Cyprus Special

This week’s blog is on the joys of Cyprus and some of the best hotels and golf clubs that Cyprus has to offer you for your next golf break. Cyprus boasts brilliant long summers right through from mid-May to mid-October and even at other times of the year, the weather is still mild and mostly dry which makes it an ideal destination for your next golf escape. With beautiful beaches, luxurious hotels and fantastic golf courses you need to look no further than Cyprus when thinking about planning your next golf holiday…

The five-star Aphrodite Hills Hotel is situated right in the heart of the Aphrodite Hills Resort in Paphos. The hotel is a perfect example of how classic and contemporary styles can be combined in order to create a luxury hotel within stunning surroundings that boasts excellent facilities and accommodation. Each of the 290 opulent guest rooms each feature their own private terrace or balcony where you will either be able to see out across the Aphrodite Hills course, over the hotel’s gardens or out to sea. The rooms are all fitted with everything that you would expect from a hotel of this standard including a spacious luxury bathroom, bathrobes and slippers, a mini bar and a satellite TV. Dining at the resort is excellent, there is a wide range of different restaurants and bars where you can find everything from evening fine dining to local casual daytime dining. Some of the most popular places include the Greek Cypriot tavern Pithari Tavern where you can eat out on the terrace that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea or the Gate to Indian Restaurant where you can enjoy innovative Indian cuisine within an elegant setting.

You can spend your time here relaxing by the large outdoor pool and if you prefer somewhere quieter you can even make use of either the indoor pool or the adult-only swimming pool. There is also a 24-hour gym and the Aphrodite Hills Tennis Academy as well as two brilliant golf courses to play on: Aphrodite Hills, PGA National Cyprus and Minthis Hills.

The five-star Thanos Almyra Hotel is set amongst beautifully landscaped tropical grounds just five minutes’ walk from Paphos Harbour. There are no fewer than four freshwater pools for you to swim in or relax around and if that isn’t enough relaxation for you then you can enjoy time in the fully-fitted spa where you can choose from a range of holistic treatments and massages as well as the sauna and the gym. Each of the rooms are spacious and either have floor-to-ceiling windows, balconies or terraces from which you can look out to the stunning views of the garden or the Mediterranean Sea. They also have a satellite TV, a minibar and a safe. There is plenty of choice when it comes to food and drink at the hotel as there are four different restaurants which serve different cuisines ranging from traditional Cypriot dishes to international dishes. As well as the hotel’s fantastic restaurants, you are within short walking distance of Paphos Harbour where you can find many different restaurants and bars as well as the Medieval Castle of Paphos which is the perfect place to explore. This is a beautiful hotel and one where you can spend your time relaxing, playing golf or exploring the local area…

Thanos Annabelle Hotel is another five-star luxury hotel which is set amongst tropical gardens which boast palm trees, flowers and the seafront. Once you have stepped out of the hotel, you are only eight minutes’ walk from the golden beach but right at the hotel you can enjoy relaxing around the large outdoor pool with its swim-in caves. Whilst you are not by the pool or on one of the great golf courses nearby, you can take a walk through the landscaped gardens to admire the waterfalls or even use the spa at Thanos Almyra Hotel. All of the hotel’s rooms are elegantly designed with marble features and fitted with the amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard including bathrobes and slippers as well as a minibar, a satellite TV and free Wi-Fi. The Annabelle’s on-site Mediterranean Restaurant serves delicious traditional Cypriot and Greek dishes as well as international dishes. Of course, as you are so close to Paphos Harbour whilst staying here, you can venture out for food and drink if you would prefer. Whilst you are out of the hotel, you can take a trip to the local shops or take advantage of the watersports and other activities that are available in the local area. This is the perfect destination for your next golf escape and it isn’t hard to see why…

Thanos Almyra Hotel and Thanos Annabelle Hotel are both beautifully designed and boast of all the facilities and qualities of five-star hotels but the best thing about staying in either of these lovely hotels is the fact that within a short distance of both hotels lie three brilliant golf courses: Elea Golf Club, Secret Valley and Minthis Hills.

Minthis Hills Golf Club is just 25 minutes’ drive outside of Paphos Town and sits 550 metres above sea level which means that from the course you can see stunning views across the surroundings which include the grounds of a 12th century monastery. This is a very scenic course as not only are there stunning views to see but the fairways are lined with fruit trees and grapevines. Although the course is not the longest at 5843 metres long, it is a tricky one which requires accuracy if you are to avoid the various hazards including water, trees and bunkers and not only are there hazards on the course, but due to the position of the course, there is a constant sea breeze which can sway your game off track! The signature hole of the game is arguably the 13th hole which is a difficult par 3 where the green is situated on an island which is surrounded by water. This is a seemingly straightforward course but one that must be approached strategically – a brilliant addition to your golf break to Cyprus.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that you can appreciate all the brilliant hotels and golf courses that you could enjoy if you book your next golf escape to Cyprus

East Algarve to the Costa de la Luz

This week’s blog is our East Algarve special which moves on to the brilliant resorts and golf courses on the Costa de la Luz. With the days drawing shorter and the weather getting colder, it is time to start thinking about your next golf break abroad where you can get some sunshine and excellent golfing in. The Algarve & Costa de la Luz boast fantastic weather through from April to November usually and there are some great golf courses to enjoy as well as the weather, beaches, food and drink.

