Long Haul Special

This week’s blog is a long haul special in which we will show you some of the brilliant hotels and experiences that there are to be had a little further afield than Europe. When you are thinking about booking your next golf break, it is worth considering what you can get for your money when travelling somewhere completely new and different and these hotels and experiences are definitely some of the ones to look at…

First up, in Dubai, is the Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City which is a stunning five-star hotel located on the Dubai Creek and just 20 minutes’ away from Dubai airport. Whilst staying here you will experience the ultimate luxury as the hotel offers so many fantastic amenities and facilities as well as beautifully decorated accommodation. Whilst you are not enjoying relaxing by the outdoor pool, in the gym or playing a round of golf at the superb Arabian Ranches Golf Club you can take advantage of the hotel’s great location being close to the Mall of the Emirates, Burj Khalifa and the Kite Beach. The hotel boasts 13 different restaurants so there really is something for everyone with each of the restaurants serving different cuisine from sushi to mezze boards to Brazilian. This is a beautifully designed hotel with so many local attractions including Creekside Park and Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary and is the perfect destination for your next luxury long haul golf break.

The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa is a stunning five-star resort set in the heart of Abu Dhabi which means that it boasts an excellent location within close distance of some of Abu Dhabi’s top attractions including the world-renowned beach, the Corniche. Whilst you are not out exploring the local attractions, you can spend time relaxing by one of the two outdoor pools or at the Heavenly Spa. The golf at the resort is as brilliant as the rest of the facilities as on-site you have a 27-hole Championship course and within close proximity of the resort you also have two other courses. Everything about this resort is luxurious including the rooms which are all open-plan and have floor-to-ceiling windows as well as private balconies. If you are looking for luxury and to travel to somewhere new with fantastic golf and plenty of things to do, see, eat and drink then this is the perfect place for your next golf holiday.

In the Dominican Republic is the lovely, five-star Casa de Campo Resort and Villas where you can enjoy a special and unrivalled golfing experience. This resort is considered to be one of the world’s leading golf resorts and it isn’t hard to see why with everything that it has to offer including no less than three excellent golf courses on-site as well as many different sporting facilities, a health spa, nightly entertainment and a private beach. Each of the rooms is furnished beautifully and boasts its own private balcony or terrace as well as a walk-in closet and a large flat-screen TV. There are many restaurants on-site and you can enjoy different cuisines and dishes from seafood to International dishes to Spanish cuisine. This is the ideal resort for you if you are looking for a busy and exciting golf break to the Dominican Republic where you can play a few different but equally brilliant golf courses.

Your next recommendation for a brilliant long haul golf holiday is the Embassy Suites by Hilton Scottsdale where you can stay in spacious accommodation and enjoy all of the luxury facilities and amenities offered here. Whilst you are not out enjoying a round on one of the five brilliant golf courses which are easily accessible from the hotel, you can relax by one of the outdoor pools which each have hot tubs or exercise in the fitness centre. The guest suites have all been recently refurbished and boast everything that you could need including a kitchenette, free Wi-Fi and a satellite TV. Old Town Scottsdale is on your doorstep whilst staying here and there is so much to do and see there including spas, shopping, dining and an abundance of nightlife. If you are looking for a great base to explore Old Town Scottsdale, play some great golf and stay in luxurious suites then this is the perfect place for you to choose for your next golf break.

Tamarina Boutique Hotel on the West Coast of Mauritius is a lovely four-star hotel which is situated next to its very own private beach and is surrounded by tropical lands. Tamarina Golf Club is a fantastic 18-hole championship course but there is so much to do besides play golf here including taking a visit to the Casela National Park, relaxing by one of the four outdoor pools or in the spa or you can enjoy the many sporting activities that are available at the hotel including quad biking and diving. Each of the rooms in the hotel are fully air-conditioned and all feature either a private balcony or terrace from which you can enjoy stunning views of the surroundings. Tamarina Boutique Hotel is a beautiful hotel from which you can enjoy the tranquil surroundings of Mauritius and play some great golf at the same time making it a perfect destination for your next long haul golf holiday.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Shongololo Express which although is not a resort or hotel, can offer you something truly brilliant on your next golf break to South Africa. The Shongololo Express journeys from Pretoria to Cape Town, or vice versa, over 14 nights and offers you the chance to experience the very best of South Africa and travel in style whilst you do it. The train will stop off at many of the country’s top attractions and top golf courses including: Fancourt, Arabella and Leopard Creek. There is no better way to travel South Africa and get the chance to see everything that this country has to offer than on the Shongololo Express which makes this the perfect experience for your next long haul golf holiday.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that when you are planning your next golf break you think about taking the opportunity to see somewhere new and exciting and experience an entirely different culture on a long haul trip.

Golf & Spa with the Best Deals by Far

This week’s blog is a guide to some of the best hotels which boast fantastic spas and even better deals. When you are going on your next golf break, it is important to think about the facilities and activities available at the resorts beside the fantastic golf courses, especially if there are non-golfers going on the trip and so this blog is perfect for you – especially if you are looking for a great deal as well.

First up, we have the brilliant four-star Acaya Golf Resort and Spa which is situated in the beautiful Italian countryside just five minutes’ drive from the stunning coastline of southern Italy. All of the rooms here are elegantly designed and have lovely views overlooking the golf course, the garden, or the Puglia countryside and there is so much to do around the resort. You can spend time relaxing by one of the two outdoor swimming pools, take a walk through the hotel’s garden, play at Acaya Golf Club which is the great 18-hole golf course on-site or enjoy relaxing in the hotel’s extensive spa. The extensive spa boasts everything that you could ever need for a relaxing experience including a sauna, a steam room, a whirlpool, Jacuzzi and a Turkish Bath as well as a wide range of different treatment options. This is a superb hotel with some excellent golf and facilities to enjoy and the best part is that there are some spectacular deals on which makes this an ideal destination for your next golf break to Italy.

