Top 20 European Golf resorts
Here is this year’s first instalment of our Great Golf Top 20 Categories. In each edition of the Magazine we will introduce a list of 20 Golf Resorts that are considered candidates for that particular field. As the year progresses we will be asking our readers to vote for the winner of each category. The first edition of 2018, will be the “100 Greatest Golf Resorts”, in which the winners of each category, as well as an overall winner, will be announced.
APHRODITE HILLS RESORT - CYPRUS
Not far from Paphos, on a plateau overlooking the glittering blue Mediterranean Sea, lies Aphrodite Hills Resort. There is a 5-star hotel, as well as award-winning villas and apartments. With a superb golf course, luxury spa, a selection restaurants and lots of activities, it is perfect for couples and families alike.
ACCOMMODATION. The hotel offers 290 luxurious guests rooms and suites and there is a wide variety of properties to stay in at the resort.
GOLF. Aphrodite Hills has an award-winning 18-hole championship golf course, a Golf Academy and a magnificent Clubhouse, designed for golfers of all standards and ages.
DINING. There are a selection of restaurants and bars on the resort, anything from A la Carte Fine dining, to International buffet.
SPA. The award-winning Retreat Spa, offer state-of-the-art facilities and an expert team ready to pamper your mind, body and soul.
ARGENTARIO GOLF & SPA RESORT – TUSCANY, ITALY
Located in the Maremma, with its rugged, unspoilt coastline, lies the stunning Argentario Golf & Spa Resort. The 5-star luxury hotel, built with an eco-conscious philosophy and shaped like a dragonfly, features a limestone façade and large windows, offering stunning views of the golf course and the Orbetello Lagoon.
ACCOMMODATION. There are 73 rooms and one cottage, which have all been individually decorated to a high standard.
GOLF. Argentario Golf Club, the hosts many golf tournaments, offers a beautiful panorama and has its own microclimate, that allows golf to be played all year round.
DINING. At the Dama Dama Restaurant, executive chef, Mario Cimino, creates classic Mediterranean dishes, utilizing products from local farms and the resort’s own vegetable garden and orchard.
SPA. Be pampered from head to toe at the Espace Wellness Centre, or get advice on nutrition and naturopathy at the MediSPA.
BOVEY CASTLE - ENGLAND
Deep in the hills of Dartmoor National Park lies Bovey Castle, a remarkable hotel where you are treated like royalty in a most welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. Here you can put your feet up and let the kids run wild, while you get pampered in the spa, or test your metal on the superb golf course.
ACCOMMODATION. Whether you want a single room, a Grand State Apartment, or a self-catering lodge, everything has been tastefully furnished to compliment the castle and its surroundings.
GOLF. This course has been described as a golf experience never to be forgotten, offering plenty of challenges to professionals and amateurs alike.
DINING. With two restaurants offering traditional dining, or a brasserie, there is something here for everyone.
SPA. The Elan Spa offers bespoke spa experiences using ESPA products that have been created to relax, revive and restore the body and spirit.
CELTIC MANOR RESORT – WALES, UK
Set within 1,400 acres of parkland in Newport, South East Wales, lies Celtic Manor, the venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup. The 5-star resort consists of three hotels, a country inn, luxury lodges, two spas, 6 restaurants, three championship golf courses, two golf and country clubs, and much more. If you’re looking for a UK golf break, this should be high on your list.
ACCOMMODATION. The Resort Hotel provides 330 beautifully decorated bedrooms, with an additional 70 rooms at the Manor House Hotel. There is also the Hunter Lodges, with stunning golf course views.
GOLF. Celtic Manor Golf Club has three championship golf courses, The Twenty Ten, Montgomerie and Roman Road, as well as two luxurious clubhouses.
DINING. There is a wide choice of excellent places to eat at the resort, among them Terry M, the award-winning three AA rosette flagship restaurants and the AA Rosette Le Patio.
SPA. With two spas’ onsite, the resort provides the perfect sanctuary and includes a 20metre swimming pool, spa café and Europe’s longest Jacuzzi.
CHATEAU D’AUGERVILLE - FRANCE
Located in Augerville-la-Riviére, about an hours’ drive south of Paris, Chateau d’Augerville offers peace and tranquillity, fine dining, luxury accommodation and an 18-hole parkland golf course. It also has its very own artisan chocolate factory and patisserie, where you can learn how to make chocolate by a master.
ACCOMMODATION. All the rooms are traditional Chateau style, finished to a very high standard, and range from singe up to the Grand Suite.
GOLF. The course offers 18 holes over a rolling landscape, framed by woodland. The Chateau makes the perfect backdrop when playing the 9th and the 18th hole.
