The best hotels for golf loving families
26 August 2019
The best luxury hotels are often located near the most beautiful golf courses in the world. Coincidence? Little Guest (collection of 4 and 5-star hotels for families) doesn’t think so! With amazing views and everything passionate families looking for new experiences need; this is our selection of 100% golf vacations all over the globe. Tiger Woods better hold on tight!
Playing your favorite sport on an alpine summit in Switzerland at 2,000 meters of altitude, on the abrupt cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean in South Africa, or even on the Provençal region in France… these are just a few of the dreamy vacations that Little Guest is offering in its Top 10 golf destinations for a prestigious stay that will meet your exacting family’s expectations.
1 – SWING AT THE BLUE CANYON, THAILAND
Stay at The Slate hotel
No list of the top 10 golf courses in the world would be complete without the two 18-hole courses at the Blue Canyon Country Club, which could also be described as the most prestigious courses in Asia. Designed by the Japanese architect Yoshikazu Kato, the courses are located just 10 minutes from the Phuket airport in Thailand. The first course, the Canyon course, is known for its water hazards, numerous strategic bunkers, fast greens, and fairways lined with rubber trees. In this post-card-esque decor, with the bay and Phang-Na mountains as the backdrop, Tiger Woods won the Johnnie Walker Classic in 1998. Beloved by the biggest golf champions like Fred Couples et Phil Mickelson, this location plays host to dozens of international tournaments each year. Shorter and more accessible, the Lake course has proven to be more technically difficult than its counterpart. The course itself is surrounded by natural countryside, which used to be part of mining exploration, which has created a series of doglegs and large, torturous greens. Players can get around in a golf cart.
Champions trying their hand on these sumptuous courses can stay just 20 minutes from the Blue Canyon Country Club, in one of the prestigious villas with a private pool at The Slate hotel. This 5 star establishment is known for its exceptional design by Bill Bensley, its high-end gastronomy, and the quality of their offerings. Among which you will find athletic activities (tennis, yoga, fitness, Pilates, etc.), cooking classes to share as a family, a kids-club for children starting at 4 years old and a luxurious spa known all throughout the region. These locations offer their guests a complete change in scenery and an irresistible immersion in Thailand tradition.
2 – SWING IN PEZULA, SOUTH AFRICA
Stay at the Fancourt hotel
Designed by David Dale and Ronald Fream, on the East Head of Knysna in South Africa, the 18-hole golf course at the Pezula Golf Club & Championship Course offer extraordinary views of the Indian Ocean and the Outeniqua mountains. Known to be one of the most technically difficult golf courses in the world, the course is home to a series of rolling fairways, fynbos, and arcing bunkers. Golfers get around in golf carts. Located on the peak of a cliff, the course’s most iconic holes – n°13 (par 5), n°4 (par 4) and n°15 (par 3) – require remarkable technical skill. Hit the ball too hard and it will be lost in the ocean waves. And be prepared for hole number 14! Short but complex, it will truly put you to the test.
Golf lovers who can never get enough of their favorite game will enjoy staying in one of the 115 suites at the Fancourt hotel, located just 60 minutes from the course, in the center of George. With a family-friendly golf academy and the prestigious 18-hole Montagu course, the resort located on the sublime Garden Route offers an exceptional natural environment between vineyards, wild bays and natural reserves. 8th on the Golf Digest SA list, the Montagu course, created by Gary Player, offers spectacular play between water and mountains. Furthermore, just moments from the hotel, the 18-hole Outeniqua course welcomes players of all skill levels onto its greens to enjoy incomparable views of the Outeniqua peaks. The hotel offers its little guests a kids-club for children older than 3 years old for just 2€/h, high-quality babysitting service and a complete baby kit including a stroller, highchair, adapted baby cot and a kid’s menu in two of its restaurants.
3 – SWING IN FONTANA, AUSTRIA
Stay at the Sacher Vienne hotel
Constructed in 1996 by Doug Carrick and Han Erhardt, the Fontana is probably one of the most luxurious golf courses in Europe. Located just 20 kilometers south of Vienna, this 18 hole golf course is home to a number of records. It was here, during the 2006 Austrian Open that the German champion Martin Kaymer became the first amateur to score an albatross during a European tournament. The course, which brings together water hazards and demanding bunkers, is built around an artificial lake, where swimming is allowed in the summer, to the children’s greatest pleasure.
