January 2017

Club Traveler

Diary of a Club Traveler’s Anniversary Vacation

Club Members Gary and Lou Ann Bowen knew they wanted to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary on a truly unforgettable journey. After months of deliberation and countless lists, the couple concluded that Scotland would be the destination for their adventure.

Let your mind wander into vacation mode as you scroll through the Bowens’ photos and excerpted reflections of their vacation. May these experiences from your fellow Club Travelers inspire your next trip.


Crathes Castle and its grounds are open year-round near Aberdeen but are particularly lovely when flowers are blooming.

“Our journey began in the Scottish Highlands. We arrived in Aberdeen, Scotland, and rented a car to begin our adventure.”

“Gary quickly adapted to driving on the left side of the road.”


For the first half of their anniversary vacation, Gary and Lou Ann stayed at Craigendarroch Suites in the Highlands.

“We arrived at the Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Craigendarroch Suites - and were delighted with the Victorian charm of our hotel. The setting is spectacular with its location in the Cairngorms National Park. The beautiful Victorian mansion is an ideal location for exploring the Scottish Highlands.”


Gary and Lou Ann on the steps outside the gates of Balmoral Castle, the Scottish home of the Royal Family.

“Every day we chose a new and exciting destination: Loch Ness, Balmoral Castle and surrounding countryside, Isle of Skye, Inverness, and castles galore.”


Gary and Lou Ann get ready to cross over to the Isle of Skye.

“The people in the area were warm and inviting, and we soon chose our favorite breakfast spot, “Bean for Coffee?,” where the proprietor’s wife had fresh scones waiting every morning and a delightful full breakfast.”


The Bowens started off their days with breakfast, including fresh scones, at a shop in Ballater.

“The second week of our trip was spent in beautiful Edinburgh.”

“Built in 1903, Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh –The Caledonian is in the heart of Edinburgh’s Princes Street. A perfect base to explore Scotland’s capital, The Caledonian is within walking distance of Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, Edinburgh International Conference Center and the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

Club Members can convert ClubPoints to Hilton HHonors points to stay at Hilton hotels like the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh.


Edinburgh Castle is one of the U.K.’s top tourist attractions.

“In Edinburgh, we explored the Princes Street Gardens, toured the Royal Yacht Britannia and made countless memories of this beautiful country.”

“Lastly we were extremely pleased with our delicious anniversary celebration at The Caledonian’s, ‘The Pompadour by Galvin.’ The manager and wait staff worked very hard to make this a truly unforgettable celebration.”


Gary and Lou Ann celebrated their special milestone over dinner with a view of Edinburgh Castle at The Pompadour by Galvin.

Share Your Story

Thank you to the Bowens for giving us this look into your vacation! If you’re interested in taking part in the Club Member Diaries, email us at feedback@clubtraveler.com. We’re excited to share in the memories with you!

*All photos courtesy of Gary and Lou Ann Bowen. The photo at the top of this article features the couple at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews.