This week’s blog is a guide to seven of the best golf hotels by the beach. All seven of these hotels boast a fantastic coastal location, just a few steps away from some truly stunning beaches. For all those that enjoy the perfect mix of sun, sea and golf, all of these golf hotels would be an unbeatable option. When golfers decide to take a break from challenging the fairways of the local golf courses, they can simply head down to the beach for some well-deserved ‘R and R’.

The Thanos Hotel Almyra is a fantastic five-star hotel, situated just a stone’s throw away from a Blue Flag beach and of course, all four of Paphos’s excellent golf courses. Paphos is known well for its stunning beaches, clear waters and excellent weather all year round, making it an ideal location for a luxury golf holiday. The Thanos Almyra is a five-star hotel in every aspect; the guest rooms are spacious and modern, and guests can enjoy a wide range of leisure facilities. The hotel has four swimming pools and a fantastic spa facility so that all guests can well and truly unwind. There are four golf courses in Paphos: the critically-acclaimed Aphrodite Hills Golf Club, the PGA National, Minthis Golf Club and the Elea Golf Course. Conveniently for golfers, all four of these fantastic golf courses are located twenty minutes away from the hotel; therefore, an unforgettable round of golf is never far away. The Alykes Beach lies directly opposite the Thanos Almyra, and here guests can find an unspoilt stretch of sandy coastline lined with a promenade packed with a range of bars and restaurants. Guests can rent sunbeds here to make the most out of the sun or take a dip in the clean waters. Guests can enjoy stunning views of the beach and the neighbouring Mediterranean Sea from the pool area of the hotel and in some of the guest rooms. Furthermore, the hotel is located just a ten-minute walk away from the Paphos Harbour where guests will find an excellent selection of bars, restaurants and shops. For a fantastic evening out, visitors can enjoy a meal at the harbour looking out across the sea.

Another fantastic golf hotel located directly on the beach is the Gloria Golf Resort. Belek is an up and coming golf destination and its popularity increases year after year. Many golfers flock here for the guaranteed sunshine, fantastic all-inclusive options and unbeatable golf. The Gloria Golf Resort is no exception; the hotel offers great all-inclusive rates at superb value and has two of Belek’s best golf courses on-site to the resort. Furthermore, just a few steps away from the hotel guests will find themselves on Belek Beach, a Blue Flag beach comprising of sixteen kilometres of stunning beach. Most of Belek’s resorts and hotels are positioned on top of this beach, and there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy some water sports or indulge in a spot of sunbathing. At the Gloria Golf Resort, golfers are never far away from a fantastic round of golf. Both the Gloria Old and the Gloria New golf courses are located on-site at the Gloria Golf Resort, and they are both accessible by a complimentary shuttle service offered by the resort. The Gloria Old and the Gloria New golf courses are two of the best-known golf courses in the whole of Belek, therefore the Gloria Golf Resort is a fantastic option for all golfers in Belek as they are right on the doorstep of two excellent golf courses. Guests will never find themselves short of something to do at the Gloria Golf Resort, regardless of whether they play golf or not. There are five outdoor swimming pools, all of which are lined with sunbeds and parasols so that guests are never without an opportunity to get a tan and relax in the sun. Furthermore, there is also an aqua park and sports activities including tennis and mini-golf.

The Verdura Resort is situated in the south-west coast of Sicily, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. This golf resort is the ideal options for all those that want to escape the normal hustle and bustle of the busier resorts and enjoy an idyllic atmosphere in a coastal setting. The resort is set in a valley, surrounded by olive groves and citrus trees. Guests can enjoy stunning views of the naturistic setting throughout the resort, especially on the Verdura Golf Course designed by famous golf architect Kyle Phillips. The Verdura Golf Course is one of the most prestigious golf courses in Sicily; with a unique design, beautiful coastal setting and a fantastic challenge, it comes as no surprise that the Verdura Golf Course has such an excellent reputation. Sicily is renowned in Europe for its beautiful beaches with clear waters and white sand. At the Verdura Resort, golfers are in the best of both worlds just moments away from one of the best golf courses in Sicily and a long stretch of stunning beach. The resort runs along two kilometres of stunning coastline, and the hotel has its own stretch of private beach with sunbeds and parasols, as well as a range of water sports. Guests can take full advantage of the resort’s stunning coastal setting from their guest rooms as all the rooms here boast coastal views that can be best appreciated from their private balcony or terrace. Aside from its private beach, the Verdura Resort has many other fantastic facilities including tennis courts, a sixty-metre-long outdoor infinity swimming pool overlooking the sea and an excellent spa centre. For an unforgettable luxury golf holiday in a beautiful coastal setting, the Verdura Resort is a fantastic option.

The Hotel Le Palme boasts an unbeatable location nestled in the heart of the Italian Riviera on the Adriatic Coast. This four-star hotel is situated just a short drive away from the Adriatic Golf Club Cervia, one of the most prestigious golf clubs in the Emilia Romagna region. The Adriatic Golf Club Cervia is home to 27 fantastic holes that create a fantastic golfing challenge to be appreciated by golfers of all standards and ability. The Hotel Le Palme offers a shuttle service to the Adriatic Golf Club, so an unforgettable round of golf is always in easy reach. Furthermore, there are other great golf courses to be players in the vicinity including both the Rimini Verucchio Golf Club and the Riviera Golf Club. If guests can tear themselves away from the fairways at the local golf courses, they can make the most of the hotel’s leisure facilities, including its semi-Olympic swimming pool and rooftop terrace. The centre of Milano Marittima is just a ten-minute stroll away from the Hotel Le Palme where they will find an excellent range of shops, bars and restaurants. Milano Marittima’s beach is widely considered to be its main attraction, and conveniently for guests at the Hotel Le Palme, it is just a short walk away from the hotel. The beach stretches out to four kilometres and is filled with a selection of beach clubs and some restaurants. Conveniently for guests, they can admire the hotel’s stunning coastal setting at all times from their own private balcony in guest rooms. Furthermore, the hotel has its own private beach area with direct access.

Islantilla Golf Resort is one of our most popular golf resorts, and it is not difficult to see why. This four-star golf resort is located on-site to the 27 holes at the fantastic Islantilla Golf Course, where golfers can enjoy a varied round of golf on its three nine-hole loops. The Islantilla Golf Course is a great golf course for all players, regardless of their skillset or handicap because their round of golf can be individually tailored to their own abilities. For example, a higher handicapper might opt for the Yellow course and the Green, whereas a skilled player would select the Blue and the Green loops. The Islantilla Golf Course is not the only option for guests at the Islantilla Golf Resort; both the prestigious golf courses at the El Rompido Golf Club and the Isla Canela are situated less than half an hour’s drive away from the resort. The Islantilla Golf Resort does not just have a fantastic location in the eyes of any avid golfer; the resort is conveniently positioned just a short walk away from the Blue Flag Playa Islantilla beach. This beach is perfect for all those looking to catch some rays on their golf holiday with its warm waters and pristine condition. Also, just a stone’s throw away from the hotel is the centre of Islantilla where guests will find an excellent selection of bars, restaurants and cafes for every taste and budget. Its location is not the only attraction for the Islantilla Golf Resort; the guest rooms are particularly spacious and are fully-equipped with all of the essentials to ensure that all of their guests have a fantastic stay. The hotel even offers a selection of villas with two bedrooms, perfect for golfing groups or families. Furthermore, it offers guests a wide range of leisure facilities, including a swimming pool, spa and fitness centre.

Located in the heart of the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve lies the four-star Formosa Park Hotel. This luxury resort is the ideal option for a golfing getaway to Portugal, nestled in between the Quinta do Lago and the Vale do Lobo resorts. Furthermore, perfect for all golfers looking to make the most out of the sun on their next golfing holiday, the Formosa Park Hotel is located just a five-minute walk away from Ancao Beach, widely considered to be among some of the best beaches in the whole of the Algarve. At the Formosa Park Hotel, guests can enjoy the perfect mix of sun, golf and sea with such a fantastic beach located just a short walk away, as well as some of the best golf courses in close proximity. Two of the most prestigious golf courses in the Algarve include the Pinheiros Altos and the San Lorenzo, and conveniently for golfers at the Formosa Park Hotel, both of these fantastic golf courses are less than a fifteen-minute drive away from the hotel. When guests aren’t soaking up the sun at the beach or challenging the fairways at the local golf courses, they can enjoy some of the leisure facilities at the Formosa Park Hotel. This apartment complex is home to two outdoor swimming pools lined with sunbeds and parasols, and guests can also enjoy the use of the tennis courts at the Dona Filipa Hotel which is located just a few minutes away from the Formosa Park Hotel.

The Hotel Guadalmina boasts a superb location, situated directly on the beach and just a fifteen-minute drive away from both Marbella and Puerto Banus. Furthermore, with two of the region’s best golf courses, the Guadalmina North and the Guadalmina South next door, the Hotel Guadalmina is an unbeatable choice for your next golf holiday. The Guadalmina South is the original golf course at the Guadalmina resort, and it is highly regarded amongst golfers as one of the most challenging golf courses in the Costa del Sol. Alternatively, the Guadalmina North is generally considered to be more straightforward, but the prevailing coastal winds can always threaten this perception. Not only is the Hotel Guadalmina in the perfect position to make the most out of the Costa del Sol’s best golf courses, but it is also an excellent choice to relax and make the most out of Puerto Banus’ stunning beaches and its vibrant atmosphere. The hotel is located directly on top of the San Pedro Beach, with its own stretch of private beach filled with sunbeds and parasols. Furthermore, there is also the opportunity to enjoy some water sports or visit some small cafes and bars. Guests can fully appreciate the coastal position of the Hotel Guadalmina as most of the guest rooms overlook the neighbouring beach and sea. The guest rooms and leisure facilities here are nothing less than what one would expect at a luxury four-star hotel; guests can enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi access, the hotel’s sun terrace and large outdoor swimming pool overlooking the beach.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that you have some new inspiration for finding your next golf holiday by the beach. If you are finding it too hard to decide, just give us a call on 01342 811777, and we will do our very best to ensure you have the best golf break yet.

This week’s blog is a guide to seven courses for your golf bucket list. These seven golf courses are known for their unique layout and the incredible challenge that they offer, making them must-play golf courses for any serious player. Many of these golf courses are widely considered to be amongst some of the most prestigious in the world, therefore all players must endeavour to enjoy an unforgettable round here.

The PGA Catalunya Stadium golf course is widely viewed as one of the best golf courses in Spain, and even Europe, therefore it is hardly unsurprising that it has hosted so many PGA European Tour events. Known for its stunning views, invigorating challenge and its impeccable quality, the PGA Catalunya Stadium is certainly a strong contender for your golf bucket list. The challenge here is characterised by the regular undulations of the greens as well as the many uphill fairways. The 6th hole is the signature hole here, a tricky par four that demands excellent golf course management as players must anticipate a lengthy uphill drive. Golfers must balance the length of their shot whilst maintaining accuracy in order to avoid the huge tree positioned in the centre of the fairway, however, they must be sure to avoid the many hazards in doing so. Despite the many golf courses in the Costa Brava region, the PGA Catalunya Stadium does not fail to stand out and since its opening in 1998, it has certainly made its mark on golf in Europe. Set deep in the heart of the rolling hills surrounding the captivating city of Barcelona, golfers can enjoy a fantastic round of golf in an idyllic atmosphere, away from the hustle and bustle of the resorts in the south. Despite its calming setting, the PGA Catalunya Stadium is sure to raise some tempers with its unruly challenge. The greens here are known for the notorious placement of bunkers which have caused even lower handicappers to feel grateful for walking away from several holes with a bogey. While the PGA Catalunya Stadium undoubtedly poses as a challenge to even the most experienced golfer, those with a less refined game should not give this golf course a miss as it is widely considered to be among some of the most prestigious golf courses in the world.