At the end of the day, players and their families can head to the iconic Sacher Vienne hotel, located not far from the Opera and 30 minutes from the Fontana Golf Club. Children are kings at the Sacher hotel! Welcomed by an adorable concierge who focuses on creating personalized activity plans adapted to their age groups and their interests, children also enjoy numerous welcome gifts and small details: mini passport, stuffed bears, games, and cosmetics, powdered sugar confections, coloring books, etc. The hotel even offers a breakfast buffet designed exclusively for children. Meanwhile, parents will enjoy the hotel’s numerous restaurants and the intimate Sacher Spa where they offer complete treatment plans for teenage skin and full-body massages using chocolate, in honor of the tart that is also the hotels’ namesake.
4 – SWING IN DUBAI CREEK, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Stay at the One & Only Royal Mirage hotel
Designed by the British architect Brian Johnson in 1993 and completed by Thomas Bjorn in 2005, the par 71 – 18 hole Dubai Creek course is spread out over 6,270 meters, with palm and date tree-lined fairways, protected greens, and closed with an uncompromising finish: a perfect drive or nothing! Located on the left bank of the Dubai Creek in the heart of the city, the course was ranked in the Top 10 golf courses in the Middle East in 2018 by Golf Digest. The location also has a fun mini-golf course where the whole family can play.
Families visiting Dubai and its numerous golf courses can stay in one of the oriental suites at the One & Only Royal Mirage hotel, a luxurious, intimate, and paradisaical oasis. This 5 star establishment offers a superb private beach with a view of the Dubai skyline, 4 pools, 9 stunning gourmet restaurants and a free kids club for children between 2 and 11 years old where children can participate in numerous creative and recreational activities (camel rides, oriental dance class, Arabic classes, henna art, sand sculpting, etc.). The hotel also offers families free access to the Aquaventure amusement park, located on the famous Palm Island. Golf parents will love the resort’s perfect location and the opportunity to enjoy a lovely afternoon on the n°1 18 hole golf course in the Middle East – Emirates Golf Club, located just 8 minutes from the hotel.
5 – SWING IN ENGSTLIGENALP, SWITZERLAND
Stay at the Gstaad Palace hotel
The Engstligenalp 18 hole pop-up golf course is the highest golf course in Europe at 2,000 meters above sea level! Located in the small Adelboden commune in Switzerland, the course brings together typical mountainous countrysides with arid plains and wild rivers, for an unforgettable initiation into alpine golf. Children and adults, seasoned professionals or beginners (accompanied by an instructor) will struggle against the high altitudes wind and often capricious weather. The location also is home to a chalet where they serve delicious raclette. It’s everything you could want!
Just 90 minutes from the Engstligenalp Golf Mountain, the Gstaad Palace makes families the center of attention. The 100-year-old hotel offers connecting rooms, allergy-safe children’s menus in the restaurants, a babysitting service and an amazing free kids-club for children between 3 and 12 years old which includes an outdoor playground and two indoor playgrounds. There, experienced hosts organize workshops for reading, grimage, crafting, baking, as well as sports tournaments and treasure hunts. Family vacations at the Gstaad Palace are active! In the winter, your concierge can help reserve ski lessons for the entire family, while in the summer, children between 7 and 16 years old can use up their energy on the four courts where the hotel offers tennis lessons organized by champion Marc Rosset, a gold medal winner at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
6 – SWING AT CORALES GOLF, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Stay at the Eden Roc Cap Cana Hotel
The Corales Golf Course in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, is an 18 hole golf course designed by Tom Fazio in 2010. Its incredibly panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea make it a unique experience for golf and nature lovers. The longer the landscape stretches, the harder the game gets. Players will enjoy splendid views of the natural creeks, wild bays and the best protected interior lakes in the region. The last three holes nicknamed “The Devil’s Bend”, make even the most experienced players tremble as they courageously swing from the abrupt cliffs. This location, known for its tropical scenery and amazing climate 365 days a year, has played host to numerous competitions and championships, including the Web.com circuit, a PGA qualifying tournament.
Just 25 minutes from the site, athletic families will find the prestigious Eden Roc Cap Cana hotel. The establishment offers elegant and colorful suites with private pools, a magnificent infinity pool, a private beach, a free kids club for children between 4 and 12 years old, a luxurious spa (nominated numerous times for the World Spa Awards), as well as a superb 18-hole golf course designed by champion Jack Nicklaus. This course, designed between cliffs, beaches and waterfalls, was ranked “Best Course in the Caribbean and Mexico” by Golfweek in 2011.
7 – SWING AT THE HERITAGE GOLF CLUB, MAURITIUS ISLAND
Stay at the Shanti Maurice
Voted the “Best golf course in the Indian Ocean and on Mauritius Island” for five consecutive years by World Golf Awards, the 18-hole Heritage Golf Club is surrounded by typical Mauritian nature, located between a clear water lagoon, wild coastlines, and luxurious plant life. Designed by the architect Peter Matkovitch, this 100-hectare course promises golf lovers unique views and gameplay. A 9-hole course, named “Pitch & Putt”, was recently created in the heart of the 18-hole course. Specially dedicated to beginning players, it allows young hopefuls to review their fundamental skills in the perfect playing conditions, before playing side by side with mom and dad on the most famous greens in Mauritius.
