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Golf’s Hidden Gems Not to Be Missed!

2018.02.24 Bay Course B224 HiRes2 1
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The golfing world is continuing to grow, with new members, new youtubers, new hotels and the most important thing new golf courses and is showing no sign of slowing up any time soon. We can see here at Golf Escapes how busy certain destinations are getting now and with this comes higher prices.

We know our loyal customers must be seeing the same thing too. So today, I am going to share with you some hotels, golf resorts and golf courses that beat this trend and continue to be fantastic value for money. 

Praia del Rey / West Cliffs / Royal and Obidos / Bom Sucesso

We kick things off with this fantastic region in Central Portugal. The Silver Coast is one of Europe’s best regions for those looking to play some of the best and challenging golf courses.

Situated an hour north of Lisbon airport, this golfing haven may not be a secret or a hidden gem, but the quality of the product and value for money is pretty unrivalled throughout mainland Europe.


You have 4 top class courses all within 10 minutes of each other and all having accommodation linked to the golf course. Praia d’el Rey (ranked 8th in Portugal) has the 5 star Marriott Praia d’el Rey Golf and Beach Resort and 4 star apartment accommodation in the Village on site. Royal Obidos (ranked 16th in Portugal) has the 5 Star Evolutee Hotel on site.

Bom Sucesso (ranked 42nd in Portugal) has fantastic villa accommodation on site and offers Semi All-Inclusive. And finally West Cliffs (ranked 2nd in Portugal) has apartment and villa accommodation on site. They all offer a very different experience, both on the course and in their accommodation, and work beautifully together.

This is a region where they don’t compete with each other for business, but work together to make your Golf Escape a smooth and memorable experience. 

Praia D'El Rey Marriott Golf & Beach Resort_5 (2)
Royal Obidos Golf Course_1

In June, you can stay 4 nights at the Marriott Prai d’el Rey and play 3 rounds of golf at any of these four courses from just £495.00 per person. As a comparison, if you were to play 3 courses in the Algarve of the same quality (Monte Rei, The Old Course & Victoria), this hotel and golf package is cheaper than the cost of just the 3 green fees in the Algarve. 

La Hacienda Links

30 minutes from Gibraltar Airport, and just over an hour from Malaga Airport, lies the stunning golfing paradise of Sotogrande. This area is known as Spain’s finest, with names such as Finca Cortesin, La Reserva, Real Club Sotogrande & Valderrama and now Hacienda Links (formerly Alcaidesa) sits alongside these prestigious golf courses.

In 2021, Hacienda links started a major renovation programme that has transformed their golf course into a course that can proudly be part of the Spain’s finest product. With stunning coastal views, huge greens and strategic bunkers this course is a must play when you are staying anywhere in the southern Costa del Sol.

La Hacienda NEW Links scaled

There are two reasons why this course has made it onto our list. For one, it is always nice to have a ‘new’ golf course in such a popular area, but also its price. When you play in this area, you would normally expect to pay upwards of £300 for a round of golf. Not at Hacienda Links though. With most ‘new’ products, there comes a settling in period whilst it boosts its reputation.

Prices are lower than the product is worth, to get people through the door again. Because of this, now is the time to play this golf course! One day in the near future, I am sure it will be priced similarly to the others in the area, but at the moment, you can play this amazing golf course for almost half the cost of the others in this golfing utopia.

Costa Navarino

This is one of the fastest growing resorts in the world. Costa Navarino is not just a golf resort anymore, it is a destination in itself.

Costa Navarino now boasts four 5 star hotels (The Westin, The W, The Romanos and The Mandarin Oriental) and four world class golf courses (The Bay, Dunes, Hills and Olympic).

The vision for this area was to give back to the community. A large percentage of the staff are from the surrounding area and the hotels encourage you to eat out in the local towns of Pilos and Gialova to help boost the economy in the area.

They have developed a waterfront marina with bars and restaurants next to the W Hotel, which has now given the destination a property with amenities to walk out to.

Alongside this, the Westin and Romanos hotels have the Dunes golf course on-site to cater for those looking for golf on-site.