Next up is the Doubletree by Hilton Golf and Spa Emporda which is situated on the Costa Brava. The hotel is small and modern but boasts two onsite 18-hole golf courses, Emporda Forest and Emporda Links. Just a few minutes’ drive from the hotel is the charming town of Toroella de Montgri where you can find an array of different bars and restaurants but if you prefer to dine in at the hotel, the hotel’s restaurant specialises in Catalan dishes and afterwards you can enjoy a cocktail or two in the lounge area. The spa at the hotel is available at a small extra charge but it is more than worth it as you can enjoy a range of treatments there as well as the Turkish Bath, the hot tub, the sauna and the fitness centre. This is another superb hotel with great golf, a great spa and great prices.

Set in the Sant Llorenç del Munt Natural Park, just 25 minutes’ drive from Barcelona and five minutes’ drive from the world class Real Golf Club El Prat, is the four-star Doubletree by Hilton Hotel La Mola. This is a beautiful hotel in relaxing surroundings and boasts a spa in line with the atmosphere of the hotel. The well-equipped spa is the perfect place for you to relax with a fitness centre, sauna, outdoor pool and massage services. Whilst you are here, take the chance to sample local tapas at the Sofora Café or enjoy fresh meals at either of the hotel’s two superb restaurants. This is an ideal destination for your next relaxing golf break to the Barcelona area…

The Doubletree by Hilton Venice North is a stylish hotel located in the countryside but also just 20 minutes’ drive from Venice. Whilst staying here, enjoy a round at Golf Club Ca Della Nave before returning to the hotel for a dip in the outdoor swimming pool where you can relax on the sun terrace on a lounger or a visit to the luxurious spa and wellness area. At the spa you can enjoy some great facilities including a sauna, a Turkish Bath and the gym as well as a range of different massage and treatment options. This is a brilliant hotel with stylish rooms, a warm welcome and all of the facilities and amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard. This is an ideal hotel for you to stay and play at when on your next golf break to Italy, especially if you are looking for somewhere luxurious with an excellent spa and some even better deals…

Situated amongst 90 acres of wooded parkland with panoramic views across Oysterhaven Bay is the lovely four-star Macdonald Kinsale Hotel and Spa. This hotel boasts a superb location as you can soak up the tranquillity of the hotel’s immediate surroundings or take short drives into the nearest towns including Cork and Kinsale where you will find so much to eat, drink, see and do. Whilst staying here, you are also just two miles from Kinsale Golf Club and whilst you are not out having a round of golf you can enjoy the extensive spa and wellness facilities at the hotel. The spa boasts a relaxation room, a sauna, many different treatment rooms, a steam room and a large indoor pool to keep you occupied and fully relaxed! This is a lovely hotel situated in a stunning location and with so much to do and see both at the hotel and in the surrounding areas it is no surprise that we suggest this hotel for your next golf break to Ireland if you are after great spa facilities and a great price.

Last, but certainly not least, is the four-star, stylish Hotel Barriere Le Westminster which is in Le Touquet in Northern France. This luxurious hotel is just 500 metres from the beach and boasts an extensive spa with a heated indoor swimming pool, a sauna and a hot tub as well as five treatment rooms, one of which that is for two people, where you can enjoy a range of different massages and treatments. Whilst here, you can enjoy dining in the hotel’s 30’s style restaurant and drinking in the oak-panelled bar here but if you are looking to venture out of the hotel, Le Touquet’s bars and restaurants are a very short distance away. With all of these facilities as well as five brilliant golf courses within a short distance of the hotel it is no surprise that we recommend Hotel Barriere Le Westminster for your next golf holiday to France.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that it has inspired you for your next golf break, especially if what you are looking for is some great deals, great golf and great spa facilities.

Spotlight on All-Inclusive & Golf in Belek

This week’s blog is a guide to the fantastic all-inclusive resorts and golf courses in Belek. Belek, in Turkey, is a fantastic destination for your next golf break with warm weather almost all year round, great golf courses and the service, food and amenities at all of the resorts here means that each resort is worthy of its five-star ratings.

First up, we have the brilliant Gloria resorts. Gloria Golf, Gloria Verde and Gloria Serenity each offer something unique and different which may sway your choice but each of them are within easy access of both the Gloria Old course and Gloria New.

Gloria Golf Resort offers guests a free shuttle to the golf courses which are just a few minutes’ away from the hotel. Gloria Golf Resort is the perfect destination for a quieter golf break in Belek where you can enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the resort and venture out onto the beach which is just across the bridge over the picturesque Acisu River. Spend your time here at Gloria Golf Resort sipping ice cold drinks by the pool, enjoying the private beach area or taking part in the many activities available onsite.

Gloria Verde Resort is the sister hotel to the Gloria Golf Resort and can offer you the same levels of service and facilities at the other Gloria Resorts but for a slightly lower price. The great thing about both the Gloria Verde and Gloria Golf Resorts is that there is a free shuttle between the hotels so that you can benefit from all the facilities and activities based at each one. At Gloria Verde, you must take a visit to the Thalasso Therapy Centre where you can choose from a wide range of lovely treatments.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Gloria Serenity Resort which is arguably one of the finest hotels in Belek and it isn’t hard to see how the resort acquired this reputation with its beautiful architecture, relaxing atmosphere and excellent spa. The Gloria Serenity Resort is very popular among couples who are looking for the ultimate luxury during their golf break as well as easy access to two fantastic golf courses which is possible here with free transfers to the nearby Gloria courses.

