St Andrews, United Kingdom

Rusacks St Andrews

Price per night from$225.86

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP164.25), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Tasteful to a tee

Setting

Eyeing the 18th

We love a storied hotel, and Rusacks St Andrews undoubtedly has enough to fill a library. First opened by German émigre Johann Kristof Wilhelm Rusack (so it's pronounced 'Roo-sacks' rather than the temptingly Scottish 'Russ-ucks') in 1887, it became the most esteemed in all of Scotland thanks, in no small part, to its prime position in putting distance from the 18th hole of the world's best golf course. It's seen its ups and downs in the century-and-a-bit since but this latest chapter is one to bookmark. Restored with deserving decadence, it incorporates St Andrews' golfing history without tipping into theme-hotel parody. Rooms are richly furnished, there is august detailing throughout, and three top-drawer dining destinations punctuate the building, including a standout rooftop restaurant with views worth travelling for. Even if you think golf is a good walk ruined you can't fail to be charmed. 


 

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

£50 to spend on food and drink

Facilities

Photos Rusacks St Andrews facilities

Need to know

Rooms

120, including 13 suites

Check–Out

11am, but flexible subject to availability. Earliest check-in is 4pm

Prices

Double rooms from £197.10, including tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast

Also

The hotel is wheelchair accessible throughout and several rooms with accessible bathrooms are available on request.

At the hotel

Multiple lounge areas, laundry service, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flat screen TVs with Chromecast, air-conditioning, Nespresso machines, iron and board, fully stocked minibar, Floris bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Rooms here, of all sizes, aren't shy of high-touch details – elegant wooden headboards, bespoke wallpaper, marble-topped sinks, chandeliers depicting native Godwit birds – but the added bonus of a balcony, looking over the golf course and out to sea, makes the sizeable Swilken King rooms a real hole-in-one.

Spa

There's no spa but a fitness suite is soon to open. Details to follow.

Packing tips

If you're planning on teeing off while you're in town the hotel can assist with storing – and even shipping – your clubs.

Also

If you're in search of a suitable soundtrack, cue up Vangelis' Oscar winning Chariots of Fire score. The movie's iconic beach-running scene was shot just outside on West Sands beach, and it'll lend a suitably dramatic air to your coastal strolls.

Pet‐friendly

Aye. There are a number of dog-friendly rooms (an extra £40 per night) but subject to availability so do check in advance. See more pet-friendly hotels in St Andrews.

Children

Bairns of all ages are most welcome – and they're sprinting distance from the beach – but the hotel is generally geared towards adults.

Sustainability efforts

There's a real focus on first-class local produce – things fished, foraged, farmed, brewed and distilled in the surrounding area.

Food and Drink

Photos Rusacks St Andrews food and drink

Top Table

Window seats at the Bridge are particularly covetable as the sun starts to dip and golfer's shadows grow long.

Dress Code

Leave the Pringle and pastels to those outside and opt for some contemporary cashmere and bold colours

Hotel restaurant

18, on the top floor, is the showstopper here: a panoramic parlour for eating, drinking and savouring the very best view in St Andrews. One time MasterChef victor, Le Gavroche alumni and Roux scholar, Derek Johnstone, has crafted a locally leaning menu befitting of the handsomely styled surroundings – straight-outta-the-harbour lobster, Peterhead lemon sole, wood-fired leeks with Lanark goat's cheese, aged Aberdeen Angus steak – all cooked with requisite flair on a robata grill in the open-fronted kitchen. Back on the ground floor, you'll find the Bridge, a white-walled, light-filled brasserie with lashings of Southern charm: cane chairs, marble table tops, brass fixtures, cabana-striped banquettes… Here Johnstone's team serve more relaxed but no less brilliant fare, from indulgent pancakes and grilled kippers at breakfast through to haggis pizza, artichoke risotto and a sublime pork escalope with raisins and capers. All good enough to distract any hungry golfers just beyond the double-height bay windows. 

Hotel bar

A bar? Pfff. Here there's an entire actual proper pub in the basement. One Under (see what they did there?) has all the cosy booths, loungeable leather armchairs and wooden bar stools required for comfort, there's classic pub-food favourites to keep you sated, and the wealth of locally brewed and distilled delights will keep you well watered. Check the schedules for live music, too. Oh, and above the bar, etched elegantly into glass, is a cryptic abbreviation – we won't ruin the mystery but if we tell you the last letter stands for 'drink' it might spark some puzzle-solving. Taking things up a level, quite literally, is 18: the aforementioned top-floor dining destination. It sports a bonny wood-panelled bar which you can pull a stool up at, or repair to a cosy sofa. The prime position for sundowners, though, is out on its golf-course-and-beach surveying terrace where there's also a mini putting green and a warming fire pit because, well, this is Scotland. 

Last orders

You'll need to finish your last dram by 11pm.

Room service

A full room service menu is available.

Location

Photos Rusacks St Andrews location
Address
Rusacks St Andrews
Pilmour Links
St Andrews
KY16 9JQ
United Kingdom

Rusacks is prime St Andrews real estate; its entrance on the main road into town, its views over the old course and the beach beyond

Planes

Edinburgh (an hour's drive) and Glasgow (about two) are the major airports. Dundee Airport is a 25-minute drive away but only hosts flights from London City and Belfast City.