The Fancourt Links golf course has been described by Gary Player as one of his biggest achievements as a leading golf course architect; that statement alone is a big enough reason to include the Fancourt Links in your golf bucket list. With a beautiful landscape and many well-designed holes, it is hardly surprising that the Fancourt Links has been voted the Best Golf Course in South Africa by Golf Digest Rankings. The Fancourt Links has set the standards for the future of golf in South Africa, and it is known and loved for its classic coastal links layout that never fails to attract golfers back, year after year. The golf course’s stunning scenery only adds to its character, as players can marvel at panoramic views of the neighbouring Outeniqua Mountains. Those that enjoy many of the UK’s best golf courses, including St Andrews, will enjoy the Fancourt Links as it comprises of many of its key features and characteristics including spacious greens and rolling fairways with undulations. The Fancourt Links is surely not a golf course for the faint-hearted, and it is an essential golf course for the bucket list for those that like a challenge. The challenge not only lies in the layout and characteristics of the golf course, but it is also due to its sheer length. Golfers are thrown in the deep end at the first hole to give them a taste of the challenge to come. Players must manoeuvre their shot down the narrow fairway to an elevated tee where they can enjoy some of the best views of the golf course.

Bulgaria is an up and coming golf destination in Europe and setting the bar for the future of golf here is the Thracian Cliffs golf course. This award-winning golf course opened in 2011, and already it is rumoured to become the most photographed golf course in Europe. This does not come as a surprise as the Thracian Cliffs is known for its beautiful coastal scenery with panoramic views across the Black Sea at every single hole on the golf course. Consistently ranked in the Top 50 Golf Courses in Europe, the Thracian Cliffs is an obvious choice for any golf bucket list. Like any Gary Player designed golf course, the Thracian Cliffs offers a unique round of golf with a new challenge to be overcome in each shot. Gary Player made the most out of the direct coastal landscape of the course, and with strong prevailing winds from the Black Sea coming at golfers from every angle, golfers must play with their A-game consistently in order to score well. Despite the Thracian Cliffs undoubtedly offering a stern test of golf, with multiple tee options, even amateur golfers do not have to miss out on a round of golf here. The views are unparalleled to anything else in Europe; it is truly unique to have a golf course that offers stunning sea views from every single hole. Due to its direct coastal location, it is heavily advised that players bring plenty of balls as any wayward shots will be carried away further than originally anticipated. The front nine holes are positioned directly on the cliffs, therefore the best views can be enjoyed here, however, the back nine holes wind through the resort more and are generally considered to be the most challenging on the course.

The Earth golf course is one of the two golf courses at the prestigious Jumeriah Golf Estates located in Dubai. The Earth course is a gem in the midst of a huge range of golf in Dubai, and it never fails to attract players back year after year. Designed by world-renowned golf architect Greg Norman, the Earth golf course offers a challenging round of golf that can be enjoyed by all players, regardless of their skill set and handicap. Widely considered to be the best golf course in Dubai, the Earth golf course is hugely responsible for Dubai’s excellent reputation as a key golf destination in the Middle East. This golf course is undoubtedly a challenge, stretching out to an impressive 7,706 yards from the back tees. Its challenging nature is not the only characteristic that makes this golf course one for the bucket list; the Earth golf course is set in a stunning landscape with the final 18th hole set on the edge of a breath-taking creek. Greg Norman had a vision for the Earth golf course; he wanted to merge all of the best characteristics found at the most famous golf courses in Europe and North America into one golf course. Therefore, the challenge here is mainly characterised by clever bunkering and undulating fairways, as well as dense areas of greenery and fauna. During their round, players can enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle that is Dubai and enjoy the naturistic setting. There are many lakes across the golf course, as well as forest areas. Four of the holes here are centred around a large white creek filled with water, and they will do well to avoid it!

The Dye’s Valley Course at the TPC Sawgrass is located in the heart of Florida and was hugely influential in the creation of the modern golf courses in the area. Even experienced golfing legends have commented on the challenging nature of the Dye’s Valley Course as it is not commonplace for water hazards to feature at every single hole on a golf course. This fantastic golf course plays to a par of 72 and is the perfect golf course for a player that is looking to have every aspect of their game challenged. Golfers are kept on their toes throughout the golf course with many water hazards and undulating fairways. Despite the fairways being relatively open and spacious, looks can be deceiving; the Dye’s Valley Course is located just a mile away from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean where harsh coastal winds can often take their toll on any weak shots. The Dye’s Valley Course is home to two fantastic par fives, however, players make the common mistake here of presuming they will be easy; the par-five 16th and 1st holes are by no means a walk in the park, even for experienced golfers. Players are thrown straight into the challenge at the very first hole, however, with careful club selection and patience, there is a good chance of scoring a birdie. The green here is one of the smallest greens across the whole golf course, and players will do well to manoeuvre their shot down the narrow fairway. The Dye’s Valley Course is known for its tiny greens, therefore the emphasis is largely on accuracy over length for players to score well.

A golf bucket list would not be complete without the mention of the Real Club Valderrama; this fantastic golf course has consistently been ranked as the best in Europe, and rightly so. If your budget permits, then the Real Club Valderrama should be at the top of your golf bucket list. Despite its creation over four decades ago, the Real Club Valderrama has managed to withstand the creation of new modern golf courses in the area and has consistently remained to be considered the best golf course in Spain. The golf course has been impeccably maintained thanks to regular renovations; however, it has still retained its amazing authentic character that it is known best for. With limited tee times available, the Real Club Valderrama is never overplayed, therefore it is always in perfect condition. The Real Club Valderrama comprises of some unique holes that demand excellent golf course management as well as the complete focus and patience from all of its players. Even if golfers feel they can’t play to their maximum potential here, they can enjoy the stunning landscapes and watching their fellow players face their peril. The greens are notoriously fast which make it even more difficult for golfers to manoeuvre around the many strategically placed sand traps and bunkers. Players must be sure to keep the best of their skill until last as the last few holes are widely considered to be the most challenging. The 17th hole, named the Los Gabiones, was reconstructed to intensify its challenge by adding a huge water hazard just to the front of the green.

The PGA Centenary Course is one of the three fantastic golf courses at the famous Gleneagles Golf Resort. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the PGA Centenary Course is the most acclaimed golf course in Scotland and is widely known for its beautiful landscapes and the invigorating challenge that it is home to. Jack Nicklaus admitted that he can only take limited credit for the success of the golf course as the original landscape he had to work with was already a “masterpiece” that required minimal construction. However, Nicklaus sought to create a unique golf course that would attract golfers back year after year. It is fair to say that Nicklaus achieved his vision, and since he has been commended for creating one of the highest-ranking golf courses in Europe. The PGA Centenary Course is undoubtedly one for the bucket list and is sure to be loved by all golfers that can appreciate a classic Scottish golf course with all the best characteristics of American courses thrown in. In 2014, the PGA Centenary Course cemented its reputation as one of Scotland’s best golf courses when it hosted the Ryder Cup. Since then, the PGA Centenary Course has received the exposure and praise it deserves. The golf course is a challenge for even professionals as it measures out to an impressive 7,300 yards from the back white tees. Throughout, players can enjoy some truly spectacular views of the idyllic Scottish countryside that are best seen from the two-tiered green at the second hole. Many of the greens here are well-protected, therefore long hitters will do better in their approach shots here than at other technical golf courses.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that you have fresh inspiration for some new additions to your golf bucket list. All seven of these golf courses are critically acclaimed, designed by some of the best golf architects in the world. For an unforgettable and invigorating round of golf, all seven of these golf courses are a fantastic option.

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This week’s blog is a guide to the five best golf courses on the Silver Coast in Portugal. The Silver Coast is also known as the Costa de Prata, and it lines the western coast of Portugal, facing the Atlantic Ocean. Known for its stunning beaches and authentic Portuguese towns as well as some fantastic golf courses, it comes as no surprise that the Silver Coast remains to be one of the most popular destinations in Europe for golf holidays. All five of these golf courses offer a fantastic round of golf that can be enjoyed accompanied by beautiful mountain views and a stunning coastal location.

 

The Praia d’el Rey is located directly on the Silver Coast, boasting breath-taking sea views throughout. While its coastal location undeniably creates beautiful panorama views, golfers will often find their game vulnerable to the prevailing coastal winds from the Atlantic, adding another dimension to the challenge at hand. This classic links golf course is a consistent favourite among golfers in the Silver Coast, and the very fact that they return year after year is reflective of the fantastic golf that it offers. With a varied layout, stunning views and impeccably maintained greens, it comes as no surprise that the Praia d’el Rey has been awarded 13th place in the Best Golf Courses in Europe by Golf World Magazine.

All of the 18 holes at the Praia d’el Rey were designed by the famous golf course architect Cabell B. Robinson. He created a unique golf course that comprises of a classic links golf course with distinctive elements of parkland and coastal links within it. With a varied layout and some tricky areas, it comes as no surprise that it has been described as “wild and wonderful” by Golf World Magazine. Cabell was certainly successful in creating a fantastic golf course that offers a varied round to all those who play it. The clusters of pine forest create a unique contrast with the lush wide greens and its coastal location.

At the Praia d’el Rey, players must manoeuvre their shot across spacious bunkers, large sand dunes and undulating greens in order to finish with a steady score. This golf course is sure to test every aspect of their game; therefore, club selection must be done carefully. Just to add to the challenge at hand, golfers must focus on their game and try to ignore the stunning scenery of the golf course. Throughout the golf course, players can marvel at the panorama views of the Atlantic Ocean and the neighbouring Berlenga Islands. The back nine holes are widely considered to be the most attractive set; however, the best views of the Berlenga Islands can be enjoyed at the 2nd hole. The 2nd hole is widely considered to be one of the most memorable holes on the golf course due to its fantastic views and unique layout. This par 5 measures out to 463 metres and is full of hazards including a large water feature lining the right side of the fairway, as well as bunkers and rough areas strategically placed throughout.

 

The West Cliffs Golf Links opened relatively recently in June 2017 as a welcome addition to the fantastic range of golf in the Silver Coast. Despite the golf course opening just a few years ago, it has already established its reputation as one of the best golf courses in the region, and some have even argued it is one of the best in Portugal. This fantastic golf course has managed to steal the limelight from its competitors and its popularity is set to be unprecedented for years and years to come. Here, players can enjoy a varied round of golf across a unique landscape comprising of rolling sand dunes and natural coastal fauna and greenery. The architects of this golf course maintained the natural features of the landscape and integrated them into their vision to create a challenging golf course. The natural landscape was mostly left unscathed during its construction, so the layout has simply been carved into the terrain’s original features which simply adds to the beauty of the course. Throughout the golf course, players can marvel at the unparalleled views of the neighbouring Atlantic Ocean and the Obidos Lagoon; some of the best views of the Silver Coast can be enjoyed here.

