The Royal Golf Hotel is located just 50 yards from the first tee at Royal Dornoch Golf Club, ranked 2nd best golf course in the World by Golf Digest.
Following a period of closure in 2006, entrepreneur Peter de Savary, who found the Carnegie club and once owned Skibo castle, immediately bought the hotel after its closure with plans to turn the hotel into a 5 star luxury resort. Unfortunately his ambitious plans failed to materialize so two years later the hotel remained untouched, however it was then bought by the current owners who embarked on plans to return The Royal Golf to her former glory. The hotel was refurbished and happily re-opened in Easter 2010 as a four-star golf & leisure hotel.
Interestingly The Royal Golf Hotel was not always a hotel. It was built as a family home by Robert Thomas Hamilton-Bruce, circa 1885 who was a successful Scottish baker, flour merchant and art enthusiast. It is also believed that he used his house to display his extensive art collection.
The designer of the building was Inverness born architect James Robert Rhind, a successful architect who had been trained in his father’s practice. His designs were selected for 7 libraries around Glasgow following Andrew Carnegie’s gift of £100,000 to the city in 1901. His landmark buildings were greatly enhanced by his liberal use of columns, domes and sculpted features. Rhind’s best known buildings in the North of Scotland are the Royal Golf Hotel and the Crown Church, Inverness.
The family home was requisitioned by the war office to house Norwegian troops during WW2, once it had been handed back to Mr Hamilton – Bruce who decided to sell it, this is when it became the Royal Golf Hotel. Mr Hamilton – Bruce died in Dornoch in April 1899 aged just 53 years.
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