Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Hotel Review - Kinnettles Hotel & Spa, North Street, St.Andrews

The last time that I stayed overnight in St Andrews was over 35 years ago when we used to spend summer holidays at Kinkell Braes caravan park. Over the years, I've returned to the East Neuk fishing village on a number of occasions for day trips but always knowing that I'd be making the long drive home at the end of the day.
So when I was asked if we would be interested in reviewing the recently opened Kinnettles Hotel & Spa as well as dinner at The Tayberry St. Andrews, the 2nd restaurant from 2015 CIS Young Chef of the Year, Adam Newth, I figured I better get some local knowledge of overnight parking in the ancient town.
We arrived in St Andrews on a drizzly Saturday afternoon and after managing to find free parking behind one of the older university campus' buildings, we made our way to the hotel. Kinnettles Hotel & Spa is the second hotel venture from the same owners as the Kinnettles Castle, a stunning baronial wedding and event venue halfway between Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
Situated on at the bottom end of North Street, only a short walk from the world's oldest golf course and a beautiful golden beach, Kinnettles Hotel & Spa boasts nine luxurious suites which are the result of a painstaking restoration process to a building that dates back to 1879. If the building looks impressive from street level, we were blown away by the interior and after a quick check-in, we were shown to our room for the night.
One word - WOW! Our room was huge! A massive queen size bed draped with luxurious bedding and decorative cushions dominated the main bedroom area of the suite. We would find out later that this was one of the comfiest beds that we have ever slept on - this was helped by a mattress topper that would have easily satisfied that girl from The Princess and the Pea story!
Modern meets antique as a shortage of table space meant that the dressing table doubled up as a home for the Nespresso machine while 40" flat screen TV with a wide range of Freeview and Sky channels was mounted on the wall opposite the bed.
Ample storage for clothing was provided within a huge wardrobe which also housed a heavy duty iron & board, minisafe, tea and coffee facilities and one of the best stocked minibars that I've seen in a hotel room. There was no price list for the minibar items so I'm not sure if the items are complimentary or whether the price list was missing. As it turned out, we had brought our own gin and tonic for the room so I'll never know!
There are also bathrobes and slippers in the wardrobe that can be worn should you wish to head to the connected Eden Spa downstairs. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to try out the spa - oh well, maybe next time.
The bathroom was wall to wall marble and decorated in a clean minimal style. The monsoon style shower was operated by a simple on/off button and packed a powerful punch which was pretty impressive for a building so old. One of the nicest touches was the inclusion of Espa soap and shower gel and body creams which were quickly pocketed by Nicola. (I'm not allowed to use the fancy products)
As mentioned earlier, all of the rooms are suites. I'm not sure of the layout of the other rooms but our suite had a comfortable living room area which was separated from the main bedroom section by a dividing wall. Another flatscreen TV hung from the wall - handy if guests guests want watch a different channel from that in the bedroom or if you fancy watching TV whilst your partner sleeps next door.
For those looking to spend a cosy night in, these giant armchairs are perfect for snuggling in front of the rooms second widescreen TV.
St Andrews is a golfing town and there's no shortage of golfing memorabilia to see but if golf isn't your thing, there's plenty of pubs and bars where you can pass the time.... which is what myself and Nicola done with our Saturday afternoon before enjoying a very nice dinner at The Tayberry St Andrews (full review to follow). I'm not sure what the nightlife is like in town when the university students aren't in term but we didn't get past the well stocked hotel bar before heading upstairs for a peaceful night. The bar carries a decent range of premium gins and craft beer although I was disappointed not to see some of the local producers represented. I do believe that this is currently being reviewed.
The following morning we made our way downstairs to the restaurant for a hearty breakfast of breads, cured meats and fish, cheeses, yogurts and pastries. If that wasn't enough to get you started, there was also a choice of freshly cooked breakfasts which meant that I was always going to be having Eggs Benedict while Nicola started her day with locally foraged mushrooms with poached egg. Special mention must go to the poached eggs which were cooked perfectly and had the brightest yellow yolks - I wonder where they source the eggs from?
So, it's safe to say that we enjoyed our stay in St Andrews. Kinnettles Hotel & Spa is definitely a step up from my last accomodation in the town! In all seriousness, the hotel is one of the nicest that we've stayed in, we just wish that we had more time to enjoy it.
Our stay was complimentary but my review above is anhonest account of our experience. We would like to thank the management and staff for their hospitality and generosity and wish them all the best for the future.
Keep up to date with news from Kinnettles Hotel & Spa on Facebook and Twitter.



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