The West Cliffs Golf Links was designed by Cynthia Dye, who aimed to create a fantastic golf course that respected the natural environment, and in turn would create a truly idyllic environment for all golfers. No hole here is the same; the golf course comprises of two loops of nine that offer varying difficulty and characteristics. The front nine is widely considered to be the most memorable due to the unique layout of the par five 6th and 7th holes, however golfers must save the best of their game until last with the challenging 17th and 18th holes. The 18th hole challenges its players to no end with a large water hazard lining the right side of the fairway, however if players manage to create the perfect balance of accuracy and length, then they have a solid opportunity of reaching the green in two shots. While the West Cliffs Golf Links offers an undeniably testing round of golf, golfers can succeed well with good golf course management and ball positioning. As advised with many of the golf courses on the Silver Coast; it is important that all players bring plenty of spare balls!

 

The Guardian Bom Sucesso designed by the world-renowned golf architect Donald Steel, is one of the best-known golf courses around Lisbon. This fantastic golf course has undergone intensive renovations in the recent years to vastly improve its quality. Under new owners, the Guardian Bom Sucesso has increased in popularity and its reputation has been massively improved in turn. Throughout the course, players can enjoy stunning views of the neighbouring Obidos lagoon and the rolling hills of the Silver Coast. With plenty of bunkering and the interesting use of rough areas, the Guardian Bom Sucesso is perfect for those that like a challenge. To do well, golfers must play with both accuracy and length in order to hit past the many strategically placed bunkers and the undulating greens.

The landscape here mimics the classic Mediterranean parkland golf course, with an abundance of natural fauna and greenery. The golf course spans over sixty hectares of beautiful landscape, filled with hundreds of olive trees that have been maintained from the golf course’s natural terrain, prior to its creation. Designed by the famous golf architect Donald Steel, all golfers that attempt this course can anticipate an invigorating challenge. This parkland layout will challenge every aspect of their game with the unique design of the greens which force players to focus on their ball placement in order to manoeuvre their shot around the many bunkers.

Players at the Guardian Bom Sucesso can enjoy a varied round of golf with a clear contrast between the front and the back nine. The back nine are widely considered to be the more challenging set due to the unsteady terrain that is guaranteed to trip even the most experienced player up. Golfers are led into a false sense of security with the front nine holes set across a relatively flat landscape, however at the 9th hole they are thrown into the real challenge. Players can anticipate the best until last with the memorable trio comprising of the 16th, 17th and 18th holes, where they will find every aspect of their game challenged. The 16th hole demands careful ball positioning in order to shoot uphill where they will be met with some of the best views that can be found at the golf course which can be enjoyed best from an elevated position. However, the most unique hole includes the 17th hole, a tricky par five with a sharp dogleg which bends to the left.

 

The Royal Obidos is widely considered to be the mother of all golf in the Silver Coast. Players can only enjoy views of the neighbouring Atlantic Ocean on approximately half of the holes, however that is not to say that golfers forget they are playing on the Silver Coast. The lack of views of the ocean is compensated for with plenty of views of the Obidos Lagoon which can be appreciated best at the par five 2nd hole in which players must manoeuvre their tee shot to the green whilst narrowly avoiding the lagoon’s peaceful waters; this hole is certainly a highlight of the front nine.

The Royal Obidos offers an unforgettable round of golf on a truly beautiful landscape. Golf legend Severiano Ballesteros carved the fantastic golf course that stands today into the landscape’s natural features to maintain the terrain’s original character. While the golf course measures out to an impressive 6,400 metres, longer than most of the other golf courses in the region, the Royal Obidos still welcomes players of all skillsets and handicaps with a wide range of tee-off options. However, that is not to say that lower handicappers will find the layout to be a walk in the park; with an unsteady undulating terrain throughout, as well as a range of hazards, players are guaranteed to always be kept on their toes during their round. With a great challenge, stunning views and a unique layout, it certainly comes as no surprise that the Royal Obidos was awarded 57th place in the Top 100 Golf Courses in Continental Europe by Golf World Magazine.

The back nine holes at the Royal Obidos feature some of the most distinctive holes in the Silver Coast. One that stands out for many players includes the 10th hole which like many of the holes in the back nine, offers a fantastic challenge characterised by the careful use of water hazards. For this hole, it is heavily advised that all those that attempt it bring a surplus of balls; these water hazards will not hesitate to swallow up any wayward shots that come their way! Another hole on the back nine which is sure to make any confident player question their handicap includes the par four 12th hole, measuring out to 420 metres. At this hole, players must focus on careful club selection as they must manoeuvre their shot across two huge lakes, then a twisting stream.

 

The Dolce CampoReal Lisboa is not generally considered to be a member of the Silver Coast golf family, however due to its close proximity to the other golf courses in the region and its fantastic quality, it is hardly a golf course that can be ignored. The high quality of this golf course and the challenge it offers is no secret in Portugal, and it is a consistent favourite amongst all golfers that regularly play in Portugal. Golfers can enjoy an invigorating challenge here as the landscape is set across the rolling hills in the surrounding areas of Lisbon, and the layout comprises of slight undulations which are sure to challenge the game of even the most experienced player. Due to the hilly terrain of the CampoReal, the rental of a buggy is advised for all players. However, a perk of the steep terrain includes the fantastic views that can be enjoyed from the several elevated positions across the golf course of the surrounding landscape. With frequent elevation changes, several blind shots are demanded from players, therefore good course management is essential for players to score well.

Just like the Guardian Bom Sucesso, the Dolce CampoReal Lisboa was designed by leading golf architect Donald Steel, therefore a fantastic round of golf and an exciting challenge is guaranteed here. The challenge here is mostly characterised with the golf course’s natural hilly terrain which requires players to shoot a few blind shots, and areas of dense forestry and fauna await to capture any wayward shots. The CampoReal does not let the Silver Coast golf family down in terms of the views and stunning scenery on offer, as the golf course is set in the heart of a wooded valley. The front nine holes here are widely considered to be the most challenging of the pair as water features most commonly here. With elevated tees, golfers may assume that they have an advantage as they can anticipate the upcoming challenge, however the slight elevations are not always obvious at first glance.

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog, and hopefully, you now have sufficient knowledge on the many golfing wonders that the Silver Coast offers. For an unforgettable golf escape in one of Europe’s most sought-after golf destinations, the Silver Coast is an unbeatable option, visit our site for more information – www.golf-escapes.com

This week’s blog is a guide to nine tricky golf courses for those who like a challenge. It is fair to say that golfers often do not tend to go after the easy option; they would much rather seize the opportunity to show off to their fellow players. Here, we have hand-picked some of the most challenging golf courses in Europe. All nine of these fantastic golf courses offer a stern test of golf that can be best appreciated by players that like to be kept on their toes, and those that ultimately search for an invigorating challenge.

The Espiche Golf Lagos is a hidden gem in the Algarve, one of the most popular golfing destinations in Europe. Players must navigate around the 18 holes here, through a unique layout with a challenge characterised by the strategic placement of greenery and fauna. While the fairways may appear to be on the generous side, with dense forestry lining the edges and subtle contouring, golfers are guaranteed an unforgettable test of golf. This par 72 golf course has been designed to incorporate most of the landscape’s natural features, which in turn creates a stunning landscape, and of course a fantastic challenge. Not only must golfers anticipate masses of greenery and fauna to manoeuvre their shots around; the layout is also rife with bunkers and water features that run their natural course throughout the course. Despite the Espiche Golf Lagos being a relatively new golf course in the Western Algarve, it has already established itself as one of the most challenging and unique golf courses in the area. With this layout, players will find they will succeed more in course management if they prioritise accuracy over the length of their shots. There are some truly tricky tight spots throughout, therefore the general line of advice for those that want to attempt the Espiche Golf Lagos is to take plenty of spare balls! Golfers must anticipate the challenge at the par-4 3rd hole as it is widely considered to be the most difficult on the course with a 409-metre-long uphill fairway. Whilst the fairway here appears to be generously wide, the subtle undulations are sure to trip up even the most experienced player.

The Dolce Campo Real Lisboa golf course is situated just half an hour’s drive away from the centre of Lisbon. Here, golfers can enjoy an invigorating round of golf across a unique terrain with rolling hills and valleys. The challenge does not end here; not only is the landscape truly unique with consistent elevation changes, but there are also dense areas of greenery and forestry throughout. Golfers must play with the perfect balance of accuracy and length in order to manoeuvre their shot across the many water hazards and some tricky doglegs which demand a blind shot. Even the most skilled players will find every element of their game challenged at the Dolce CampoReal Lisboa as they must overcome the natural terrain of the original landscape. Donald Steel, one of the most famous golf architects in the world, has created a fantastic golf course built on the natural beauty of the former terrain. The golf course that stands today is rife with the original landscape’s features, including the natural greenery and fauna weaving in and out of the stunning valleys and hills. Players are wrong for assuming they have an advantage with an anticipated view from the elevated tees; the greens are subtly undulating, creating a surprising challenge.

The Shire is widely considered to be among some of the best golf courses in the UK, as well as one of the most challenging. Designed by the leading golf architect Seve Ballesteros, the Shire golf course is guaranteed to keep golfers on their toes throughout their game. Players can enjoy a fantastically varied round of golf; at this golf course, no hole is even remotely similar. The golf course comprises of six par threes, six par fours and six par fives, all of which offer a unique layout and a stern test of golf. Long hitters will feel right at home here as their skills will be utilised best with the challenge to overcome the many large water hazards. They can reap the benefits of the risk-reward system at this golf course, and those that cannot rise to the challenge will be penalised. The challenge here does not just end at the strategic placement of the water hazards and the sheer size of them; there are over 10,000 trees at this parkland golf course just waiting to swallow any wayward shots. Furthermore, the greens are unbeatably fast and feature subtle contours to trip up even the most skilled golfer.

The Salobre New, formerly known as the Salobre North, is a distinctive golf course that is guaranteed to set the hearts racing of all players, regardless of their skill set or experience. This golf course offers a unique round of golf to its players with an original landscape that is sure to be remembered for years to come. Despite the fact that this par 69 golf course is not nearly as long as its sister golf course, the Salobre Old, nor the other golf courses in the surrounding area, that is not to say that golfers will find a round of golf here a walk in the park. The Salobre New was designed with the emphasis on the use of accuracy instead of length, meaning golfers must be sure to play with their A-game throughout their round. Despite only opening in 2008 as a new addition to the huge variety of golf in Gran Canaria, the Salobre New has already created a steady reputation for itself as one of the most challenging golf courses on the island. A highlight of the stern test of golf on offer at the Salobre New includes the par-4 10th hole where players must utilise the use of their iron in order to cross an undulating fairway to reach the multi-tiered green.

