This 17th-century manor house perched on a sprawling 365-acre estate has shed any musty trappings of the old world without losing any of its majesty while ushering in the modern. Although Murrayshall’s stunning façade remains much the same as it would have looked 400 years ago, ample investment has allowed the Perthshire hotel to be ambitious with its interiors, combining high-end luxury materials with knowing Scottish touches. Expect tartans and thistles.



One of 14 recently revamped Fairway Suites overlooking the 18-hole championship course, provided a perfect hideaway with added privacy away from the main building. The huge bathroom was the standout feature, with a walk-in shower and a roll-top bath providing plenty of incentive not to trudge to the first tee in the rain. The dining area sits six and black-out curtains ensure the only thing that might wake you from the king-size bed is the birdsong. The hotel also has plans for glamping pods in the future.



With awards-studded walls marking the way to the Eloas restaurant, it was difficult to temper expectations for chef Craig Jackon’s menu. I needn’t have bothered – hand-dived scallops for starters, a tender venison main and honey meringue were the perfect accompaniment to the views of the rolling Perthshire country side as the sun set. The bar had a classic feel, with a piano nestled in the corner and friendly, relaxed staff on hand to facilitate a nightcap. The lunch menu at the Cairns restaurant the next day also provided more than your usual 19th hole fare – with the tomahawk pork steak enough to almost make you forget your four-putt on the third for triple bogey. But not quite.



In its elevated position in the Perthshire hills, the hotel is enveloped by the surrounding fells and dales, which provided a dramatically cinematic backdrop as I hacked around the championship course in another failed bid to break 100. Nature abounds around the estate as well, with woodpeckers, buzzards and owls spotted, or at least heard, over the weekend. A family of deer also reside on the nine-hole Lynedoch course, providing a new species of spectator to silently judge my swing.



The golf courses truly are a hidden gem for Perthshire, and there are plans to open a new driving range this summer and upgrades to drainage still taking effect, it would be heartening to see the efforts rewarded with an upswing in membership. Course pro Robin Smith kindly accompanied me round, and although the tour eventually devolved into an on-course lesson, his passion for the course and optimism for the future shone through. After 20 years working in New Zealand, China and Malaysia among others, Smith brings an array of perspectives to his management and isn’t short of a story either.



Murrayshall is a hop, skip and a jump from scenic Perth, and a walk down by the Tay is well coupled with a stop in one of the city’s hostelries. A Guinness in the Old Ship Inn is well worth the excursion. Scone Palace is also nearby – the A-listed building was once the crowning place of Scotland’s kings, including MacBeth and Robert the Bruce, and retains the wonder of hundreds of tourists every day.

Rooms from £109 per night. More information at