Hole in one: The best luxury golf resorts

If you want to test your skills on courses designed by champion golfers but also enjoy luxurious accommodations, you’ll find the best facilities and amenities across our top picks for golf resorts.

Enjoy a day on the green at these luxurious resorts. Image credit: Pakorn_Khantiyaporn/iStock
Enjoy a day on the green at these luxurious resorts. Image credit: Pakorn_Khantiyaporn/iStock

If you are an avid golfer, you probably don’t mind traveling to the best golf courses in the world, no matter how remote or far-flung they are. Many of the courses we’ve selected come with the best golf resorts available for the discerning traveler.

To prepare for a day on the course, you can book time with world-class instructors or take inspiration for the champions who designed these golf courses. For those looking for a leisurely day on the green, these resorts, with their inventive water features, spell-binding scenery, and aesthetically pleasing grounds set the scene for a fabulous day of play for all skill levels.

Every athlete needs nourishment to facilitate their performance. These golf resorts provide world-class dining from renowned chefs and often feature local dishes. Delicious meals are accompanied by well-stocked wine cellars and the finest spirits available to make the most of your downtime off the course.

Whether located in remote areas or near major cities, every resort on our list boasts plenty of opportunities to explore the fascinating settings in which you find yourself. You’ll find a variety of cultural and geographical landscapes, from oceans to mountains and island resorts to those in the heart of Europe.

When you’re planning your golf holidays, don’t forget to arrange a ride in style by booking a luxurious Blacklane chauffeur service to get to or from these resorts in style.

Island paradise golf resorts

Island paradises set the scene for a rich visual background as you work on your swing and long game. No matter how remote they seem, you can expect five-star service and all the amenities you’ve come to expect at top resorts.

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman – designed by a pro

Greg Norman, an Australian golfer who won two majors, designed the intimate nine-hole course at The Ritz-Carlton on Grand Cayman island. The challenging course gives most golfers a run for their money and spectacular oceanfront landscapes are the perfect backdrop in between swings.

This golf hotel has 365 rooms to accommodate large groups and you can also get tennis tips from Nick Bollettieri-trained tennis pros. The resort is located on 144 acres and sits just off Seven Mile Beach if you want to go for an early morning swim or run. Dining is a delight at any of the five restaurants on site—one is run by three Michelin-starred chef Eric Ripert.

The Abaco Club, Bahamas – exclusive private course

Links is the oldest style of golf course, which has players skirt the shoreline while battling through sand dunes. It’s popular in Scotland and Ireland, but The Abaco Club at Winding Bay in the Bahamas also features this unique form of the game.

If you’re looking for a change of pace to challenge your skills, you can do so on this tropical island with much more reliable weather. Architects Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie equipped The Abaco Club’s course with challenging slopes on the putting greens as well as deep sand traps that have earned a reputation of their own.

The Abaco Club’s private golf course is accessible when you rent one of its luxurious cottages, cabanas, or estate houses. Dine alone in the privacy of your accommodations or visit The Cliff House to peruse Winding Bay while you savor flavorful dishes such as lobster, grouper, and conch chowder.

Explore the clear waters off Winding Bay during your down time. Image credit: lucky-photographer/iStock
Explore the clear waters off Winding Bay during your down time. Image credit: lucky-photographer/iStock

Velaa Private Island, Maldives – golf, dive and explore the ocean

You may not own your own private island, but you can feel like a king on someone else’s for weekend golf getaways. Leading Spanish golfer Jose Maria Olazabal designed the nine-hole course at the ridiculously exclusive Velaa Private Island in the Maldives.

Olazabal gained fame for his short game, and you’ll develop similar skills on the green here. Luckily, you can tweak your swing at the island’s state-of-the-art golf academy with professional instructors.

Kick back in a private villa or explore the surrounding ocean in a diving excursion, submarine jaunt or yachting adventure.

North American golf resorts

There are hundreds of professional-level courses in North America. But the two we’ve chosen specialize in engaging golfers on the course and providing a spa-like experience alongside great dining.

The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado – mountain views and 10 restaurants

The Broadmoor is legendary ins golfing history. The 18th hole of the East Course witnessed Jack Nicklaus take a birdie in his first major win in 1959. Today, golf enthusiasts can choose from three courses on this property nestled in the breath-taking Rocky Mountains. This golf course hotel in Colorado has been perfecting its course and spoiling guests for 100 years and regularly hosts the annual US Senior Open.

Located on 5,000 serenely beautiful acres, the golf resort also helps you learn or brush up on fly-fishing and tennis. Stay in a wilderness lodge and taste the fantastic food available across the property’s 10 restaurants as you try to resist shopping in one of 26 specialty boutiques. There are 784 cottages, rooms, and suites to choose from.

One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico – designed by Jack Nicklaus

One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos is a great choice for a prime golfing destination and has been in operation since 1922. The Arroyo, Mountain, and Ocean golf courses boast nine holes and were designed by Jack Nicklaus. Staggered tees, feature lakes, and elevations present something for golfers at every level of play. If you can tear your eyes away from the riveting courses, enjoy the views of the Baja Peninsula and Sea of Cortez and be sure to capture pictures of stunning sunrises when you explore the nearby beaches.