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Bay 2nd hole picture Peter Cordensmall
Bay Clubhouse 5 scaled

This is by no means a cheap destination, but similarly to Hacienda Links, it is still in the stage of developing its reputation. Although it is already considered to be one of the best resorts in Europe, if not the world, because of its unique location in the relatively unknown golfing destination of Greece, there are still a lot of golfers yet to discover Costa Navarino.

Because of this, it is remarkable value for money. This is luxury of the highest order and in May, you can stay 7 nights in the Westin Costa Navarino with 5 rounds of golf from £1425.00 per person. It is a destination we love to sell to our customers here at Golf Escapes as a bad word is never said about any part of this product.

Fairplay Golf Resort

Location, location, location. Generally speaking, we find the most popular destinations are those that are close to the airport, near the beach, plenty of golf courses within a short distance and has a busy town nearby. If you take a few of these elements away, there are some wonderful deals to be had at some beautiful venues.

Fairplay is one of these resorts. This 5 star, traditional Spanish hotel has a wonderful 18 hole course on site, is located near the village of Benalup, which will offer you a true Spanish experience and offers all board basis’ from B&B to All Inclusive.

As this resort is not by the beach and about an hour’s taxi from its nearest airports (Seville, Jerez and Gibraltar), its prices are that of a four star resort in the Algarve or Costa del Sol.

The price is the only 4 star thing about it though.

The service you receive here is second to none. From Golf Escapes’ point of view, Fairplay is one of our favoured resorts to work with.

The management here are friendly, reliable and very attentive to our requests. When this is the case with management, you know this is going to filter down to every member of staff at the resort. The reviews we have from our customers back this up completely. 

It boasts one of the finest spa’s you will find, has a wonderful array of food on offer, a beautifully manicured golf course and rooms designed for royalty. We couldn’t recommend this resort more highly, if it is a peaceful getaway you are looking for with all your amenities under one roof then Fairplay is for you. 

If you wish to stay here in June for 5 nights, 5 rounds on Semi All-Inclusive, prices are from £615.00 per person!


Aroeira Lisbon Hotel – Sea & Golf

There are few resorts that tick every box. This however, is one of those. A fantastic, modern 4 star hotel, surrounded by two 18 hole golf courses, walkable to the beach, walkable to local bars and restaurants, close to an airport and great value for money.

Aroeira Resort is somewhere that has really taken off over the last few years. With investment into a ‘new’ hotel and the golf courses, it just keeps improving. The final thing that makes this unique from most of its competitors is that it offers Semi All-Inclusive.

This means you are on a Half Board basis with your drinks included as well between 17:30 – 23:00. 

The two golf courses (Challenge & Classic) are similar in style but offer very different playing experiences. Both are in a beautifully peaceful setting, lined with pine trees and plenty of water hazards to contend with too. The Classic is the original course of the two with wider fairways and measuring at 6,0444 meters par 72.

The Challenge lives up to its name, being an extra 300 meters than its sister course and still being a par 72. The water hazards come into play a bit more on the Challenge course with 10 of the holes offering the chance to lose a ball or two in the drink. The Classic has also hosted the 1996 and 1997 Portuguese Open, several Ladies European Tour events and the European Men’s Club Trophy.

After your rounds of golf, you can head back to the hotel for some of the finest food and wine in the region. The hotel is very proud of the cuisine it has to offer in their InPar restaurant and the same thing applies to their wine and cocktails in the Pine Bar. Both are fantastic settings for your after golf wind down and chatting about the day’s round. 

If you wanted to get away to Aroeira Lisbon Hotel in June, 4 nights and 3 rounds on Bed & Breakfast starts from £385.00 per person!

About the Author

Stuart Ridley

Hi, I'm Stuart and I have been at Golf Escapes for over 6 years now. Since being here I have gained great knowledge of the courses and hotels we have to offer and enjoy sharing this with our clients and readers. I hope the blogs I write give a good insight into the products we offer and help you choose your next Golf Escape.

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