The Orizonte Collection

This week’s blog is a blog on the Orizonte Experience and the courses that the Orizonte Collection offers to keen golfers. In the Lisbon area sits the Orizonte Collection courses: Aroeira I and II, Ribagolfe I and II, Quinta do Peru and Santo Estevao. Each of these courses offers golfers something a bit different and the access to all of these brilliant courses is easy from a hotel like the Sesimbra Hotel and Spa where you can find everything you need from a hotel to base your exciting golf escape from…

The Sesimbra Hotel and Spa is a fantastic four-star hotel that boasts an excellent location just two minutes’ walk from the beach. The hotel is situated within the lovely fishing village of Sesimbra where you can find plenty to see, do, eat and drink in this lovely village. There is much to explore including the castle, the fishing harbour and the beach promenade. As the hotel is situated on the beachfront, all of the rooms boast private balconies from which you can enjoy stunning views out across the Atlantic Ocean. All of the rooms are spacious and light with all of the amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard including a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, a safe and a minibar.

During the day, whilst you are not enjoying a round of golf on one of the fantastic Orizonte Collection golf courses, you can spend time relaxing on the beach, around the pool or in the spa. The spa offers guests a wide range of different health and beauty treatments as well as extensive facilities including a Turkish bath, a sauna, a Tropical shower and a Vertical Hydromassage.

Of course, as you are situated within the lovely village of Sesimbra, you have a variety of great bars and restaurants on your doorstep but the brilliant Aquarius Restaurant within the hotel boasts delicious Portuguese fish and shellfish dishes. The Sesimbra Hotel and Spa is a fantastic hotel and it is no surprise that we recommend this hotel as your base for your next golf escape playing the brilliant Orizonte courses.

Aroeira Golf Resort stretches over 900 acres and boasts two brilliant golf courses. Aroeira I was designed by Frank Pennink and opened in 1973, since then the course has gained a brilliant reputation and played host for the Portuguese Open in 1996 and 1997 as well as other notable events including several Ladies’ European Tour events and the prestigious European Men’s Club Trophy in 2013. The course is not long by any means as it is just over 6,000 yards from the back tees, but it is still tricky due to the narrow, tree-lined fairways and 18 different but equally exciting holes. Aroeira II was designed by Donald Steel to meet European Tour recommendations and opened in 2000. This is a much longer course at over 7,000 yards from the back tees and is made even more challenging due to there being water hazards on no fewer than nine of the holes on the course. Both of the Aroeira courses were carved through heavily wooded and gently undulating terrain and they both offer golfers of any ability a brilliant round of golf.

Ribagolfe I has been previously described as the “Valderrama of Portugal” and proves to be a stern test of golf for those with even the lowest of handicaps. However, those with higher handicaps can play from the more forward tees and have an equally exciting and challenging round of golf. The course measures 7,370 yards from the back tees and plays longer and much tighter than its sibling, Ribagolfe II. Treacherous lakes come into play during the back nine holes and these lakes can damage your scorecard heavily if you are not playing accurately and strategically. Both Ribagolfe I and Ribagolfe II were carved out within a huge cork oak forest. Ribagolfe II is a shorter course than its sibling and was designed by former Ryder Cup player Michael King. The course boasts huge and moderately contoured greens which pose a stern test to golfers of all abilities.

Quinta do Peru boasts a beautiful location as it is framed by the stunning Arrabida Natural Park. The course was designed and crafted by Rocky Roquemore and is considered to be one of the best courses in Continental Europe. The course is set within a pine forest and has the Arrabida Mountains as its backdrop which means that from any point along the course, you can have the fortune to enjoy beautiful views. This course is a serious test of golf from the back tees with its huge American-style bunkers and many water hazards, but its natural beauty can make up for a poor scorecard.

Last, but certainly not least, is the brilliant Santo Estevao course which was designed by Donald Steel and opened for play in 2004. The course is set within the rolling landscape of the Northern Alentejo region and boasts more than 7,000 yards of brilliant golf from the back tees. The course features many strategically placed bunkers and greens which means that the layout of this course will challenge golfers of all abilities but because the land is only gently undulating, you can enjoy the round on foot. Santo Estevao will provide you with a scenic and enjoyable round of golf for most months of the year due to the mild climate here.

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that when you are thinking about your next golf escape, remember these brilliant courses as there are very few places where you can go and stay and enjoy so many fantastic golf courses that have such high rankings.

The Insider’s Guide to the Orizonte Collection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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