European golf destinations

European golf courses give you the opportunity to combine sight-seeing with your golf passion. If you’re already planning a stay in France, Spain, or Switzerland, tack on a few extra days to play a round or two at the best golf resorts in Europe.

Terre Blanche, Provence Côte d’Azur, France – host of the French Riviera Masters

Amid breathtaking landscapes in Provence Côte d’Azur in southern France, Terre Blanche is home to Le Château and Le Riou, both 18-hole championship courses that will challenge your pro game. Le Château is renowned for its one-of-a-kind water features and hosts the French Riviera Masters during the Senior European Tour.

The five-star golf resort takes advantage of the area’s picturesque lakes, waterfalls, and forest backdrops. You can book one of 115 villas and suites, all with a guaranteed view. For the gourmand in your party, there are four restaurants with haute cuisine, including Le Faventia, which boasts a Michelin star and features local ingredients.

Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Heidiland Region, Switzerland – two golf courses

Switzerland’s Heidiland region hosts the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, a health and well-being resort and the only golf resort in the country with two golf courses; the 18-hole PGA Championship Course and a 9-hole Executive Course.

Extensive professional support is available on-site, including a “golf check-up,” or you can take a thermal bath or enjoy the saunas and spa suites. Top off the day at IGNIV by Andreas Caminada, which features fine dining in a shared environment.

La Manga Club, Murcia region, Spain – an academy course on-site

Murcia in Southern Spain is home to La Manga Club, three times the size of Monaco. The popular golfing destination has excellent facilities and three 18-hole courses. Practice with a pro at the 9-hole academy course and golf training center.

La Manga has hosted the Spanish Open five times and golfing greats Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, and Seve Ballesteros have all trod its greens. There are also 28 tennis courts, a golf training center for individuals and groups, a huge spa, plus 20 restaurants across the property.

Golf destinations in Asia and Africa

These golf resorts provide unique qualities in terms of destination and local allure. Combine your golf getaway with excursions into some of the wildest places on the planet. Restaurants feature local and international cuisine and private villas and accommodating staff are highlighted in these resorts.

Banyan Tree, Phuket, Thailand – best golfing in Thailand

The Banyan Tree in Phuket is widely touted as one of the best golfing destinations in Thailand. The par- 71 course is the brainchild of architect Paul Jansen and features water hazards along a 6,756-yard course.

Phuket’s lagoons, mountains, and tropical foliage form a lush background for the course, while the USGA-specified layout provides challenging putting surfaces. Every villa at this resort comes with its own pool, so it’s ideal for those seeking quiet and privacy.

Fancourt, George, South Africa – the kids will love it too

Fancourt has three 18-hole golf courses designed by pro-golfer Gary Player, known as Outeniqua, Montagu, and The Links, with the latter being particularly popular.

The five-star property is located along the historic Garden Route, making it an ideal vacation for couples and families wishing to explore picturesque beaches, coastal towns, and vineyards without venturing far from accommodations. Children are well cared for while the golfed-out parents can enjoy cycling, the spa, fishing or horse riding.

Best Golf Courses in Fiji & New Zealand

On the other side of the world, incredible golf courses in play-and-stay resorts let you enjoy exotic scenery and local culture when you put down your putter. Many Hollywood movies are shot in New Zealand, and after a few days in these lush resorts, you’ll understand why.

Laucala, Fiji – 15 staff members per villa

Land on this private island of Laucala in the resort’s private jet—or perhaps your own and in just a few minutes you can tee-off on a spectacular 18-hole golf course. The backdrop includes volcanic mountains, cliff faces, and the unforgettable crash of the South Pacific surf.

The par 72-course winds through what used to be a coconut plantation and terraformed fairways lead to the green on Baravi, where the spectacular views from the 12th hole. It’s hard to tear your eyes away to make the put.

You won’t want for anything since the staff of 350 caters to just 24 villas. Land and water activities fill in every hour of the day and night, but you should pencil in some down time to relax in the tropical breeze. Chef Jean-Luc Amann oversees some of the finest dining in the world.

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Northland region, New Zealand – golf on the other side of the world

It’s no surprise New Zealand provides the backdrop for big-screen movies; this gorgeous island chain hosts many picture-worthy golf courses. However, few can match the view, facilities, and amenities found at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs located in the beautiful Bay of Islands.

The golf resort sits along the coast of Matauri Bay. Spread across 6,000 acres, Kauri Cliffs features views out to the Cape Brett, Cavalli Islands, and the Pacific Ocean. The par-72 course has five sets of tees to challenger beginners and advanced players. While playing, golfers are treated to views of the ocean from at least 15 holes; six holes take the play to the edge of the cliffs, which plunge down to white-capped waves. If you’re looking for an authentic dining experience, try Pacific Rim cuisine after a day of chipping and putting. Rest easy in cottages set within a native forest and overlooking the course.