Montecastillo 5 StarIt may seem strange in these austere times, but more of us seem to be seeking a really special luxury golf holiday experience – maybe as an antidote to the recessionary cloud hanging over most of us!

Searches for exotic and far flung destinations have increased and competition between resorts for our custom is so intense, prices are being driven down, with the cost of luxury packages becoming more accessible all the time.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of going through a tour operator like YourGolfTravel.com though is the level of financial protection available that would not be possible if you booked directly – a factor that is even more important when purchasing a relatively high-cost luxury package.  As a member of ABTA and fully bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority’s  ATOL (Air Travel Organisers License) scheme, you are protected from losing money or being stranded abroad in the event of many problems.

Knowing you’re well protected means you can kick back, relax and fully enjoy your slice of luxury after spending a long day on the fairways. Which makes staying at one of these fabulous resorts an even more enticing proposition…

Dona FilipaPortugal

Dona Filipa

The legendary Dona Filipa enjoys a fabulous location in the heart of Vale Do Lobo with easy access to the beach, restaurants and bars.

Dona Filipa has long been regarded as one of the area’s best five-star hotels, offering opulent rooms which are stylishly decorated in a traditional Portuguese fashion. The hotel cuisine is out of this world and there are also a cluster of bars and restaurants a few hundred yards away near the beach where you can enjoy some unforgettable sunset views

Other reasons to stay here? Well, the service and friendliness of the staff are nothing short of exceptional. Another is the fact that the San Lorenzo golf course is largely exclusive to Dona Filipa patrons and, my word, what a wonderful course it is. There’s no need for a car – just can use the free shuttle to the golf course (10 minutes away).

The challenging San Lorenzo  is one of the big stars of Algarve golf and has been consistently ranked among Portugal’s very best. The course sits in the Ria Formosa nature reserve, a vast park which is home to a huge variety of plant and wildlife species. There are so many spectacular holes at San Lorenzo and the layout constantly challenges you as you wind through the stunning pines, lakes, and private villas on its way out to the coast.

Barceló Montecastillo ResortSpain

This iconic resort in the Jerez region has an incredibly high standard of facilities and an elegant, simple design that distinguishes it from many other such resorts.  So do the prices, for Barceló Montecastillo Resort offers some incredible deals, especially in off-peak months.

Montecastillo’s facilities are extensive and the rooms are large and very well equipped while the staff are friendly. There’s also a good variety of good restaurants in Jerez but the evening buffet here is brilliant and competitively priced.

The hotel, located just 10 minutes away from the town centre, is ideal for exploring Jerez’s sherry wineries, while the golf course, designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus, is exceptional, offering some superb views with raised tees over trees and valleys and a great variety of holes.

Heritage Awali Golf & Spa ResortMauritius

Heritage Awali

There’s no other way we can describe this resort – it’s absolutely amazing. The staff are incredibly friendly, the food is truly five-star and although the accommodation is not actually situated right on a golf course (they shuttle you back and forth and it takes no more than five minutes) it is next door to the powder white beach…which is nice.

This ultra-luxurious and chic haven set in a very private area and so the atmosphere is intimate without being intimidatingly hushed. There is, of course a wonderful Spa with therapies for every part of your anatomy – try the Mauritian massage which is worth every penny!

It will certainly revitalize you for your golf game on the phenomenal Peter Matkovitch-designed golf course, which is blessed with a unique location, between the mountains and the picture perfect coastline on this southern part of Mauritius. The course lives up to the spectacular scenery, winding around the estate and exotic gardens, affording views of the sea and the Black River Gorges nature reserve.

There are large expanses of rough and water on this course but players of most abilities will thoroughly enjoy it. If the championship course is too tough, then head to the resort’s nine-hole par-3 course, which is perfect for beginners and youngsters.

Stapleford ParkStapleford ParkEngland

This exquisite country house is surrounded by acres of stunning Capability Brown gardens, has particularly good leisure facilities including gym, pool, a brilliant Spa and a sublime golf course, and has bedrooms that are stylish, individual and lavishly appointed with all necessary facilities.

The service from arrival is personal and attentive inside and outside the superb landscape is characterised by the beautiful woodland, streams and ponds, all of which contribute to a truly incredible backdrop for both the golf course and the house itself.  The Spa here is superb with a wide range of treatments available and the rambling estate allows guests to partake in a true sporting country estate experience with tennis, croquet, giant chess, riding, falconry, shooting, archery, off-road driving, mountain-biking and fishing all available.

Obviously, it will be the golf course that interests you most and you won’t be disappointed. It winds around the house, and features the meandering River Eye, which comes into play on four occasions. Designed by noted architect Donald Steel, there is a Scottish accent to Stapleford, with influences taken from seaside links. This means it is a challenging course for accomplished players yet still accessible to those with high handicaps.

Innisbrook, A Salamander Golf & Spa ResortUSA

Innisbrook

This is arguably the complete destination for the traveling golfer. All the facilities and services are geared towards making a golf holiday run as smoothly as possible.

Golf concierges are on hand to arrange the transportation of you and your clubs to the golf course of your choice and, boy, is there a choice. Four fantastic courses await you, including the internationally renowned Copperhead (the most challenging golf experience here) plus the Island, Highlands North and Highlands South. They provide four distinct and thoroughly entertaining challenges.

The spacious suites at this resort come equipped with full kitchens and are ideal for socialising or relaxing in after a long day on the course. If more relaxation is on your agenda, there’s the now almost obligatory Spa |(except this one’s over 20,000-square-foot!), and there’s also a fitness centre for the hyperactive among you!.

You have a plethora of dining options – we tried The Grill, which was excellent – huge, delicious burgers and the best cocktails we’ve ever had. The steakhouse was great too and after eating it’s nice to stroll along the Nature Trail through a piece of un-spoilt forest with a large pond.