The two Gloria golf courses are great holiday courses and a couple of rounds on each course here is a welcome addition to any golf break to Belek. Gloria Old was one of the first golf courses to open in Belek and is now one of the most popular with stunning views, narrow fairways and deep bunkers. This is a firm but true test of golf and one not to be missed out on. Gloria New is a long course at over 7,000 yards from the back tees and with very fast fairways, strategically placed bunkers and other hazards along the way this is a tricky course. Both the courses here make for great rounds of golf and perfectly top off a stay at a luxurious resort…

Next up, we have the Cornelia Resorts: Cornelia Diamond Resort and Cornelia Deluxe Resort which are both luxurious and modern resorts with so much on offer including easy access to Cornelia Faldo golf course.

The Cornelia Diamond Resort offers guests the ultimate luxury in terms of both the facilities and the service that is offered here. With multiple swimming pools, restaurants and bars as well as a private beach area, an amphitheatre and a great spa as well as a two-minute free shuttle bus to the Cornelia Faldo golf course it isn’t hard to see why this is a fantastic resort for your next golf break to Belek. This resort is a fun and lively one with so much going on at all times of the day which makes it ideal for a fun and busy golf holiday.

The Cornelia Deluxe Resort is beautifully designed and boasts direct access onto a private beach area as well as great a la carte restaurants, lively bars and large swimming pools. This resort is already a firm favourite for many guests that have stayed here since it opened and it really isn’t hard to see why. The Cornelia Deluxe Resort is a perfect choice for your next golf holiday to Belek.

The Cornelia Faldo boasts a great layout and is always kept in excellent condition which makes it the ideal holiday course. Cornelia Faldo is not an easy course as many of its holes require you to take a few minutes to decide how to best approach them if you are to avoid waiting hazards but, it is a firm but fair test of golf and the perfect addition to your stay at either the Cornelia Diamond Resort or the Cornelia Deluxe Resort.

Last, but certainly not least, we have the Sueno Resorts. Sueno Hotels Golf and Sueno Hotels Deluxe are both very different hotels but each offer something fantastic that will appeal to almost any golfer for their next golf break to Belek. Both of these fantastic hotels boast easy access to both the Sueno Pines and Sueno Dunes golf courses.

Sueno Hotels Golf is a beautifully designed modern hotel with everything that you could possibly need for your next golf break within the hotel’s grounds – including two superb 18-hole golf courses. Enjoy relaxing by the outdoor or indoor pool or take a stroll down onto the beach to the hotel’s private beach area which consists of a great beach club area with a bar and restaurant as well as a pier which stretches out into the Mediterranean and hosts a bar and many sunbeds. This is a great destination for your next relaxing golf break to Belek.

Sueno Hotels Deluxe only opened in May 2015 and is already a hit with visitors to Belek and is isn’t hard to see why. No expense was spared on developing this luxurious resort with its beautifully decorated rooms and public areas. You can enjoy relaxing round one of the swimming pools or on the beach and when it comes to food you will never go hungry with the new Sueno Avenue giving you the option to try many different kinds of foods from different outlets. This is a great hotel for your next lively golf holiday to Belek where you can enjoy the hotel’s many bars and its nightclub.

Sueno Dunes golf course is a great course for golfers of mixed abilities due to its range of different tee options and the fact that it is both shorter and easier than the Pines course. The course boasts a very interesting layout with open fairways and spectacular views. Sueno Pines golf course is the more challenging of the two courses here as you have to be accurate with your tee shots or you may find yourself hitting into the trees which line the fairways or into the strategically placed bunkers. Easily, the best hole on this course is the 18th which requires you to get onto the island green which is sat right in front of the hotel – a great finishing hole.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that you will consider one of these fantastic resorts for your next golf break to Belek as in Belek, there really is something for everyone.

South Africa Week – Part 2

Day 6

The day dawned with an impenetrable sea-fog engulfing the course and I was resigned to our run of sunny days coming to an end, and to not playing Oubaai. Warren though was unperturbed and over breakfast – great omelette, the fog magically cleared.  In 10 minutes – never seen that before. And there were the blue skies once more.

The Oubaai course (Par 72, 6,516 yards) was more to my liking and I began to get my confidence back and was notching up the odd par. Then we came to the 190 yard Par 3 over the tree lined gorge – you were either on the green or you were in trouble – and memories of ‘those’ holes at Pinnacle Point came flooding back. No problem though, I cleared the gorge and was the only one to score on the hole. Perhaps my fortune had changed? Fancourt next.

It’s a very short drive to George and Fancourt and takes us less than 15 minutes. We’re greeted with a glass of ‘fizz’ on arrival and had a few minutes to look at the communal areas of the bar and sitting areas and pro-shop. Impressive.

For the first time on the trip, we had the rest of the afternoon to ourselves

Dinner was hosted by Fancourt in La Cantina, an intimate restaurant offering some amazing Italian inspired dishes such as Octopus carpaccio.

Day 7

Today Marcos, Fancourt’s golf director, hosted us with a round on the Outeniqua course (Par 72, 5,986 yards off the middle tees). Outeniqua is one of the three courses offered at Fancourt; the other two being the Montagu and Fancourt Links, the latter being South Africa’s No. 1 rated course and one you can only play if you stay at Fancourt. It is a private course with just 46 members……….I wonder what their annual membership costs?

We booked a caddy, a black man called Whitey who lived in George, who was quite a character but early on I learned two valuable lessons early on with a caddy I had only just met; “here is your ball” really means “this may be your ball” and he had no idea of how far I could hit the ball – to be fair neither do I sometimes.

“Can I reach that bunker?”

“No”.

“Sand wedge please”

Outeniqua was a lovely course, with some challenging holes but not too much so – as long as you can hit your ball where you know it needs to go. If only!

I came off the course with a couple of pars and with a birdie on the Par 3 15th.  My glass of Windhoek Light tasted particularly sweet.

Following a sight inspection of the whole property including the exclusive Fancourt Manor, which is ideal for couples who desire some privacy and some pampering, we ate at Henry Whites in Fancourt Manor. What an exquisite experience, attentive but subtle service, a varied menu without too many choices and a great wine list.