One of the most unique golf courses in the Algarve includes the Monte Rei, which has accurately been labelled as “the jewel in the crown of Portuguese golf”. Conveniently for players, the Monte Rei is home to a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere to soothe any tempers raised from the challenging layout they have to overcome. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, one of the most famous golf architects in history, at the Monte Rei, golfers are guaranteed to have an unforgettable round of golf. Despite the huge range of golf in the Algarve and its constant expansion, the Monte Rei has continued to maintain a big name for itself in Europe. The main challenge here is characterised by the nature and placement of water hazards and bunkers; in order to maintain a steady scorecard, golfers must play with the perfect balance of length and accuracy across the 7,224-yard-long layout. Nicklaus certainly did not hold back in the use of water hazards for this layout, as they feature in eleven out of the eighteen holes here. The challenge does not simply end here; with original fauna and greenery, strategic bunkering and undulating terrain, the Monte Rei is not a good golf course for players to choose if they want to show off to their fellow players.

The par 73 Alferini golf course is a stand-out course in the midst of all the classic Spanish layouts in the Costa del Sol. Instead of just providing an attractive layout and a pretty scenery, the architect of the Alferini, Antonio Garcia Garrido, has succeeded in striving to create a fantastic golf course that offers a great challenge. Many of the golf courses in the Costa del Sol are typically attractive, and some might say they lack a certain edge to them. However, the Alferini puts this preconception to waste with a truly unique layout that is sure to provide a stern test of golf to all those that attempt it. The golf course was designed and created with its natural features in mind in order to preserve its original beauty and to maintain the landscape’s unique features. The par 5 16th hole is a particular stand-out to all of its players. At this hole, long hitters may initially revel in the lengthy and seemingly straightforward fairway. However, as any experienced golfer can advise – looks can often be deceiving! As the fairway approaches the green, it narrows significantly, therefore the element of accuracy must be focused in on as players soon find themselves surrounded by bunkers. With a unique layout that is sure to make low handicappers break a sweat, it comes as no surprise that Michael Campbell has labelled this hole as his favourite across the entire golf course.

The Le Golf National Albatros is known as the most challenging golf course in the surrounding areas around the French capital, therefore it hardly comes as surprising that it was selected as the 2018 Ryder Cup venue. It is fair to say that this golf course has lived up to each and every one of its expectations, and this has been shown to be the case as players return year after year. Golfers push their skills to their limit to make the most out of the risk-reward system the golf course operates on. Golfers are thrown into the challenge here from the get-go; however, the real challenge lies right at the end of the round at the par 4 18th hole. This is the hole to make or break an unforgettable round of golf with a huge water hazard positioned to the left side of the fairway and areas of dense bunkering on the right side. Here, the determinant of success lies in the approach shot. Whether players are happy with the end result or not, their round at the Le Golf National Albatros is sure to be a memorable one.

The La Manga Club West is the perfect golf course for any golfer looking for a challenging yet varied round of golf. The front and the back loops of nine differ in both their characteristics and the skills that they demand. The front nine holes demand golfers play with precise accuracy, and while the back nine appear to be more open, any decent player knows never to take anything at face value. The back nine might comprise of a more open layout in comparison to the narrow and compact front nine, however that is not to say that they are any less challenging. Golfers will find themselves thrown into the challenge from the very first hole, and they must do their best to play consistently as the course rapidly changes in elevation. If players are able to focus on anything but the challenge at hand, they should take their time to appreciate the immaculately kept landscape here; spectators frequently comment on the fantastic condition of the West golf course. At the La Manga West, the best is saved until last at the final 18th hole. Here, golfers must push themselves for one last time in order to give a half-decent tee shot. If they cannot do this, then there is usually some leeway due to the width of the fairway, but golfers should not count on this.

At the Acaya Golf Club, the challenge lies in the difficulty of club selection. If players can manage this, then they have a chance to do well here. There is a huge range of challenges to be met at the Acaya Golf Club, therefore golfers must choose their club carefully. Players must overcome strategically placed bunkers and water hazards that come into play at many of the holes here in order to score well. Whilst the Acaya Golf Club is undeniably one of the most challenging golf courses in Italy, it is also one of the most breath-taking due to its stunning location in the heart of the countryside. The architects of the Acaya Golf Club sought to incorporate the features of the natural landscape with their vision to create a fantastic golf course that forces players to use all of the clubs in their arsenal. It is certainly a unique aim to want to encourage players to use all fourteen of their clubs, however it is fair to say that this has been achieved, and it simply adds to the challenge. With three huge lakes and dense green areas consisting of olive groves, players must anticipate a testing round of golf that they are sure not to forget any time soon. The main challenge here is characterised by water hazards as the three lakes at the golf course come into play mainly in the back nine holes. The 16th, 17th and 18th holes comprise of tricky par fours; therefore, players must be sure to save the best of their game until last.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog, and hopefully, we have inspired you to push beyond your boundaries to truly test your golfing skills on your next golf holiday in Europe.

www.golf-escapes.com

 

This week’s blog is a guide to the Pestana golf course collection. The Pestana golf courses are situated on the Algarve and each boasts a great round of golf. Whether you are looking for a great holiday round or a stern test of golf, these courses can offer you that variety. Take a look at this great collection of courses and be inspired for your next golf holiday to the Algarve.

Alto Golf and Country Club was one of the last to be designed by Sir Henry Cotton and features brilliant, winding fairways and elevated greens which are a stern test for those playing with a lower handicap but also fair to those who are less accomplished golfers. The course’s features are similar to that to a UK parkland course, but of course, you have the weather associated with the Algarve to remind you that you are in fact, not in England. The course is beautifully positioned near to the picturesque village of Alvor and offers beautiful white sandy beaches, clear blue sea and interesting cliffs which add to the charm and character of the round. As you play the first nine holes of the course, you can enjoy the stunning views over Lagos Bay. The last nine holes travel back inland, running through gentle mountain slopes. This course is home to the longest home in Europe, the 66o-yard par 5 16th which is known as “The Giant”. This hole requires both concentration and skill in order for you to leave the hole with a respectable score. After your round, take a trip to the clubhouse where you can enjoy a few drinks whilst you reminisce over your round.

Silves is a beautifully picturesque course which opened for play in 2006 and since then, has gained a brilliant reputation for being a course that is always in immaculate condition. The course is set on gently undulating terrain in a rural area just 15 minutes inland. The course is surrounded by typical Algarve fruit orchards and small farms adding to the character of this beautiful layout. The first tee shot is a daunting one on this round as you must hit straight in order to avoid the water hazards strategically positioned on the fairway both on the right and the left. There are also many strategically placed bunkers in order to thwart those big hitters. However, this course is not an overly difficult one making it ideal as a holiday course for groups who have golfers of varying handicaps. Most of the holes along the course boast spectacular mountain views overlooking palm trees and olive groves. After your round, take a visit to the Silves Clubhouse where you can enjoy a few drinks and a bite to eat whilst discussing the round.

Next up, we have the Gramacho Golf Course which is situated near Carvoeiro in the Algarve. This course was originally a nine-hole course which has been extended and beautifully redesigned by Nick Price to become a full 18-hole course. Pestana Gramacho has hosted the Portuguese Ladies Open on a number of occasions and is recognised as a championship course which is enjoyable and playable by those with a higher handicap. The course winds its way over undulating terrain with olive, almond and carob trees scattered along the way. This is a challenging course which requires its players to be technically accurate in order to score well on the round. The Gramacho Clubhouse is the perfect place to sit and relax after your round, it is situated in the heart of the resort and boasts many services including club and buggy rental. There is a great restaurant and bar which boasts the most stunning views on the misty blue backdrop of the Monchique Mountains as well as overlooking the 18th hole.

The Vale da Pinta golf course is set in the Pestana Golf Resort near Carvoeiro is a quality course which beautifully incorporates the course’s natural landscape of rolling hills, olive groves and other indigenous trees and vegetation. The course is beautifully framed by the Monchique Hills. Shot-making and accuracy are very important on this course as there are many tight fairways, doglegs and an assortment of strategically placed hazards positioned to challenge golfers of all abilities. One of the most challenging holes is the par-five 4th hole which measures over 500 metres from the back tee. This hole requires a long and accurate uphill tee-shot towards a marker post, this is made more challenging by the fact that the fairway is bordered by rough on the right and out of bounds on the left. The rest of the hole stretches downhill, but the fairway narrows drastically towards the end before you reach the undulating green. Another brilliant hole on this course is the 13th which is a short par four which may seem easy, but there is a large lake and bunker on the far bank from the tee ensuring that a very good strike is necessary if you are to clear this combination of hazards. You can take the safer route right of the water, but this still means that you will have a tricky approach to reach the well-guarded, shallow green. There are several stand-out holes along this course but particularly special is the 18th which is a wonderful par five finishing hole measuring just under 600 metres. The hole requires three long, straight shots and if you make par, you have finished well. There is no doubt that Vale de Pinta boasts a great round of golf filled with excellent and testing holes as well as a superb location and wonderful clubhouse for you to enjoy after your round. Vila Sol is one of the most requested courses in the Algarve, there are 27 brilliant holes situated at the complex.

Vila Sol has hosted the Portuguese Open and is a brilliant test of golf designed by the famous English architect, Donald Steel. The course winds its way through an immense pinewood in which there are fig trees, oaks and almond trees. This is a typical inland golf course with narrow fairways which demand accurate driving as well as water and sand hazards and fast greens. Players of all abilities will find Vila Sol to be a stern but fair test of golf. The fairways are always maintained beautifully and of course, there are many strategically placed hazards along the course to catch any errant shots. Right from the first few holes, it is evident that Vila Sol is a challenging course. There are three holes which are par fours in excess of 380-metres long. There are many notable holes along the course including the 6th, 7th and 8th. The 6th is a long, downhill par five which features a large lake protecting the left half of the fairway, you then have to tackle the uphill approach to a small, heavily guarded green. The 7th is also a long, downhill hole during which you must carry your shot back over the lake towards a large, sloping green. Finally, the 8th is a classic park-like par five which gently doglegs right with a narrow stream running just in front of the green and back down the left side of the fairway.  The back nine holes at Vila Sol are slightly shorter but still maintain the challenge of the course. This is a solid course that challenges and rewards at every turn.

If you are looking for the perfect place to stay in order to have the opportunity to enjoy the Pestana golf courses, then look no further than the Pestana Vila Sol Golf and Resort Hotel. This hotel is perfectly located for those looking to enjoy Vilamoura’s nightlife, restaurants and beautiful sandy beaches. You can reach several brilliant golf courses easily from this hotel. The hotel boasts 189 spacious and beautifully decorated guest rooms, all of which boast stunning views of the hotel’s surroundings. Many of the guest rooms are scattered across the resort in lovely, Portuguese cottages. Besides exploring the wonderful town of Vilamoura and playing plenty of golf on the surrounding golf courses, you can take advantage of the facilities within the hotel. These include an indoor heated swimming pool, a large outdoor pool lined with sun loungers and parasols. There are also private tennis courts and spa facilities. This is a superb hotel with brilliant facilities and a superb location – perfect for your next golf break to the Algarve.

