I love my teen daughter. I mean, I really love my teen daughter. But, once in a while, it’s nice to get away and have an adult-style trip with my husband. We love road tripping to areas that aren’t too far from home (just in case of emergency or other reasons), and love to indulge in luxurious accommodations, amazing meals, and simply spending time alone. A recent trip to Glenlaurel: A Scottish Inn and Cottages gave us the opportunity to do all of the above- all in a fairy tale setting.
There are wonderful places to travel and then there are WONDERFUL places to travel. A recent visit to Glenlaurel: A Scottish Inn and Cottages in Hocking Hills, Ohio, let us realize there’s so much more to the outdoorsy area than just being outdoorsy. There’s creative dining, gorgeous accommodations, and even spots that make you feel as though you’ve stepped into a children’s book. And what a fairy tale we have to tell.
Let me take you back to when I was a little girl. My family would visit the area in which I now call home every other summer or so to visit my father’s family. My grandparents would drive us 2 1/2 hours to take us to Storybook Forest in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Old-fashioned in every way, the theme park had the cutest cottages and each was inhabited by a classic fairy tale character. We would walk through the cottages and shops, and I specifically remember thinking I wanted to stay in one when I grew up. They were fascinating to me and, even visiting as an adult, I still love the theme park and get a little giddy when we visit.
Arriving at Glenlaurel: A Scottish Inn and Cottages gave me that same feeling. Each building, croft, and cottage has that fairy tale look and feel from the outside, but once you enter you realize each is all about luxury and comfort. The property can boast that they’re a member of Select Registry (if you don’t know what that is, just know they only allow the best B&Bs to become members), and offer guests top notch dining experiences, spacious accommodations, and even private trails with gorgeous views and an historic Scottish golf course. Each lodging option is perfect for two adult guests (no children allowed on-property. As the website states, “children are seldom seen, but often created.”) The inn prides itself on adult-oriented getaways and I’m loving that. Sure, The Kid travels with us as much as possible, but there are times when Mr. Locke and I crave adult-style travel.
Ready for an indulgent trip down fairy tale lane?
Glenlaurel: A Scottish Inn and Cottages Overview
Giving you the background of the name “Glenlaurel” will give you an insight as to the property’s look and feel. Taking its name from two distinct on-property offerings, “glen” translates to a narrow valley while “laurel” is a type of tree commonly found on the estate. Meld the two together and you’ve got fairy tale magic. The property is in the heart of Hocking Hills, true, and here’s the bonus: it’s only about an hour away from Columbus, Ohio so the drive is easy.
Let’s talk about the Scottish influence. The original owner and creator of Glenlaurel wanted to pay homage to his Scottish heritage and recreate Laird Ceymus MacTavish’s Scottish Estate. Starting with crofts, and then the addition of more crofts and then cottages, guest rooms, and suites, there’s a lodging choice for every traveling style and budget. Each is named after a prominent Scottish clan (again, to honor the Scots), and the secluded nature of the cottages and crofts are perfect for guests looking for a true getaway experience.
In addition to hundreds of acres of private walking and hiking trails and Camusfearna Gorge (yes, the property has its own gorge!), outdoor sitting areas, bocce ball courts and a croquet area, there’s plenty of amenities to take advantage of. Glenlaurel offers a Scottish Links historical-style golf course (more on it below), spa treatments, dining experiences including three to seven-course meals, and social hours. The best part? You can stay as active as you like or simply relax and unwind in your room, croft, or cottage.
And speaking of relaxing in a cottage…
Accommodations at Glenlaurel
Here’s where the fairy tale began for Mr. Locke and me. Driving up to the MacIntosh cottage was like driving up to the sweetest little Scottish village I’ve ever seen. Sure, the roads could be paved, but instead the property is keeping with the traditional look and feel of small town Scotland. Each cabin and croft uses dark woods, stucco and stone to give that authentic feel. Landscaping adds to the overall feel of being in a small Scottish town, and each croft and cottage is easily visible with its name on a sign our front.
