The town of St Andrews on Scotland’s east coast has become known the world over as the home of golf. Whilst precise details are lost in the mists of time, it is clear that golf in its rudimentary form, was played over the linksland of St Andrews as far back as the 1400s. Its famous Old Course is generally referenced as the oldest golf course in the world.
Over time, that landscape would slowly be nurtured, evolved and shaped into the historic and glorious creation that golfers play today. The Old Course and St Andrews represent a golfing pilgrimage. Golfers from across the globe journey to St Andrews to drive off in front of the most famous clubhouse in the world, strike irons from the historic turf and putt on the iconic double greens. For amateurs, the Old Course represents the round of a lifetime, pretending their final putt is to win The Open and lift high the claret jug. For professionals, to win The Open is the highlight of their career, to win on the Old Course is extra special. The 150th Open will be staged in July 2022 on the Old Course.
The Old Course is also home to a bridge which has become one of the most photographed landmarks in the world – the Swilcan Bridge. Despite its size, at only about eight feet wide, six feet tall and 30 feet long, this small stone bridge, crossing the first and 18th fairways of the Old Course, is revered across the globe. Today, professional and amateur golfers, celebrities, students and tourists alike, take the opportunity to have their photo captured on the Swilcan Bridge. The bridge has been the setting for everything from engagements, graduation photos and victory celebrations to fond farewells from golfing greats.
The most famous images of the bridge look towards the 18th fairway and green of the Old Course, the bridge framed in the background by the clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and the Hamilton Grand.
The Hamilton Grand is a tall, striking red sandstone building, originally built by Thomas Hamilton as a luxury hotel, a retreat which commanded views of the Old Course, West Sands Beach and the North Sea.
The hotel opened in 1895, capitalising on the increasing attraction of St Andrews as a holiday destination for wealthy British tourists. It is reported that Hamilton built the property at that location with the intention of dominating the clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews after failing to secure membership of the esteemed club. It was the first building in Scotland to have a pneumatic elevator, as well as hot and cold running water in every bathroom, setting a new benchmark for luxury accommodation. Famous guests are said to have included Rudyard Kipling, Bing Crosby, Mary Astor and King Edward VIII.
During the Second World War, the Air Ministry of the United Kingdom requisitioned the hotel to assist with the war efforts and it was transformed into the training headquarters of the Royal Air Force. Its next evolution found itself as a hall of residence for the students of the University of St Andrews and it remained as university accommodation for lucky students for 56 years.
Properties in St Andrews are coveted for many reasons in addition to the location next to the world’s most famous golf course, including the town’s historic legacy. It is home to Scotland’s oldest university and the ruins of St Andrews Cathedral, which was at the centre of Christianity in Scotland for hundreds of years, and was a pilgrimage destination in medieval times.
The views from inside the Hamilton Grand, a building featured in the opening scenes of Chariots of Fire, are exquisite. Now, it is the turn of not students, but others to experience the beauty and history of this exclusive location. In 2009, the Hamilton Grand was acquired by one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies – the Kohler Company.
Under the careful management of Kohler, the Hamilton Grand has been painstakingly restored and transformed into a stunning luxury apartment block, the Kohler Company breathing new life into the property and returning the landmark to its original splendour. The 27 luxurious apartments have become some of the most expensive to acquire in Scotland. A new record was set for an apartment sale in Scotland, when one of the two bedroomed properties sold for £4 million (the average price of a two-bedroom flat in Edinburgh, usually the most expensive housing market in Scotland, is £300,000).
Now is the final chance to acquire an apartment within the Hamilton Grand with only two of the 27 properties remaining unsold, the apartments receiving strong interest from UK and international buyers.
Apartment 24 is available at £4.1 million and Apartment 26 is available at £2.8 million. Both have two-bedrooms, and exceptional views – the former is an apartment with a white box finish, and a dedicated sitting area, situated in the building’s iconic turret. The latter is a show apartment boasting impeccable contemporary interior design with Scottish accents, by Glasgow-based OCCA Design, with an entrance that extends into an open-plan living-kitchen-dining area with fireplace, as well as a Juliet balcony.
Jamie Macnab, head of Edinburgh Country Houses at Savills comments on the world renown and magic of these two remaining apartment in St Andrews: “These apartments, overlooking the 18th green of the prestigious Old Course in St Andrews, represent the very last opportunity to buy one of the best addresses for golf lovers world-wide.”
Residents of Hamilton Grand have access to 24-hour butler service and valet parking as well as use of a private residents’ lounge with the original sweeping staircase on the ground floor and a communal roof terrace with stunning views across the Old Course and the Fife coastline.
The purchase of one of these exclusive apartments also provides the additional perk of spa access for two at the Old Course Hotel. The imposing Old Course Hotel is one of Europe’s most luxurious hotels and dominates the approach into St Andrews. Opened in 1968, it enjoys an enviable location, overlooking the 17th hole of the Old Course. The hotel, like the Hamilton Grand, is now owned by the Kohler Company.
The five star resort now features the ‘Swilcan Loft’, a fourth floor restaurant and bar which features floor-to-ceiling windows and uninterrupted views of the Old Course, the Swilcan Bridge, West Sands Beach, the Royal and Ancient clubhouse and the Hamilton Grand. Hamilton Grand apartment owners receive priority dining at the hotel as well as valet parking. The hotel also features the beautiful Kohler Waters Spa and Fitness Centre including a 20-metre swimming pool and rooftop hot tub. The hotel can provide private chefs and full housekeeping services for apartment owners.
All properties are available on a freehold basis, with a rental management programme offered.
Macnab of Savills further comments: “Hamilton Grand has attracted buyers from all over the world, and these apartments truly stand on top of the prime property market in the Scotland. The town will host the 150th Open Championship in July this year, and there has been renewed interest in recent months from those buying with that in mind. The views, over the 18th green of the Old Course, the Royal and Ancient Golf Clubhouse and the West Sands Beach and out to sea, are truly beyond comparison”.
This is a rare opportunity to acquire luxurious property in the most enviable location in the golfing world. With the 150th Open Championship showcasing St Andrews at its very best, it’s unlikely that these apartments will remain on the market for long.