South Africa Week – Part 1

Golf Educational to South Africa

April 2017

In January I was invited to join a small party on a golf focused educational trip touring the southern-most coast of Africa from Cape Town via the Garden Route to Port Elizabeth. The invitation was accepted for mid-April.  My first visit to Cape Town in (too) many years and my first as a pretty average 18 handicapper.

Since there is such a wide variety of carriers that service this route I began, as all should do, by looking at my flight options, i.e. routing, timings, and costs. The only carrier that flies direct into Cape Town direct – and they know it, are British Airways from Heathrow; their fair came in at just shy of £1,000.  Convenient – yes, expensive – most certainly. So indirect it was and since I live near Gatwick my next thought was Emirates via Dubai. Bingo! The timings were great, with good connections, and the fare…just £445, and they allow you to take 30kgs of checked luggage in two bags; so my golf clubs could come with me. Why so much BA? And why only 23kg of checked luggage?

The flight out was on one of Emirates new A380’s, a really comfortable plane and great in-flight entertainment. Food – the usual. The flight from Dubai to Cape Town was on an A320, so not as good as the A380, but as I slept most of the way – it did its job and arrived on time.

Cape Town International was rebuilt for the 2010 Football World Cup and is a friendly easy-to-navigate point of arrival.

Day 1

I was met by the Adam, the MD of Gilt Edge – the arrangers of the trip – and taken to my overnight hotel – the Cape Milner; a contemporary boutique hotel in the quiet suburb of Tamboerskloof, just to the south-east of Signal Hill and a 10 minute drive to the V&A Waterfront. The room was large and well equipped with a great en-suite behind glass walls.

After a quick shower and a quick beer (obligatory), we drove to the V&A and met up with my host (Warren) and the other participants on the trip. Certainly an eclectic mix, one Czech, one Dutch, a
Finn and me. They would turn out to be superb company and to each bring something different to the group. A lovely fish supper was had in heart of the Waterfront, which has seen a massive amount of development and is now a vibrant place with a real ‘buzz’ about it.

Day 2

After breakfast, our itinerary showed a surprise activity for half an hour; it had to be Table Mountain – didn’t it? How wrong was I, as we pulled up outside the reception area for NAC Helicopters. What a way to start the trip – a 15 minute flight to view the City from the clear blue skies. It’s a great way to get to understand the layout of Cape Town, the views are spectacular and it’s not that expensive. NAC Helicopters also offer 30 minute and 1 hour excursions in 3, 4 and 6 seater aircraft.

It was time to leave central Cape Town for our first round of golf (one of six on the trip) at Steenberg Golf Club in Tokai at the back end of Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles. The course is located on the Steenberg Estate, which has a long and esteemed history and now offers stylish accommodation in Cape Dutch style white washed and thatched buildings in the grounds of the old Manor House, all set within one of the oldest vineyard in South Africa. And yes their Merlot is awesome!

 

 

 

 

 
The course is within a parkland setting and despite the South Africans love of bunkers, it’s a playable course for most handicaps and great way to settle yourself into a golf holiday in South Africa, before you take on the challenge of the tougher courses you’ll experience. I managed to avoid a bunker until the 16th and water until the 18th. The odd par here and there and I sat in the clubhouse with a glass in hand feeling happy with my first outing.

Our overnight accommodation was at the Steenberg Hotel & Spa, a classically stylish property located between the course and the winery. We ate in the stylish and elegant the Catharina’s Restaurant in the old barn – the service was exemplary and the food exquisite.

Day 3

Another beautiful day dawned and following a Cape Malay omelette and strong coffee, we headed first up to the winery, where you can a have a tour, a sundowner or a full meal overlooking the vines and the mountains beyond before driving down to the district of Newlands situated at the back of Table Mountain where we visited the Vineyard Hotel. Set in 7 acres of parkland the hotel offers 208 en-suite bedrooms in a variety of grades of rooms, suites and cottages. Its location is ideal for those who want to stay neither in the heart of Cape Town nor in the winelands, yet close to both. Excellent coffee as well.

 

 

 

 

 
Leaving Cape Town behind us we drove towards the winelands town of Paarl and to Pearl Valley, home to Jack Nicklaus’s Championship Signature Course. Unlike my round at Steenberg, I found a bunker off the first tee and many more on my way round. Actually, it may have taken me until the 17th before I didn’t hit sand somewhere on each hole.  It just seemed as if Jack knew where my ball was going to land and put a bunker there for me!

The accommodation at Pearl Valley is not yet officially open but is of a high standard and consists of self-catering suites set in small blocks of 8 rooms just behind the practice green. If you do not want to self-cater, the clubhouse offers a range of meals, but a full service restaurant it is not.

Day 4

The sun was again in full attendance as we hit the road again leaving Cape Town behind us as we drove to the quaint wine-lands village of Franschoek (‘French Corner’). The village (it’s really a little too small to call it a town) is nestled between hills on three sides giving it an Alpine feel, and consists of a few top quality properties (e.g. Le Quartier Francais and Leeu House) and some beautiful vineyards. It’s ideal if you’d like a Cape winelands experience without the masses…for a few days…

From there we crossed over a mountain pass, with a magnificent view back over Franschoek and its vineyards, and dropped down (eventually) onto the N2, which runs along the length of the south coast through George, Knysna and Port Elizabeth before turning north along the Indian Ocean coast of KwaZulu Natal passing Durban. It eventually runs out of tarmac at near Johannesburg; a distance of some 1,400. It’s quite some road.

Our next stop was game reserve on the outskirts of Mossel Bay called Gondwana. Having travelled widely on safari in Southern Africa I was a little concerned that the experience would fall far short of my previous experiences.  How wrong I was to be proved…

We had barely cleared the two wildlife security gates for the short drive to the Kwena Lodge, when we spotted some shapes just below the crest of a hill some 1,000 yards away. The call went up ‘ellies’ but they were too small and not moving like elephants. Rhino? We got closer, yes five white rhino were ambling gently down the track towards us. Warren wisely pulled to the side of the road, turned off the engine and we sat as they walked up to the vehicle and then past us, almost within touching distance. A great introduction to Gondwana!

