Short break: Double Tree by Hilton Glasgow Westerwood Spa and Golf Resort
Scotland’s only Seve Ballesteros-designed golf course has obvious appeal, but there is more for families to savour at this refurbished hotel
Check-in procedures are rarely a notable part of a hotel stay. When you receive VIP treatment immediately on arrival it does leave a big impression. No sooner had our room keys been handed over than the receptionist presented us with two large, warm chocolate cookies.
First impressions count for a lot, even if they are calorie-laden! If they felt as if they’d just been made, it’s because they had, produced directly from a mini-oven just below the desk!
Goodness knows how many calories they contained but we didn’t dwell on that for too long, we were here to enjoy ourselves, after all.
Located a five-minute taxi journey from Croy train station on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line, the Westerwood was rebranded a Double Tree by Hilton in August following a franchise agreement between the hotels giant and property investment company Aprirose.
A £1.3 million refurbishment soon followed, with completion in October. £250,000 of that outlay was spent in upgrading 13 of the 148 bedrooms including new TVs, beds, mini bars and laptop safes.
A new sauna was also installed while a significant amount of money went on improving facilities ‘behind the scenes’ such as a fire detection system, emergency lighting and an air handling unit in the swimming pool.
I suspect the Cumbernauld hotel was originally focused on appealing to the conference market, while Scotland’s only Seve Ballesteros-designed golf course has obvious appeal.
The hotel boasts seven meeting rooms in total, from the large Ettrick Suite to the more compact Carron boardroom. With a total conference capacity of 660, the Westerwood remains a big player on the corporate front. However, it was pleasing to discover it has so much more to offer.
There is a nice flow to the lay-out, from the cookie desk – sorry, reception – through to the lounge area and adjoining Fleming’s dining room.
Guests can chill with a nice outlook towards the golf course and with plenty of outdoor patio space, many a relaxing moment will no doubt be spent alfresco in the summer months.
Unfortunately, the weather during our visit had even the ducks scrambling for umbrellas so venturing outside was never an option. We were more than happy to stay nice and cosy indoors, though, especially with a luxury spa to explore!
With eight single and two double treatment rooms looked after by 13 staff, the treatments on offer were plentiful and amazing facilities from start to finish.
Margaret opted for the Signature Relaxing Face and Back Ritual with ESPA, which she readily claimed to be the “perfect balance of relaxing and uplifting. The best of its kind I have experienced.”
For a novice like myself, though, where to begin? It was with a degree of apprehension I plumped for the recommended Fit For Business Back Ritual with ESPA.
I needn’t have worried, though. I was soon transported into a world of complete relaxation and before I knew it, the 60 minutes were up.
The experience didn’t end there, though. We were ushered away in our robes into a softly lit oasis of relaxation, equipped with comfortable pods, numerous cosy lounge chairs with water and herbal tea refreshments. It was the ultimate post-massage ending and the perfect finish to the spa experience.
Across from the spa is the large pool area, complete with heated beds, Jacuzzi and saunas.
There is a restriction on when children can use the swimming pool but with kids allowed in from 9am-noon and then from 3pm-7pm, there is more than enough time to enjoy a family splashabout.
Dinner (and breakfast) was served in Fleming’s Restaurant (I never did find out who Fleming was). If guests can take their eyes off the wooden chandelier centrepiece, a delicious and varied menu awaits.
Starters of crispy fried haggis pave (£7.50) and a warm tart of smoked cheese and sun blushed tomatoes (£7) were the ideal openers.
For the main attraction, the slow cooked shin of beef (£19) served with dauphinoise potatoes, red win and port jus was spot-on, while the other half reported the 8oz sirloin (£26) had been cooked to perfection.
The menu hadn’t mentioned any accompanying greens with my beef so when it arrived with green beans, my side order of seasonal greens (£4) was a bit too much.
We would have loved enough space left to savour the white chocolate and vanilla panna cotta (£6) or the hot steamed sticky toffee pudding (£5.50). Maybe next time!
The refurbishment hasn’t yet stretched to some of the dining-room tables, a number of whose rough trims were showing their age and in need of repair. I only noticed when my shirt sleeve was snagged on one.
While corporates continue to benefit from the conference facilities, there has been a marked upturn in business since the rebranding, with families in particular enjoying the improvements.
Incidentally, the hotel is dog-friendly, though pooches are not allowed in public areas such as the lounge and dining room.
If you’re visiting with kids, the bigger rooms are ideal. There are five suites in total, two with balconies overlooking the 18th green and its testing approach over a burn.
Our en suite double bedroom had an adjoining living-room area with a double sofa bed, mini-bar and separate seating area, with flat screen TVs in both rooms.
There is also 24-hour room service available, very useful for satisfying those hunger pangs. Pizza anyone?!
One bedroom king suite with balcony: £152 room only
Guests dining on an inclusive package have a £28 allocation to spend on food.
Signature Face and Back rItual with ESPA (1 hour): £69.
Fit For Business Back Ritual with ESPA (1 hour): £69.