DINING. High quality traditional French cuisine.
CHOCOLATE. The Chateau’s artisan chocolatier Hervé Boudot will happily share some of his skills with you, as well as letting you sample to your heart’s delight.
SPA. There is a large, luxurious spa set over 2 floors, where you can relax and be pampered after a day on the course.
EVIAN RESORT – FRANCE
Situated in a 47-hectare park, with a backdrop of mountains and views of Lake Geneva, lies Evian Resort, one of Europe’s leading luxury golf resorts. Stay in the 5-star Hôtel Royal, in the family friendly 4-star Hôtel Ermitage, or in the Manoir, which is virtually on the golf course.
ACCOMMODATION. Hôtel Royal offers 150 rooms, including 32 prestigious suites. Hôtel Ermitage offers a total of 230 rooms and suites, and there is a further 7 rooms at the Manoir.
GOLF. Evian Resort Golf Club is an 18-hole championship quality course, with a strong French identity and unrivalled views of Lake Geneva and the Alpine summits.
DINING. There are three gastronomic restaurants offering modern cuisine inspired by regional produce. There are also five brasseries, as well as four bars.
SPA. Spa Evian Source and Spa Quatre Terres offer guest all the pampering they could wish for in luxurious surroundings.
FAIRMONT ST ANDREWS – SCOTLAND
Set in 520 acres, with stunning cliff top views of St Andrews and the North Sea, the 5-star resort, Fairmont St Andrews, encapsulates luxury and elegance. With two championship golf courses, superb restaurants and a sumptuous spa, this Scottish retreat, in the “home of golf” deserves a place among Europe’s best.
ACCOMMODATION. All the 209 luxurious guestrooms are spacious and well-proportioned, with thoughtful Scottish touches.
GOLF. The resort has two amazing golf courses, The Kittocks and The Torrance, which offers beautiful vistas and plenty of challenges.
DINING. The resorts restaurants serve excellent food, ranging from the new Italian eatery La Cucina, to St Andrews Bar and Grill, which serves steak and seafood.
SPA. The luxurious spa offers a range of treatments including locally-themed massages, facial and relaxation therapies using exclusive Aromatherapy Associates products.
GLENEAGLES – SCOTLAND
If you are looking for a relaxing weekend away, then The Gleneagles Hotel is a perfect choice. Established in 1924, Gleneagles, one of the world’s grand resorts, is set amid gently rolling hills in the heart of Scotland and features a multi-award-winning spa and a Michelin starred restaurant.
ACCOMMODATION. There are 232 rooms in the hotel, including 26 sumptuous luxury suites and each room is individual in design and layout.
GOLF & ACTIVITIES. Gleneagles has three championship golf courses, which are among the best in the world, but they also offer shooting, fishing, falconry, off-road driving and horse riding, as well as swimming in The Club's two indoor pools.
DINING. The bars and restaurants at Gleneagles are of the highest culinary standard, with Andrew Fairlie, having Scotland's only two Michelin stars.
SPA. The luxury, award-winning Spa at Gleneagles by ESPA, is a sparkling experience of treatments and healing waters, using a holistic range of therapies to boost your body and mind.
LA MANGA - SPAIN
This award-winning resort offers a 5-star hotel, Principe Felipe, fine holiday accommodation and superb leisure and sports facilities. Located on the Costa Calida, it is a perfect location for families and golfers alike, looking for an activity filled holiday, with plenty of sunshine.
ACCOMMODATION. La Manga is a huge resort with a luxury hotel, over 20 villa and apartment communities, as well as over 120 villas with private swimming pools.
GOLF. There are three 18-hole championship courses at La Manga, offering tranquil surroundings, stunning views and plenty of challenges.
DINING. There are more than 25 restaurants and bars at the resort, offering anything from Mediterranean, to Indian and American cuisine.
SPA. A total of 13 treatment rooms offer a vast array of pampering, soothing, rejuvenating and relaxing treatments.
OLD COURSE HOTEL GOLF RESORT & SPA – SCOTLAND
Overlooking the famous links course, the West Sands Beach and the beautiful Scottish coastline, the prestigious AA 5-star Old Course Hotel, is recognised as one of Europe’s leading resorts. It features a combination of classically elegant and contemporary interiors, a luxurious spa, award-winning restaurants and a championship golf course.
ACCOMMODATION. There are 144 rooms, including 35 stunning suites, featuring silk-lined walls, with many of the rooms having private balconies and views of the course.
GOLF. The Old Course Hotel’s championship course, The Duke’s, is St Andrews’ only heathland course and there are another 11 courses in the immediate area.
