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Real-Time Retreats

Scotland: The Glorious Playground!

Featuring Gleneagles & The Balmoral, Rocco Forte Hotels

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If the rolling hills of Scotland (and of course a stunning array of golf courses and greenery) appeal to you, then this is the week you don’t want to miss! Join us as we tour the two iconic properties of Gleneagles and The Balmoral. Gleneagles has been called ‘the most magical place on Earth,’ by Forbes, and The Balmoral is touted as ‘a love letter to Scotland.’ Two most illustrious descriptions, don’t you think?

Real-Time Retreats - Scotland: The Glorious Playground!

Since Scotland is the birthplace of golf, this week’s theme celebrates that world renown sport in any way you choose - are you a golf nut? Or a golf widow? Do you enjoy the game, watch it on TV, attend tournaments, or do you find it frustrating or challenging? What is your relationship to golf? Nearly 30 million people play - are you one of them? If not, we get it! Don your best plaid, kick on your finest kilt, and join us on Wednesday!

And remember, the first five at 3:55 to log into the call (no earlier than 3:55pm) will win a special gift from our hosts, and Kelly McAlister will be on hand to gift someone with a fresh pair of Maui Jims!

Video Replay

Megan McHale - Director of Global Sales, East Coast, Rocco Forte Hotels

Megan McHale

Director of Global Sales, East Coast, Rocco Forte Hotels

348 W. 57th Street
Suite 370
New York, NY 10019
O: +1 (646) 257-2914
D: +1 (917) 225-9527
M: +1 (917) 747-6099
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Rachel Williamson - North American Sales Director at The Gleneagles Hotel

Rachel Williamson

North American Sales Director at The Gleneagles Hotel

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Graeme Dowie - General Manager, Scotland - Spectra DMC

Graeme Dowie

General Manager, Scotland - Spectra DMC

P: +44 (0)131 523 1416
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Auchterarder, Perthshire - Take a look inside the Glorious Playground . . . A charming country estate, a rural family adventure, a luxurious escape for friends, a cozy couples’ retreat, a home away from home – Gleneagles is a luxury 5 star hotel, spa and golf resort like no other.

But don’t think golf is the only game around here - from Pashley bikes to horseback, falconry to ferrets (yes, seriously), salmon fishing, wildlife photography (maybe you can catch a pic of those daring ferrets?), carriage driving to clay shooting (and lots more), this resort is a playground of many sorts. Even if you call ‘spa-ing’ a sport.

Gleneagles guest room


The rooms at Gleneagles are as glorious as the landscape that frames them, with a luxury 5 star hotel feel. All individually inspired by the mountains and meadows, rivers and lakes of the Perthshire countryside. From the grandest room in the house, the Royal Lochnagar Suite (featured below), to the individually designed Estate Suites, all offer the perfect mix of homeliness and glamour.

Gleneagles dining


Rosewood Baha Mar presents a choice of indoor venues and outdoor settings for meetings, retreats, incentives, intimate private gatherings, family reunions and celebrations. Can’t you already taste your cocktail under the canopy of lanterns above?

Gleneagles golf


Gleneagles is one of greatest names in the world of golf with three of the top golf courses in Scotland. And as recent hosts of The Ryder and Solheim Cups, it’s easy to see why. Their beautiful golf courses, in equally beautiful settings, are as much fun for novices to play as they are for the pros. One of the great golf resorts in Scotland.

Gleneagles’ reputation as a sporting paradise has flourished for over a century, and golf sits at its very heart. Their three championship golf courses celebrate the history and evolution of golf itself - from The King’s Course, the Braid-designed masterpiece and ‘inland links’ classic, and The Queen’s Course, one of the finest par-68 heathland courses in the UK, to the contemporary Nicklaus-designed PGA Centenary Course. These 54 holes offer a world-class golfing experience to a broad spectrum of enthusiasts, from novices through to the finest players in the world.