 Day 8

We bade farewell to Fancourt and continued our drive eastwards down the Garden Route on the N2 through the beautiful Tsirsikamma National Forest to the St Francis Golf Lodge. The lodge is situated on St Francis Bay. The lodge offer a small number of rooms looking across the course and St Francis Bay, with Port Elizabeth in the far distance, where my journey would shortly finish.

The rooms were clean and comfortable and being on-site makes the whole golfing experience very easy.

Day 9

My last full day started a little grey with some light rain, a first for the trip, but soon cleared up to be another beautiful South African day.

We had buggies to drive the short distance to the clubhouse for our land round of golf. The course itself (Par 73, 6126 yards or Par 76, 6,656 off the Championship Tees) is a classic links course, set amongst the dunes of the bay, with many carries and blind tee shots to reach the fairway. Once (if) you reach the fairways the holes open out but I wouldn’t call many of the fairways other than a little tight. Any inaccuracy on this course will be punished; cries of “new balls please” were heard frequently and not just from me. The sub-10 handicap players in the party were having their own ‘moments’

I think it’s fair to say that I survived this course and although my swing deserted me half way round, I at least finished the course having recorded pars on each of the four Par 3 holes.

Day 10

Time today to say farewell to South Africa and get myself to the airport for a flight to Johannesburg and back via Dubai to Gatwick. Why does it always seem to take longer getting home than on the way out?

I would draw a number of conclusions from my trip:-

  • South Africa is a truly magical destination whether or not you’re a golfer with a superb range of accommodation, great food and well-priced local wines;
  • Definitely stretch your budget to a helicopter flight over Cape Town; it puts the whole place into context.
  • Spend more time in / around Cape Town; there is so much to see and do – three nights as a minimum; but then I wasn’t there on holiday;
  • Tailor the golf courses you play to your handicap – high handicaps will learn but probably not enjoy Pearl Valley and Pinnacle Point; there are others nearby that would suit better;

I’m going to return and I’d be happy to share my experience with you.

The Insider’s Guide to Sotogrande & Almenara

This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to a couple of great hotels situated in the resort Sotogrande which is on the Costa del Sol. Sotogrande boasts a fantastic atmosphere with a world-class marina, a wide range of different restaurants and bars as well as some of the best golf in Spain. With everything that you could possibly want or need for your next golf escape as well as some great hotels, Sotogrande is a golfer’s paradise and when thinking about your next golf break, you should consider it…

Hotel Almenara is a luxury resort located in Sotogrande with spacious rooms which boast stunning views across the gardens or the brilliant on-site golf course. Whilst you are not enjoying a round on the golf course, you can relax by the large outdoor pool or in Almenara’s Spa where there is a hot tub, a sauna and a gym. At the spa, you can also choose from a range of different treatments or take part in the many classes offered. Although you can easily venture out into the resort of Sotogrande for food and drink, the hotel offers everything that you could want or need right on its own site including several restaurants. In the Gaia Restaurant, you can enjoy a wide range of different Mediterranean dishes whilst witnessing some of the beautiful scenery from the ceiling-to-floor windows. Alternatively, you can eat at the clubhouse which boasts a beautiful terrace and an informal setting for you to try some of the healthy meals which are made from locally sourced ingredients. There are also two bars for you to sit in and have a few drinks in including a poolside bar.

Almenara golf course is made up of 27 holes so you have alternative loops of 18 to choose from. Each loop of nine holes are brilliant and can prove a test of golf to those with all handicaps which makes it perfect for a golf break. After a round, you can enjoy a drink on the terrace at the clubhouse and look out onto the golf course. Hotel Almenara is a great golf escape destination with so much to do, see, eat, drink and play!

Hotel NH Sotogrande is a great and stylish four-star hotel which is located right in the heart of Sotogrande and right next to the beach. The rooms are all spacious and decorated with a contemporary design with traditional Andalusian décor. Whilst staying at Hotel NH Sotogrande there are some great packages for two great golf courses: Real Sotogrande Golf Course and La Reserva de Sotogrande but whilst you are not on the golf course, you can relax on the beach, by the outdoor pool or even spend time on the paddle courts. The Sotogrande marina is just a five minutes’ drive from the hotel so you are in a good base to explore Sotogrande and some great golf from. From the hotel, you can venture out into Sotogrande and enjoy some of the great restaurants and bars that it has to offer but there is a lovely restaurant and bar right at the hotel. The Sotogrande restaurant offers guests a beautiful setting in which to enjoy their meals with fantastic views across an ancient forest and at the Sotogrande Bar there is a laid-back atmosphere where you can enjoy a few drinks and a few snacks if you’re looking for a light bite, the bar also offers an outdoor terrace. With all of this as well as easy access to arguably two of the best golf courses in Spain it is no doubt that this is widely regarded as a great option for your next golf escape…

La Reserva de Sotogrande is a superb but a very long course at almost 7,400 yards from the back tees. However, as the fairways are quite wide, you can afford to take big but not wholly accurate shots. Although water hazards feature on six of the holes but on five of those holes, water is not blocking you from reaching the green as they were positioned mainly to catch errant shots. Despite the forgiving fairways, this course can be a challenge with many holes featuring guarded greens on more than one side as well as many interesting layouts which you must navigate your way around. One of the best things about the packages with the Hotel NH Sotogrande is that you are also given a complimentary buggy around this course which can be useful with its undulating terrains as well as its length.

