The Golf Hotel is one of these timeless gems that exude simple home comfort. The once-in-a-lifetime passing bar meal guest will have a different experience to peole taking a room for the weekend (or longer). My relationship with Crail goes back 65 years and my experience of the Golf Hotel for the greater part of that time. I would break my comments down into different aspects of the experience.
The Public Bar - This is the original hostelry for the Coaching Inn. It is small and welcoming. The seating and tables are ancient and the wooden floor reflects the tread of a million boots over hundreds of years. The service is friendly, the prices are fair and their are always some good beers to try and a decent selection of malts. You always feel inclined to linger over your pint, whether you choose to watch the sport on the TV or chat with your friends.
The Rooms - There are only five rooms in the hotel, numbered 5 - 9 for some strange reason! They are on two levels above the main public area. Although the hotel is right on the main junction in the village, the rooms are not noisy. My favourite on the top floor has two windows pointing in opposite directions, so there is plenty of light. Bearing in mind the age of the building, there is not a stright line anywhere! Doorpost walls and floors have some interesting angles! Everything is spotless and works well. You always get a great night's sleep (with the help of the Crail air!) There is also a residents' lounge on the middle floor, which is a haven of comfort and peace. It has a certain Edwardian charm, with old comfy chairs and bits of local memorabilia to take the eye. All extremly homely.
Breakfast - This is available whenever suits and is always plentious and tasty. There is the usual wide selection. Smoked haddock and poached egg is a real treat. Toast and coffee is in endless supply. As with all aspects of the hotel, the service is always friendly and efficient. Jackie and her team of young ladies do make you feel that nothing is too much trouble.
Dining - There is the choice of the bottom bar or the main dining room (as well as the beer garden out the back). I find the bottom bar a little dull as it only has one small window. It can be very busy in the summer. The main dining room is bright and welcoming with plenty of well spaced tables of various sizes. There is the normal pub grub menu which runs from lunchtime, with a few daily specials on the board. After 7.00pm, there is a fuller dinner menu with some extra choices (I am a martyr for the lamb shank!) Do not expect haute cuisine - rather, homely fare. Portions are good and the food is always hot. The service is always excellent, so if you have a special request, the staff will be pleased to oblige. Children are made welcome and you never feel rushed.
Special Attention - While I pop in with my wife for an evening meal over the summer, my main use in recent years has been for our annual golf outing. Myself and four pals (used to be more) have two days of golf at Crail around the 21st June every year. We have for many years, stayed at the Golf Hotel for the night between rounds and had our dinner at the end of the first day. We take most of the rooms for the night and Jackie knows exactly who sleeps where. We have our table prepared for a fine dinner and can carouse for as long as we wish! We get an all inclusive package for rooms, dinner and breakfast, which has hardly gone up in the last number of years. The welcome and the service could not be bettered! When I book for the following year, I don't even have to pay a deposit!
The Extra Mile - A few years ago, one of our golfing pals on the annual outing was sadly failing with a progressive dementia condition. We all kept an eye out for him, to ensure he still enjoyed the event. Unfortunately, he woke very early in the morning and went walkabout in a distressed condition. Jackie and her staff were in early and were able to rescue him and look after all his needs until we appeared for breakfast later. Nothing was too much trouble and a potentially bad situation was beautifully resolved.
In conclusion - The Golf Hotel is a unique experience. The more you use it, the more it grows on you. You become a valued part of the family. You will always feel welcome and be treated as an individual. There is nothing "grand" about the hotel but it fits perfectly into the magic experience which is a visit to Crail!
I look forward to enjoying it for many years to come!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Golf Hotel is a quality hotel, bar and restaurant in a 18th century Grade A listed building, perfect for a relaxing weekend away or golfing holiday. Situated in the picturesque village of Crail and with fantastic facilities and great food, visit us to wind down or for a weekend getaway. For golfers, Crail has two links courses and is perfectly situated for a trip to 'the home of golf', St Andrews. If you're simply looking to relax, the scenic coastal paths offer a fantastic opportunity to explore the stunning eastern coastline of Scotland. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Golf Hotel Crail, Fife