The four-star Praia Verde Boutique Hotel is situated amongst lush pine trees in a quiet location within the town of Castro Marim. Although the hotel is situated in a quiet location, it is just nine minutes’ walk from the beautiful Praia Verde beach and five minutes’ drive from the centre of Monte Gordo. Whilst you are not out exploring the local area, you can spend time relaxing by the hotel’s pool (and the pool’s bar!) or explore the hotel’s Lobby Market where there is a grocery store, bar, lounge and play area. The hotel is beautifully decorated with modern furnishings and all of the rooms are comfortable and spacious and feature all of the amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard. As you are close to nearby towns whilst staying here, you can venture out for food and drink but the hotel’s own restaurant, À Terra, serves delicious Mediterranean dishes made with locally sourced produce.

Whilst you are staying at the lovely Praia Verde Boutique Hotel, you can play on the brilliant Quinta do Vale which overlooks the Guadiana where you can play a challenging but fun course with its many doglegs and wide fairways. Quinta do Vale is a great holiday course as there are many strategically placed bunkers and other various hazards which will test players of all handicaps from amateurs to professionals. This is the perfect destination for your next sunny golf break in a beautiful boutique hotel with plenty to do and see in the local areas including beautiful beaches and great food and drink!

Hotel Isla Canela Golf is a brilliant four-star hotel which is just 17 minutes’ walk from the nearest beach and only five minutes’ drive from Isla Canela. Not only does the hotel boast its own brilliant 18-hole golf course on site but there is a lovely outdoor swimming pool for you to enjoy. All of the rooms are beautifully decorated with dark wood furnishings and colourful bathrooms, the rooms also have free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and a satellite TV. The hotel’s own restaurant, Thebussem Restaurant, serves both Mediterranean and International dishes for you to enjoy and there is also a café serving international breakfast and a tapas bar where you can enjoy tapas out on a terrace. Just 25 minutes’ walk from the hotel is a small selection of bars and restaurants besides the Guadiana estuary and of course, being only five minutes’ drive from Isla Canela means that there is so much to explore in terms of food and drink especially. Isla Canela golf course on site, is a brilliant course and one that many high handicappers enjoy due to the fact that it is fairly straightforward and boasts some amazing views. This is a great place for your next stay and play golf escape…

The five-star Precise Resort El Rompido is one of Andalucia’s gems with its lovely, peaceful setting, spa, outdoor pool and other facilities. The rooms are all beautiful and bright with private balconies, most of which have stunning sea views and all of which feature a minibar and satellite TV. You can spend your days relaxing around the outdoor pool, enjoying each of the spa facilities, out on one of the two golf courses which are on your doorstep or you can take a short drive into Huelva. The spa boasts an indoor swimming pool, Turkish baths, a sauna and many treatment rooms in which you can enjoy different massages and treatments. The hotel’s main restaurant is the Binidali Restaurant which is where you can enjoy a range of traditional Andalucian dishes as well as international cuisine either in the restaurant or out on the terrace. The hotel also boasts several bars, each with a different speciality and atmosphere for you to enjoy.

There are two excellent golf courses onsite, El Rompido South and El Rompido North. El Rompido South has a front nine which is very tight but the back nine opens up with far reaching views out across the coast – a very picturesque and interesting course, perfect for a holiday. El Rompido North is a fairly flat course but you must play with caution otherwise you will fail to avoid the many water hazards and the marshes which border a few holes on the back nine. This is the ideal destination for your next luxurious golf break with its two great courses, excellent facilities, stunning views and brilliant food – especially with the new semi-all-inclusive board basis.

Last, but not least, is the excellent four-star Islantilla Golf Resort which boasts a superb location next to the clubhouse and just a short walk from a commercial centre which has a small selection of shops and restaurants and just a short drive from a beautiful sandy beach and a main resort centre where you can find more restaurants and shops. There are lots of different leisure facilities on site of the resort including an outdoor pool and the Beach Club where you can take part in different watersports. This is a wonderful hotel with a lovely atmosphere and you must take advantage of the half-board basis so you can enjoy meals in the excellent buffet restaurant. In high season, the hotel’s Andalusian grill bar is open which is fantastic and there is also the Italian Restaurant which is open all year round and at the Beach Club there is a great lounge terrace which overlooks the sea. Islantilla Golf is a great 27-hole complex, the fairways meander through pine trees and from many of the holes you can enjoy stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean. It can be a tricky course as the wind frequently comes into play but this is a great holiday course. When you are planning your next golf escape to the Costa de la Luz this is the perfect place for you to stay and play…

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that when you are thinking about the best place for your next golf holiday, you remember all of the brilliant resorts and courses that the East Algarve & Costa de la Luz have to offer, not to mention the beaches and towns that accompany these resorts…

Insider’s Guide to Thanos Hotels

This week’s blog is an insider’s guide to the Thanos hotels: Annabelle and Almyra. These two five-star, fantastic hotels are situated in Paphos and whilst you are staying at either of them you will have easy access to three brilliant golf courses: Elea Golf Club, Minthis Hills and Secret Valley. When you are thinking about your next golf break, Paphos is a great consideration with practically year round golfing weather and these two beautiful and luxurious resorts.