Real Sotogrande Golf Club is the second course that you can easily play whilst staying at Hotel NH Sotogrande and it is rated as the 2nd best course in Spain and 7th in Europe and after you have played here you won’t question how it achieved these ratings. The course was designed by Robert Trent and opened in 1964 and proof of how brilliant this course is comes from the fact that even more than 50 years on the course is still enthralling players all of the time. To avoid all of the strategically placed hazards which are set out across the course, you must plan out and execute each one of your shots with accuracy, otherwise you will be left a few balls short with an unpleasant scorecard. Each of the holes is magnificent and offers something unique but there are a few very special holes including the 4th which is a very difficult par 3 with a harsh sloped green and the 7th which is another par 4 but with a narrow green and water guarding the green to the right. The finishing stretch of holes on this course is brilliant and you will leave a round here feeling very challenged but you will be able to remember each hole individually for a long time. With a recent renovation project on the course, this course is ready for another 50 years of brilliant golf and any discerning golfer should have this course on their must-play list.

We hope that you enjoyed this week’s blog and that when you are thinking about your next golf escape to the Costa del Sol, the brilliant Sotogrande resort and all it has to offer you comes to mind…

The Insider’s Guide to Palacio Estoril & Golf do Estoril

This week’s blog is a guide to the brilliant five-star Palacio Estoril Hotel Golf and Spa which is situated in the heart of Estoril, Portugal. This is a lovely hotel which boasts a fantastic location in Estoril which is a great beach resort located to the west of Lisbon. Here, you can find a wide array of different bars, restaurants and shops which means that you are never far from some great entertainment or food if you don’t want to stay in the hotel.

Being situated in Estoril also means that the weather is warm almost all year round which makes it the ideal destination for your next golf break, especially when the weather in the UK isn’t as good as you would like it to be…

 

Palacio Estoril Hotel, Golf and Spa really does occupy a brilliant location just a few minutes’ walk from the lovely sandy beach and adjacent to the casino. Both golfers and non-golfers alike will find plenty to love about Palacio Estoril Hotel as for golfers, you can take advantage of the fantastic unlimited golf packages whilst staying here which entitles you to unlimited golf on the fantastic Golf do Estoril. Whilst golfers are out enjoying a round on the golf course, non-golfers can enjoy relaxing in the hotel’s wonderful spa and fitness centre where they can enjoy a range of different treatments, work out in the gym, enjoy the sauna and Turkish bar or swim in the indoor pool. There is also a lovely outdoor pool area which is perfect for the summer months of the year when you can soak up the sun and of course, the beach is just a short walk away so you have endless options of relaxation areas.

From the moment that you arrive at Palacio Estoril Hotel, you will be greeted with a warm welcome and get to experience the wonderful old charm and character that this hotel emits. The service that you will receive whilst staying here is befitting of its five-star status and the staff will do everything they can to make sure that your stay is as luxurious as possible. All of the rooms here at Palacio Estoril Hotel are spacious and decorated with warm colours, they are all fitted with all of the amenities that you would expect from a luxury five-star hotel such as this including a flat-screen TV and a marble bathroom.

Being situated in the heart of Estoril means that you will never be far from a great restaurant or bar to enjoy but the hotel boasts two lovely restaurants and a great bar for you to enjoy without even leaving the hotel. The Bougainvillea Terrace Restaurant is situated on a terrace and is somewhere that you can enjoy a meal or just relax with a drink whilst overlooking the beautiful gardens of Estoril on one side and the Palacio’s limpid pool on the other. Whilst the Bougainvillea Terrace Restaurant provides a more chic and cool atmosphere, the Grill Four Seasons Restaurant boasts a more sophisticated atmosphere and is somewhere that you can enjoy a delicious meal from a menu filled with both traditional Portuguese dishes as well as international cuisine. Last but certainly not least, Bar Estoril is famous for being a haunt of spies during the Second World War but now it boasts a lovely, stylish atmosphere and is somewhere that you can truly relax and enjoy a few drinks whilst enjoying views of the poolside gardens.

If you are looking for a luxurious golf break, you really need to look no further than the five-star Palacio Estoril Hotel, Golf and Spa especially when within two kilometres there is the fantastic Golf do Estoril. Whilst staying here, you must take advantage of the unlimited golf that is available to you on Golf do Estoril as well as the free transfers between the hotel and the golf course which makes your life very easy and enjoyable as you have no worries about transportation and you can play as much golf as you like.

Golf do Estoril is a well-known and prestigious golf course which has hosted The Portuguese Open no less than 20 times. It is one of Portugal’s oldest courses and although it is a little shorter than most other brilliant golf courses at just over 5,200 metres, it should not be underestimated just because of its length. This course is filled with well-designed and challenging holes, tight, tree-lined fairways, undulating terrain and small greens which makes it a very challenging course and one that you may want to get a buggy for!

There are many notable holes which will leave long-lasting memories within you for long after you putt your final ball on the 18th. A particularly good hole is the downhill 3rd hole which is a par 4 and requires you to be wholly accurate if you are going to score well. Another terrific hole is the 14th which is a stunning 359-metres long dogleg and this along with the 16th which is widely considered to be one of the best par 3s in the whole country helps to round of your fantastic round before tackling the two finishing holes. This is a beautiful and challenging course with a fantastic layout and is well-worth adding to your itinerary when you are staying anywhere near to Estoril but staying at the Palacio Estoril Hotel will give you unlimited rounds on this course during your stay which really cannot be beaten…

We hope that you enjoyed this week’s blog and that when you are next booking a golf holiday to Portugal, you consider the luxurious five-star Palacio Estoril Hotel, Golf and Spa!

The Insider’s Guide to the Orizonte Collection

This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to the Orizonte collection. The Orizonte courses are all situated in the Lisbon region and each of them offers you something different so that you will have a variety of rounds of golf when you play the Orizonte courses. The Lisbon region is an excellent destination for your next golf break and with its great weather, fantastic golf and brilliant accommodation it isn’t hard to see why.