Rob Roy cocktail

Enjoy the classic Rob Roy - a Scottish slant to an American classic.

The Rob Roy cocktail is similar to the beloved Manhattan, except the Rob Roy calls for scotch instead of American whiskey. While the Manhattan dates back to around 1880, it’s believed that the Rob Roy first appeared more than a decade later, likely around 1894 at the Waldorf Astoria’s original location on Fifth Avenue.

According to Frank Caiafa, NYC bartender and author of “The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book,” the drink was inspired by an operetta named “Rob Roy,” which was performed at the nearby Herald Square Theatre. Created by the composer Reginald De Koven and lyricist Harry B. Smith, the operetta was loosely based on a Scottish folk hero who was a Robin Hood-like figure named Rob Roy MacGregor.


  • 2 ounces scotch
  • ¾ ounce sweet vermouth
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Garnish: brandied cherry

Mix a Rob Roy with different scotches and vermouths, and find the recipe you like best.

The Balmoral Hotel

The Balmoral

Edinburgh - The Balmoral, 1 Princes Street, where Old Town meets New, a legendary hotel and landmark clock tower: a symbol of its city.

A welcome in bespoke Balmoral tartan; Hebridean blues, heather hues and classic Scottish art; whisky ambassadors with 500 malts – The Balmoral is a love letter to Scotland. Looking up to Edinburgh Castle, savour Michelin-starred dining, French-Scottish bistro fare, award-winning afternoon tea and a serene urban spa at the city’s most majestic spot.

The Balmoral Hotel lobby


Elegant and stylish, The Balmoral’s 167 rooms and 20 suites offer an invitation to experience and enjoy Scottish heritage. The design, as envisioned by Olga Polizzi, embodies the Scottish landscape, with a colour palette of blues and greys, bringing the country’s woodlands, heather-covered hills and lochs within the hotel’s walls. Many of the rooms add to the sublime sense of place with views out over Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat and the Old Town.

The Balmoral Hotel scone crombie suite


Whether you want to host a lavish gala dinner or an intimate business gathering, a private cocktail party or a product launch, our 10 sophisticated and well-equipped events spaces in Edinburgh—which can accommodate parties of 15 to 400 guests—offer style, comfort and Rocco Forte Hotels’ impeccable, world-class service.

The Balmoral Hotel meeting room


From Number One - where Michelin-starred modern Scottish cuisine meets world-class service, to marrying classic French cuisine with sublime Scottish produce in Brasserie Prince, to Bar Prince where you’ll enjoy beautifully and simply prepared cocktails, to Palm Court for afternoon tea, The Gallery for sweets or tea, and of course, Scotch Whisky Bar, serving over 500 unique varieties of Scotch Whisky... why would you ever leave the hotel?

Oh, Edinburgh. Yes, well, there’s that.

Old and new Scottish Games


Each week, we attempt to provide you some things that will set the mood for our upcoming visit.

If you’re a golfer, no doubt you’ve encountered at least one these most annoying things golfers do on the course.

Alright, yes, this is like stating, “Chanel is the best-smelling perfume.” But anyway, here’s someone’s list of the best Scotches to drink in 2021.

If you’ve got a bit of time on your hand, here’s how to play the bagpipe. Oh, by the way, they’re called ‘tunes,’ not ‘songs,’ because there are only 9 notes that it plays. No? Really? We wouldn’t have guessed.

We’re sure there are many, many other Scottish bands but right now, we’re channeling our inner 80’s. No, we won’t forget about you.

Scotland’s national animal

Some virtual backgrounds for you for our Zoom call, provided by Gleneagles and The Balmoral

Kelly McAlister, Maui Jim Corporate Gifts

Kelly McAlister, Maui Jim

Kelly McAlister of Maui Jim will be with us on the calls each week as judge and jury to see which planner really goes all-in with the theme. So engage, be creative, and have fun... and you may be the winner!

She’ll be doing some gifting that will surely lift your shelter-in-place spirits!

Maui Jim