 

Thanos Hotel Annabelle is situated just an eight minutes’ walk to the beach and is set amongst tropical landscaped gardens with palm trees and flowers. Whilst you are not out enjoying a round on one of the three local golf courses, you can enjoy relaxing around the large outdoor pool with its swim-in caves or relax in the sauna or take a trip next-door to Hotel Almyra to use the spa facilities there. All of the rooms are decorated with elegant marble features and all of the amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard including a satellite TV, an elegant ensuite bathroom as well as a minibar and free Wi-Fi.

As the Annabelle overlooks the Port of Paphos, you are within a short distance of all of the attractions there including watersports and historical buildings. Of course, there are also many restaurants and bars for you to try whilst staying here but if you would rather eat within the hotel there are two excellent restaurants. The hotel boasts a Mediterranean Restaurant which serves traditional Cypriot and Greek dishes as well as international cuisine and whilst dining, you can enjoy views of the sea. The hotel’s main restaurant, Fontana, serves buffet-style meals.

With so much to do, see, eat and drink both within the hotel’s grounds and in the local area of Paphos, there is no surprise that this is a highly recommended destination for your next golf holiday to Paphos with great weather, fantastic golf and luxury accommodation.

 

Hotel Annabelle’s sister, Hotel Almyra, is right next-door and boasts the same excellent location as Hotel Annabelle but is only a five minutes’ walk to the beach as well as just a five minutes’ walk to Paphos Harbour. The hotel boasts four freshwater pools for you to relax around whilst you are not out on one of the three great golf courses which are all close to the hotel. The Almyra boasts an excellent spa with a sauna, a gym and a wide range of holistic treatments and massages for you to choose from.

This is a beautifully luxurious hotel and the rooms are all spacious and light with either floor-to-ceiling windows or a private balcony or terrace from which you can enjoy the stunning views of tropical gardens and the sea. The rooms also feature a minibar, a satellite TV, a minibar and a safe. Like its sister hotel, Almyra offers guests the choice of four different restaurants including the main restaurant where you can enjoy a traditional Cypriot breakfast in the morning. Of course, being just five minutes’ walk into the Port of Paphos means that you have plenty of choices when it comes to food and drink but you can also enjoy restaurants serving traditional and local cuisine as well as international dishes right at the hotel.

Hotel Almyra is a great hotel in a superb location and is truly befitting of its five-star rating which makes it a perfect hotel for your next golf break to Cyprus.

 

There are three courses which guests at the Annabelle and Almyra tend to play due to them being great courses within a short distance of the hotels. Elea Golf Club is one of the golf courses and boasts a stunning location set above the Mediterranean Sea. Elea Golf Club is a tricky course with an abundance of bunkers and so requires strategic play in order to navigate your way around them. The course’s signature hole is its 17th which is a long par-4 which features dramatic bunkering and a sloping fairway. This is a great course with excellent views and is nearby to both Thanos hotels.

Minthis Hills Golf Club is just 25 minutes’ drive from the town of Paphos and is located 550 metres above sea level which means that even during the summer months, you will have to endure the winds from the sea which could strongly affect your play if you aren’t careful. This course blends effortlessly into its surroundings with fruit trees and grape vines lining the fairways which wind and slope through the hills. The course boasts a wide range of different holes which makes it a great holiday course but although the course looks straightforward, you will need to play accurately if you want to score well here.

Last, but not least, is the 18-hole championship course at Secret Valley Golf Club. The course boasts an interesting layout with an interesting backdrop of rock formations and mature trees. The back nine holes are certainly more challenging than the front nine but if you can manage to keep the ball in play and avoid the many water hazards, you can score close to your handicap. Although this is a long course, there are many different tee option which means that it is still suitable for players of all handicaps!

Both Annabelle and Almyra are stunning hotels with all of the amenities that you would expect from five-star hotels and so it isn’t a surprise that they are top recommendations for your next golf holiday to Cyprus especially with three brilliant golf courses all within close proximity of the hotels.

Long Haul Special

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Golf & Spa with the Best Deals by Far

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spotlight on All-Inclusive & Golf in Belek

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

South Africa Week – Part 2

Day 6

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

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

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

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

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

Day 7

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

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

“Can I reach that bunker?”

“No”.

“Sand wedge please”

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

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

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

 Day 8

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

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

Day 9

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

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

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

Day 10

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

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

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

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

The Insider’s Guide to Sotogrande & Almenara

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Insider’s Guide to the Pestana Collection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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