The lovely four-star Sesimbra Hotel and Spa is situated in the beautiful fishing village of Sesimbra and is just two-minutes’ walk from the beach. Whilst you are not out playing one of the great Orizonte golf courses, you can relax by the pool or on the beach or even in the well-equipped spa here. Non-golfers are catered for well here with the spa as there are many different facilities there including a hot tub, a sauna, a Jacuzzi and a range of different treatments available. Whilst you are here, you can venture into Sesimbra to explore the local bars and restaurants but the hotel’s own restaurant, Aquarius, boasts excellent traditional Portuguese dishes including delicious fish and shellfish dishes. This is a stunning hotel which boasts all of the amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this rating as well as a brilliant location as not only are you in a lovely little fishing village but you can also easily venture out to many of the great Orizonte courses.

Quinta do Peru is one of the most exclusive golf courses in the region but by booking far enough in advance you will be able to get tee times here. This is a stunning course which is a perfect addition to your holiday itinerary as it cannot be described as the most challenging course but there are still a few fair tests along the course including American-style bunkers as well as water hazards! Make sure that you especially watch out for the 8th and the 16th holes as you have to carry your ball over a large lake to reach the well- guarded greens. There are a great range of different holes here but the back nine are simply superb with a great set of finishing holes to complete your round here with. Make sure to add Quinta do Peru to your itinerary for your next golf break to Lisbon…

Up next is Aroeira I which has been widely claimed to be one of the finest courses in the whole of Europe which means that you must make sure that you play here if you are ever in the Lisbon region. As you play the course, you travel through a pine forest along undulating fairways whilst tackling a wide variety of different holes with unique layouts. There is no doubting that this course is a tricky one as it is difficult to navigate through the pine forest without losing a few balls to the trees, however, besides from the trees there are very few hazards in your way. The 11th hole is arguably the best hole on the course on which you have to navigate around the water which sits to the left of the green before you get to tackle the pine tree lined fairway before you can even get to the green! Aroeira I will provide you with a spectacular round of golf and is a course that should not be missed out on.

The younger sibling of Aroeira I is Aroeira II which was built to European Tour recommendations so is an interesting and challenging course to play. Like its sister course, the layout of this course is fantastic and throughout your round you will have to navigate through heavily wooded land whilst learning to control your ball to not let the undulating fairways affect your score. This course blends effortlessly into its surroundings with the long holes which have been cleverly shaped out using the natural landscape here which makes this a very scenic course. There is no doubt that the shining stars of this course are the finishing holes, the 18th in particular. To finish your round, you will be required to avoid the water which sits to the right of the fairway as well as stretches out to the left of the finishing green! Make sure that both Aroeira courses are on your itinerary for your next golf holiday to the Lisbon region.

Ribagolfe I is another superb course from the Orizonte collection. This course is a long one at 7,370 yards from the back tees but despite its length, this is a course that is playable by those of all handicaps – as long as they play from the further forward tees! The landscape of this course and its surroundings is simply stunning and there are a wide range of different layouts. Make sure that you look out for water hazards on the back nine as that can severely impact your score! Arguably one of the best holes on the course is the 15th hole which is a par03 and requires for you to avoid the water which is sat to the left of the raised green and for you to also avoid the bunkers which surround the rest of the green! There is no denying that the Ribagolfe complex is a little out of the way but it is definitely worth the trip in order to play the two courses here.

Ribagolfe II is the sister course of Ribagolfe I and is also routed through interesting scenery including stands of cork oak. This is a shorter and slightly easier course than its sister because there are less water hazards along the course. However, when water hazards do come into play, they make the hole much more interesting. For example, one of the best holes is the long par-5 13th hole where the stream cuts through the fairway and becomes a small lake which sits just to the right of the hole. This course completes the Ribagolfe complex and is well worth the journey to play.

Last, but not least, is Santo Estevao which is in the same area as the Ribagolfe complex. This is a superb holiday course as it is very much suited to those players with a higher handicap as you have more room for error here with very wide fairways and big greens. For when you are looking for a fun round of golf with some beautiful scenery and landscapes this is the ideal course.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that when you are planning your next golf break you will think about the draw that the fantastic Orizonte collection of courses has and consider the Lisbon region

 

Courses of the Costa del Sol

This week’s blog is on the courses of the Costa del Sol and the great packages that you can get for them. The Costa del Sol is one of the most popular places in the world for a golf break and it isn’t hard to see why. There are dozens of brilliant golf courses along the coast and some fabulous resorts to match them.

First up, we have El Paraiso which is one of the most established courses on the Costa del Sol. The course’s fairways run through a valley from the Mediterranean to the foothills of the Sierra Bermaja Mountains and are lined with a variety of fauna. Its signature hole is the dogleg 6th hole where you must avoid losing your ball to the lake positioned on the right before navigating the two-tiered putting surface. Another great hole is the 8th hole, purely for the views from the downhill fairways. The fairways are always in spectacular condition and unless you are able navigate yourself around the various water hazards on several holes and the fast greens, this course is a stern challenge to golfers of all handicaps.

Cabopino golf course is a short and tight course at just under 5,600 yards to play over hilly terrain between the towns of Marbella and Fuengirola. Although the holes are short, there is a wide variety of different layouts with some spectacular views throughout the course but in order to score well you will have to adapt to the lengths of the holes and navigate through the very narrow fairways. Arguably, the signature hole of this course is the par-four 3rd hole where big-hitters can reach the hole in one stroke from the tee but they will have to make it over the large bunker in front of the green in order to do so! This is a tricky and beautiful course and it is no surprise that it has made our list of the best courses on the Costa del Sol.

Next, we have El Chaparral which is one of the most requested courses on the Costa del Sol and it isn’t hard to see why. Although this is not an especially long course, it is one that requires a lot of accuracy if you are to come out with a good scorecard! Undoubtedly, one of the best holes of this course is the 3rd hole which doglegs to the left but when you make your approach shot you have to make a decision as to whether you are going to try and avoid the water to the left of the green in order to make the green in two shots or whether you will take the safer route. This is an exciting course with dramatic changes in topography throughout including dramatic valleys and barrancas which must be navigated with care!

