and main dining option is ‘Charlie’s’, which the hotel calls a bistro. As you can see from the design it is in the new wing and matches the style of the bedrooms with blue, marble and brass. It is a very harmonious and inviting space despite being surprisingly large.

In the middle you can also see the third bar of the hotel:

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

In the summer season guests can also sit outside:

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

Breakfast

‘Charlie’s’ is where breakfast is served. To be honest, this was one of best breakfast buffets I have seen in UK.

The comments below suggest that breakfast is included in all bookings. This is not made clear on the website – although it isn’t possible to book a room which specifically includes breakfast – and never came up in my discussions with the hotel. The hotel should make more of this since some people will automatically assume that they could be on the hook for £25-£30 per person each morning.

There are multiple bread and pastry options with cereal and jams and fresh honeycomb.

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

Here is the savoury section with cold cuts. There was also salmon and a very good choice of cheeses.

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

Fruit – preserved and fresh:

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

Coffee and tea is served to order as well as some hot dishes. The first day I had a delicious Avocado & Rye and the second morning I had Eggs Royale (Rhys told me it was compulsory for a HfP review) which was very tasty:

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

As you would expect the buffet also has black pudding (left) and haggis (middle) on offer if you fancy a Scottish option. A chef is available to cook omelettes and eggs to your specifications.

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

Dinner

I also had dinner in ‘Charlie’s’ on the first night. I had two friends over who live nearby which gave me an opportunity to see a range of dishes.

The food was excellent. I had Galloway Beef Tartare (£15) for starter:

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

My main was a fillet of hake on white beans, clams, fennel and saffron (£26):

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

The culinary highlight was the Winter Berry Pavlova (£10) for dessert which one of my friends ordered:

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

On the second night I wanted to eat something simpler and sat at the bar in the State Room Lounge:

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

The menu here is more straightforward – Scottish smoked salmon, salads, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, fish’n chips and steak.

I chose a grilled chicken salad with sweet potato fries, pictured below. It was fresh and very good quality. This salad was £20 but a normal caesar salad would have been £14.50 plus £5 if you wanted some prawns added. A Club sandwich (‘The Roxburghe Club’) is £18.

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

The spa

The new owners have clearly invested considerable sums in the spa, which is brand new and frankly beautiful. This is the reception area:

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

This is one of the treatment rooms. The spa uses Aromatherapy Associates products. I had a Schloss Signature Massage which was very relaxing:

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

Here is the relaxation room and waiting area before treatments:

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

The pool

SCHLOSS Roxburghe has a relatively small pool. What’s unusual is that there is a lot of seating arranged in a large space – you won’t be fighting other guests for a lounger here.

The room is cleverly divided in sections and is surrounded by floor to ceiling windows on three sides flooding it with light:

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

At the right end are tables and chairs for small groups. I saw couples playing cards here.

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

There are plenty of benches and armchairs, and – on a midweek day in February, admittedly – it wasn’t at all busy:

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

The pool is entered from the inside and then leads outside. The water is heated at a pleasant 30 degrees celsius. My only concern is that, at 16 metres long and 4 metres wide, the pool might be a little small at peak times given the size of the spa overall.

Access for children (younger than 16 years) is restricted to 9 -10 am and 4 – 5 pm.

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

There are two different saunas outside plus a 36 degree jacuzzi and a cold plunge pool. There are also showers and space for outside benches in the summer.

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

The gym

The gym is relatively small (the picture below has a mirror as a back wall!) but has large windows ….

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

…. with all the equipment you’d expect. I always appreciate it when the gym isn’t in the hotel basement.

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

Holiday cottages

SCHLOSS Roxburghe isn’t just a hotel. Behind the hotel in the former walled gardens and woodlands there are currently 20 holiday cottages for rent. These are situated to the right in the map below (click to enlarge). The left side of the plan is still very much a construction site.

The cottages cannot be booked via Hyatt and direct bookings via the hotel will not earn World of Hyatt points or elite night credit. I didn’t get to see inside one.

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

The cottages are a mix of semi detached and detached properties. The look from the outside was not overly impressive, to be honest:

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

…. but there is one stand-out cottage which is worth mentioning. This is the former ‘Gardener’s Cottage’:

Review Schloss Roxburghe resort Scotland

Conclusion

SCHLOSS Roxburghe is a part-new, part-refurbished country hotel which has, to my mind, successfully combined traditional and modern to a very high standard. It blends old and new without compromising either.

What it does best is the public spaces and the beautiful interiors. As well as the inviting and cosy public rooms in the Manor House, the spa offers a lot of lounging options in a modern and refined space. The pool size is a bit of a concern for me but it is at least heated to a very pleasant 30 degrees. You will also eat very well here.

How does it compare with other Scottish resorts?

Over the last decade I’ve stayed at Gleneagles (post refurbishment), Turnberry and Fairmont St Andrews. Gleneagles has had a very glitzy refurbishment, looks fantastic and is a genuine stand-alone resort where you never need to leave the grounds. Turnberry is an old Victorian railway hotel with sea views in a quiet area. Fairmont St Andrews (Accor) is a 1990s building, totally lacking in historical features and slightly cavernous, but has sea views and there is a lot to see nearby.

Where does SCHLOSS Roxburghe fit in to this list? It is in a totally different part of Scotland, for a start, so you have different sightseeing options. If you’re driving from England it may be a shorter trip than the other three above, although they are all around a one hour drive from a major airport.