Another hotel ideal for exploring the Pestana golf courses is Pestana Delfim. This hotel boasts a brilliant location situated just a couple of minutes stroll away from Alvor’s golden beaches. This is a fantastic all-inclusive hotel which is perfect for both families and groups of golfers looking to make the most of the facilities within the hotel. The Pestana Delfim is a great base from which you can enjoy the many golf courses in the Western Algarve and explore the lively town of Alvor. You can reach Alvor within ten minutes on foot and the hotel also runs a regular shuttle bus there. The rooms within the hotel are all spacious and are equipped with all of the essentials including complimentary Wi-Fi, satellite TV and air conditioning. During the day, whilst you are not enjoying the town of Alvor or the wonderful golf courses within close proximity of the hotel, you can spend your days lounging around the pool, play tennis or use the fully-equipped fitness centre. As the hotel is all-inclusive, you can have your breakfast served in the buffet restaurant and dine on the garden terrace during the summer months. There are three bars within the hotel including a pool bar and the Toucan Bar. You can enjoy great restaurants and bars in the town of Alvor. The Pestana Delfim is another superb option for your next golf escape to Portugal, especially if you are looking to enjoy some of the great golf in this area – including the Pestana courses.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that perhaps, some more information on these exciting holiday golf courses has inspired you to book your next golf escape to the Algarve. If you have been inspired, or if you want to talk through some other golf holiday options, give us a call or send us an enquiry on our website to get in touch.

www.golf-escapes.com

This week’s blog is a guide to the seven best golf escapes that have a bit of a twist on them. Whether you are looking for something luxurious and breath-taking or interesting and exciting, this blog has it all…

Rovos Rail was first established in 1989 and has since earned itself a fantastic international reputation for its world-class travel experiences, brilliant service and superb cuisine. You can choose from a range of different journeys in South Africa aboard the Rovos Rail that range from 48 hours right through to 15 days. The trains are beautifully intimate with just 76 passengers aboard the train at once. The African Golf Collage is a panoramic 10-day journey aboard the Rovos Rail. The train winds its way from Pretoria to Cape Town and boasts a variety of different golfing and safari excursions. Activities along the journey include a game drive in the Kruger, Hluhluwe and Addo Elephant Park, a visit to the KWV Brandy Distillery and tours of both Durban and Bloemfontein. The 9-day golf safari by Rovos Rail is perfect for even the most discerning golfer and also boasts excellent excursions for non-golfers. You will depart from Pretoria northwards towards Sun City before turning east to KwaZulu Natal and the Drakensberg escarpment. You will then travel onwards to the Indian Ocean coast near Durban before turning north and travelling up the coast into Swaziland. Finally, you will have the opportunity to visit the Kruger National Park before heading back to Pretoria. Whichever Rovos Rail adventure you may choose, you will stay in beautifully furnished suites, eat delicious food and drink divine African wines. If you are looking for a once in a lifetime trip where you will have the opportunity to play South African’s finest courses as well as enjoy the nature that South Africa has to offer, then look no further than a journey on the Rovos Rail.

Situated in Abu Dhabi is the five-star Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa. This hotel is situated in the heart of Abu Dhabi and is home to the 27-hole championship golf course of PGA Tour Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. The hotel boasts extensive leisure facilities as well as a brilliant location making it the ideal place for your next golf break to Abu Dhabi. Due to the hotel’s location, you are never far from something exciting to do nearby. You can find many of Abu Dhabi’s key attractions within close proximity of the hotel including the Corniche, Ferrari World and Yas Island where you can find Yas Mall and Yas Waterworld. Within the hotel, there is also plenty to do including two outdoor swimming pools which are both lined with sun loungers and the Heavenly Spa where you can choose from a range of health and beauty treatments. When it comes to food and drink, you could never be bored or go hungry at the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa as there are five different restaurants. The Fairways Restaurant serves a delightful international buffet menu and for fine dining, you can venture to the Sacci Restaurant which serves the finest authentic Italian cuisine. The Lemon and Lime Restaurant is well-known for its delicious brunch and tapas-style cuisine. Whatever you are looking for from your next dining experience, this hotel has everything that you could possibly need or want. Each of the hotel’s guest rooms is beautifully appointed and are equipped with all of the facilities and amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard including a flat screen TV, a private balcony and a Nespresso coffee machine. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf and Resort Hotel boasts excellent leisure facilities, a brilliant location and beautiful guestrooms, look no further than this great hotel for your next golf escape.

Casa Velha do Palheiro is a stunning five-star golf resort situated in Madeira next to the famous Palheiro Gardens. Within the hotel’s grounds, you can find a heated swimming pool as well as a sauna, steam room and a full spa within which you can choose from a range of treatments. There are some sporting facilities including a tennis court as well as croquet and billiards available. The hotel boasts its own private motor yacht “Balancal” which is available for coastal cruises, swimming, dolphin and whale watching as well as deep sea big game fishing. This yacht can be found at Funchal marina which Is easily reached via the free shuttle bus from the hotel. From the hotel, you can also enjoy direct access to the stunning Palheiro Golf Course with reserved tee times from the halfway house which is just a short stroll from the gate. The golf course was designed by Cabell Robinson and opened for play in 1994. Two-thirds of the course lies within a pine forest and botanical woodland, the fairways are very generous. Although the course is not very long, there are some very difficult bunkers to negotiate and many of the greens are both raised and small. This course is a brilliant course which provides players with a stern but fair test of golf. This beautiful hotel and the stunning golf course are the perfect pair for your next golf break to Madeira.

For those looking to enjoy delicious cuisine and fine wines, we would heavily recommend a golf escape to the city of Murcia. The Murcia region lies in the South East corner of Spain between Andalucía and Valencia and often boasts more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year with very mild temperatures year-round. You can enjoy easy access through most of the UK’s regional airports making this a popular destination for both short breaks and long, relaxing holidays. There are 12 golf courses already open in the region with more than 30 currently under construction. It is fair to say that this will soon become one of the most popular golfing regions in Europe and it isn’t hard to see why. There are some fantastic resorts which boast facilities for both golfers and non-golfers. The city of Murcia serves some of the best food in Spain, you can find an abundance of tapas bars but there are some great historical and cultural sights to enjoy, too. There is the cathedral on Plaza del Cardenal Belluga, the Casino on Calle de la Traperia and the convent of Santa Clara la Real. In the evenings, before your meal, enjoy a walk down the elegant riverside Paseo del Malecon before watching the sun go down from the Glorieta de Espana square. In the Plaza San Juan, you can then find an array of tapas bars to complete your evening adventure. This is a beautiful city and you can enjoy some of the great golf within the region whilst soaking up everything that this city has to offer in terms of delicious food, stunning wines and interesting architecture.

Situated on the captivating island of La Gomera is Hotel Jardin Tecina. This hotel stands complete with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and of the neighbouring island of Tenerife. The resort is perched on top of the village where you can find an array of great bars and restaurants as well as the beach. The resort is situated amongst over 70,000 square metres of lush greenery where you can find over 50 different species of plants and flowers from all over the world. From the resort, you can enjoy direct access to the fishing village of Playa de Santiago where you can find some great bars and restaurants. Alternatively, you can choose to dine within the hotel where you will find a daily buffet on offer within the main restaurant or great Spanish and Canary cuisine served within the Tasca Fandango. There are all five bars within the resort, including the terrace bar from which you can enjoy breath-taking views of the hotel’s scenery. Each of the guestrooms within the hotel boasts its own private balcony or terrace from which you can enjoy garden or sea views depending on your room’s position. The rooms are also appointed with all of the facilities and amenities that you could expect from a hotel of this standard including Wi-Fi, a well-stocked minibar and a satellite TV. During the day, if you are not exploring the village or taking on the challenge that is Tecina Golf, you can spend your time relaxing around one of the five different pool areas or enjoy the sporting facilities. There is also a great spa in which you can opt to purchase a massage or facial. This is a superb hotel with wonderful facilities and a stunning location, look no further than Hotel Jardin Tecina for your next golf escape.

Situated in the heart of the Alt Emporda region is the five-star Hotel Peralada Wine Spa and Golf. The hotel is nestled in the midst of one of the Costa Brava’s favourite golf courses – the Golf Club Peralada. Whilst you are here, you are just a short drive from the bet beaches in the Costa Brava. This hotel is perfect for golfers who are partial to an excellent wine due to the hotel’s position situated in the heart of the well-known Peralada wine estate. Besides from the great wine and golf, you can find a wide range of leisure activities within the resort including the outdoor swimming pool, the wine spa where you can choose from a range of treatments which use products sourced from its own wine vineyard. Within the spa, there is a jacuzzi, a sauna and an indoor swimming pool. As the hotel is a small, boutique hotel, there are just 64 guestrooms. Each of them is beautifully furnished and equipped with all of the modern essentials that guests may need in order to make the most of their stay. These essentials including air conditioning, Wi-Fi and a plasma screen TV. Due to the hotel’s position, you can venture into the village to enjoy a meal but, there is the excellent Restaurant l’Olivera which is the ideal setting for those looking for a great evening meal partnered with stunning views over the golf course. The Hotel Peralada is a beautiful hotel, perfect for a luxurious and relaxing golf escape to Girona.

Last, but certainly not least, we recommend the five-star Movenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech for those looking for the chance to explore the wonderful city of Marrakech whilst enjoying some excellent golf. The resort is set in the popular Hivernage district of Marrakech in the centre of the city, just a short walk to many historic monuments and the main market square. There is no way that anyone could ever find themselves with a lack of things to do and see whilst staying here. Whether you are out exploring the city’s souks and historical monuments or taking on one of the challenging golf courses situated nearby, you will always find yourself doing something enjoyable here. For those looking to relax as well as explore, the resort offers a luxurious poolside setting as well as a spacious spa. You can enjoy a full spa programme including a range of treatments within the O de Rose spa and yoga studio. Of course, due to the hotel’s wonderful location, you can venture into the market square to find somewhere excellent to eat, however, you can also stay within the hotel. The resort boasts numerous restaurants within which you can indulge in traditional Moroccan dining. There is also the Marcelona Restaurant which serves a delicious Catalan and Spanish menu. Each of the hotel’s guestrooms is decorated in a contemporary Moroccan fashion and all of them boasts a flat-screen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, bathrobes, slippers and a private balcony from which you can enjoy the Moroccan sun and beautiful views. This hotel offers its guests the chance to explore this fantastic city as well as the nearby golf. Look no further than the Movenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech for your next golf holiday.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blogs and that one of these seven fantastic options may be what you are looking for from your next golf escape with a twist…

www.golf-escapes.com

After the glare of a sunlit day, I try to block the evening sun by sitting behind the wrought iron work – just a little, the dust motes dancing in our little space, the cushions plumped behind our backs as we sit sheltered from an evening breeze up on the terrace; a bottle of red wine from Casablanca, fiery olives and breadsticks to soak it up being devoured by us four. Mohammed told of his people, the politics, the poor, the king and we told a little of our land. Shared humanity, shared laughter, breaking the bread.
Back down the marble staircase, polished to a shine with the local ‘black soap’ made from the olive trees, back to the ‘Geranium’ room.
Then I hear the call to prayer and, compelled, I climb again to the rooftop. Against a now lavender and lemon sky four, no, five voices compete in the air across the tiled roofs for attention. Haunting, mystical and timeless, declaring God is great, who can argue with that, on an evening such as this. The swifts feel they can do better, their little cries are drowned but still they swoop, supper on the wing, the cries building to a crescendo and I see the dive bombing as they expel a bird of prey from their piece of sky territory.


