The original nine-hole course was designed by Mackenzie Ross in 1936 and profits from a forest of mature trees. These holes have been remodelled by course designer Cameron & Powell to create six longer holes, and 12 new holes added. The variety of challenges, cheeky deep bunkers and a mid-fairway pigeon coop amongst them, will keep the interest of all levels of golfer, with the back tees giving a course length of more than 6,300 metres.
Vidago Palace: www.vidagopalace.com
Verdura Golf & Spa Resort
This hotel, with 203 bedrooms, sits in a remote 230-hectare valley estate. Designed by Kyle Phillips, 45 holes meander through olive and citrus groves before drifting along the shoreline in typical links fashion, and the spa has the biggest hamman you’ve ever seen.
Verdura Golf & Spa Resort: www.verduraresort.com
Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire
A multi-million pound makeover – before hosting the 2009 Open on its famous Ailsa golf course – is still reaping the rewards for the Turnberry Resort, which originally opened as the world’s first golf resort in 1906. Opulent, Edwardian-styled rooms with amazing views over the Ayrshire coast line and the Irish sea and a state-of-the-art Espa Spa mean there is plenty of relaxation to be had for those not interested in golf, while a great range of activities cater to plenty of other interests, too: quad biking, riding on the beach, fishing, off-road driving, clay pigeon shooting, or simply exploring the stunning white sand beaches along the coast. A new set of 8 self-catering apartments has widened this resort’s appeal, inspiring luxury, activity-filled family staycations as well as romantic weekend getaways. Just an hour’s drive from Glasgow airport, it’s an easy win all round.
FOUR SEASONS RESORT PROVENCE AT TERRE BLANCHE
Each of the 114 bedrooms at the Four Seasons is a suite with a terrace, many of which overlook the fairways. The two courses provide year-round golfing; a new covered driving range will be launched this spring.
Four Seasons Resort Provence: www.fourseasons.com
The par-72 Navarino Dunes course by Bernhard Langer opened in 2009, a year before the 321-room hotel, and combines wooded, inland holes with links-like challenges by the beach. The Bay course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr will open in 2011.
The Romanos: www.romanoscostanavarino.com