With the summer just around the corner and the golf season underway, it’s the perfect time for a “Stay and Play” break. We’ve rounded up our pick of hotels with spectacular courses and sumptuous spas for a relaxing getaway.
Dubbed “the home of golf”, St Andrews is an iconic destination for a golf weekend. The two courses at Fairmont St Andrews, two miles out of town and with panoramic views of its picturesque rooftops, are both championship standard and regularly voted among the best in the UK. The more challenging of the two, The Torrance, was redesigned under the pro eye of former Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance, while the Kittocks commands spectacular views out over the Fife coastline.
Elsewhere at the hotel, the clifftop spa pays homage to its Scottish location with treatments from local, marine skincare brand Ishga. Plus there’s a host more outdoor activities, such as horse riding and sailing, close by that the hotel staff can easily arrange for you.
Book your getaway to Fairmont St Andrews.
The host of the 2010 Ryder Cup is a must-visit whether you’re an experienced golfer or a newbie eager to learn. Celtic Manor has three world-championship standard courses to choose from. The Twenty Ten Course was built specifically for the Ryder Cup and became the first purpose-built course created for the tournament. The resort’s first course – the par-70 Roman Road course – commands views out towards Devon and Somerset, then there’s the Montgomerie Course, designed by top British golfer Colin Montgomerie.
Meanwhile, the Forum Spa offers a fantastic range of Elemis treatments, including a dedicated menu of therapies for men. To try something a little different, check out the Forum Herbal Steam Temple – it takes its cue from Middle Eastern-style rassul treatments and involves a mud skin treatment in an aromatic steam room.
Book your stay at Celtic Manor.
While perhaps not as famous as St Andrews, The Belfry is one of the most renowned golfing destinations in the country. It’s the site of more Ryder Cups than any other course in the world, hosting four tournaments between 1985 and 2001 and has been played by some icons of the game. Its flagship course, The Barbazon, is the challenge you’d expect from a course that has tested the world greats. There’s also the PGA National, host of two European Tour championships, and The Derby for a gentle change of pace if you’re new to the game.
The spa’s Fire and Ice Journey is great way to relax after a day on the courses, with 12 different thermal experiences including an aroma cave and a 100-degree sauna followed by an igloo, all designed to help improve circulation, relieve tensions. And if that’s not relaxing enough, check out the menu of ESPA treatments.
Book your stay at The Belfry.
Carnoustie is a golfer’s haven. The hotel itself overlooks the first tee of the flagship Carnoustie Championship Course, which will play host to The Open this July for the eighth time. There is also the Burnside Course, with its fiendish 17th hole that’s up there with the toughest par-4s going. For anyone looking to try their hand at the sport or spend some time perfecting their swing before hitting the world class courses, the Buddon Links Course is the ideal place to start.
After a day’s play, try a Golfer’s Tonic treatment in the spa, which includes a deep tissue massage to ease sore muscles and work out any stiffness or tension. Plus there’s a full menu of Elemis treatments.
Book your stay at Carnoustie.
A hop, skip and jump from London, Hanbury Manor is great destination for a quick golfing getaway, with its par-72 championship course that’s often touted as one of the best in England. The course was designed by Jack Nicklaus, with water hazards and meticulously kept greens making for a challenging round throughout the year. Meanwhile the hotel is a beautifully preserved Jacobean manor house, with spa facilities that include a stunning, Roman-style pool.
Book your stay at Hanbury Manor.
As well as being a championship standard course of over 7,000 yards, the Carrick Golf Course at Cameron House is up there with the most picturesque spots for a round in the country. The course sees you playing along the banks of Loch Lomond, offering incredible views across the glassy water and undulating landscape beyond. There’s also a testing nine-holer for perfecting technique. If the golf isn’t enough to tempt you there, the Spa at Cameron House is a destination in itself. Its facilities include a two-hour thermal experience journey, complete with two saunas, an aromatherapy steam room, caldarium, experience showers, hammam suite and a rasul mud chamber.
Book your getaway to Cameron House.
Set in 500 acres of heritage English park land, Stapleford Park is the classic manor house getaway. Its par-75 course has hosted the European Senior Masters twice and was designed in the style of the traditional Scottish links courses. There are a range of practice facilities, too: a 300-yard driving range, a putting green and practice bunker, a 70-yard short game area and an indoor golf simulator, giving you plenty of opportunity to specifics of your game.
Elsewhere on the estate, the spa sits in the house’s old stable building, a grand Baroque structure near the park entrance that come complete with its own drawing room.
Book your getaway to Stapleford Park.
Sitting in the heart of the Dartmoor National Park, Bovey Castle’s 275-acre estate includes the championship standard Old Course that’s been open since 1930 and was designed to rival some of Scotland’s most legendary courses by architect J F Abercromby. With the rolling green of Dartmoor in the distance, it’s an idyllic spot for a round of golf. Plus there’s plenty of other country pursuits to try your hand at, with falconry, archery and air rifle shooting, plus cider and sloe gin making. The Elan Spa at Bovey Castle is exquisite, with products and treatments from Espa and a dedicated “Gentlemen’s Quarter area for men.
Book your stay at Bovey Castle.
The Vale Resort spans 650 acres of countryside in South Wales, with two challenging courses. The Wales National, a European Tour championship course, stretches to 7,433 yards, while the Lake Course, as its name suggests, will force you to navigate water on 13 of the holes. That’s not the limit of the sporting facilities on site, however, and if you come at the right time you might spot the Welsh Rugby Team in training camp.
Its spa offers the works – everything from pedicures and relaxing massages to advanced facials with technologies like radiofrequency or traditional holistic therapies such as hopi ear candles. As well as the pools and thermal facilities, there are also five relaxation zones, so you can find a quiet corner to zone out.
Book your stay at Vale Resort.
Edwardian manor Slaley Hall has two 18-hole courses to choose from in its 1,000-acre grounds. A previous European Tour venue, the Hunting Course offers fairways that stretch through woodland to test your accuracy. Meanwhile the Priestman remains more open to the elements and brings a different challenge to the game. Slaley Hall’s spa offers a range of Espa’s luxurious treatments, plus a finishing touches like manis and pedis, while the health club features a timetable of fitness classes plus personal trainer sessions to help set you on the right path to better fitness.
Book your stay at Slaley Hall.