I want to tell of the day, the things we have seen, roads leading to the Mosque lined with trees dripping marmalade oranges, the water sellers with their huge bell jingling hats, ornate carvings on the arches and ceilings of the Bahia Palace, the concubine’s quarters, twenty four of them, the square where slaves were traded, the metallic flare and grind from the blacksmiths souk, the four pairs of babouche I haggled for, the pungent smell of spices now tucked away within my clothes. I’ll try to take your hand and lead you through souks and the medina where there is everything for sale that you must have heard of; leather, jewellery, clothes, food, baskets of cactus flowers, bright carpets hanging from wide ropes and slung across stone walls, glaring sun copper and moonshine silver, yarns of dripping wool drying above our heads, an assault and a shaking joy. I’ll lead you swiftly past the snake charmers, the monkeys on chains, the skinny cats, the weary mules pulling heavily laden wagons through the alleyways. I can try to tie a silk pashmina across your nose to reduce the pollution from the hundreds of mopeds skimming our ankles, but then I would be depriving you of this experience which makes us alive. I’m tired, just footsore and weary, so I’ll tell you of it all, the food we’ve eaten, the people we’ve met, the beggars we’ve shed our tears for, the beauty of this place – I’ll tell you all – another time. When my mind is a little stiller, my heart a little less  full and when I have yet more to tell, but now I go to slip between crisp white cotton sheets, curling around my newly made memories with my loved ones, and await the call to prayer as the sun rises again above the sandstone rooftops. Sweet dreams.

After the tranquillity of the riad, another mad dangerous taxi ride through the centre of the city where there are no discernible rules, the cars and the motorbikes, the donkeys and the mules, the old man and the sleek black taxis cut across our path, honking, swerving, stopping, starting until we reach the Majorelle gardens where the long queue is made so much shorter by our chat with a globetrotting pair of Canadians. We pass giant massed cacti in every design of nature, some proudly sprouting bright yellow bulbous flowers, past groves of thick bamboo standing next to towering palms and banana plants. We have lunch in the gorgeous courtyard restaurant: thick spicy soup, the ubiquitous bread and sticky almond tarts, bougainvillaea and jasmine spilling over the balustrades. Yves St Lauren once owned this garden and had splashed his colours and design upon the paths, the walls, the rills, and the giant urns outside the stuccoed ‘garden rooms’
As we venture out for an evening meal we crane our necks to watch dozens of vultures circling their supper out on the dusty plains of the low Atlas mountains. We’re just meandering through the dusty alleyways feeding the stray cats along the way, greeting the police and the sellers, – back from a fabulous restaurant where the banana trees rise from the floor where they’d nestled by a lighted pool, – through a skylight to the roof terrace two storeys above. We’ve had coffee and the little sweet honey cakes, tucked beneath a blanket, high above the city with the lighted minarets competing against a clear full moon. We’re sated and chilly, drunk on the atmosphere when a mule comes spinning around the corner, picks up a fast trot, eager for his supper, trailing a huge wooden cart full of the day’s collected garbage. One experience to the other! -Katie and I are quite overwhelmed; it’s taken only two days for us to fall in love with Marrakech!

By now Simon, with the help of Google tracker is confident he can lead us back to the souks, but first, we find The Secret Garden, restored to the original design of over one hundred years ago. Another cacti garden, this time next to jacaranda trees and a pool where terrapins climb upon the stones to sunbathe. A typical Islamic garden with water courses, gurgling colourful tiled water features, draped pavilions and more of those exotic doorways and arches through which one expects to find a belly dancer or sultan on his throne. We drink in the heady scent of the clipped rosemary bushes and the wavy bee soaked lavender before we climb yet another of the smooth staircases that you can’t help but stroke on your way up, and down until we sit with coffee overlooking the peace amidst the bustling city outside its walls.

Two wrong turns, three, then only four before we’re where we want to be: lunch on a high terrace overlooking the ‘slave square’ where young boys and women preside over mountains of knitted hats and baskets of every colour. Handmade wooden kitchen utensils, handmade most things, the square lined with cafes and spice shops spilling their pungency across the dusty street.

Lugging our hard bartered for goods (we were fair, there’s been no aggressive selling here) -we just have time for a rest, a shower and tea of course before we’re collected and driven for thirty minutes outside the city where we see a ‘Berber fort’ against a quickening red horizon. We can’t quite work out what this is, the ‘Fantasia show’ sounding cheap, tacky, but oh no, the tribal music, the dancing, the smoky sandalwood fires roaring in braziers transports us to an older time. I feet the lump in my throat and a smart in my eyes that has nothing to do with the smoke. Marquees made as Berber tents set amid high walls around a hard packed dirt arena. The meal is chunks of oily delicious lamb and towering chicken tagines served by waiters in traditional dress, followed by fresh fruit then mint tea poured from high.

We sit around the vast arena and find we’re holding our breath. We know something special is about to happen. Over three hundred people are quiet and we can hear the horses snorting and stamping, just make out the white of the Berber horsemen’s shirts, the dust spattered shine of their boots as the thunder of the hooves start, racing before us, rifles aloft and with an ear-splitting BANG! they are discharged. The air is thick with blue smoke, some women are screaming, not us. Then in quick succession sleek muscled horses gallop not a meter in front, their riders performing the skills of their ancestors. This night I will never forget.  

Some last moments up on the roof in the cold light of a new day, one last  stroll past the man turning honey spoons on a hand lathe steadied with his toes, one last haggle for a camel leather backpack, one last goodbye, Stirling changed for Dirham to press into the hands that have welcomed and looked after us before we are collected to make our way through the white and glass modern design of the airport, bathed in sunlight. We turn to each other, my daughter and I know that we will be back.

The Movenpick Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech is a fantastic five-star hotel situated in the Hivernage district of Marrakech. The hotel boasts a fantastic location just a short walk from many historical monuments including the Koutoubia Mosque as well as the main market square where you can find an array of souks.

The resort boasts spacious guest rooms which are beautifully decorated and are all appointed with the amenities and facilities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard. Amenities include free Wi-Fi and a private balcony from which you can enjoy lovely views of the hotel’s surroundings.

During the day, whilst you are not taking on one of the challenging local golf courses, you can spend time relaxing around the hotel’s pool or in the spa.

You can find numerous restaurants within the resort (five to be exact) which all boast fantastic traditional Moroccan and international dishes.

If you are looking for a relaxing golf escape to Marrakech, where you will have opportunity to play courses like The Montgomerie Marrakech and Tony Jacklin Signature Course as well as explore the delights that Marrakech has to offer – look no further!

This week’s blog is a guide to the seven most relaxing golf and spa breaks. Whether you are travelling with non-golfers or you are just interested in experiencing some pampering during your holiday, take a look at one of these luxurious resorts…

First up, we have the five-star luxurious La Cala Golf Resort. This complex is beautifully positioned between the Sierra de Mijas National Park and the Mediterranean Sea. The resort boasts three golf courses, swimming pools and a luxurious spa. Within the spa, you can find hydrotherapy pools, a Turkish bath and a sauna as well as a number of different health and beauty treatments available including massages and facials.
Each of the hotel’s guest rooms boasts stunning views over the golf course which you can admire from your room’s private balcony. The rooms are also equipped with all of the modern facilities and amenities that you could need in order to make the most out of your stay here including satellite TV and free Wi-Fi.
During the day, whilst you are not tackling one of the three brilliant La Cala courses – America, Asia and Europa, you can spend time in the hotel’s spa, relax around the pool or take the short 10-minute drive to the nearest beach. The resort is also just 35 minutes’ drive from Malaga Airport.
La Cala’s Restaurant serves both international and local cuisine and you can enjoy a few drinks within the clubhouse or the lobby bar.
There is no doubt that La Cala Resort is the perfect destination for your next stay-and-play golf break to the Costa del Sol with excellent golf, a wonderful spa and a beautiful location.

Next, we have the four-star Sesimbra Hotel and Spa which is a modern, beachfront hotel situated in the fishing village of Sesimbra which boasts beautifully appointed rooms and facilities. The hotel was refurbished in 2015 and so all of the rooms and the spa boast a stylish and modern décor.
Each of the guestrooms is equipped with all of the facilities and amenities that you would expect from a standard of this hotel including air conditioning, a flat-screen cable TV, free Wi-Fi, a safe, a minibar and a private balcony from which you can enjoy beautiful views of the hotel’s surroundings.
Within the spa, you can enjoy a wide range of different health and beauty treatments including massages and hot stone massages. Other spa facilities include a small heated indoor swimming pool, a Turkish bath, a sauna, a Tropical Shower and a Vertical Hydromassage.
The hotel boasts a beautiful location surrounded by the Arrabida Natural Reserve and has its own awnings for clients to use during the summer months at the beach. You are also within easy walking distance of the town’s restaurants and bars. The hotel is situated just under 20 miles from Lisbon’s city centre where you can find an abundance of restaurants, bars, nightlife and history.
Due to the hotel’s location, it is easy for you to walk out to enjoy a meal and a few drinks in the town, however the hotel boasts a great restaurant, Aquarius, which specialises in traditional Portuguese fish and shellfish dishes.
Sesimbra Hotel and Spa is the perfect hotel for you to enjoy the great local golf courses of Aroeira I and Aroeira II as well as Quinta do Peru. Look no further for a relaxing golf escape than Sesimbra Hotel and Spa situated in the Lisbon region.

Situated in Sicily is the four-star Il Picciolo Etna Golf Resort and Spa. This hotel boasts a beautiful location in the East of Sicily within the breath-taking Mount Etna National Park, located on the lower slopes of the volcano.
The hotel is situated more than 2000ft above sea level which means that guests to the hotel can enjoy a pleasant year-round temperature with stunning panoramic views of the volcano and the surrounding countryside. There is so much to do and visit within the local area like trekking, mountain biking and wine vineyard tours. Arguably, the two best things about this resort is the fact that the great Il Picciolo Golf Club is conveniently situated next door and that there is a luxurious, comprehensive spa facility located within the hotel. The spa area boasts the perfect place for you to unwind, within the facility you can find a sauna, Turkish bath, Jacuzzi and a large massage and treatment area. There is also a great hotel swimming pool which you can lay around whilst enjoying the sun.
Each of the hotel’s guest rooms is beautifully appointed and takes advantage of the hotel’s lovely setting with beautiful views of the vineyards and the orchards. The room types range from a comfortable classic room to a stunning suite so everyone can take their pick! The rooms boast all of the essentials including complimentary Wi-Fi and a satellite TV.
The hotel’s main restaurant, La Ghiandaia, serves delicious traditional Sicilian cuisine. Within the clubhouse, you can enjoy a great lunch menu. In the Lounge Bar, you can enjoy a few drinks after your meal.

Next, situated on the exclusive Quinta do Lago Estate is the Monte Da Quinta Resort. This is a luxurious resort with a great range of leisure activities situated nearby as well as a selection of brilliant golf courses including the brilliant Quinta do Lago courses.
The Resort boasts a range of one, two- and three-bedroom suites which are all furnished to a very high standard to ensure that you have a brilliant and luxurious stay here. The suites all provide the modern essentials for your stay including a flat-screen TV and Wi-Fi access as well as a private balcony or terrace from which you can enjoy the views. They are all fully equipped for self-catering with a fridge, microwave, oven and a dishwasher.
As the suites are so well-equipped, you can easily self-cater here. However, if you want to take a night off from cooking, take a trip to the Melange Bistro Restaurant where you can enjoy a large buffet meal. Alternatively, head to the Peacock’s Grill for an a la carte meal before enjoying a few drinks in the Peacock Bar.
The Monte Da Quinta Resort boasts a great range of leisure facilities including two outdoor swimming pools and an indoor pool. You can also enjoy access to the wonderful Magnolia Spa which boasts a sauna, steam room and a Turkish bath as well as the opportunity to take advantage of a range of massage and beauty treatments.
For a relaxing golf and spa escape, look no further than the wonderful Monte Da Quinta Resort situated in the exclusive Quinta do Lago Estate.