 

 

 

 

 
Our accommodation was a three bedroom house, a short distance from the main lodge – perfectly walkable but this is Africa so you don’t. Over the two game drives we came across elephants, rhino, a pride of lion and several different antelope species. The experience is a little ‘canned’ but in the context of the Garden Route golf & safari holiday, juts perfect for first-timers to Africa.

Day 5

Following our early morning game drive and yes, with the sun shining yet again, we bade farewell to Gondwana and drove the short distance down to Mossel Bay and Pinnacle Point Golf Club (Par72, 6,460 yarsd). Set on the edge of the cliffs, with the next landmass south being Antartica, I had identified the course as likely to be a challenge with seven holes teeing off alongside the cliffs or over the sea between the ‘pinncle’ of land jutting out to sea. Sadly, I was right. The course got into my head and a simple shot to a Par 3 became a nerve-racking shank into the ocean far below. So unnecessary!

The course is amazing and the 18th one of the best I have ever played. This course kept on giving right to the end. In my view, it’s a MUST play course when you’re in this part of the world.

From Pinnacle Point we had an hour’s drive to get to Herold’s Bay and Oubaai Hotel Golf & Spa for an overnight stay before playing the Ernie Els designed Oubaai course the next morning.

Spotlight on Luxury in the Algarve

This week’s blog is a guide to the luxury that awaits you with a holiday to the Algarve. Summer is fast approaching us and in order for you to get some guaranteed sunshine as well as all of the other fabulous things the Algarve has to offer you then take a look at these luxury resorts and start planning your next luxury golf break to the Algarve

First up, we have the five-star Lake Resort situated in Vilamoura, just two minutes’ walk from the beach and easy access to the fantastic town of Vilamoura. This hotel offers its guests the height of luxury with three lovely pool areas and a private sandy beach solely for use of the guests here. The hotel has been recently refurbished and its rooms are beautifully decorated and spacious, asides from the hotel rooms, there are apartments in which you can stay in here which have fully-fitted kitchens giving you the option of self-catering. The resort boasts two restaurants: the Fusion restaurant where you can enjoy Oriental cuisine and the Marenostrum restaurant in the gardens where you can taste delightful fresh fish. The location of this resort is unbeatable, with easy access to the Oceanico courses, Vilamoura town and just 20 minutes’ drive from Albufeira. With a great location, great golf within close proximity and luxurious facilities it is no surprise that this is a recommendation by us, to you.

Next up, set amongst green pine forests in Castro Marim, just a five minute drive from Monte Gordo and a stone’s throw away from the stunning Praia Verde beach is the four-star Praia Verde boutique hotel. The suites here are all fitted with a fully functional kitchenette, giving you the option of self-catering here. They also all feature a private balcony, Wi-Fi and a separate lounge area to enjoy. If you are looking to take a break from cooking you can enjoy the homemade cuisine served at the À Terra restaurant or venture into Monte Gordo. Here, you can enjoy a few rounds at the Quinto do Vale golf course and spend time relaxing on the fantastic beach or by the pool making it a luxury destination and somewhere that you can enjoy some peace and quiet. The hotel is very close to the Spanish border where you can take a trip into Spain just for the day if you wish and when it comes to accessibility to airports, you are just under 40 miles from Faro meaning that this can be a perfect luxury golfing getaway even if just for a long weekend!

Another fantastic and luxurious resort for your next golf break to the Algarve is the five-star Quinta do Lago. All of the villas and townhouses here are fully-fitted with all of the amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this rating and are in close range of the fantastic Quinta do Lago golf courses. You are also within nine minutes’ walk of the beach, where you can enjoy the privacy and tranquillity that Quinta do Lago’s private area on the beach has to offer you. If you are not so much into playing golf every day, then you will not be disappointed with the alternative facilities that are offered here like the indoor and outdoor swimming pools and the well-equipped spa where you can enjoy a range of different treatments. Whilst staying in the villas gives you that all important self-catering option, you can enjoy delicious Algarvian cuisine or Venetian cuisine at one of the resort’s restaurants. This is considered to be one of the most sophisticated destinations on the Algarve and it really isn’t hard to see why.

The five-star Dona Filipa and San Lorenzo Golf Resort in Vale do Lobo is one of the finest resorts in the Algarve and offers its guests top-class services and facilities. Whilst you are staying here, you have the opportunity to pre-book your tee times at the Algarve’s premium course, San Lorenzo which is just a ten minute drive from the resort. Whilst you are not playing at the fabulous San Lorenzo course, you can enjoy your luxurious golf break relaxing by the pool, on the beach or at the spa. Vale do Lobo’s plaza boasts a good selection of restaurants, bars and shops for you to mooch around and choose your destination for that evening! This resort is the height of luxury and it is no surprise that it made our list of recommendations for luxurious golfing destinations on the Algarve…

Last, but not least, we have the four-star Pestana South Beach which only opened in 2014 and is located just a few steps away from the beach. The rooms are all decorated with a modern and contemporary theme and feature Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV. With Alvor just a five minute walk away you are never far from a great restaurant or bar to enjoy but there are also dining options on-site too where you can enjoy traditional dishes. Whilst you are not relaxing on the beach, spend time relaxing by one of the three outdoor swimming pools or in the spa and outdoor fitness centre. The Pestana golf courses are all within easy reach of the hotel so you can golf whilst staying here until your heart is content! This is a beautiful destination which offers all of its guests a luxurious stay in a superb location.

