St. Andrews, Scottland
The home of golf is a must visit
|Three Nights In St Andrews
Here's a sample do-it-yourself itinerary:
Day 1: Sunday
By far, the easiest way to book a whirlwind trip to St Andrews is through one of the many excellent tour operators. Among the best is the Old Course Experience (oldcourse-experience.com). This com-pany has an exclusive contract to guarantee tee times on the Old Course, and the three-night package they offer provides three rounds of golf (one at the Old Course), three-night accommodations, one dinner, souvenirs and a dedicated trip coordinator to help with details.
Of course, this convenience comes at a bit of a cost, and it funnels you into a ready-made (albeit very good) itinerary. For maximum flexibility, the other option is to simply do it yourself. It's really not that hard.
If you've never been to St Andrews and you want to tackle planning a trip on your own, make your first call to Fairmont St Andrews (pick that option if you go the tour-operator route, as well). Though other resorts and hotels in St Andrews have their charms, none can touch Fairmont (fairmont.com/standrews) when you consider facilities, service and value.
The five-star resort, which sits on a cliff top overlooking the North Sea and the village of St Andrews, is ideal. It has all the comforts, convenience and outstanding service befitting the Fairmont name. The rooms have been freshly redone with high-def televisions, exceptional beds, even heated floors and towel racks in the bathrooms. Dining, from fine to casual, is excellent. There's a terrific sports bar off the main lobby as well as an excellent spa and fitness facility. And the staff simply can't be beaten.
Most importantly for golfers, Fairmont St Andrews employs a full-time golf concierge who can arrange tee times for you at any of the dozens of exceptional golf courses in and around St Andrews. Additionally, Fairmont St Andrews offers two acclaimed 18-hole golf courses on site. The recently remodeled Torrance Course has been widely acclaimed for its beauty and challenge, even being selected to host the final qualifying round for the 2010 Open Championship (British Open) and placing No. 20 on Golfweek's pick of the Best Golf Courses in Great Britain and Ireland. Its sister course, the Kittocks, is stunningly beautiful and highly rated, as well. Plus, it's one of the very few courses in the area offering golf carts (buggies in the local parlance), a welcome relief for North Americans not used to walking multiple rounds.
Airfare is getting more expensive, and deals are hard to find. To get the best rate on a quick trip, plan your departure for a Saturday night. Costs for such flights can be substantially less. Plus you can sleep on the plane and hit the ground running on Sunday morning.
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