Why the Inspector gives this grand Scottish hotel a near-perfect score

‘It looks like a mini Balmoral’: The Inspector revels in the splendour of this Scottish Borders hotel, which has ‘sublime’ food, a golf course and a huge spa

  • Schloss Roxburghe hotel is located in the Scottish Borders near Kelso
  • Remember, the Inspector pays his way… and tells it like it is 
  • READ MORE: Hotels are ONE FIFTH cheaper than Airbnbs, says Which? 

From the outside, it looks like a mini Balmoral. 

Inside, there’s a mix of baronial splendour, smart modern living, sublime food and service, a huge spa with an inside/outside swimming pool, beautiful gardens, golf, parkland.

Somehow, you don’t expect to find a place such as this in the wonderful Scottish Borders. 

Indeed, there’s a case to be made that the Scottish Borders near Kelso is so wonderful because there’s a dearth of such grand places.

But Schloss Roxburghe works brilliantly. It used to be owned by the Duke of Roxburghe, before being sold to the German 12.18 Group.

The Inspector calls at Schloss Roxburghe, which lies in the ‘wonderful’ Scottish Borders near Kelso 

The Inspector remarks that from the outside, Schloss Roxburghe ‘looks like a mini Balmoral’. Above is the actual Balmoral Castle

Locals say £50 million has been pumped into it, with a whole new wing, bringing the total number of rooms to 78.

My room – Cessford – has high ceilings, a four-poster, two huge sash windows, antique furniture, a couple of armchairs. It’s supremely comfortable.

The same goes for downstairs, with its wood-panelled bar and drawing room, although I could do without the soppy piped music.

There’s a ‘fine dining’ restaurant open only at weekends but you won’t go wrong in Charlie’s, which offers so-called ‘Scottish bistronomy’. My cured salmon starter comes with a little glass of Bloody Mary. It’s as if the fish has leapt straight from the nearby River Tweed.

The property, which has undergone a £50million renovation according to locals, boasts a huge spa with an inside/outside swimming pool

The property used to be owned by the Duke of Roxburghe, before being sold to the German 12.18 Group

The Inspector says the drawing room is ‘supremely comfortable’, though he admits he ‘could do without the soppy piped music’

Guests can enjoy the hotel’s beautiful gardens and the adjoining golf course (above), the Inspector notes

The spa is vast. Steam rises from the pool and invites guests to have a pre-breakfast swim.

Breakfast is an all-buffet affair and one of the best ever. I’ve never tasted haggis quite like it. What’s more, a man in a smart suit walks around the dining room checking on everything.

He might well be the hotel manager. To have a grown up in charge makes a big difference. The Scottish Borders deserves all this.


Schloss Roxburghe, Kelso, Roxburghshire, TD5 8JZ. Doubles from £157. For more information call 01573 450331 or visit schlosshotel-roxburghe.com. 

Rating out of five: 4.5 stars

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