An added bonus to booking any of these superb hotels on the Algarve at the moment is our fantastic ATA promotion. This means that with every booking you will receive a J. Lindeberg golf shirt to enjoy and if your mind wasn’t already set upon one of these luxurious destinations then we are sure that it is now.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that you are looking forward to your next luxurious golfing getaway to the Algarve…

South Africa – Guide to the Rainbow Nation

This week’s blog is a South Africa special. South Africa has so much to offer its visitors with beautiful scenery, endless beaches, delicious food and stunning wildlife. With all of this, as well as some of the worlds’ best-kept golf courses offering world-class facilities, coupled with superb weather, it is really no surprise that this a much loved golfing destination. Courses such as Fancourt, Leopard Creek and Gary Player Sun City are known world-side and all host major tournaments. So, if you haven’t already booked your next golf escape to the sun then look no further than one of our superb packages to South Africa…
Rovos-Rail

Rovos Rail is a world-class travel experience and gives you the opportunity to take a journey through South Africa of up to 15 days. Taking a journey on the Rovos Rail is an unforgettable experience and it really isn’t hard to see why. Board the train in Pretoria and enjoy fine wining and dining, superb service and the chance to see some of the most magical spots across South Africa as well as get the opportunity to play some truly testing golf courses. There are three journeys specifically for golfers – the Golf Safari, Golf Collage and the Golf Adventure – but they book very early, so don’t delay. With everyday taking you to a new destination with new sights and courses to play it is not surprising that this is our shining star of golf escape to South Africa.
Fancourrt-Manor-House

If travelling by train is not the way you want to spend your golf trip to South Africa, then we have a fabulous alternative; Fancourt Estate. The five star estate offers stunning scenery and surroundings as well as two very different but equally beautiful hotels and three superb golf courses. The Manor House is just that, a remodelled manor house to create a stunning boutique hotel which is perfect for those of you looking for a quieter holiday in a beautiful place. This boutique hotel offers guests the ultimate luxury and a stay here could never be a disappointment.
Fancourt-Hotel

The Fancourt Hotel features 115 beautifully decorated bedrooms and suites with all the amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard. There are a range of facilities for guests to enjoy from the spa and gym to the range of swimming pools and of course, the three brilliant golf courses. The Fancourt Estate is beautiful, with the breath-taking Outeniqua Mountains providing the backdrop for your stay.
Fancourt-Links

Fancourt’s Outeniqua and Montagu courses have become known as two of the finest parkland courses in the country. Getting the opportunity to play a round of golf on each of these courses is a remarkable experience. However, the shining star of the Fancourt courses is The Links course, which is rated as the best in the country. The course is perhaps the most impressively designed course in South Africa and presents players with a unique and tough South African golfing experience. The land across the golf course is so vast and rolling that it feels like there is a change in elevation at every hole and the course blends effortlessly into its natural landscape. Each hole presents you with a new challenge but you will definitely remember every one, which just shows what an experience you will have. However, there is no doubting that this is an exceptionally tough course with fast greens and lots of rough. The course allows little leeway for wayward shots so if you are a golfer with a high handicap you may find this course a little frustrating. In the area there are some other amazing courses to play such as Oubaai, Simola and Pezula.
Pearl-Valley-Hotel

Another fantastic package to South Africa awaits you at the Pearl Valley Hotel. The hotel, opening soon, will be one of the most luxurious hotels in the area and, when combined with Pearl Valley’s championship golf course, will make for an enchanting stay. The hotel is situated on the Pearl Valley Estate which has stunning scenery. The new hotel will offer luxurious and spacious rooms as well as an onsite restaurant and bar and a large outdoor pool area for guests to enjoy.  If you’d prefer there is an option for you to rent a resident’s lodge, which gives you access to the course as well as the other facilities on site, which is great for golf groups or families.
Pearl-Valley-Golf

Undoubtedly, one of the best things about the new Pearl Valley Hotel is that now you have the opportunity to stay and play one of South Africa’s finest courses – Pearl Valley Golf Course. The course is nestled between the dramatic Simonsberg Mountains and the Berg River Valley. It has been recognised as the Best Conditioned Course in South Africa several years running. The course is a parkland course and has many water hazards which can shake up your round a little if you’re not careful.
Pearl-Valley-Golf-Club

The clubhouse here has a sophisticated atmosphere where you can soak up the beautiful surroundings and enjoy some lovely food and drink.

Enquire now as this new on-site accommodation and golf combination is bound to attract a lot of attention.
Footer

We hope that you enjoyed getting to know a little more about the fantastic packages that await you if you choose to venture out to South Africa…Blog - feedspot

Insider’s Guide to La Manga Club

This week’s blog focuses on the famous La Manga Club resort, and also takes the opportunity to look at the 5-star Principe Felipe Hotel and the 4-star Las Lomas Village packages that are very popular with Golf Escapes clients. La Manga Club is an ideal resort for groups, offering a host of leisure, sports social and dining options to fill your day and night coupled with some superb packages available for all year round! Our packages include offers such as the “one free in eight” deal, plus Early Booking Discounts and other value adds so for value for money this is an excellent option.

If you want some quality during your stay then Hotel Principe Felipe is a modern and comfortable five-star hotel built in traditional Andalucian style with a wide range of facilities and of course direct access to the three brilliant golf courses on-site. The hotel is situated in the centre of La Manga Club which makes it the perfect destination for anyone who wants to be able to access all the facilities of this vast resort very easily. This includes the 28 court tennis centre, impressive spa facilities but especially the many bars and resturants. You will never be short of somewhere to enjoy a brilliant meal or a few drinks when staying here as there are restaurants serving all different types of cuisine from Mediterranean food to Asian cuisine, or Italian and Indian foods options. At the hotel, all of the guestrooms feature a TV as well as a private balcony which boasts scenic views of the pool or the golf course.Principe-Felipe

If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to the 5-star option but you still want all that La Manga Club has to offer than we suggest you take a look at Las Lomas Village. Packages here offer full acess to the golf and other facilities but are easier on the pocket and represent great value. Overlooking the North course, here you can also enjoy time relaxing by the pools, at the Club’s private cove or at the spa when you are not enjoying a round on one of the three golf courses here. Within driving distance, there are the beautiful unspolit beaches of Calbanque or the delights of the Mar Menor where there are is also a wide range of watersports available.Las-Lomas-Village

However, despite all this, for golfers the main attraction will always be the three 18-hole courses on-site and we start with the championship South course. This course is a stern test of golf, but the fairways are quite forgiving so don’t be afraid to open the shoulders. Although the fairways are wide, there are only a few holes which don’t feature some form of water hazard and there are many strategically placed bunkers ready and waiting to catch any errant shots! The course features a wide variety of different holes varying in length and difficulty from terrific par fives to short par threes and the 14th hole presents one of the largest sand traps in Spain with almost the entire length of the fairway on the right-hand side being bunkered.  The 18th is considered to be the signature hole where the tee shot is tough and with your initial shot you will find it difficult to avoid the many water and sand hazards and then to add to the challenge the green is well protected with bunkers. This course is a beautifully honest test of golf and the course demands some accurate shots in order for you to score near to your handicap, especially when the warm wind is against you! The greens are fast but this is a very fun and relaxed course – a perfect addition to your golf escape.South-Course

