The Best Western Scores Hotel, overlooking St Andrews world-famous Old Course, has appointed a new general manager to oversee a £200,000 refurbishment ahead of the 150th anniversary Open Championship next year.
Eric Brown, well-known Scottish hotelier, took over the reins at the hotel in July and has wasted no time in preparing a development plan to upgrade large parts of the building, which dates back to the 1880s, before The Open returns to the Old Course next July.
Four star facilities
Refurbishment work will include a new canopy at the front of the hotel and replacing windows in keeping with the hotel’s listed status. In addition, all bedrooms are being upgraded to provide four-star facilities and a new golf concierge service with improved golf bag storage and drying facilities will coincide with the re-launch of Chariots Bar next spring.
Brown has a wealth of experience in the hotel industry having spent six years as managing director of St Andrews famous Rusacks Hotel from 1981-87 and 15 years working as a general manager at various hotels for Stakis and Hilton Hotels organisations.
He said: “I am delighted that the owners have responded very positively to my proposals. The changes will give the Scores a brand new feel and an opportunity to showcase our improvements to the golfing community at The Open Championship next year.”
Local surveyors Hardies are working on the details for the front of the hotel, which overlooks the Royal & Ancient clubhouse and the West Sands, where Oscar-winning film ‘Chariots of Fire’ was partly shot.
One of the most iconic views in golf
Planners are also being consulted regarding ‘streetscaping’ in front of The Scores as the hotel aims to take advantage of one of the most iconic views in golf to provide ‘al fresco’ dining in conjunction with Chariots Bar.
As well as the new facilities for golfers, new Victorian-style wrought iron railings will be installed along the front of the hotel while there will be new European-style cafe facilities on the twin terraces opposite Alexander’s Restaurant and Scorecards Bar.
In addition, landscaping will be carried out on the hotel’s garden, private car park and its main function suite to allow for marquee facilities and gazebos with barbeques and Brown also proposes a full review of the hotel’s menus with a focus on fresh seafood and Scottish produce.
Brown, who was general manager of the Hilton Dundee from 2000-2007, was recently based in the Highlands as managing director of The Duncraggie Collection and is relishing the chance to work in his adopted hometown again.
Brown, who has had a home in St Andrews with his wife Margaret for the last 28 years, added: “I have been involved in the hospitality business for more years than I can remember, yet it gives me a real buzz to be involved with one of the most famous and historic hotels in St Andrews.
“History seeps from the building and next year is going to be wonderful for me and all the staff in the hotel. We look forward to welcoming the best golfers in the world to St Andrews next year.”
As the nearest hotel to the first tee and 18th green of the Old Course, The Scores occupies two former 19th century townhouses and commands magnificent views of St Andrews Bay and the West Sands. The hotel has 30 en-suite bedrooms, two restaurants and three bars including Chariots, a superb 19th hole.
Best Western Scores Hotel www.scoreshotel.co.uk