Trains

Leuchars, six miles away, is the station that serves St Andrews. Trains run regularly from Edinburgh Waverley and take about an hour. From there it's about a 10-minute taxi or bus ride, or the hotel can arrange a transfer.

Automobiles

This corner of coastal Scotland is good road-tripping territory, and Edinburgh is only an hour or so away if you're planning a two-centre trip. The hotel offers valet parking for £35 a day, and can help with local car-hire.

Worth getting out of bed for

This is an eminently loungeable hotel where lunch at the Bridge, an afternoon in One Under and dinner at 18 would represent a day well spent. But it would be remiss of us not to mention the world famous Old Course right outside the window; the very birthplace of golf itself. You'll need some golfing prowess to play on it (a maximum handicap of 36) but a public ballot means securing a tee time is easier than you may think. Full details are online, but there'll need to be two of you and you'll need to enter your names before 2pm two days before you want to play (although the course is closed on Sundays, so there's no Friday ballot). Results are announced at 4.30pm that same day. Failing that, the hotel will happily arrange tee times at a number of other renowned local courses. But there's more to St Andrews than 18 holes, and there's no better way to get your bearings than to follow the Fife coastal path along the length of the town. You'll pass the ruins of the castle (birthplace of a king, fought over with the English, site of some intense religious squabbles) and the cathedral (ransacked, abandoned and left to ruin in the Reformation) which give good glimpses into the town's (and indeed Scotland's) past, before finding the lobster-pot-dotted harbour. Take a detour inland and you can stroll through the picturesque university cloisters. If you're feeling a little more energetic, follow the path along the cliffs and past the Fairmont Hotel – the views are spectacular and there are a few secluded beaches along the way. Talking of beaches, you'll find East Sands beach just beyond the harbour (good for watersports) and the sweeping West Sands beach just beyond the golf course outside the hotel (good for a bracing morning stroll). For more cultural pursuits, there's the bijou 1930s-built New Picture House cinema and the brilliant Topping & Company bookshop which regularly hosts billboard names from literature and academia for enlightening talks. Further afield, Dundee's riverside V&A museum is about 25 minutes away by car and a stop-off en route for a walk through Tentsmuir Forest showcases Scottish nature at its best. 

Local restaurants

Since opening in 2013, Cromars has been named the best fish 'n' chip shop in Scotland twice so if you see a queue forming on Market Street, that'll be why. Sustainably caught fish are delivered daily and served at their battered best from 11:30am til 9pm every day (or if you need to stave off the chills try Scottish favourite cullen skink). You'll find plenty of fish on the menu at Scandi-accented the Räv, an industrial-chic loft-style space with a terrace, although the likes of venison carpaccio, Swedish meatballs and honeyed duck breast will satisfy meat-eaters. Its sister restaurant, Lupo's, meanwhile, is a love-letter to all things Italian – seafood tagliarini, cannolis, Limoncello martinis… A few minutes out of town is Balgove Larder, an inviting estate that's part butcher, part farm shop, part café, part pizzeria and, perhaps most invitingly, part steak barn, where 28-day-aged steaks, handmade sausages and first-class burgers are grilled to perfection on a wood-fired barbecue. They don't take bookings, but even if you have to wait in line a little, there's no way you'll leave hungry. 

Local bars

Just beyond the historic West Port gate is Rogue, an invitingly low-lit cocktail bar with its own gin still. As such, gin features prominently on the menu, in combinations both classic and curious – all pair nicely with the fresh oysters and St Andrews Bay lobster that headline the snack menu. The Adamson, on South Street, is another lauded cocktail stop which serves til midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and has a terrace perfect for sunny afternoons. Keep things low-key and local at the needs-no-explanation St Andrews Brewing Co or sample some drams at source at Kingsbarns distillery, a wee bit further down the coast. Golf pilgrims will want to sink a drink or two at the memorabilia-rich Jigger Inn: 'the most famous 19th hole' in the game.

Reviews

Photos Rusacks St Andrews reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this grand dame getaway in St Andrews and unpacked their golf clubs and single malts, a full account of their seaside stay will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Rusacks St Andrews…

Fittingly for a hotel in a prestigious university town, there's plenty of reading to be done on Rusacks St Andrews. Johann Rusack fled Germany after serving in the Franco-Prussian war and settled in Scotland in 1871. Three years later he'd met and married his wife and relocated to St Andrews to run a farm – which eventually segued into running the hotel which bore his name. That the last hole of the golf course – world renowned, in the very birthplace of golf – was just outside certainly added to its appeal, and soon the great and good came flocking from far and wide. Aside from some wartime requisitions by the army, it stayed in the family until the Forties when legendary Scottish music hall star, William Fyffe, took ownership – and tumbled to his death from a top floor window after some disorienting ear surgery. So it has some backstory, it's fair to say.

Thankfully the latest incarnation of Rusacks St Andrews hasn't attempted to erase any history, merely update it; restoring it to its rightful status as a crowd-pulling hotel with an air of big-city swagger. An entire new wing has been added (contemporary in architectural style, but complementary), garnished with a standout dining destination peering over the course and West Sands beach, and it's been spruced from top to bottom with careful consideration. Lounge areas are clubby and masculine (but not oppressively so), rooms are ravishingly well appointed, and there's a proper wood-panelled check-in desk to denote you've truly arrived somewhere. Naturally, if you're a golf-lover, this is nirvana but, as a true mark of its standing, even the most golf-averse guest would feel at home here. 

Price per night from $225.86

Book now