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 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 Insider’s Guide to the Tivoli Collection

This week’s blog is a guide to the fantastic Tivoli collection. All of these hotels and residences are situated in stunning areas on the Algarve, where you can experience luxury accommodation, beautiful weather and great golf. The great thing about a golf break to the Algarve is that the weather is perfect golfing weather right though until October/November time which means that it definitely isn’t too late for you to start thinking about one of these superb destinations for your autumn golf holiday…

First up, we have two fantastic options for the bustling town of Vilamoura where you can take walks around the marina and enjoy some superb restaurants and bars after a long day of playing golf and relaxing by the pool.

The Residences at Victoria are located in the centre of Victoria Golf course and comprise of luxury apartments with spacious living rooms, flat-screen TVs and a fully-equipped kitchens. However, if you are not looking to self-cater there are plenty of fantastic restaurants within close proximity of the apartments which serve different cuisines and of course, Vilamoura is just under a ten minute drive away. Whilst you are not playing golf, you can relax around one of the indoor or outdoor swimming pools or even visit Marina beach which is just a 12-minute drive away. Whilst you are here, you can enjoy golf at the Oceanico courses. Oceanico Pinhal is one of the older Oceanico courses but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t one of the best. The holes and their fairways blend effortlessly into the rolling landscape, although this is a tough course with tight fairways and a few water hazards it is a great, scenic course perfect for your next golf holiday. The other frequently played Oceanico course is Laguna which is laid out over flat ground which gives it a links-style feel and with plenty of water and sand hazards to navigate your way around this isn’t an easy course either. With luxury apartments, great leisure facilities and even better golf, this resort offers you everything that you could want for your next golf holiday to the Algarve and more.

Next up we have Tivoli Marina Vilamoura, the second property situated in Vilamoura. This stunning five-star hotel offers the same great golfing options as The Residences at Victoria but gives you the opportunity to stay right in the centre of Vilamoura between the Marina and the beach. All of the guestrooms are spacious with floor-to-ceiling windows from which you can experience panoramic views of the hotel’s surroundings. Whilst you are not playing one of the fantastic Oceanico golf courses you can relax by the large outdoor pool or take advantage of the extensive spa facilities. Dining at the hotel is fantastic, there are three restaurants: a Portuguese restaurant, an Italian and a steakhouse, which are all divine. As you are in the centre of Vilamoura, once you have tried the hotel’s restaurants you can venture out and experience some of the great eateries and bars that Vilamoura has to offer you. This is a beautiful hotel which has fully earned its five-star rating…

Next up, we have the Tivoli Marina Portimão which is situated in a prime location, in the middle of the marina in Portimão. This four-star hotel is just three minutes’ walk from the beach and only five from Praia do Rocha. All of the studios and apartments here are decorated with a modern and contemporary theme and are each fitted with a kitchenette. Although being in the centre of Portimão means that you have extensive dining options, the hotel boasts two fantastic restaurants serving international cuisines and giving you the chance to dine and enjoy panoramic views over the sea and the marina simultaneously. Whilst you are here, there are three great golf courses within close proximity of the apartments: Alamos, Salgados and Morgado which each offer a different round of golf. Alamos golf course features a variety of different holes from those with undulating fairways and small greens to those requiring large drives and strategically placed hazards. The greens are very fast and hard here which means that in order to score well you must bring your putting touch! Salgados is fairly flat but features many water and sand hazards for you to navigate your way around which makes it a tricky round of golf as you will often find yourself losing a ball or two in the water if you are not playing your best! This is a very interesting and fun course to enjoy here. Lastly, we have Morgado which is set within tranquil surroundings and can be enjoyed by golfers of all handicaps with its wide fairways and fairly flat terrain (at least one the first nine!). This is a popular course here on the Algarve and it isn’t hard to see why. With all of these great golfing options, fantastic facilities and the chance to stay in the centre of Portimão, it is no surprise that this is a top choice for your next golf break to the Algarve.

Tivoli Lagos is a four-star resort hotel situated in the centre of Lagos and just nine minutes’ walk from the beach. The rooms are spacious and decorated beautifully and are each fitted with a private balcony. Through from March to October, the hotel offers a free shuttle down to its private beach of Meia Praia but you can also stay at the resort and enjoy relaxing around the large outdoor pool. Whilst you are here, you can dine at the traditional Portuguese outdoor grill, the Pateo Velho Restaurant or the international Lacobriga restaurant. This hotel shares the same golfing options as the Tivoli Marina Portimão so you will not be disappointed by the range of golf courses that you will have the opportunity to play on…

