you like to play where you stay? Sure,
there are top hotels near the world's greatest golf
courses like St. Andrews and Pebble Beach. But in this
list, we've compiled top golf resorts off the beaten
path where you won't have to go on a long drive to start
making your long drives. We sought out the perfect combination
of golf courses and luxury hotels, incorporated plenty
of 19th-hole pastimes, and tossed in locations that
don't usually come to mind when planning a golf escape.
For those who like to take their holidays off-course, this
unique list should suit you to a tee.
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
are generally—and rightfully—associated
with Scotland, where these coastal dune fairways originated.
But golfers traveling on the other side of the globe
don't have to miss out. The rugged Oregon coast is a fair doppelganger, and the 54 holes at Bandon
Dunes Golf Resort keep with tradition, using nature
as their primary architect. When not playing the three
courses (Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes and Bandon Trails),
you can work on your swing at the 32-acre practice center,
sip a single malt Scotch at McKee's Pub or unwind in
one of the secluded guestrooms.
Llao Llao Hotel & Resort
meets "par for the course" at the remote,
hilltop Llao Llao Hotel & Resort. Spectacularly
framed by two lakes and three mountains, the eighteen-hole
golf course features centennial forests of cypress and
local coiuhes trees; skillfully integrated bunkers,
water hazards and greens; and a notably peaceful setting.
The hotel was designed by Alejandro Bustillo, whose
talents as a painter and sculptor, as well as an architect,
are reflected in the building's tasteful interior décor.
Along with being a unique golf retreat, the resort serves
as a base for rafting and trekking eco-tours.
Fairmont Le Château Montebello
known for winter pursuits such as downhill skiing, Canada
is equally appealing during the warmer months. Designed
by Stanley Thompson in 1929, the eighteen-hole course
at the Fairmont Le Château Montebello Golf Club
doubles as a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
Dramatic elevation changes and high-tech golf carts
with GPS and ProLink electronic scoring systems highlight
play in a gorgeous setting surrounded by the Laurentian
Mountains. Beyond the putting greens, the resort offers
spa treatments and fine dining around a six-sided stone
fireplace or al fresco on the river.
Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa
country of superlatives, Dubai is a place where bigger
is usually considered best. That's what makes Jebel
Ali Golf Resort & Spa a pleasant anomaly. The beachfront
property may be massive, incorporating two hotels on
128 acres, but the golf course is intimate. Each of
its nine holes takes clever advantage of four tee choices,
making it possible to play an eighteen-hole round in
full view of the Arabian Gulf. The Academy of Golf is
complemented by such non-greens facilities as riding
stables, tennis courts, a spa and shooting club.
The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa
tropical vacations are all about beaches and water sports.
But at The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, golfers
are as welcome as snorkelers and scuba divers. Guests
enjoy private resort membership at the Denarau Golf
& Racquet Club, whose coconut palm-bordered, par-72
course is planned around natural tidal waterways—water
hazards feature on fifteen of the eighteen holes. Ensuring
a top quality experience is management by Troon Golf.
A sandy beach, three-tiered swimming pool, island décor
and plenty of tiki torches round out your South Pacific
bypassed old Irish favorites such as Adare Manor and
Mount Juliet for this sixteenth-century castle, whose
ownership boasts royal lineage. Its much newer Dromoland
Golf & Country Club (1962) has been drastically
re-designed to the tune of five million euros, enhancing
play while maintaining classic enticements such as a
castle backdrop and greens that slope into Dromoland
Lough. The life of landed gentry continues off the fairways,
with fishing and shooting. You may also enjoy spa treatments,
and fresh local cuisine at The Earl of Thomond restaurant.
Masseria San Domenico
the coast between Bari and Brindisi, Masseria San Domenico
is anchored by a fifteenth-century watchtower used by
the Knights of Malta. The property's eighteen-hole golf
course enjoys an equally historic ambience, flanked
by the fifth-century B.C. Greek colony of Egnathia and
the fishing village of Savelletri. The Adriatic Sea
can be seen from every tee, green and fairway on this
par-72 course, which was sculpted out of the flat landscape.
Because you are on the water, expect wind to play into
your game. As for the sea's more calming influences,
you will find them at the resort's thalassotherapy spa.
Jose del Cabo
a glamorous hideout for celebs such as John Wayne and
Bing Crosby, this resort was reincarnated in 2004 as
Palmilla. Still known for its sophistication and
excellent deep-sea fishing, it is now also a top golf
destination. Jack Nicklaus designed the 27-hole course
(Ocean Nine, Mountain Nine and Arroyo Nine) at the Palmilla
Golf Club, which pairs Sea of Cortez views with cacti,
arroyos, four lakes and challenging elevation shifts.
The presence of Charlie Trotter's C restaurant adds
to the resort's cachet.
The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs
six of its eighteen holes on cliffs that hang out over
the sea, the par-72 course at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs
takes advantage of the thrill factor. Inland, tamer
fairways run through marsh, forest and farmland. Despite
its challenging layout, the course features five sets
of tees per hole for all skill levels—and a golfing
complex for practicing drives and chip shots—making
it suitable for beginners as well as experts. Along
with golf, resort offerings include secluded outlying
cottages, tennis courts, cocktail hours and views of
the Pacific, Cape Brett and the Cavalli Islands.
Marbella Club Hotel Golf Resort & Spa
regal atmosphere pervades Marbella Club Hotel Golf Resort
& Spa, the former residence of Prince Alfonso von
Hohenlohe, on Andalucia’s Golden Mile. This swanky
place is as exclusive now as it was when owned by royalty.
Twenty minutes away, the golf course is for the use
of hotel guests only. Limited play and an average thirty
minutes between tee times ensures leisurely games. With
their views of the Mediterranean, Gibraltar and the
African coastline, the fairways are uniquely paired
with stables, adding riding to off-course pastimes such
as treatments in the Thalasso Spa and terrace dining
on Spanish cuisine.