Torrequebrada is one of the most beautiful courses on the Costa del Sol and boasts a prime location in Benalmadena. The course blends effortlessly into its hilly landscape and that is not the only challenge, there are many strategically placed water and sand hazards as well as the prevailing winds to watch out for whilst you are playing this course! The 18th hole is a special one where you tee off at the top of a hill, to the left of the fairway where you can look out upon the 6th and 18th holes with the clubhouse and mountains beyond them. Your tee shot is over a ravine and accuracy is key as there is a sharp slope on the left and a large bunker on the right and it isn’t much easier to reach the green either! This is a very fun course to play with some excellent and scenic holes including many doglegs to watch out for.

Last, but certainly not least, is Lauro golf course which is situated just 12km from Malaga airport. The course’s fairways are set amongst pine, cork, olive and citrus trees and there are many strategically placed bunkers to navigate your way around as well as some dramatic elevation changes on the later holes. There are some great holes on this course including the 7th hole which is a par-five 90-degree uphill dogleg which requires for you to take two good shots to even get a glimpse at the green and with your first shot being over a tree in the centre of the fairway this can be a little tricky! Another brilliant but tricky hole is the long par-four 16th hole which is an uphill hole and therefore very difficult to reach the green in just two shots. This is a very nice, enjoyable course to play which makes it a perfect addition to your next golf break to the Costa del Sol.

Two of our fabulous hotels, the four-star Hotel MS Amaragua and the four-star MS Aguamarina Suites provide excellent accommodation and facilities perfect for your next golf break if you are looking to stay and play some of these excellent courses.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that when you are thinking about your next golf break you remember some of the great courses and hotels that can be found on the Costa del Sol…

The Insider’s Guide to the Pestana Collection

This week’s blog is a guide to the Pestana collection of hotels, Pestana boasts eight stunning properties and all of them are situated on the stunning Algarve. The Algarve is an ideal golf break destination with its beautiful beaches, seaside resort towns, great hotels and some superb golf courses.

Five of the Pestana properties are in, or within a very short distance of Alvor. Alvor is a pretty Portuguese fishing town with cobbled streets and a lively town centre filled with shops, restaurants and bars. Alvor is also a very short walking distance from one of the largest sandy beaches of southern Portugal. Each of the Pestana properties here offers you something different but with five different options you are sure to find one that is perfect for the type of golf break you are looking for…

First up, we have Dom Joao II which is a great four-star hotel and just a stone’s throw away from one of the prettiest beaches in the whole of the Algarve. Whilst you are here, you can enjoy one of the three swimming pools, go to the gym or enjoy one of the many on-site activities that are offered here. The hotel is just ten minutes’ walk from the centre of Alvor but eating on-site here is delicious with Portuguese and International dishes offered at the restaurants at the hotel.

Just a five-minute walk away from Dom Joao II, we have the three-star Pestana Alvor Atlantico where you can stay in fully-furnished apartments which all have their own private balconies as well as a fully-fitted kitchen and dining room. With all the facilities of Dom Joao II just a five-minute walk away, this makes for a more private and tranquil stay but one where you can have the opportunity to use the facilities at a busier hotel!

Pestana Alvor Praia is a brilliant five-star hotel and is considered to be one of the best hotels in Alvor. The hotel rooms are beautifully decorated and you are just a minutes’ walk to the beach but if you would prefer, the hotel boasts a large outdoor pool to relax around as well. For relaxation, you can enjoy the hotel’s spa and relax in the sauna, steam room or Jacuzzi or enjoy a wide range of different treatments. You are just over a mile into the centre of Alvor here so venturing out is easy, but with all the facilities the hotel has to offer, you may not even need to.

The four-star Pestana Alvor South Beach only opened in September 2014 and has already made a name for itself among one of the top hotels in Alvor. The hotel is right on the beach but it also boasts three outdoor swimming pools so you will never be short of somewhere beautiful to relax and soak up the sun! You are just a short walk here from the centre of Alvor where you can find an array of bars and restaurants, or you can stay at the hotel and enjoy relaxing at the restaurant and bar here.

Last, but not least, of the hotels in Alvor is the Pestana Delfim. This four-star hotel boasts the perfect location just a few minutes’ walk from the golden sands of Alvor ten minutes from the village centre. You can either spend your time relaxing on the beach or by the large outdoor saltwater pool. This is a lively and popular hotel with a great bar area and being so close the centre of Alvor means that you are never far away from a few more bars and restaurants!

Next up, we have two fabulous Pestana properties that are in, or close to Carvoeiro. Carvoeiro is an incredibly popular resort town with a great beach where you can do watersports as well as a wide array of restaurants, bars and shops for you to explore. There are so many different activities to do in and around Carvoeiro from walking to waterparks to exploring the local history.

The four-star Pestana Palm Gardens offers excellent self-catering townhouses with furnished patios. There is a lively bar on-site as well as a large outdoor pool, tennis courts, a gym and a massage service for you to enjoy. You are only a ten-minute stroll from the beautiful town of Carvoeiro where you can find everything that you could possibly want and need for your golf break including bustling nightlife and brilliant sandy beaches.

Pestana Carvoeiro Golf Resort is the second property in Carvoeiro. This four-star resort is nestled in amongst acres and acres of beautiful gardens and is just a five-minute drive away from Carvoeiro. Here, you can stay in apartments, townhouses and villas – whatever is suited to you! Whilst you are here, you can spend your time relaxing around the outdoor pool, getting a massage or playing tennis. The restaurant here served local and regional dishes and for after dinner, you can relax at the hotel’s bar.