Next, we have the North course. This course was refurbished again recently and is very different to its sister South course, with the two meeting on several occasions during the 18 holes, it is much shorter and hillier. In order to score well on this course you cannot afford to lose concentration throughout the round as between holes 13 and 17 there are half a dozen ponds waiting to catch any errant shots late in the round. Out of the three courses at La Manga Club, the North course is possibly the easiest but that doesn’t mean that it is to be taken lightly, when the sun is shining (which is almost always is) the originally short par 3s seem long and the palm trees are there, lining the fairways, waiting to catch any wayward shot sent off course by the wind. Although this is a perfect course to play whilst you are on holiday or have a slightly higher handicap, there are also many challenging holes along the way such as the par three 4th hole with out-of-bounds to the left and a magnetic hazard on the right! This is a well-kept, scenic holiday course with large greens, lush fairways and lovely surroundings – definitely one not to be missed out on! Both the South and the North courses here at La Manga can be access straight from Principe Felipe Hotel being just a few steps away from the entrance to the hotel which means that no travelling or fuss is necessary to find a great golf course when you are staying here!North-Course

Last, but certainly not least, is the West course. This course is a 4-minute free shuttle away from the Principe Felipe Hotel and Las Lomas Village which means it is still easier than most to access! This course, although known as some as the Wild West due to the location in the hills, is beautiful with well-manicured fairways and spectacular scenery for you to enjoy throughout the round. Each of the holes here seems to be different and each one presents you with a different challenge whether you are a seasoned golfer or one with a higher handicap! The first nine holes are easier, and slightly less inviting than the back nine but they could not be described as easy with the 3rd hole presenting you with a challenging tee shot as well as a hidden green. Then you have the 9th hole challenging you to take on an uphill tee shot before you wind down to the protected green behind a ravine and in front of a large lake! Throughout the back nine holes you are up and down the mountains playing the difficult 12th hole and then the even more challenging par three 13th which although is a beautiful hole, will not look so beautiful on your scorecard! No one could question the signature hole after you have played the 18th, the tee is at the top of a small mountain overlooking the fairway and beyond across La Manga, the countryside and the sea – this is a superb finishing hole and you can only understand why once you have taken it on. This course is a fabulous addition to the two other La Manga Club courses and completes this as perhaps the perfect destination.West-Course

Travelling to La Manga is also very easy, Murcia (MJV) airport is just 20 minutes’ drive away and is a small airport which means that there are no long queues or walks and despite the fact that it is a small airport, plenty of airlines from the UK fly into there so La Manga Club is very accessible! There is also the option of Alicante (ALC) airport, just over an hour away, this airport is one of the busiest in Spain with a large number of UK flights landing daily. Footer

We hope that you enjoyed this blog and will be considering taking your next golf break to La Manga Club as it really does offer everything that you could possibly need or want, and is much more than just a golf resort. With recent investment, this resort is just getting better and better and so contact us to find out more and see for yourselves what the fuss is about.

Blog - feedspot

The Best Places for a Family Holiday with Golf

This week’s blog is a guide to the best places for you to enjoy your family holiday with some fantastic golf on the side. With the Easter holidays fast approaching we are getting to that time of the year where you should be thinking about your family holiday for this year and this is the perfect place for you to start with some fantastic options and great deals to explore…

Polynesia
First on our list of suggestions is the Holiday Polynesia Hotel which is a great four-star hotel with extensive facilities on the Costa del Sol. The hotel is just under a five minutes’ walk from the beach and features a lagoon-style pool as well as their facilities (including a waterpark!) at the beach club which is open during the summer months. All of the rooms here are decorated with an oriental theme and come with a hob and a microwave which means that although self-catering would be limited, it is possible. However, the hotel does boast a range of restaurants for you to choose from including the Maeva buffet restaurant and Uro Wok which serves oriental cuisine. With plenty of leisure facilities including tennis courts, mini-golf, a cinema and a spa with a separate children’s area this is a superb destination for your next family holiday and with many golf courses within close proximity of the hotel you will get your golf fix too…

La-Manga

Next up we have La Manga Club Las Lomas Village in Murcia where guests are offered well-furnished apartments that have been built into the hillside here and feature stunning views of the golf courses and out to sea. There are a wide range of different accommodation options here which makes this resort perfect for your next family holiday as you can tailor your holiday to what you and your family want. The village offers a wide range of facilities from the mini-market to tennis courts to a wide range of restaurants for you to enjoy but there is always the option of self-catering in your apartment. There are multiple pools on the resort including specific children’s areas and an extensive spa that everyone can enjoy. This is a super resort for your next family golf holiday and with La Manga Golf Club just a short shuttle away you are never far from the facilities you would want for your ideal golf holiday.La-Cala

Another property which makes the cut is the amazing La Cala Golf Resort, situated in the lovely La Cala de Mijas area. Taking into account the luxury accommodation comprising of the delightful 4* hotel and a list of great amenities, there is no question as to how it has established itself as the premier resort on the Costa del Sol. These amenities include the great bar to relax in after a round of superb golf at one of the three on-site courses, evening entertainment, gym and spa facilities, tennis courts, golf practice facilities, indoor and outdoor pools and a highly rated restaurant serving a large menu of high quality Spanish cuisine, plus much more!

Aphrodite-Hills

Aphrodite Hills in Paphos is a luxurious and contemporary five-star resort with deluxe apartments that boast panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea or the on-site golf course that you can enjoy from the floor-to-ceiling windows in each of the apartments and villas. The suites have the option of interconnecting rooms which are perfect for families and there is also a Kids Club and a Crèche Facility. This means that when you are wanting to relax in the spa or play a round on the golf course, your children will be well looked after and they will get the chance to enjoy some fun activities. There are many other activities and facilities that as a guest here you can make good use of and there are several bars and restaurants for you to choose from when it comes to dining options. This is a lovely resort, perfect for a family golfing holiday as there are several courses within a short distance of the hotel.