Last, but certainly not least, is the Tivoli Carvoeiro which is another fabulous five-star property overlooking the Vale Covo Beach. The rooms are all spacious and decorated with an elegant contemporary design. For relaxation, there is nowhere better than the Tivoli Spa where you can enjoy a range of different treatments, the sauna or the Jacuzzi or you visit the fitness centre for a workout. Whilst you are not on the golf course or taking advantage of the spa facilities, you can relax besides the outdoor pool or take a short walk into the beautiful and picturesque town of Carvoeiro. Although there are plenty of great restaurants in Carvoeiro, you can enjoy eating at one of the three dining options at the hotel including a Portuguese restaurant and an upscale bistro where you can enjoy fresh fish caught the same day! The Tivoli Carvoeiro also gives you the chance to play the Alamos, Salgados and Morgado courses as they are in close proximity of the resort here too. This is a great place for your next golf holiday to the Algarve and it isn’t hard to see why…

We hope that you enjoyed this week’s blog and that you can see all the great options that the Tivoli collection has to offer you both in terms of luxury accommodation and great golfing options. 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…

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…

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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…

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The Insider’s Guide to Scottsdale

This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to Scottsdale, Arizona. Scottsdale is considered to be a golfer’s paradise with more than 200 courses in the city and some fantastic hotels to match. With a wide range of courses from the desert courses of Troom North, Grayhawk and TPC Scottsdale to the more traditional courses of Camelback, Talking Stick and Gainey Ranch. Make sure that Scottsdale is on your list of must-visit locations for some of the best golf in the world.

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There is so much to do, see and appreciate in Scottsdale besides the great golf. With many different historical and cultural landmarks in the area which are easy to take trips to to explore you could never be short of something to do here! Of course, being in a city means that there are copious amounts of great bars and restaurants for you to enjoy whilst soaking up the atmosphere here. If you’re looking for great shopping, beautiful architecture and some lovely eateries and bars then Old Town Scottsdale is perfect for a day trip where you can find all of the above and more!

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Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is just one of the lovely five-star hotels available and is set at the foot of the McDowell Mountains. This hotel is in an ideal location as not only has it got beautiful scenery but it borders two world-class golf courses but is within close proximity of several more so you can experience a wide variety of different golf courses when staying here. The centre of Scottsdale is just under a 15-minutes’ drive away and Phoenix airport is only 24 miles from the hotel so it is within easy access of home! If golf isn’t all that you have come for then you won’t be disappointed either as the hotel boasts six different pools and a lovely spa for guests to enjoy. The spacious rooms here are beautifully decorated and come fitted with all of the amenities expected from a hotel of this class, the service from the staff here matches the hotel’s rating and you will struggle to find a more luxurious destination for your next golf break to Scottsdale.

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Another fantastic five-star hotel is the JW Mariott Camelback Inn which is set in the heart of Scottsdale and is just a short drive from Scottsdale Old Town. The beautiful rooms all have their own balcony or patio attached and are also fitted with a kitchenette which means that you have the option to self-cater here although there are seven first-class restaurants situated on-site which would question why you would want to cook for yourself! The hotel is set within beautiful gardens which have a variety of different desert plants in and the views are simply stunning – even from the pool area where you can relax with beautiful views of the mountains. For non-golfers (and those who like to relax after a few rounds!) there is a wonderful spa area where you can purchase a range of different health and beauty treatments. This is another superb hotel in Scottsdale and one that should well be considered when you are planning your next golf break here.

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Boulders Resort & Spa is a uniquely beautiful resort tucked into the Sonoran Desert foothills. With two championship golf courses, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a spa and wellness centre, seven different restaurants and four swimming pools as well as tennis courts it would be hard for you to find somewhere with more to do on-site! You can choose to relax after a round on the golf course with a massage at the spa or enjoy the whirlpools and saunas in the spa and wellness centre or even take part in one of the yoga and Pilates classes. There are a range of different accommodation options for you to choose from from casitas to haciendas and villas which are all spacious and beautifully decorated. The two championship golf courses on-site – Boulders North and Boulders South are equally challenging and you will need to be concentrating to score close to your handicap on them. Although, like the other hotels in the area as there are so many golf courses are around you always have the option of travelling a little outside of the resort to another golf course! This unique resort is well worth a trip to.

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Last in this blog but certainly not least on the list of fantastic hotels that there are in Scottsdale for you to visit is the Hyatt House Hotel which is situated in the most perfect location – just a short walk from the bars and restaurants of Old Town Scottsdale. Each of the rooms are spacious and include their own fully-fitted kitchen with a dishwasher, oven, a fridge and a microwave which means that you will easily be able to cook for yourself when staying here but with all of the fantastic eateries in Old Town Scottsdale just a short walk away you wouldn’t have the need to! There is a lovely outdoor pool area as well as a fitness centre for guests to enjoy when they are not enjoying a round of golf or exploring Old Town Scottsdale. This is a fantastic hotel that is great value and is perfect if you are looking to stay right in town so that you are close to all of the wonders that Scottsdale has to offer.

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We hope that this blog has shown you what you can expect to experience when vesting Scottsdale, from the magnificent scenery to the vast amounts of fabulous golf. Whichever hotel you choose to stay at will have easy access to at least five different courses so it would be hard to see why anyone would not choose Scottsdale for their next golf holiday to America.


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