The Gailes Hotel and Spa

The Gailes Hotel and Spa
The Gailes Hotel, Spa and golf course

Privately owned and proudly independent is what The Gailes Hotel and Spa in Ayrshire is all about.

The advantage of being your own boss is thinking outside of the box. And that’s what the family owners, SimpsInns have done to a tee, by tapping into the fabulous West Coast of Scotland surroundings and launching new cycling breaks.

With routes for all shapes and sizes just on their Irvine doorstep, SimpsInn have invested in hybrid and electric bikes to allow guests to enjoy the National Cycle Routes 7 and 73 and are officially accredited by Cycling Scotland as a Cycling Friendly hotel.

It’s a simple, but great idea from the family who have this month, won the best four star category in The Prestige Hotel Awards, for their sister property, The Waterside in nearby West Kilbride, with praise too for being pet friendly.

Letting people explore the stunning coastal scenery at a leisurely and safe pace, followed by some serious pampering back at The Gailes, is what it’s all about. Working alongside North Ayrshire Council as part of its Travel Smart programme, it’s a great and sustainable way to get to know the area.

The family has ploughed £3.5m into the hotel and more than £300,000 into The Potting Shed and Terrace restaurants as part of its SiAyrshire project and all link up neatly to the cycle routes.

The Potting Shed
The Potting Shed Restaurant

Teenage daughter Flossie in tow, we chose a sunny May day to see just how beautiful this under rated part of the country actually is.

With a mixture of inland and coastal delights, the routes vary from two miles to 22 and hiring the top of the range bikes and safety helmets from The Gailes, means it’s fun all the way.

We found the paths easy to navigate and most were flat and traffic free. Exploring found us cycling up to the beautiful long North Ayrshire beach and along pass the historic harbour, as we made our way into Irvine town centre, with spectacular views of The Isle of Arran.

Following the 12 mile circular Irvine and Kilwinning New Town Trail, we passed through the main river valleys, linking up with the lovely Eglington Country Park.

We zipped past a proud statue of Scottish national poet Rabbie Burns who lived in Irvine for nine months when he was 23 years old and made our way to The Potting Shed for lunch.

This new eating place is full of knick-knacks and decked out in trendy bright colours. With a dedicated dog area and place to park the bikes safely, it’s a great place for a wee bit to eat.

Dundonald Links
Dundonald Links

Daytime menus range from breakfast to brunch with salads and sandwiches on offer too. After a hard morning’s cycle, it was great to enjoy an avocado and halloumi stack and buttermilk buffalo chicken.

At nighttime both The Potting Shed and neighbouring Terrace hold fun events with quizzes and live music and operate a loyalty card for discount food and drink.

Back on the road and we cycled up to the lovely Kilwinning, known as the “Crossroads of Ayrshire”, famed for its historic abbey, which dates back to the late 1100s and founded by Sir Richard de Morville, also responsible for Dryburgh Abbey.

For 400 years, it was home to Tironensian monks and today is cared for Historic Scotland and is well preserved.

Other routes take you to the South Ayrshire towns of Barassie, Troon, Prestwick and Ayr with lovely views of The Firth of Clyde and the Ailsa Craig. There are also links up to the rail network to allow you to venture further.

Back at The Gailes and a chance to relax those tired legs in the hotel spa. I opted for a biker’s tonic for the back, legs and feet to rub away those aching muscles. With a choice of soothing oils and using a detoxifying brush, my back was cleaned and polished, followed by a wonderful massage to the legs and feet to restore energy and eliminate toxins. Flossie chose to have her nails filed and polished with a cool pink varnish.

Coast Restaurant at The Gailes
The Coast Restaurant

The hotel is a fabulous place for the outdoor enthusiast and one of the highlights in the extensive grounds are the golf facilities, which has led to The Gailes vying for first place in tourism awards to be announced later this year.

With the Western Gailes, Dundonald and Gailes Links on the doorstep, 2024 open championship venue Royal Troon and prestigious courses at Turnberry and Prestwick, a tee or two away, the hotel offers PGA teaching and a driving range.

I competed against Flossie at the range, which has a number of golf related computer challenges, and we had great fun trying to reach the target.

After a full day of activities, the hotel’s 40 bedrooms are great to retreat to. Beautifully furnished in contemporary colours and with all the mod cons you need. Downstairs, the airy Coast Restaurant, decked out with nautical themes, has a traditional menu featuring such dishes as tempura chicken or vegetables for starters to chicken and haggis and red cauliflower curry as mains.

And after demolishing the dinner delights and breakfast beauties, the cycle routes are open 24 hours and ready for more action!

There are lots of offers from dinner, bed and breakfast packages to spa and golf breaks to entice you to this lovely spot, with the spring into summer one running until the end of May costing £155 per room for two people from Sunday to Thursday and including a cream tea, overnight stay, full Scottish breakfast, one hour in the thermal suite at the Si! Spa and access to the golf leisure club. And for more information on Scotland itself, please visit:

The Details

The Gailes Hotel & Spa, Marine Drive, Irvine, Ayrshire, KA11 5AE, Scotland.

Tel: +44 (0)1294 843596



Prestwick Airport is a 10-minute drive from The Gailes and a 20-minute journey by train. The train station is directly outside the airport and Irvine train station is a 5-minute drive from the hotel. Glasgow International Airport is a 30-minute drive from The Gailes and 30-minutes by train from Paisley Gilmour Street to Irvine train station. There is a large free car park for both the hotel and leisure facilities.

Type of Hotel: 4-Star Hotel and Spa

Price Band: Medium

Number of Rooms: 41 bedrooms and The Gailes Penthouse Suite. Wi-Fi is complimentary throughout the hotel, and they have dog friendly rooms.

Insider Tip: Sign up for a Blue Light or Defence Card and enjoy 15% off food at The Coast Restaurant or The Potting Shed and The Terrace.

Reviewer’s Rating: 8/10

Author Bio:

Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.

Photographs courtesy of The Gailes Hotel & Spa

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