The final Pestana property, Pestana Vila Sol Golf & Resort Hotel, is situated just a five-minute drive away from the beautiful town of Vilamoura. Vilamoura is beautiful and a walk around the marina is the perfect way to spend an evening here, before choosing from the wide range of different restaurants to eat at. This five-star resort is arguably one of the finest in the Algarve and is decorated in an entirely modern theme. You can spend your days relaxing around the outdoor or indoor swimming pools and the restaurants are excellent here. If you like the beach, Vilamoura’s beach is just a seven-minute drive away from the resort.

All of these properties are absolutely fantastic and have their own reasons for you to choose that particular property. However, all of these properties have the same brilliant golf courses in common – which certainly makes your decision easier! The five course: Vila Sol, Pinta, Gramacho, Silves and Alto are all within close range of each of these properties and will provide you with some excellent and varied rounds of golf!

Another great thing about booking to one of these properties (asides from the golf and facilities) is the opportunity to get your hands on an exclusive J. Lindeberg golf shirt which we are giving out to you when you book your next golf break to the Algarve! Most of these properties are also situated in or very near to a great Portuguese town which is perfect for when you want to do some exploring and experience some traditional Portuguese culture…

We hope that you enjoyed this week’s blog and that you don’t forget that by booking to visit one of these great properties on the Algarve you will not only get an incredible golf break but also be sent a J. Lindeberg golf shirt just for booking to the Algarve with us…

The Height of Luxury Golf to Inspire Your Next Holiday

This week’s blog is on the height of luxury golf which is great inspiration for your next golf break! With many of our destinations having almost year-round great golfing weather it is never too late to plan your next golfing getaway to somewhere hot and sunny with some fantastic golf to play!

Up first we have the two brilliant Sueno hotels: Sueno Golf and Sueno Deluxe which are both luxurious all-inclusive five-star resorts situated in Belek, Turkey. Sueno Golf offers everything that you could possibly want from a golf break in a more tranquil surrounding with a fantastic buffet restaurant that you can experience panoramic views of the golf course from as well as a lovely bar area too. The private beach area is stunning with a pier out to sea and a great beach bar where you can get light lunches and snacks. With all of this and two great 18-hole golf courses onsite it is no wonder that this hotel made our list of luxury golf.

There are no surprises either with Sueno Deluxe which only opened in May 2015 and is also situated just a stone’s throw away from the beach and has easy access to both Sueno golf courses (Dunes & Pines). Onsite you have so many fantastic facilities including several great restaurants and bars, a nightclub and a fabulous spa centre.

If you’re looking for luxury golf courses then look no further than the three beautiful Lumine courses in Costa Dorada, Spain. Each of the courses offers you a different style of round and staying nearby means that you will have three to choose from and there is no better place to stay than TRYP Port Cambrils Hotel which is an elegant four-star hotel situated just a moments’ walk from the beach. Lumine Hills is a beautiful 18-hole championship course and its fairways are lined with pine and olive trees and some of the holes on this course are truly spectacular. There are some great short par-3s as well as some longer holes on the scorecard and the 18th will stay in your mind for a long time after the round has finished with its heavy element of risk and reward as well as too many hazards to navigate yourself around for it to be an easy finishing hole!

Lumine Lakes is the second 18-hole championship golf course here and is as equally integrated into its surroundings as the Hills course. With no less than 13 of the 18 holes featuring water hazards there is very little room for error if you don’t want to lose a few balls along this course and although there is less undulation across this course compared to the Hills course there are plenty of strategically placed hazards in order to challenge golfers of all abilities. The Ruins course at Lumine Golf Club is a stunning and fairly flat 9-hole course, although it is shorter than its sister courses, it is still maintained as beautifully and provides a unique and short round of golf!

Viva Zafiro Alcudia & Spa is our next suggestion for your next luxury golf break! This five-star resort is just four minutes’ walk from the beach and is located in the quiet area of Port d’Alcudia but by just walking a few minutes from the entrance to the hotel you will get to experience the liveliness of this town. The hotel boasts great facilities from several outdoor pools to an indoor pool and great spa. This is a beautiful and luxurious hotel with beautifully decorated rooms with private balconies and many different restaurants to choose from which also boasts easy access to a fantastic golf course. Alcanada Golf Course is a parkland course with picturesque views of Mallorca’s coastline as well as a challenging layout with many strategically placed hazards for you to navigate your way around. This is a testing but stunning course and it is no surprise that this hotel and golf course combination is one of our favourites for a luxury golf getaway.

Palacio Estoril Hotel Golf & Spa is a five-star hotel situated in the centre of the Estoril Resort in Lisbon and is just a few minutes’ walk from the beach. The hotel’s rooms are spacious and decorated with warm colours and is fitted with all of the amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard. The location of this hotel is perfect as it is so close to so many restaurants and bars whilst being located in such beautiful surroundings with a fantastic golf course onsite. Whilst you are here you will never be short of somewhere great to eat or drink as there are four different restaurants and with the resort of Estoril on your doorstep you can always venture out of the hotel to find some delicious food and drink in the area. The spa features a sauna and a Turkish bath and you can also purchase a treatment from the vast range that is offered here. With all of these fantastic facilities as well as the fact that many of our packages here come with unlimited golf at the prestigious Golf do Estoril, this is definitely one for you to consider.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Evolutee Royal Obidos Hotel & Spa situated in Obidos, Lisbon. This boutique hotel offers its guests nothing but luxury with their beautifully decorated bedrooms with stunning views across the golf course or the lagoon as well as a superb spa and great outdoor pool area. The Royal Obidos course is the shining star about staying at this lovely five-star property. The course was the winner of the Best Course in Portugal award in 2015 and it really isn’t hard to see why, this course boasts a spectacular combination of holes and offers stunning views across the ocean for half of the round. Water features prominently on this course but is worked into the layout so beautifully that it can be a little distracting and you can expect to lose at least a few balls. This course is a luxurious one and is enough of a reason to book your next golf break to Lisbon now.

We hope that you enjoyed this week’s blog and that it has inspired you to start thinking about where your next luxury golf holiday will be to…