From the windswept heath of Scotland to the lava-cut contours of Hawaii, golf is truly a global sport. It offers great opportunities for adventurous links lovers to explore their native countries and beyond. On Gayot’s list of the 5 Best Golf Hotels, you’ll find luxurious accommodations that also offer championship-level golfing in stunning settings.
Whether you prefer modern resort amenities or old-school elegance at historic courses, our favorite properties are sure to impress on the green and in the guest room.
1. Pinehurst Resort, North Carolina
Pinehurst Resort is known to American golfers as one of the finest fairway destinations in the United States. The property dates back to the 1890s, and has long been a favorite with professional golfers and presidents. Today, the resort boasts nine distinctive courses, including the legendary Pinehurst No. 2. In addition, guests can enjoy the use of an expansive spa, 18-court tennis center and a beach club on a private lake. Eight dining venues include the elegant 1895 Grille, serving Carolina flavors, and the Ryder Cup Lounge, named after the famed golf competition, hosted at the resort in 1951.
2. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Alberta, Canada
Nestled within the gorgeous Canadian Rockies, The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is home to a full-service spa with therapeutic mineral baths, Western-inspired fine dining and fairways designed by Canada's master golf course architect, Stanley Thompson. The course was built in 1925 and follows the natural contours of the surrounding forest, winding past glacier-fed lakes through a wildlife corridor that is home to elk, caribou, bears and wolves. After putting for par on holes backdropped by snow-capped mountains, players can head to The Moose's Nook for a hearty meal in front of a roaring fire.
3. Barnbougle Dunes, Tasmania, Australia
An island of rugged, untouched natural beauty, Tasmania is the ideal setting for a golf course — especially if that course incorporates the wilderness into its fairways, as Barnbougle Dunes does. Located next to the seaside village of Bridport on the island's northeast coast, this public golf course is set among rolling sand dunes on 200 dramatic acres. In addition to a clubhouse for post-game relaxation, facilities include a casual dining room where guests can sample regional cuisine and wines. Accommodations consist of charming cottages with large viewing decks overlooking the golf course and sea.
4. Old Course Hotel, St. Andrews, Scotland
Is it possible to create a list of the world's best golf resort destinations without including the centuries-old town of St. Andrews? We don't think so. Golf is said to have originated on St. Andrews' Old Course (dating back 600 years), and the Old Course Hotel offers prime access to all of the area’s historic links. Guests also enjoy preferred access to the lodging's own The Duke's course, boasting a scenic heathland setting that overlooks the sea. After working up an appetite on the greens, golfers can head to the Road Hole Restaurant for fresh Scottish fare, and then retire to the Road Hole Bar, which offers a menu of more than 300 whiskies representing every operational distillery in Scotland.
5. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu, Hawaii
The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu is hard to beat when it comes to island-style luxury. From a cultural center (where guests can take ukulele and Hawaiian quilting lessons) to a decadent tropical spa to three signature restaurants, this sprawling family-friendly property excels. Nowhere is this more evident than at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Hualalai Golf Course. Presenting more than 7,100 yards of play, these fairways meander along black lava contours, showcasing sweeping ocean views. Children are more than welcome on the fairways, with kids 12 years old and under playing free with a paying guest and juniors enjoying half off.
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