It comes as no surprise that pristine greens and world-class accommodations go hand-in-hand when planning the perfect golf getaway. Tee-up your next escape at these four elite vacation destinations that pair top golf courses with luxury lodging.
Your luxury escape on the Kona-Kohala coast begins the moment you walk into this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star property and check in over an expertly mixed mai tai. Lodging has an organic feel that sheds the hotel high-rise for low-rise bungalows in mid-20th-century Hawaiian style with natural woods and tranquil color palette. The resort’s 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature-designed golf course sprawls over 7,100 yards. Green fairways contrast against black lava landscapes and breathtaking ocean views. Linger long enough on the 17th hole and you’ll spot the migration of humpback whales. There’s nothing the Four-Season’s haven’t considered, from golf cart GPS systems and a kit full of essentials (ball markers, divot tools, sunscreen, etc.), to on-course sunglass cleaning and shoe service. Also be on the lookout for the beverage cart, and if you’re still parched, the air-conditioned comfort station at the ninth hole. When you’re not aiming for an “ace”, enjoy top eats from Executive Chef Massimo Falsini—the Hawaiian Anthology, a deconstructed ‘Ahi poke, Liliko’i barbecued Kalua pork steamed buns, Hawaiian abalone, lobster cappuccino—is to die for.
You can’t consider an elite golf vacation without including the legendary “Home of Golf” at St. Andrews. The Old Course is the gold standard, having influenced nearly every golf course designed since. The Fairmont, St. Andrews, offers accommodations convenient to the Old Course, in addition to boasting two courses of its own—The Torrance and The Kittocks. Before stepping onto the green, tune-up on the hotel’s practice greens which feature an extensive short game area, large putting green and various accuracy targets. Guests of the hotel can also relax at The Clubhouse, which offers stunning views of St. Andrews and Eden Estuary that pair perfectly with its menu of beers and spirits.
Accolades continue to accumulate for the San Diego resort that has been named by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine as one of the top resort courses in America, and the #1 golf resort in San Diego, by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler. The Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star property is perched on the shore of Batiquitos Lagoon, a wildlife sanctuary, and surrounded by hiking trails and gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean. But the focal point of the resort is undoubtedly the Arnold Palmer-designed golf course, the only coastal California course designed by the former champion. The 18-hole stunner is home to the LPGA Kia Classic, and features a dynamic layout: par 72 over 18 holes and 7,007 yards sculpted around rolling hillsides, native wildflowers and an array of bunker and water challenges.
The hotel’s striking sail-shaped facade is synonymous with the alluring destination of Dubai. One of the world most luxurious lodgings floats off Jumeirah beach, perched on an artificial island, and offers 202 all-suite, two-story rooms. Innumerable amenities await you at Burj Al-Arabm, beginning with a chauffer driven Rolls Royce airport pick-up. Check in incognito from your room and prepare for a greeting from your own personal butler. You can also arrange for tee off at any of Dubai’s exquisite golf courses. When you book through the hotel’s concierge at Emirates Majilis course, Emirates Faldo course and Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht club, expect free club and shoe rental. Or, if you’ve arranged to ship your own clubs, head to two other course that made Golf Digest’s list of the World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses: Jumeirah G. Estates and Emirates Golf Club.