Families can stay just 10 minutes from the course, in one of the 61 suites at the Shanti Maurice hotel, voted “Mauritius Leading Boutique Hotel 2019“. This luxurious, intimate and family-friendly location offers free stays for children under the age of 12 (dining included). With its two tennis courts, open-air cinema, baby-club and free kids-club for children older than 3 years old, the Shanti Maurice is the perfect place to stay when you’re visiting the south of the island. Bonus for golfing parents: a complimentary, unlimited green fee at the Avalon Golf Estate club, located just 30 minutes from the resort! Included in the price: a shuttle service, golf course, and training balls.
8 – SWING AT THE FINCA CORTESIN, SPAIN
Stay at the Ikos Andalusia hotel
Designed by Cabell Robinson, the famous architect from Robert Trent Jones’ team, the 18-hole Finca Cortesin golf course, located on the sea’s edge in Malaga, is considered one of the top 5 best golf courses in Spain by Golf World Magazine. Home to the Volvo World Match Play Championship from 2009 to 2012, the course is spread out over 6,802 meters and offers large fairways, numerous marble white sand bunkers, and fast sloping greens, all in the heart of diverse local plant life. In the evening, the location benefits from soft lighting and breathtaking sunsets. Don’t forget your camera!
Another amazing Andalusian location that is worth a few photos is the sublime all-inclusive resort, the Ikos Andalusia. Located 30 minutes from the Finca Cortesin, between the cities of Marbella and Malaga, this hotel is a little slice of heaven for families looking for relaxation and a change of scenery. Even if it does not have its own golf course, this 5-star establishment is home to prestigious high-end and kids-friendly installations, such as its 8 pools, superb spa, baby-club for babies between 4 months and 3 years old, as well as its incredible kids-club for children between 4 and 12 years old and its teen-club for teens between 13 and 17, both of which are free! Athletic families will not be disappointed, as the resort offers a large selection of activities and two tennis courts.
9 – SWING AT VILLINGILI GOLF COURSE, MALDIVES
Stay at the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa
Located on the southern tip of the island of Villingili, the 9-hole Villingili Golf Course takes up the entire southern part of the island, nearly 7.5 hectares! Designed and managed by the 5-star hotel, the Shangri-La Villingili Resort & Spa, the course is perfect for beginners as well as seasoned golfers. It is a demanding and technically difficult course, the only one of its kind in the Maldives, and includes 6 par 3 holes and 3 par 4 holes, with an average length of 112 meters. The fairways are surrounded by coconut trees and white sand beaches. We recommend that families hit the course at sunrise or in the late afternoon in order to avoid the overly strong heat.
Located just moments from its course, the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa is an exceptional and highly kids-friendly establishment. There, families will discover villas on stilts that offer infinite views of the Indian Ocean and the paradisiacal beaches with luxurious vegetation. In this dreamy hotel, meals are free for children younger than 6 years old, the largest villas offer private pools and the kids-club is dedicated to children between 4 and 12 years old. The resort also organizes yoga classes for the whole family as well as numerous other athletic and aquatic activities for children and adults alike (catamaran, kite surfing, paddleboat, surfing, windsurfing, water skiing, jet skiing, fishing, etc.).
10 – SWING AT THE CHATEAU ET LE RIOU, FRANCE
Stay at the Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort
Voted the “Best golf resort on the European continent” for the second consecutive year by the famous magazine Golf World, the Terre Blanche hotel is a must-see for golf lovers traveling to the south of France, more specifically, the Provençal region. Located in Tourrettes, this family-friendly and intimate resort offer golf lovers two 18-hole golf courses, named “Le Château’ and “Le Riou”, which are both considered among the most prestigious courses in all of Europe. The resort also has a training center, the Albatros Golf Performance Center, which is home to a new academy, and the unique Biomecaswing center where you can get your start or perfect your skills!
Children staying at Terre Blanche are lucky: they have free access to all the excitement of the kids-club designed for children between 2 and 12 years old, such as recreational and creative outdoor activities, a welcome gift, indispensable childcare equipment to make children even more comfortable, as well as a high-quality babysitting service. Meanwhile, mom and dad can fully enjoy the 3,200sqm of the hotel’s spa, or participate in the free sports classes put on by the resort, such as hatha yoga, fusing Pilates, aqua biking, aquagym, cardio training, and even Zumba.
Sarah, 27 years old, Italian gastronomy and travel addict, from Brussels