DINING. Delight in fine dining at the 3 AA Rosettes rated Road Hole Restaurant, enjoy an award-winning afternoon tea, or some casual pub fare in relaxed surroundings.
SPA. Relax and replenish your mind and body in Kohler Waters Spa and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the earth’s natural mineral-rich waters.
PGA CATALUNYA RESORT – SPAIN
Just ten minutes from Girona and 35 minutes by high-speed train from Barcelona, lies PGA Catalunya Resort. Set within 300 hectares of thick forests, this is an environmentally-conscious project that is perfect for golf enthusiasts looking for a bit of luxury. You can stay in the beautiful 5-star Hotel Camiral, or rent one of the resorts properties.
ACCOMMODATION. There are open-plan villas, suitable for larger groups, or apartments in various sizes, while the on-site hotel has 149 stylish rooms with panoramic views.
GOLF. The resort has two exceptional golf courses, The Stadium Course, which is ranked the No.1 in Spain and the Tour Course, which provides constant challenges and is perfect for players of all levels.
DINING. The resorts three restaurants have their own unique style and character, using only the freshest quality ingredients, locally sourced and cooked to perfection.
SPA. The spa offers a wide range of holistic treatments and beauty therapies, guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed, revitalised and completely pampered.
PINE CLIFFS RESORT – ALGARVE PORTUGAL
Pine Cliffs Resort, with its prime seafront location on the amazing coastline of the Algarve, in Southern Portugal, is an award-winning luxury family resort. The hotels architecture pays homage to the country’s Moorish heritage and offers breath-taking views of the Atlantic.
ACCOMODATION. All rooms and suites are spacious with large balconies, enjoying gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean, lush gardens or the Monchique Mountains.
GOLF. The Pine Cliffs Golf Course lies perched 200 feet above the golden beaches, offering breath-taking views along the coastline.
DINING. There is a good selection of restaurants and bars located on site.
SPA. The wellness centre makes use of local resources, such as, seaweeds and orange blossom.
QUELLNESS GOLF RESORT - GERMANY
As one of Europe’s largest golf and wellness resorts, Quellness in the picturesque Bavarian countryside of Bad Griesbach, has plenty to offer, whether you are a golf enthusiast, or not. With several hotels, thermal and spa facilities, a selection of restaurants and a wide choice of activities for the kids, this is a perfect place for the whole family. And for the golf enthusiast there are ten golf courses to choose from.
ACCOMMEDATION. There are three hotels and three estates (four from 2018), offering a variety of room sizes and settings, all decorated to a high standard.
GOLF. There are five 18-hole championship golf courses, as well as three 9-hole courses, a 6-hole practice course and even a fun golf course for the kids.
DINING. Delight in Bavarian hospitality, with a selection of restaurants that offer everything from mouth-watering Mediterranean meals to hearty Bavarian specialities.
SPA. Whether you want to enjoy the healing properties of the resorts natural thermal springs, be pampered in one of the spa facilities, or work on your fitness, there is something here for everyone.
ROCKLIFFE HALL – UK
Located on the banks of the River Tees outside the village of Hurworth, Rockliffe Hall is a 5-star luxury hotel offering an award-winning spa, an 18-hole championship golf course and some excellent restaurants. This hidden gem is the perfect place from which to explore the picturesque County Durham countryside.
ACCOMMODATION. Each of the hotels 61 bedrooms offer guests the ultimate in luxury. You can also stay in Tiplady Lodge or one of the Woodland Mews Holiday Homes.
GOLF. Rockliffe’s 18-hole championship golf course offers plenty of stunning vistas and is one of the most challenging in Europe.
DINING. The resorts three restaurants serve mouth-watering dishes, with the 3AA rosette Orangery as the resorts flagship.
SPA. The award-winning spa is one of UK’s largest and provides the perfect environment to relax, unwind and let yourself be pampered.
SHERATON SALOBRE GOLF RESORT & SPA – GRAN CANARIA
Positioned in the hills, with views out to sea, this modern hotel simply seems to grow out of the rock. Here visitors can look forward to a totally relaxing experience in an environment of elegance and luxury.
ACCOMMODATION. All rooms are of a high standard, ranging from Deluxe all the way up to the Presidential Suite, which features a private roof top terrace.
GOLF. With two fantastic courses within the development and a further five only a short drive away, this is a perfect location for golf enthusiasts.
DINING. With a choice of six restaurants, there are a wealth of options available. Bar Sunset, which is located on the 11th floor, is the perfect place to watch the sun go down while enjoying a cocktail.
SPA. The Aloe Wellness spa offers a variety of facial and body therapies rounding off with a Wellness Circuit.