Gloria-Golf

In Turkey, we highly recommend the Gloria Golf Resort which is just a six minutes’ walk from the beach and features an on-site waterpark as well as two championship golf courses. All of the rooms are fitted with air conditioning and feature private balconies that look out onto the resort. This hotel boasts a fantastic all-inclusive option which is always great for families and there are six restaurants to choose from both buffet and a la carte options. For children, the resort offers a zoo where there are lots of supervised activities available for children of all ages so that you can enjoy a few peaceful hours away either at the spa or enjoying a round or two of golf! Whilst you are here, you can also enjoy the services and facilities of the Gloria Verde and Gloria Serenity Resorts if you fancy a change of scenery. This hotel offers high-class services and facilities to all of their guests and with there being so many activities, pools and of course, the beach available here it is the perfect destination for your next family golf break.Kristallii

 

Last, but not least, is the Kristalli Apartment Hotel which is a lovely, family-run four-star hotel in Greece. The hotel is set in the picturesque old town of Malia just a stroll away from the beach. The accommodation is modern and spacious here with a private balcony or terrace, a kitchenette and satellite TV. You can relax by the pool or take a stroll down to the beach or into town very easily here. Just ten minutes’ walk away from the hotel are a wide range of different shops, restaurants and bars so you will always be able to find something that everyone would like to eat! This is a lovely destination for your next family golf holiday with the superb Crete Golf Club just 15 minutes’ drive away from the hotel and a town full of culture and history just a short stroll away.

Footer

We hope that you enjoyed this week’s guide to the top resorts for your next family golf holiday and that you will take a closer look at anything that has taken your fancy and start preparing fully for Summer 2017…

 

Blog - feedspot

The Insider’s guide to Mauritius – Part 2

This week’s blog is the second instalment to our guide to Mauritius. Mauritius is an up and coming country for golfers with its beautiful white sandy beaches, beautiful resort and superb golf courses. Part one focused on the great hotels and courses you can find on the East Coast here and this will inform you of the gems that you can find on the South Coast.

Heritage-Awali

First up we have the Heritage Awali which is a stunning five-star beach resort surrounded by tropical gardens, swimming pools and the beach. The rooms all feature ethnic décor and a flat-screen TV as well as a private terrace or patio to enjoy the surroundings and warm weather. This hotel, like many others in Mauritius are all-inclusive and feature several restaurants and bars where you can experience everything from traditional Mauritian dishes to other international cuisines. If you are less into golf and more into relaxation then you will not be disappointed with the Seven Colours Spa where you can enjoy a wide range of different treatments. Besides relaxing by the many pool areas or on the beach there are also a range of different activities available including windsurfing and water-skiing. This is a stunning resort and is definitely one to take a look at when you are planning your next golf break to Mauritius.

Heritage-Le-Telfair

Just two minutes’ walk from the beach and set amongst tropical gardens with a beautiful 18-hole golf course on-site is the five-star Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Spa Resort. This hotel is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World and it isn’t hard to see why. There is so much to do here from tennis courts, to the fitness and wellness centre to the watersports. The rooms here are beautifully decorated with an elegant theme each with a flat-screen TV and the facilities you would expect from a hotel of this standard. The hotel boasts two superb restaurants where you can either enjoy Mediterranean barbecues by the swimming pool or Pan-Asian cuisine down on the beach at Gin’ja restaurant. Not only can you experience the ambience of a small, elegant hotel when staying here but you can have access to the restaurants at the neighbouring Heritage Awali. This is another beautiful Heritage hotel on the South Coast and is perfect for your next relaxing golf holiday to Mauritius.

Heritage-Golf-Course

Both of the Heritage hotels have access to the stunning Heritage Golf Course & Club which is a superb 18-hole championship golf course which boasts spectacular surroundings of rolling mountains on one side of the fairways and a lagoon on the other. This course is known for its wide fairways and sizeable putting surfaces but many of which require you to reach them with a blind shot! This is a great holiday course as with five different tee positions it is a challenge for experienced golfers but can be enjoyed by casual golfers too! The course is always in immaculate condition and has a wide variety of holes which are both testing and have beautiful views from them – a great course all-round.

Paradid-Beachcpmber

Last, but not least is Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa which is a lovely five-star resort surrounded by palm trees and white sandy beaches located on Mauritius’ Morne Peninsula. The rooms here are decorated with natural tones and all have free Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV as well as spectacular views of the Indian Ocean from private balconies off of the rooms. This hotel offers a bed and breakfast option which means that you get to experience the delicious breakfast buffet at the Le Brabant restaurant and then choose which of the other three restaurants you want to dine in each evening. La Palma serves Italian dishes, Blue Marlin is a delicious seafood restaurant and La Ravanne serves traditional Creole specialities. The hotel offers guests so many areas to enjoy from the large pool area, the beach is just a stone’s throw-away and there are watersports available there including windsurfing, snorkelling and diving. This is a brilliant, lively hotel with all the facilities and activities available that you would expect from a five-star resort and you will definitely not be disappointed with a holiday here!

Paradis-Golf-Club

Paradis Golf Club is a great 18-hole course on-site of the Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa. The course boasts a spectacular location nestled between the stunning Morne Mountains and the shores of the Indian Ocean. The front nine holes are rather narrow and the back nine feature water hazards on almost every hole making it a challenge even for the most confident of golfers. The views along the back nine holes are simply breathtaking as the course sweeps out and back along the coast before turning back towards the clubhouse. This gem of a course will give you a testing but consistent round of golf with some views that you could only experience on the exotic island of Mauritius.

Footer

We hope that you have enjoyed both of the blogs on Mauritius and the gems that await you there both in terms of luxury resorts and superb golf courses. With January dragging on it is hard to even think about when we will get to experience some warm, sunny weather here in the UK and one sure way to take your mind off the January blues is to book your next golf escape to Mauritius…

 

Blog - feedspot

 

Golf in England with Golf Escapes – Part 2

This week’s blog is the second part to our U.K golfing blog. Although the last few weeks have definitely been a little chillier than we are used to with the weather having been so mild all last winter and this autumn but on the whole the weather has been much warmer through the low-season months. This is great news for golf here as the courses stay in better condition for longer and you get to play the fantastic courses here for low-season rates but whilst playing in mid-season weather!

generic-cours

Tours in England and Ireland have become much more popular and we are constantly getting out to explore the hidden gems around the country looking for all the best golf courses that you can then book to play!