The Hilton Vilamoura as Cascatas Golf Resort and Spa is a luxurious hotel which boasts a high standard of accommodation with impeccable service and a brilliant range of leisure facilities. The great thing about this hotel is that you can enjoy the best of both worlds as you are just a short journey into the centre of Vilamoura, but you are still able to relax in the peaceful setting of the hotel.
There are so many great things about this luxurious hotel, one of which is the fact that you can enjoy being situated in a prime position surrounded by a selection of the Algarve’s best golf courses including Dom Pedro Pinhal Golf Course and Dom Pedro Millennium Golf Course.
Another great thing about this hotel is its leisure facilities. You can enjoy an impressive six swimming pools which are each lined with sun loungers and parasols, you can also enjoy private tennis courts and the beach club at the nearby Falesia Beach. Of course, there is also a great spa within which you can enjoy a wide range of health and beauty treatments including massages and facials.
There are 176 guest rooms within the hotel and each of the boasts all of the essentials that you need for an unbeatable luxurious stay. The guest rooms and the suites all come with private balconies from which you can enjoy beautiful views of the hotel’s surroundings. There are also 66 one or two-bedroom apartments which are all air-conditioned and boast a spacious lounge area.
The hotel’s Moscada restaurant boasts a great breakfast and dinner buffet filled with international and local dishes. You can also choose to head to the Cilantro or Aquarela for an a la carte meal of either Italian or seafood dishes. For daily evening entertainment, cocktails and snacks check out the Rubi bar.
Whatever it is that you are looking for from your next golf escape, the Hilton Vilamoura has it all. Look no further for your next golf and spa break than this excellent hotel.

Situated amongst the beautiful foothills, in between the mountains and the ocean, sits the beautiful Monte Rei Golf and Country Club. This is a great, villa-based resort which boasts everything that you could possibly need or want from your next golf break to the Algarve.
You can enjoy rounds on Portugal’s number one golf course, stunning accommodation, excellent gastronomy and first-class service within this great hotel. From the hotel, you can explore Eastern Algarve’s towns of Tavira, Monte Gordo and Cabanas which are all within a 25-minute drive of the resort.
Due to the location of the resort, you can easily venture outside of the hotel to enjoy a meal and a few drinks. However, there are three great restaurants onsite of the hotel including Vistas which has been included within the Michelin Guide for Portugal which means that it really is worth having a meal in that restaurant if you choose to stay at Monte Rei.
The resort offers guests a great range of self-catered luxury villas which have all been built in a typically Portuguese style and have been furnished to a very high standard. You can find all of the modern amenities that you could need for your stay within the villas including a large terrace with a great outdoor dining area as well as complimentary toiletries, air conditioning and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Of course, the most impressive thing about Monte Rei Golf and Country club is the beautiful, Jack Nicklaus-designed Monte Rei course. The course boasts 18 quality holes, stunning surroundings and a stern test of golf.
Another impressive thing about the resort is the range of leisure facilities that you can enjoy. There are private tennis courts, a fully-equipped fitness centre and extensive spa facilities. Within the spa, you can opt to enjoy a range of treatments and massages.
This is a wonderful resort and offers guests the chance to self-cater, explore the local towns and the chance to play on the brilliant Monte Rei Golf Course. Look no further than the Monte Rei Golf and Country Club for a great golf and spa escape.

Last, but certainly not least, to make the list of our suggestions for a great golf and spa break, is the Palacio Estoril Hotel Golf and Spa. This luxurious hotel is situated in the heart of the brilliant resort of Estoril, adjacent to the Casino and just a few minutes’ walk to the sandy beach.
This five-star hotel boasts beautiful interiors and boasts a beautiful location set within lush gardens with the brilliant Golf do Estoril. The guest rooms are all spacious and beautifully decorated, they also all include the modern amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard.
The spa is brilliant with a sauna and a Turkish bath as well as a wide range of massages, facials and other treatments available. There is also a large indoor pool and a hot tub within the Banyan Tree Spa and the Estoril Wellness Center you will find everything you need in order to have a luxurious and relaxing stay.
The hotel boasts a great restaurant, The Grill Four Seasons, which boasts a selection of both Portuguese and International specialities in a sophisticated atmosphere. You can also dine in on the Bougainvillea Terrace and enjoy a few drinks within Bar Estoril.
If you are looking for a luxurious golf escape with great golf, a great spa and a great restaurant, look no further than Palacio Estoril for your next golf holiday.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blogs, give us a call anytime or submit an online request for a call-back if you are looking to book your next golf escape…

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This week’s blog is dedicated to the fantastic Martins properties. These properties are all situated in Brussels and Waterloo which is widely considered to be a fantastic up and coming golfing destination in Europe. It isn’t hard to see why Brussels, Belgium’s fascinating capital, is a top pick for those looking for a great golf break. The region is home to an array of brilliant golf courses, interesting history and great food and drink. As it is situated just a few hours’ flight away from the UK, Brussels and Waterloo are the perfect destinations for those looking for a short weekend break, or a longer golf holiday.

First up, we have Martins All Suites which is a great four-star property situated in the beautiful city of Louvain La Neuve, nestled between the lake and the city centre. This hotel is located right next door to the sister property, Martins Louvain La Neuve.

There are 102 spacious guest rooms within the hotel and all of them feature a separate seating area and modern décor. You can also take advantage of the retractable kitchen and the private balcony or terrace from which you can enjoy breath-taking city views. As you are close to the city centre when staying at Martins All Suites, you can easily venture out for your meals but, if you choose to stay within the resort, we know you won’t be disappointed. The B’ Comme Brasserie boasts Belgian culinary delights in the evenings and boasts a great menu as well as a lovely ambience. The hotel is situated within the heart of the Agora complex, so you have full access to the spa and wellness facilities on offer within the complex as well as some brilliant golf nearby including Golf Club de Louvain La Nueve, Golf du Bercuit and Golf L’Empereur.

Situated next-door to Martins All Suites is the three-star Martins Louvain La Neuve. This comfortable hotel is situated close by to the Golf Club de Louvain La Nueve and boasts 108 guest rooms. Within each of the rooms, you will find everything that you need in order to have a great stay including complimentary Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, a safe and air conditioning.

The hotel boasts a great location in the pedestrian centre of Louvain Le Neuve. Like the Martins All Suites, the Martins Louvain La Neuve is situated within the Agora complex where you can make use of the spa and wellness facilities. Whilst you are here, you can also enjoy the B’ Comme Brasserie both in the mornings for a varied American breakfast and at night for some Belgian specialities. You can also relax in the lounge bar. These two properties are an excellent choice for your next golf break to Louvain Le Neuve.

Martins Brussels EU is a modern, four-star hotel which boasts a great, central location in the heart of the city of Brussels, just five minutes’ walk from the historical centre.

Whilst you are not challenging one of the brilliant golf courses in the area, you can make use of the hotel’s leisure facilities which include a gym and sauna, or you can explore the capital of Belgium. As you are located so centrally here, it is easy to venture out of the hotel to explore the culinary delights that Brussels has on offer. But, if you stay in the hotel, there is the great Icones restaurant which serves a range of international cuisine and Belgian fusion in a stylish setting as well as a hot and cold buffet selection in the mornings. This is the perfect hotel for those wanting to explore the city whilst enjoying some excellent golf like Brabantse Golf Club, Golf d’Hulencourt and Golf Club de Sept Fontaines.

The five-star Martins Chateau Du Lac is set in an idyllic location on Genval Lake and a beautiful landscape park. You can reach the centre of Brussels within a 30-minute drive as well as an abundance of fantastic golf courses.

Whilst you are not out challenging some of Belgium’s top golf courses, you can enjoy the hotel’s extensive wellness area which comprises a sauna, solarium, indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and a range of massage treatments. Alternatively, you can keep active on the tennis courts and at the fitness centre. The hotel boasts beautifully appointed, modern guestrooms which are all fully-equipped with the facilities and amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard including a flat-screen TV and air conditioning. In the evenings, relax in the Genval Les Bains lounge and bar and in the mornings, you can enjoy a lovely breakfast served at the hotel’s restaurant whilst you enjoy scenic views of the Genval lake. If you are looking for a luxurious and relaxing golf break, somewhere you can enjoy the peace and tranquillity that this beautiful area has to offer then look no further than a golf break at Martins Chateau du Lac.

Just 20 minutes’ drive from the centre of Brussels and near the centre of Waterloo, sits the four-star Martins Grand Hotel. The hotel boasts just 79 spacious, well-equipped guest rooms which are all decorated in a modern fashion and feature all of the amenities that you could need in order to make the most of your golf escape.

The hotel boasts some great leisure facilities onsite including the fully-functional fitness centre. For food and drink, you will not be disappointed with the bars within the hotel or the restaurant, Lu Sucrerie which offers a delightful menu filled with both Belgian and International favourites. There is the onsite Club bar where you can enjoy a few drinks in the evening and down the road, there is a lively Irish bar where you can have a more eventful evening! It is no surprise that Martins Grand is becoming a popular destination for golfers due to its great location in Waterloo where you have some great golf courses nearby like Golf du Bercuit, Golf du Hulencourt and the two excellent courses at Golf de Sept Fontaines.

The four-star Martins Klooster is a former 16th century convent which has been crafted into a modern, four-star hotel which boasts large amounts of character and charm. The hotel is sityated in the centre of Louven just 300 yards from the Oude Markt and a short drive away from the city centre of Brussels.

There is a lot to explore in the area around Martins Klooster including the Museum Leuven and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Beguinage. Of course, the main attraction of this hotel is the brilliant golf that you can play during your stay like Winge Golf and Country Club, Golf du Bercuit and Brabantse Golf Club. Each of the hotel’s elegant guest rooms has been decorated with warm tones and they are all fully-equipped with a satellite TV, a mini bar and a contemporary bathroom. The hotel’s restaurant, The Winter Garden, serves delicious international dishes. After your meal, you can relax in the bar area where you can find an open fire place. Due to the hotel’s location, you can find plenty of outdoor cafes and boutique restaurants within a short distance of the hotel. From the minute that you walk into Martins Klooster, you will start to enjoy your great golf break here where you can explore the brilliant golf courses of the area.

The four-star Martins Patershof is situated in the historic city of Michelen, in the north of Brussels and is a great, unique accommodation choice. The hotel is set within a former church and beautifully combines the original features with the stylish, modern interior.