THRACIAN CLIFFS BEACH & GOLF RESORT - BULGARIA
Perched on cliff tops overlooking the Black Sea, Thracian Cliffs Beach & Golf Resort in Bulgaria, with its breath-taking 18-hole golf course, deserves its place among Europe’s best. Accommodation is split between two tranquil villages, separated by a beautiful lake, and offer spacious living areas, stunning views and infinity pools.
ACCOMMODATION. In the Marina village, situated on the cliffs, you can choose between 64 deluxe, spacious suites, with a further 87 suites in the Hillside Village.
GOLF. Framed by rugged coastal cliffs and the vast blue of the Black Sea, the 18-hole Gary Player designed Signature course, offers plenty of drama and stunning views.
DINING. There is a variety of restaurants to choose from, including a beachfront Mediterranean restaurant, a casual bistro and formal regional/French-style dining.
SPA. The luxurious 460sqm spa is the perfect place to relax, whether you want a Hammam, a massage, a facial, or perhaps a workout in the fitness centre.
TRUMP DOONBEG – IRELAND
Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Doonbeg offers luxury accommodation set against a magnificent backdrop of rugged landscapes, rolling waves and sand dunes. With a magnificent golf course and superb restaurants, it’s the perfect place for a golf break.
ACCOMMODATION. The comfortable suites, which are filled with old-world charm, have been beautifully appointed with curated furnishings, art, and antiques.
GOLF. The world renowned 18-hole championship, Doonbeg golf links, spans 1.5 miles of a crescent shaped beach and century old sand dunes, along Doughmore Bay.
DINING. Enjoy a hearty meal and a pint in Trump's Bar & Restaurant, an exquisite meal in the award-winning Ocean View Restaurant, or a delicious assortment of pastries and cakes in the tea room.
SPA. The luxurious White Horses Spa is the perfect place to pamper yourself after a long day on the golf course.
TURNBERRY – SCOTLAND
On the rugged Ayrshire coast, in the west of Scotland, lies one of the world’s fines resorts, Trump Turnberry. With over 100 years of history and heritage, the opulent hotel offers far reaching views and three stunning golf courses, as well as a luxury spa to melt all your worries away.
ACCOMMODATION. After a multi-million refurbishments, the hotel offers lavish bedroom accommodation, or you might choose to stay in one of the self-catering villas, or apartments.
GOLF. The resorts golf courses are part of golf legacy, and here you get a chance to enjoy a round on the iconic Ailsa, The Kintyre or The Arran. Definitely an experience not to be forgotten.
DINING. Enjoy afternoon tea in The Grand Tea Lounge & Bar, lobster in The Duel in the Sun, or Italian food in the Turnberry’s signature restaurant, Il Tramonto at 1906.
SPA. Recognised as one of Europe's finest spas, it offers bespoke ESPA treatments and a comprehensive selection of body wraps, scrubs and massages.
VERDURA GOLF & SPA RESORT – SICILY, ITALY
Verdura Resort is set in a valley of olive groves on the south-west coast of Sicily, close to the seaside town of Sciacca. The stylish hotel, which is built to blend into the landscape, is modern and sleek. There are three Kyle Phillips golf courses, a 60-metre infinity pool, tennis courts, restaurants, bars and a world-class spa.
ACCOMMODATION. Rooms and suites are spacious, decorated in a warm contemporary Sicilian style, with rich earthy colours, and have terraces or balconies to take in the view.
GOLF. The three links-style golf courses, designed by Kyle Phillips, offer plenty of challenges and use the natural, green contours of the landscape.
DINING. The resort has four characterful restaurants and five bars, where you can enjoy Mediterranean dishes, seafood, light snacks and cocktails.
SPA. The award-winning spa follows the healing and fitness philosophy of Sebastian Kneipp’s, based on the five pillars of water, plants, exercise, nutrition and balance.
WESTIN RESORT COSTA NAVARINO – GREECE
The Westin Resort Costa Navarino is located in the Greek region of Messinia in the southwest Peloponnese, which enjoys an excellent year-round climate. Nominated as one of the best family destinations in Europe, it is set on a verdant hillside, offering a mix of golf, sea and pool views.
ACCOMODATION. The family-friendly accommodation features spacious terraces or balconies with sea views, while most ground-floor units have private infinity pools.
GOLF. The Dunes Course incorporates some links-style features, while the Bay Course meanders through contrasting natural landscapes.
DINING. There are several restaurants serving ethnic, international and local dishes.
SPA. The 4,000m² Anazoe Spa offers a full range of specialty treatments based on health and beauty practices of ancient Greece, utilizing the area's exclusive natural ingredients and unique products.