As with each cabin or croft, and this is by far one of the coolest aspects in my opinion, it has a hand-carved mantle that seems to tell a story behind the name. The mantles are a focal point to the living areas and I spent an hour walking through the crofts and cottages with the innkeeper, Tracy, to check them out. The decor is also filled with Scottish history, and I discovered on the tour that guests love sharing their piece of Scottish history by donating photos and family memorabilia. We also received Glenlaurel’s famous Scottish shortbread at check-in and it’s entirely too delicious. Should you crave more, you can purchase some in the gift shop.
The difference between a cottage and a croft is very slight in that crofts offer queen beds instead of kings (our cottage had a king bed and it was, by far, one of the comfiest I’ve ever had the pleasure of sleeping in), smaller hot tubs on the patio, and a screened patio area where the cottages do not. The layout is a bit different as well, but whether in a cottage or croft, both are super luxurious and spacious.
In each, just in case you still believe the fairy tale that monsters live under the bed, no worries: they check ahead of time and even leave a card to let you know the coast is clear (you can see it in the photo above.)
Here’s what else you won’t see in any of the lodging options: cable television. Sure, there are TVs in each, but you won’t be compelled to sit in front of them. Instead, the registration office has DVDs to borrow, or get thee outside and enjoy the gorgeous nature experiences on-site or in Hocking Hills. Or head to the patio and enjoy a soak in the top-of-the-line hot tubs.
Cute touches including his and hers spa robes are available for guests.
Dining at Glenlaurel
My mother was always a fan of “candlelight suppers”, so it has to be why I adore them so much. Each night at Glenlaurel, its chef prepares a three to six-course meal filled with house specialties. The 7 p.m. meal is not only course after course of delicious food, but depending on the night you visit, there’s entertainment including bag piping and poetry. An hour before is a 6 p.m. social hour where you can try house-made specialty cocktails and local ale and brews.
We stayed on a Friday night, and even though the featured entree was seafood, I was able to enjoy the juiciest chicken instead. Yep, Glenlaurel graciously offers substitutions. Preference is to make reservations at least 24 hours in advance, but the property does accept them up to 2 p.m. on the day of.
After dinner, Chef walked from table to table to ask how our meal was and chat a little bit about ingredients, preparation, and overall dining options.
The Scottish Links at Glenlaurel
Driving up to Glenlaurel, the first thing Mr. Locke and I both noticed was its golf course. Even in early spring, the fairways were perfectly manicured. I, myself, am not a golfer, but Mr. Locke has been since he was a child when his grandmother would talk him to our local course every week. He immediately noticed the sandy area surrounding the hole and commented about how the golf course is keeping true to traditional Scottish courses. And there’s no need to bring clubs: the bed and breakfast provides traditional hickory clubs to keep with its authenticity and historical feel.
In addition to beautiful accommodations and luxury dining experiences, the property’s guest lodging offers so much more including:
- Beautiful hand-carved mantels in crofts and cottages
- Private decks in crofts and cottages
- Private all-season hot tubs or in-room whirlpool tubs
- Private bathrooms
- Gas log fireplaces or Franklin stoves
- Queen or king sleigh beds
- Hair dryers
- Famous Glenlaurel shortbread, snacks & beverages
- Central Air and ceiling fans
- Imported L’Occitanie bath amenities
- Entertainment center with Flat Screen TV & Blu-Ray Player
- CD’s and CD player
- Iron & ironing board
- Kitchenette with microwave, small refrigerator, coffee maker & toaster
Of course, these amenities vary depending on lodging choice, but no matter what you choose you can bet you’ll be surrounded by luxury. Having stayed in a cottage and toured the other options, I wouldn’t bat an eye to stay in a guest room or croft.
In a Nutshell
Glenlaurel: A Scottish Inn and Cottages is a perfect place in Hocking Hills to celebrate anniversaries, weddings, couples getaways, and adult travel all with a luxurious Scottish flair. It’s fairy tale travel with a gorgeous kick: there’s no kooky, creepy spin that most old-school fairy tales offer. Instead, there’s beauty in a gratifying stay that I’d recommend to anyone, anytime of year.