 

A key tip if you’re looking to book your next golf tour in the U.K is definitely to book early, big groups book their tee times very far in advance so to get the good ones you definitely have to get in there quickly!

ireland

In this blog, we have a few different fantastic resorts and a few different great golf courses that you should definitely consider looking into when planning your next golf break in England or Ireland…

dorset

First up we have the Dorset Golf & Country Club which is situated in a stunning, tranquil setting in the midst of a pine forest. This is a lovely resort and offers not only a lovely 16-bedroom hotel which is perfect for smaller groups but also some superb log cabins which sleep up to eight people in them. The log cabins are fully furnished and each have a fully-fitted kitchen so you have the option of self-catering very easily when staying here! The resort boasts a range of different facilities (aside for the magnificent golf course!) from fishing lakes to a fitness centre and sauna as well as an indoor championship bowls rink. There is plenty to do and see here but of course the highlight of the resort is the 27 holes of championship golf that are on-site. The Championship Course consists of three different loops of nine holes so you will be able to mix and match them to play the course you want to play. This is a beautiful location for your next golf break to Dorset and the golf here is not to be missed out on!

old-thorns

Hotel Old Thorns is a four-star luxury hotel set in the rolling hills of the Hampshire countryside and has no fewer than nine different options for accommodation! All of the rooms feature lovely ensuite bathrooms, flat-screen TVs and tea and coffee making facilities. There are also several options for dining from the casual sports bar to the luxurious King’s Restaurant where you can get a fantastic carvery! The Championship Course here is a great course for golfers of all abilities and will test even those with the lowest handicaps whilst not seeming too harsh for those with a higher handicap! This is a great holiday course to play and if there are members of the group less interested in golf then they can enjoy the beautiful spa at the hotel where they can get a range of different treatments and enjoy the facilities there. This hotel is in such an idyllic location and is something very special – one to consider for your next golf break in England!

barnham-broom

Set in the Norfolk countryside is the four-star Barnham Broom Hotel. The bedrooms have been recently refurbished and decorated to the highest standard with a contemporary theme. Just like the other hotels, there are different room types to suit each and every person but each are fully-fitted with all the amenities you would expect from a hotel of this rating and you are sure to enjoy your stay here. There is a lovely spa for guests to enjoy a whole range of different treatments from massages to facials to reflexology. For the keen golfers, onsite there are not one but two stunning Championship courses for you to enjoy here. This another superb option for your next golf holiday in England and with so much to do onsite and the accommodation being so lovely there is no reason to wait another minute to book your next golf break!

 

Next up we have three different courses which are well worth a play even if you don’t choose to stay in a resort nearby…

east-brighton

East Brighton Golf Club is a beautiful downland course with some spectacular coastal views. The great thing about this course is that it is normally open for play all-year-round because it is built on chalk it rarely suffers from the poor weather conditions here that we sometimes get in England. The course is a genuine test of golf for those of all abilities and is known for being a fair round of golf to play! It is just a five minutes’ drive from the centre of Brighton where there is so much to do and see you will definitely want to stay and play here!

royal-ashdown-forest-golf-club-old-course

The Old Course at the Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club is a very old course but is still consistently ranked as one of the top 100 courses on the British Isles. Although you may feel settled by the fact that the course doesn’t have a single bunker to catch your errant shots, it is still known for being a true test of golf for even those with the lowest handicaps! Along the course there are some beautiful views across Sussex, Surrey and Kent and its location is simply stunning as well. This is a great course to play even if you are not planning on staying!

ring-of-kerry

In Ireland, the Ring of Kerry course is set amongst lakes and mountains to produce a simply stunning course and a testament to that is its placing as one of the top in the province. It’s a stunning parkland course with exhilarating elevation changes and water coming into play on many of the holes. This course features a great variety of different holes and after you have enjoyed a round here you will not be questioning why this is rated as one of the best courses in the country.

footer

We hope that you enjoyed this blog and are now considering which of these fantastic resorts or courses to base your next golf holiday in the UK around…

nav-logo-bg-square

The Insider’s Guide to Mauritius

This week’s blog is a guide to Mauritius. Mauritius is a beautiful a stunning country in the Indian Ocean where you can enjoy some of the most breathtaking scenery, beaches and golf resorts. With practically year-round good weather, so much to do, see and enjoy as well as some of the most beautiful beaches that you will ever get to experience, this is definitely a place you must consider when you are planning your next golf escape…

constance-belle-mare-plage

First up, on the East Coast we have the Constance Belle Mare Plage which is a stunning resort stretching over 1.2 miles of private beach. The rooms are all spacious and elegantly decorated with separate living areas and a satellite TV, some of the rooms overlook private pools and the Indian Ocean. There are seven different restaurants for you to choose from when you are staying here, some are internationally themed a la carte and the others are buffet restaurants but all boast incredible views either over the Indian Ocean, the golf course or the pool area. There resort also boasts six bars so you will certainly never be short of somewhere to get a refreshing drink after a tough round of golf! If you are less into golf but more into relaxation then you can enjoy the spa area, relax by one of the four swimming pools or spend the day sunbathing on the private stretch of golden sand. If you are considering a family holiday here, then there is also a kid’s club for the little ones to enjoy and there is the opportunity for excursions from the hotel to take part in different activities from watersports to tennis.

the-legend

When you are staying at the Constance Belle Mare Plage you will inevitably play the Legend Golf Course and the Links Golf Course. The Legend Golf Course is laid out in the centre of a tropical forest and has 18 very different holes for you to enjoy. Although water hazards threaten you on most of the holes, the fairways are fairly wide and forgiving which makes this a beautiful holiday course. The toughest hole on this course is the par-4 5th hole where you need to avoid water in order to get your ball onto the green.

the-links

The Links Golf Course is a magnificent course set in natural surroundings with the fairways rolling over natural terrain in a links style. When the strong sea breeze is in play along with the various water hazards along the course this can test any golfer to score close to their handicap. This is a beautifully picturesque course with even the clubhouse featuring stunning views of the surroundings. This is another great championship course to top off the fabulous resort and sister course you can enjoy here!

