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Travelers flock to Edinburgh for good reasons. The capital of Scotland capital is a premier city with world-class architecture, outstanding food, and exciting festivals.
However, many travelers don’t realize that the Kingdom of Fife is less than an hour’s drive from Edinburgh. Although it’s possible to visit Fife during a day trip, perhaps to explore historic St. Andrews both for its historic university and world famous golf course, one day is not nearly enough to get a proper taste of Fife.
Trust us – we spent a full week in Fife and didn’t see it all.
Staying overnight in Fife allows travelers to explore the region’s rolling hills and rugged coast. Why hurry through walks along the Fife Coastal Path when rushing means missing the sunset? Plus, staying overnight allows time for boozy distillery tours and leisurely afternoon teas.
Luckily for travelers like us, Fife has a variety of accommodations ranging from self-catering apartments to five-star luxury hotels. Regardless of your budget, you will surely find the perfect place to stay in Fife.
4 Fantastic Fife Hotels
We stayed at a variety of accommodations during our week-long trip to Fife. Two of the accommodations were small inns run by chefs, one was a five-star luxury hotel and the last was a magnificent self-catering apartment.
We enjoyed each unique venue for different reasons which we will highlight in this article. Read on to see which Fife accommodation is best for you.
The Peat Inn
The Peat Inn is so special that its village took on the name of the inn. Yes – The Peat Inn is literally located in Peat Inn.
Operating in the hospitality industry since the 18th century, The Peat Inn has breathed new life since Geoffrey and Katherine Smeddle took over the local institution in 2006. Today, The Peat Inn has eight comfortable suites and a Michelin starred restaurant on its bucolic premises.
Most guests choose to stay at The Peat Inn for proximity to the onsite restaurant. In the winter, most guests are Scottish, but the demographics turn more global in warmer months when golfers flock to Fife to play at The Old Course in St. Andrews.
Though the award-winning restaurant is the main draw, guests will not be disappointed by The Peat Inn’s well-appointed suites. In addition to having a separate lounge and individual design elements, each suite features modern amenities like coffee makers, flat-screen televisions and fast internet.
We stayed in the Gilston suite during our stay and appreciated its split-level layout, welcome treats and Noble Isle bath products. However, it was special touches like fresh milk and sparkling water in the mini-fridge that we appreciated the most.
A surprising perk of staying at the Peat Inn is access to its hidden private garden. Abutting farmland, this Fife oasis provides a window into Scotland’s agriculture lifestyle. Even if the weather isn’t stellar, as was the case during our visit, the inn’s garden provides a lovely view from the comfort of a warm, dry suite.
Another perk of staying at the inn is having breakfast prepared by Michelin starred chefs and served directly to the suite. Once we selected the food and delivery time the night before, all that was left for us to do was put on robes in the morning.
For our breakfast, we chose local foods like poached pears, smoked fish, croissants, yogurt and apple juice. Servers arrived at the requested time and quickly set up our morning feast along with piping hot drinks. We couldn’t have been any more relaxed as we sipped our coffee and Earl Grey tea until the last sips were gone.
The Peat Inn is located at Collier Row, Peat Inn, Cupar KY15 5LH, UK.
Mere minutes from Dundee on the southern side of the River Tay, The Newport is a modern restaurant and inn situated in a historic building. It’s no surprise that Chef Jamie Scott helms the acclaimed restaurant with aplomb, but don’t discount the four rooms upstairs.
Staying at The Newport provided us with a wonderful introduction to a week of great food and friendly people in Fife. The high level of service started when we checked in and continued to the moment when we sadly drove our car out of the parking lot.
The four rooms at The Newport are stylishly decorated and filled with thoughtful touches. In addition to a singular decoration style, each room has expected amenities like coffee/tea makers, solid internet and comfortable super king beds.
Adding to the comfort, our ‘Scottish’ room included extra touches like baked treats, bottled Strathmore still spring water, Poldermill hot chocolate packets and bath products from The Scottish Fine Soaps Company. As we learned during our exploration of the inn, the other three rooms are equally endowed.
For us, the best part about staying at The Newport was the food. As we expected, the tasting dinner was excellent. However, breakfast exceeded our expectations.