Where SCHLOSS Roxburghe stands out is that everything is brand new and done to a high standard (not the case at St Andrews or Turnberry), it has an outstanding spa and it has a number of attractive public spaces.

SCHLOSS Roxburghe is also a smaller and more intimate resort than Gleneagles or St Andrews. It wouldn’t be my top choice if you want child friendly (go to Gleneagles for that) but if you want to avoid children …..

In truth, these hotels all have something to offer the high end traveller and each lets you experience a different aspect of the country.

Pricing

Pricing at SCHLOSS Roxburghe varies sharply throughout the year as you’d expect. For a weekend in mid June, room start at £340 per night. It is worth noting that suites are well priced here, with the top suite (Estate Suite) being £640 per night on the same weekend.

Suites vary from 27,000 to 36,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

Standard room redemptions start at 12,000 points per night out of season. These can be tricky to find because the hotel only has a few ‘standard’ rooms – the ones in The Courtyard – but suite redemptions are easy to get.

It’s worth noting that this is a Category 4 hotel and so you can use it with a ‘Brand Explorer’ certificate (the free night you earn for staying at five different Hyatt brands – click here). For any US readers this also makes it usable with some of the Hyatt credit card free night vouchers.

The best deal is the ‘Premium Suite Upgrade’, upgrading a base room to the top suite for just 9,000 points per night. You can currently buy Hyatt points with a 20% discount, and buying 9,000 will cost you $172 (£135). An upgrade to a smaller suite is just 6,000 points per night which you can buy for £90. These upgrades are locked in at the time of booking.

Thanks to the SCHLOSS Roxburghe team for their time. The hotel website is here.


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Comments (15)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Stu_N says:

    Great review Connie, sounds like you enjoyed your stay. We have stayed at Schloss Roxburghe a couple of times – had an estate room in summer 2023 and a castle junior suite in Dec 2023.

    A few things to add:
    – breakfast is included in room rates which is unusual especially at this level so should be highlighted. You would probably be looking at £25-30 a head for breakfast of that quality. It’s not very clear when booking; I expect this is the case for redemptions as well which increases the value proposition.
    – the pool is amazing; even in summer it wasn’t too busy as there are lots of things to do like sauna and steam rooms and all the loungers as you highlight. In our December stay it was snowing and swimming out through the sliding doors into the steaming pool with snow falling and lying in the grounds was fabulous.. We had a sauna then stood in the snow to cool off. Fabulous! I dread to think of the heating cost though.
    – the customer experience is a little patchy and not quite top-end, some of the staff are a bit inexperienced and nervous, it was better in our Dec visit so hopefully teething troubles as it is an ambitious opening and I doubt there is a pool of experienced hospitality staff locally.
    – we have never found basic room availability on a Saturday night, quite easy to get suites. The hotel is also only Cat 4 so you can use Brand Explorer and Milestone free night certs there which is phenomenal value especially factoring in free breakfast.

    • pauldb says:

      Hyatt show the Free Breakfast as a hotel amenity so yes it will extend to redemptions.

  • Ruralite says:

    I note on the website it actually states guests are only considered children up to the age of 12, from 13 they are classed as adults and pay the adult rate. Mine are well over that age now but were I told that when they were teenagers and paying full adult rate for them I would expect them to have access to everything adults can access (within the law of course!) including no restrictions in the pool/spa area.

  • ChrisM says:

    Thank you Conny. I do enjoy your hotel reviews. We’ve stayed here in summer 2021 but it was during the big build, so fewer rooms and dining options. We loved the library bar and the fine dining restaurant, though it had the same 4 main course options on the menu both nights. Now that the hotel is bigger, we’d love to go back and try out the new facilities, though it might be harder to get a seat in the library bar!

  • executiveclubber says:

    That £26 hake leaves much to be desired, as does the £20 chicken salad…

    • Rob says:

      £30 is going rate for a main course in nicer bits of London these days.

      • executiveclubber says:

        I know, I live in London — if I ventured to the Scottish border and was offered a couple of leaves of lettuce for £20 I’d be miffed. It’s not Chelsea!

  • MKB says:

    I was lucky to be upgraded to a fabulous dual-aspect corner room in the Manor House last July using a Brand Explorer certificate and having only Explorist status. Probably the best use of one of those in the UK. Loved the pool and saunas.

  • Kpworldtravels says:

    Was keen to see the cottages. Why didnt you get to see one? All in use ?

  • mkcol says:

    £30 per dog, per night is ridiculous.

  • Robert says:

    Great review thanks, nice to see the different room types as I’ve only stayed in the cottage which I highly recommend, especially for families. Very well appointed, top of the range appliances etc, would equate them to Park Hyatt decor, with double doors at the rear leading to nice garden area, although not totally private from neighbours, unless you splurge on the gardeners cottage or chefs cottage for more exclusivity. They’re still constructing half of the areas on the map in photo but the noise and mess of the building works didn’t disturb.
    Really love the guest spaces within the main hotel, especially 1745 Bar with all the whiskies in the cabinets. Lucky enough to have this to ourselves on my last visit and the head bartenders knowledge was fantastic, hundreds to choose from!
    As others have commented, the breakfast comes included with all bookings, and a very good quality offering, saves £120 per night for 4 of us. Especially love Scottish over English breakfast too.
    I’m sure your review will do well for the hotel, expect they attract more than enough business from the golf and shooting parties alone, followed by the general leisure trade.

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