shamgri-la-le-touessrok

Shangri-La Le Touessrok Resort & Spa is another superb five-star resort on the East Coast. The resort is located along the white-sand beaches of Trou d’Eau Douce Bay and is set amongst tropical gardens. All of the rooms and suites are decorated in with a traditional Mauritian theme and each boast their own private balcony from which you can enjoy stunning views of the Indian Ocean. You can enjoy the spa and wellness centre whilst you are not out playing a round of golf or relaxing by the outdoor pool or on the beach, at the spa centre you can enjoy a range of different treatments as well as the sauna, hot-tub and steam room. This hotel also features a range of different dining options from a fabulous fish restaurant to an Indian restaurant to a trendy beach grill restaurant! Whilst here you will never be short of anything to do as there are a range of activities to enjoy down on the beach like watersports as well as the on-site golf course and the gym. This is another fantastic resort perfect for your next golf break to Mauritius…

long-beach

Last, but certainly not least, is the Long Beach Golf & Spa Resort which is another five-star resort situated on the East Coast. All of the rooms are spacious and decorated with a contemporary theme, they also each boast their own private balconies where you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean. There are three outdoor pools, the stretch of private beach and a sun terrace for guests to relax on and around and for further relaxation you can enjoy a range of different treatments at the spa. Although there is not a golf course on-site, you are just 20-minutes’ drive from Il Aux Cerfs Golf Club and there is often the option of getting complimentary shuttles from the hotel. Like most of the hotels here, there are many different restaurants for you to choose from where you can enjoy all cuisines from traditional Mauritian dishes to international cuisines – there certainly is something for everyone! This resort is a beautiful  one for your next golf holiday to Mauritius and with so many activities on-site as well as the stunning golf nearby it isn’t hard to see why…

ile-aux-cerfs

Whilst staying at these last two resorts you can expect to enjoy a round or two at Il Aux Cerfs Golf Course which features 18-holes all set out across a sugar plantation. The setting and surroundings of this course are simply breathtaking, with white sandy beaches lining the fairways as well as fairways that wind through lush mangrove forests, over volcanic lava outcrops and past tidal pools to reach the final 18th hole. This is a tight course but with some of the most stunning views from a course that you will ever get to experience – definitely one not to miss out on!

footer

We hope that you enjoyed this week’s blog and with the weather just getting colder and colder start to consider where and when you are going to get your next fix of the sun and some well-needed vitamin D!

 

nav-logo-bg-square

The Best Resorts for Groups

This week’s blog is a guide to the best resorts for your next group golf holiday. When you’re planning a group golf holiday you have to make sure there is some fantastic golf, great bars and excellent restaurants for you to enjoy during the holiday. Spring is a perfect time to go on your next group golf break where you can enjoy the bright and dry weather that England rarely offers us at that time of year!

voyage

Voyage Belek Golf & Spa is arguably one of the best resorts for groups and with Turkey’s climate you are almost guaranteed some fantastic weather from April through to October! This 5-star, all-inclusive resort offers everything you could need for a fantastic group holiday from the spa to the private beach to the fact that you can play two superb nearby courses – Montgomerie Maxx Royal and Titanic Golf Club. The resort boasts a wide range of different eating a drinking options with eight restaurants serving specialities from Mexican to Japanese to traditional Turkish dishes. There are also nine bars for you to all relax in after 18-holes on one of the golf courses or just if you fancy a few after dinner drinks! All of the rooms are beautifully furnished with a flat-screen TV each as well as private balconies for you to enjoy stunning views across the Mediterranean Sea or the golf course. The Voyage is a great resort for your next group golf break because of everything it has to offer in terms of a range of facilities, activities and the golf in the surrounding area is fantastic. With all of this as well as a great spa area and five swimming pools you cannot deny that this is a perfect destination for your next golf holiday as there truly is something for everyone!

montgomerie

The Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf Course has a fantastic layout making it one of the most popular courses in the Belek region. It’s a fantastic course with water featuring heavily throughout the round making it a tricky one! The 18th is certainly something to look forward to on this course as you will require accuracy in your shot to get to the well-protected green at the end. This course is a scenic one with wide fairways meandering through forests of pine and eucalyptus trees and is certainly one not to be missed. Voyage guests get prime tee times and discounted green fees at this course and if that doesn’t seal the deal for you then nothing will!

titanic

Titanic Golf Club is another beautiful course that you can play when staying at the Voyage and has 27 great holes for you to play. This course has a real mixture of holes from beachside ones to parkland to links style holes! This is a lovely course to play and can be a real test of ability!

tivoli-marina-portimao

Another great resort for your group golfing holiday is the Tivoli Marina Portimão which is situated on the Algarve. This stunning 4-star hotel is situated in the centre of the marina in Portimão just three-minutes’ walk from the beach and five-minutes’ from Praia de Rocha. There are three fantastic courses within close proximity to the hotel – Alamos, Morgado and Salgados – so you will never be short of somewhere to have a good round of golf! Each of the studio apartments that you can stay in feature a kitchenette so it is possible to do a little self-catering if you don’t want to venture out for dinner or to one of the hotel’s two restaurants. If there are some of the group less into golf, then they can enjoy being in such a central location or just use the hotel’s swimming pools and fitness rooms whilst the others are golfing!

real-bellavista

Also situated on the Algarve is the Real Bellavista Hotel & Spa which is another resort to consider when you are thinking about your next group golfing holiday. This resort boasts an ideal location as it is so close to the centre of Albufeira which is well known for its busy nightlife and wide range of restaurants and bars. The hotel’s rooms are all spacious and fully-fitted with everything you would expect from a hotel of this standard and there is also a spa and health club for those of the group who may not want to go on all the golfing excursions! With all of this and the fact that there are several golf courses within close proximity of the hotel this definitely is a resort we recommend for the perfect group golf break.

