St Andrews is a must-visit destination, the history, the famous West Sands beach which was immortalised in the Oscar-winning movie Chariots of Fire, its cathedral, aquarium, a right royal romance, and of course, the golf.

The Rusack’s hotel in St Andrews, you know the one that you can see on the TV when they show the first tee and the 18th green of the Old Course during the Open. It couldn’t have a better location.

If golf is your god, then this is your temple. The class and the charm that the hotel exudes is inescapable and it is steeped in golf history having been here since 1887.

It’s a grand hotel, opulent, and not as formal as I had expected. If anything, it felt quite relaxed.

Our welcome was complete with a chat with general manager Seamus Coen, an Irishman with an easy charm who explained that he had only just taken over the hotel that week and when he was offered the job, he just couldn’t say no to the Rusacks.

If I’ve learned anything about hotels, it’s that the staff can make or break a stay and when they have a good concierge, your stay is made. We had a cracker. We were shown up to our junior suite. Up the sweeping staircase, past a dedicated gallery of golf artwork, and onto the first floor. The hotel has recently been remodelled, and though it looks fresh, it has retained its old-world elegance. It’s an impressive building in every way.

The concierge had all the chat, the history of the hotel, lots of stories about the hotels association with Tom Morris (golfing legend extraordinaire) and generally got us settled in. He did have a laugh at the fact that neither of us were golfers and that we were in the Tom Morris junior suite which boasts a balcony overlooking the golf course. He suggested that some of the people putting their last on the 18th on the Old Course would give their first born to be in our room. If you had a good pitching arm you could chuck a golf ball onto the 18th green from the balcony. (Don’t do that!).

An afternoon spent blending our own gin in the Eden Mill Gin Blending experience downstairs was a terrific way to spend a few hours (see page xx for the review).

For dinner we were booked into the hotel’s Rocca restaurant, which is a sleek and stylish restaurant, not too formal but suitably professional. It has both an a la carte menu and a grill menu and fulfils its three AA rosette award winning status. We were on the a la carte menu, which was divine. A mushroom risotto starter was light and was accompanied by a parmesan crisp and cep foam. Main course was a shin of beef, simply melt in the mouth and surprisingly filling for a la carte sized portions. A chocolate mousse with popcorn, and mint and chocolate ice cream finished off a delightful meal. The chef popped out a couple of times to have a chat with diners which was a welcome personal touch.

While we were dining there was a table of around 12 guys chatting about their day on the course. They were American and were here for the golf, a life-long dream they had saved long and hard for. They were dining with their golf guide from a tour company, who was their master of ceremonies, lots of chat about the local courses, along with a few tips on how to get them round the course.

They were here to do what everyone does on the first tee. Get a selfie with the Old Course in the background, and a photo on the Swilkin Bridge, it’s a critical memento to take home of the game they love. As an aside they were all getting tucked into the Scotch beef steaks from the grill menu. And they looked like the happiest men on the planet, as they dissected their day, shot by shot, leaned back in their chairs with a dram and a full belly.

If fine dining isn’t on your menu, the hotel has The One Under gastro pub which also offers satisfying food at good value prices. Ideal for families, residents and visitors alike with a great selection of beers and wine. It also has sport (golf, of course) on the TV which makes it a favourite for golfers making use of it as the 19th hole.

This is the only hotel to have a golf concierge to assist guests with queries, including the organisation of your golf itinerary as well as your day on the course. This service gives you access to the Old Course and local courses including Kingsbarns Golf Links, the Jubilee Course and the Castle Course.You can book in your tee time with the golf concierge at reception.

The hotel has a range of rooms available, the classic rooms with period features, executive rooms designed with a few extras or the feature rooms with unrivalled views over the Old course and St Andrew’s stunning west sands beach. Junior and senior suits offer higher levels of luxury and privacy, plus the views are guaranteed in these rooms. If you want the view of the golf course and the West Sands check when you book, as you may end up looking out the other side of the hotel.

Whether you are a golfer or not, you can’t fail to be impressed by the grandeur and history in the hotel. It’s in a perfect location in St Andrews, you can walk along to the famous Himalayas putting course which, I suspect, is far more difficult than the Old Course, in my humble opinion. You can be on the beach in two minutes. It offers a wonderful experience of Scottish hospitality and you can be in the town centre in minutes with all the shops, boutiques and whisky shops you can shake a golf club at.

See for bookings and for more information on hiring rooms for events and weddings.

Rooms start at £149.00 for bed and breakfast per room.