Included with the room, breakfast is a tw0-course meal served in The Newport’s sunny dining room. During our morning meal, starters included warm treacle bread and house-cured meats (both pictured above) as well as granola and porridge.
Despite the variety of main breakfast course options, Daryl couldn’t resist the housemade mallard haggis served with a fried egg. Mindi, however, went for eggy brioche with bacon and housemade birch syrup. Both of us were pleased as punch with our selections.
The Newport is located at 1 High Street, Newport-on-Tay DD6 8AB, UK.
Fairmont St. Andrews
Located just a couple miles from ‘downtown’ St. Andrews on a 520-acre plot overlooking the bay of St. Andrews, the Fairmont St. Andrews is a destination unto itself. Arriving at the sprawling complex (pictured toward the top of the article) can be daunting, but the warm lobby conveys a refined sense of charm that permeates through the five-star hotel.
Although this St. Andrews hotel features a massive atrium with striking artwork and grandiose views, we actually preferred the warmth of the cozy lounge area. This is where we chatted with friendly hotel staff members and arranged our complimentary shuttle transportation to and from dinner in town.
Rooms at the Fairmount St. Andrews are classically decorated with a style that conveys both comfort and understated formality. As a nod to the natural beauty surrounding the hotel, windows add the greatest design element. Some windows even have views of the hotel’s two golf courses.
Our room included all of the amenities that we expect in a luxury hotel room. From high-speed internet to Le Labo bath products, we felt pampered and comfortable during our short stay.
It’s no surprise that most guests choose to stay at the Fairmont St. Andrews because of its two golf courses and the relatively short distance to St. Andrews’ Old Course. The Torrance course is a walking course, whereas The Kittocks course is one of the few courses in St. Andrews that allows buggies (i.e. golf carts).
But what about non-golfers like us? Rest assured that this St. Andrews hotel has amenities for guests who are not interested in partaking in the Game of Kings.
We couldn’t help but observe several smiling women wandering around the hotel property in bathrobes. Don’t take this the wrong way – they were either coming from or going to the hotel’s spa. Once we experienced the signature spa ourselves, we understood the smiles on their faces.
Beyond the spa, the hotel features culinary treasures like a swanky afternoon tea served in the atrium lounge. Guests who opt for this indulgence can expect treats like macarons, eclairs and scones.
As for us, we fully enjoyed the breakfast at the Squire Restaurant in the Fairmont St. Andrews. Beyond standard offerings like bacon and eggs, the buffet included bagels, smoked salmon and Scottish specialties like haddock kedgeree.
Fairmont St. Andrews is located at St Andrews KY16 8PN, UK.
Cupar Burgh Chambers
Cupar Burgh Chambers exceeded our expectations starting with its grand lounge featuring ceilings and picture windows that practically reach to the sky. Everything we needed was included from wine glasses and a corkscrew to fast internet.
The Fife Historic Buildings Trust lovingly restored and furnished the formerly vacant building with an attention to detail that respects the style of the past. However, the planners spared no expenses with modern conveniences like fast internet and Netflix. The renovated apartment even includes dedicated parking and a welcome basket filled with edible goodies.
The apartment’s first floor is an open space with a fully functional kitchen and large lounge. We loved relaxing on the comfortable sofas and gawking at the room’s sweeping views of the central Fife town of Cupar.
Cupar is a bustling town with a monthly farmers market and a slew of specialty shops and eateries. We recommend both Ostlers Close and the Boudingait for local meals. To be honest, we had never heard of Cupar before we visited Fife and were utterly charmed during our short visit in the burgh.
One flight up, the second floor includes two ensuite bedrooms, both decorated with elegant touches and plush bedding. Though we had to climb a lot of stairs to reach the bedrooms, we were always happy when we arrived. (Note, the stairs make this apartment inappropriate for travelers with mobility issues.)
Not your typical short-term rental, Cupar Burgh Chambers is a reasonably priced, upmarket accommodation designed for comfort and entertaining. Though up to seven people could sleep here, we think it’s ideal for two couples or one family.
Cupar Burgh Chambers is located at 5 St. Catherine Street, Cupar KY15 4LS, UK.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.