melis-villaitana

Hotel Melia Villaitana is a 4-star hotel situated just 20 minutes from Alicante and just between two fabulous golf courses. The hotel offers a wonderful spa area, outdoor swimming pools and an artificial beach all for guests to enjoy at their leisure. The hotel is designed to replicate an old Mediterranean village and all of the rooms have private balconies or terraces as well as a satellite TV. There are a range of restaurants for you to enjoy at the hotel but Alicante is a short drive away where you can find more restaurants, bars and nightlife to enjoy! The Villaitana courses are simply stunning and will provide great rounds for guests at the hotel. This is another fantastic option for your next group golf holiday to Spain and although you can venture out to get the nightlife and bars the actual hotel is a little quieter and more exclusive than other busier resorts.

mar-menor

Mar Menor Golf Resort boasts some beautiful and well-appointed apartments which are perfect for when you are travelling as a group here. They are all spacious with well-equipped kitchens and either a private balcony or terrace for you to relax out on. The Residences give you that option of self-catering which can be great for when you are travelling as a group rather than eating out all the time but there are plenty of options for food and drink nearby as well! This is a great destination for your next golf break as there are a wide range of different courses within such close proximity of the hotel as well as the well-known Mar Menor course on-site!

footer

We hope that this week’s blog has encouraged you to think about your next group golf holiday that you will be taking, perhaps even in Spring 2017! There are plenty of fantastic options available and some of the best resorts are perfect for group golf holidays.

nav-logo-bg-square

 

 

 

Insider’s guide to The Thailand Collection

This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to the Thailand collection of hotels that are ready for you to book your next golf break to…

1

Thailand has something to offer for everyone. Practically year-round the weather is absolutely stunning and you can enjoy first-class golf courses, beautiful golden, sandy beaches and some of the most vibrant cities all in one place. Thailand has the most fascinating culture and history and a golf break here is definitely not one to be passed up on!

2

We have six fantastic hotels in Thailand, two in the bustling capital city of Bangkok, two in Pattaya where there is some of the most exciting nightlife to embrace and then two by the coast in Hua Hin.

3

First up we have the five-star Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi Bangkok Golf Resort & Spa which is situated between Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The large, contemporary-designed suites each have their own large balconies where you can enjoy stunning views of Summit Windmill Golf Club. The hotel boasts three fantastic restaurants for guests to enjoy, you can sample some of the best traditional Thai cuisine or eat at the Italian a la carte if you would prefer.  There are also two lovely bar areas you can enjoy, either on the terrace or inside in a stylishly-designed bar. When you’re not out on the golf courses, you can relax by the amazing outdoor infinity pool or in the holistic spa. This is a stunning hotel where you will experience nothing but the best in terms of both service and facilities – definitely not one to miss out on!

le-meridien

Park Plaza Sukhumvit Hotel is a modern hotel situated right in the heart of Bangkok city which means that you can easily explore the city right from the doorstep of the hotel! This hotel really is in an ideal location as you get to enjoy staying in the heart of the bustling capital but you are also within easy access to several fantastic golf courses. When you are not out exploring or enjoying a round then you can enjoy a dip in the rooftop swimming pool where you can see some spectacular sights of the city. The hotel features a fantastic restaurant with a show kitchen where you can enjoy Thai, Mediterranean and other international cuisine. But, of course, being in the heart of the city you are never far away from a vast array of different restaurants and bars that you can try! Another fantastic hotel in Bangkok and one that you can really sample the culture of Thailand whilst playing some great golf.

park-plaza

Situated in North Pattaya is the five-star Cape Dara Hotel which is just a two minutes’ walk from the beach. You can enjoy relaxing by the pool or on Pattaya beach which is simply stunning. The rooms are fully-furnished with all of the amenities you would expect from a hotel of this standard and it is highly recommended to get a room with a balcony so that you can enjoy the beautiful views. You are just a 10-minutes’ drive from the shopping centre and 15-minutes’ drive from Cape Dara Resort. This is a hotel where you can soak up the beauty of Thailand and play some fantastic golf in a quieter location. The hotel boasts two lovely restaurants; one of which serves Cantonese and the other serves international cuisines so there is something to suit everyone. This is another fabulous hotel where you can enjoy the beautiful beach, superb golf and the peace and tranquility you often want on holiday in a lovely location!

cape-dara

The superbly-located Sabai Empress Hotel is a contemporary hotel just over 5-minutes’ walk to the beach and only 350 yards from the shopping district of Pattaya. The hotel features modern, fully-furnished rooms and for some spectacular views of the city then all you have to do is take a trip up to the rooftop pool area where you can enjoy a dip and a refreshing drink whilst soaking up the incredible views. This is another hotel that you are within easy access of many great golf courses which means that you can expect a busy holiday with so much to do and see in the city as well. Sabai’s own restaurant serves both Thai and International cuisines which you must try but you are also never far from some brilliant restaurants in the city. For your next city and beach golf break to a vibrant place there couldn’t be anywhere better.

sabai-empress

Banyan Resort is just 3 miles from the centre of Hua Hin and just a five-minutes’ drive from Khao Takaib Beach. The accommodation here is set out as private villas which feature their own Jacuzzis or pools which makes this ideal for your next family holiday to Thailand. You can enjoy a meal of either Thai or International food at the Lemongrass Restaurant or a lighter meal at the Splash Pool Bar. You can enjoy a round on the golf course which you can get to via free shuttle from the hotel, relax around the pool or in the spa if you prefer. This is a great family resort and is within close proximity of Hua Hin where you can get out to explore and perhaps enjoy a few meals out!

banyan

Last, but certainly not least, is Wannara Hotel which is just two-minutes’ walk from Hua Hin Beach, 10-minutes’ walk to the Hua Hin Night Market and 5-minutes’ drive into the village. Staying here, you are in a prime location with the beach, many fantastic golf courses and the village so close to the hotel. Whilst you are not out in the village exploring or playing on one of the many great golf courses in the area then you can relax by the outdoor pool or just enjoy a few refreshing drinks at the bar! Wannara is the on-site restaurant which serves lovely Thai dishes as well as Scandinavian favourites for you to enjoy during your stay here! This is yet another fabulous hotel where you can enjoy a bit of everything that Thailand has to offer.

wannara

We hope that when you are thinking about your next golf holiday you consider Thailand and everything that the beautiful country has to offer you in terms of golf, stunning hotels, culture, nightlife and history! These are all fantastic hotels with each of them offering you something a little bit different so there really is a hotel that will suit anyone and any type of holiday…

nav-logo-bg-square