Each of the hotel’s guest rooms is fully-equipped with the amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard including a flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi, an in room safe and tea and coffee making facilities. In the mornings, you can enjoy the hotel’s buffet breakfast where you can get a healthy start to your day before tackling one of the challenging nearby golf courses. The hotel’s restaurant can be found within the choir of the old church building. In the evenings, take some time to relax within the bar where you can find a range of Belgian beers and cocktails. Michelen itself is well worth exploring on the days where you are not playing golf as there is so much on offer for those of you who are culture enthusiasts. You can find resorted buildings and museums amongst other attractions. Martins Patershof is the perfect hotel for those looking for a peaceful golf escape to Belgium where you can enjoy the history and cuisine of the area whilst being a little set back from the action.

Next, we have Martins Red which was built in 2005 and stands today as a fantastic, modern four-star hotel situated in the small town of Tubize, 12 miles from Brussels. This hotel is nationally famous for being the headquarters and training centre for the Belgian International football team, the Red Devils.

As you would expect, there are optimised sporting facilities here including a fully-equipped gym, a wellness centre, football fields and tennis courts. However, the main attraction of this hotel is the fantastic nearby golf courses including Golf Club de Sept Fontaines and the parkland courses at Golf Chateau de La Tournette. Within the hotel, you can find the hotel’s restaurant which boasts fantastic international cuisine and Belgian favourites. There is also the sports bar where you can find multiple screens to watch the latest golfing highlights and other sports channels. The hotel only features 79 guest rooms and they all feature the modern amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard including a Smart TV, air conditioning, a safe, a minibar and tea and coffee making facilities. This is an ideal hotel for those who are sports fanatics and who are looking for a lovely hotel from which they can easily explore the surrounding courses of Brussels and Waterloo.

Martins Rentmeesterij is a four-star hotel situated in the town of Blizen. This beautiful, historic building dates back to the 13th century and is located just 150 metres from the region’s most famous landmark, the Grand Commandery of Alden Biesen and only 10 minutes’ drive from Maastricht.

Whilst you are not out tackling challenging golf courses, you can relax within the hotel’s spa and wellness sanctuary or venture out to explore the cultural Belgian towns which are within close proximity of this great hotel. Due to the fact that there are so many great towns on the doorstep of the hotel, it is easy for you to venture out to explore the culinary delights these towns have on offer. However, the hotel’s restaurant, AKKO serves a delicious continental breakfast and a variety of different dishes in the evening. There are different hotel unit options including rooms and suites. Each unit is equipped with a flat-screen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, tea and coffee making facilities and a mini bar. Whether you are looking to explore courses like Winge Golf and Country Club or Golf du Bercuit or explore the region’s local towns, look no further than a golf holiday to Martins Rentmeesterij.

Last, but certainly not least, is the charming, three-star Martins Waterloo which is situated in a local residential area just outside of the historic centre of Waterloo. This is a relatively new hotel but is has quickly established itself as being one of the most popular in Belgium due to its superb location and great value.

Whilst you are here, you are just a short walk from Waterloo and only 25 minutes’ drive into Brussels. As the hotel boasts such a great location, you will never be short of things to do, see, eat or drink during your stay here. Also, the hotel itself boasts a great restaurant, La Sucrerie Restaurant serves both Belgian and international dishes within a prime setting. You can enjoy a few drinks at The Bar Club whilst you reminisce over the highs and lows of your round of golf that day. The Martins Waterloo hotel is a great choice for those looking for value for money as well as the chance to play the courses at Golf de Sept Fontaines, Golf du Hulencourt and Golf du Bercuit.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog. Although Belgium may not have been on your radar prior to reading this, we hope that it is now! There are some truly excellent properties situated in Brussels and Waterloo waiting for you to explore. Make sure to give us a call if you would like to discuss your next golf holiday – wherever that may be!

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This week’s blog is a guide to nine great golf courses situated within the UK that you should consider taking a trip to. The weather is slowly but surely starting to warm up, the days are longer, and summer is fast approaching. If you are not planning on taking a golf escape abroad and even if you are, make sure to get in some quality golf in the UK.

 

The Shire in London was designed by Ryder Cup legend Seve Ballesteros and it is the only course that he has designed in the UK. The course boasts a parkland Florida-style layout with six par 3s, six par 4s and six par 5s. From each hole, you can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding areas from woodland plantations with over 10,000 mature trees to links-feel holes with gorse and high-level fescues.

The course’s fairways follow the natural contours of the landscape, you will be rewarded for long, accurate shots but sometimes, taking the shorter option may be safer. There are fast, true greens with subtle slopes and borrows to challenge you right at the end of each hole. Water features heavily throughout the course, there are natural lakes and man-made lakes along the way. On the final hole, you will find a water feature in an “S” shape in honour of Seve.

This is a fantastic golf course which boasts a range of tee options to make it playable for those of all abilities. After your round, enjoy a great meal and a few drinks in the clubhouse.

Next, we have the Strand Course at Portstewart Golf Club which was designed by Des Griffin and opened for play in 1992. It is a very impressive course which stretches to over 7,000 yards from the back tees. The Strand Course is great fun to play with a brilliant opening nine holes which are carved out from huge dunes and boasts stunning views over the Atlantic mouth of Lough Foyle.

Right from the 1st tee, you can enjoy the stunning views of the beach and the links hole beneath you. The course boasts a wide range of different and uniquely designed holes throughout the course including two fantastic par 3s on the front nine. This is a brilliant course situated in Northern Ireland and perfect for those looking for a fun and challenging course which will stay in your mind for long after the round is finished.

The Royal Belfast Golf Club is one of only a handful of golf clubs that have the prefix “Royal” to their name. This is the oldest golf club in Ireland and boasts a brilliant clubhouse filled with old golfing memorabilia. The course was designed by the great Harry Colt who designed the course so that its holes roll over the parkland beautifully. There is no doubt that this course is a stern test of golf despite its shorter than average length with some very long par 3s, challenging opening and closing par 4s and 5s and some difficult bunkering to navigate your way around. From some of the holes, you can enjoy stunning views across the Loch.

You begin the round with some very long and challenging par 4s but the 9th, 10th and 11th are very enjoyable holes which you will play along the shoreline. There are three difficult par 5s to conclude the round. After your round, make sure to make your way to the clubhouse where you can enjoy a great meal and a few drinks whilst reminiscing over this brilliant course.

Castle Stuart is a great course, even before you reach the course you will be impressed by the three-tiered clubhouse and the magnificent views. The Championship course opened for play in 2009 and runs along the Moray Firth with beautiful views of Kessock Bridge and the Black Isle.

Four Scottish Opens have been held at Castle Stuart, one of these was within the first year of the opening of the course. This is a wonderfully impressive course and is one that will stay in your mind for long after you make your final putt on the 18th hole. After your round, you can enjoy a meal and drinks in the club’s impressive clubhouse. From the clubhouse, you can enjoy beautiful views over the course whilst you reminisce over this challenging round. If you are looking to make a golf break out of it, you can rent one of the properties surrounding the course so that you never need to leave this stunning area.

Situated in Wales is the brilliant Nefyn and District Golf Club. The course boasts a dramatic and impressive location situated on the cliff tops at the foot of the Porthdinllaen headland. There are only a few seaside courses from which you can actually enjoy beautiful views of the sea from every hole but, you can here at Nefyn.

The course’s opening holes take you out from the clubhouse to the clifftop holes on the edge of the headland. You will enjoy the back nine as you play eight holes along the Point peninsula from which you can enjoy spectacular views whilst you tackle the fairways and tees situated above secluded coves and inlets. After the 15th, you can take a footpath down to the Ty Coch Inn which is situated on the beach and offers you the perfect option to enjoy a few drinks whilst you take a break.

With 18 very different and special holes, this is a superb and memorable golf course with breath-taking surroundings and great facilities. If you are looking to enjoy a golf escape to the area, take a look at the great Royal Sportsman Hotel.

Situated at the rear of the estate at Carden Park is the brilliant Cheshire Course. The course is reminiscent of the finest British heathland courses and offers stunning, panoramic views across the Cheshire countryside to the mountains of Wales.

The course can pose a challenge to even the most discerning golfer due to the wealth of natural hazards that are situated along the course. There are many bunkers which have been designed to flow with the natural contours of the landscape – you will need an accurate shot if you are to avoid them all.

There is no doubt that the end to your round will be wonderfully dramatic and scenic due to the tough 16th and 17th holes followed by the 18th which is set atop the sandstone cliffs overlooking the resort and Welsh hills. There is no doubt that a round at Carden Park, Cheshire course is one that you will never forget. Take a look at the Carden Park Hotel if you are looking to make the most of this course and the stunning surroundings.

The Donald Steel designed Championship Golf Course at the Macdonald Portal Hotel opened for play in 1990 and has since gained a great reputation for providing golfers with a fantastic round of golf. The course stretched to over 7,000 yards over historic land and a former battlefield. Due to the length of the course and the fact that it boasts many undulating fairways, we would recommend that you may want to consider getting a buggy to make the most of the round.

There are some particularly brilliant holes including the 3rd which is a monster 602-yard long par 5 which boasts an elevated tee. Only the longest hitters will be able to reach the green in two. The course winds its way through an exciting parkland layout boasting charming water features and mature trees and each of the USGA standard greens comes with breath taking views over the Cheshire countryside. Right from the first tee to the very last, this a special golf course and one that will leave you with an excited feeling, even if the scorecard isn’t great! The only thing that could make this course any better is a stay at the lovely Macdonald Portal Hotel.

There are two courses at Stoke by Nayland Golf Club – Gainsborough and Constable. The championship Gainsborough course opened for play in 1972 and has matured beautifully into being one of the region’s best golf courses. The course is routed along the edge of the beautiful Dedham \Vale which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Gainsborough course measures a great 7,000 yards and due to the varied nature of the course, golfers leave the course and remember many of the holes for long after they finish the round. There are long holes, short holes, doglegs in many directions, uphill, downhill and other various tough holes for you to contend with along the course. Two of the best holes along the course are the 10th and the 11th holes. The 10th is a great hole, a 418-yard par 4, you must drive over a lake in order to reach a position 150 yards from the green with the same lake waiting to catch your approach shot.

This is a fantastic round of golf and in 1999, the Stoke by Nayland Club added a luxurious hotel, health club and a conference centre perfect for those looking to enjoy the fantastic courses at this club.

Last, but certainly not least, is Mottram Hall Golf Course. This course is situated within 270 acres of Cheshire’s finest parkland, it is open all year round and boasts an interesting and challenging layout with stunning fairways, well-guarded greens and beautiful countryside.

The course stretched to just over 7.000 yards long from the back tee and was designed by the renowned architects, Dave Thomas. The course played host to the 2013 European Senor’s PGA Championship and it isn’t hard to see why the course was picked to host a great event. The course’s front nine holes are a fairly easy set of holes and boast the impressive backdrop of the 18th century Hall whilst they gently roll over meadowland.

The back nine of the course winds through lush woodland and puts golfers of all abilities to their test. There is no doubt that this course is an exciting challenge for those of all abilities. One of the best things about this course is the fact that it is onsite of the Mottram Hall Hotel where you can enjoy a relaxing and luxurious golf escape.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog on nine of the best courses in the UK that we would recommend you take a trip to play. Wherever you are situated in the UK, one of these courses will be situated near you. Make sure to give us a call on 01342 811777 if you are interested in booking a golf break to one of these courses as we know our stuff and we can definitely sort you out with the perfect UK golf escape for you and whoever you are travelling with.

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