The UK and Ireland offer the finest golf courses in the world. Whether a golfer prefers Links or Parkland courses, we have sought out some of the finest places to enjoy a luxurious break and indulge in the fine art of golf.
Links House, Dornoch
Links House has the enviable location of being situated right next to the first tee on the spectacular championship course, Royal Dornoch. However remote and beautiful, the region is one of Scotland’s finest for unparalleled golfing opportunities. Within 20 minutes drive lie several other challenging classic courses, such as Brora, Golspie, Tain and Castle Stuart; in addition there are little-known hidden golfing gems nearby, such as Moray and Cullen, for guests to appreciate.
Once you’ve enjoyed your memorable golfing days, return to the luxurious and opulent Links House to unwind in one of the graciously elegant public rooms of this classic Highland manor house. Take a wee dram in front of the peat fire in the Drawing Room or Library, partake of a wonderful Afternoon Tea or simply relax in the beautifully appointed Drawing Room. Practice your putting on the green just outside the front door, or ask the staff to arrange alternative entertainment on offer, such as a distillery tour.
Dine in the exquisite restaurant, where the chef draws inspiration from the finest local and seasonal Highland produce, from venison, lamb or beef to locally acquired shellfish, trout and salmon. The wine cellar offers fantastic choice, as does the collection of malt whiskies. Once replete, retire to your luxuriously comfortable bedroom – rooms here combine the finest traditional and antique décor with the highest levels of modern comfort and supremely well –appointed bathrooms. Breakfast is delightful, setting you up well for your next golfing challenge. The staff are exceptional, offering a remarkable level of service. Links House is a truly fine place to stay, in a simply stunning golfing location, well worth the journey for a memorable golf break.
The Ugadale Hotel, Machrihanish
Machrihanish has long been considered one of the truly “must play” courses of Scotland, if not the world, designed by Old Tom Morris himself. The neighbouring Machrihanish Dunes course, much more recently crafted, has also earned an international reputation. The Ugadale Hotel, conveniently located for both courses, is a hidden gem of comfortable and luxurious accommodation, geared towards the discerning golfer.
Golfers may not only play at the Machrihanish courses – world renowned, Royal Troon, Turnberry, Prestwick and Western Gailes are within driving distance. Guests could even hop on a ferry over to Northern Ireland and partake of rounds at Portstewart or Royal Portrush. Of course, there are also lesser-known, but wonderfully challenging local courses too, such as Machrie on Islay and Shiskine on Arran.
As for the hotel itself, both within the main building and adjacent Cottages, the large rooms are finished to highest standard, with exceptional bathrooms – of particular note are the powerful showers and luxurious baths– perfect to destress tired muscles after a long day on the course. With an onsite Spa, a weary golfer could also book a massage to take this to the next level. Beds are extremely comfortable, the amenities are luxurious, and the views from the windows are stunning. Breakfast is excellent, and for dinner choose between the fine-dining Kintyre Restaurant or the more informal Old Clubhouse Pub – the food is excellent in both; the courtesy bus can transport you to the Royal Hotel, a sister site a few miles away if you wish to try something different. Staff are extremely friendly and helpful, and are passionate about the surrounding area. Nothing is too much trouble at all, and a short golfing break at The Ugadale Hotel and rounds on the stunning local courses may well prove to be one of the sporting highlights of a golfer’s experience.
Dromoland Castle, Co Clare, Ireland
Dromoland Castle is an absolutely stunning luxurious hotel from which to enjoy some of the finest golf the West of Ireland can offer. As well as the stunning Dromoland Course, one of the finest parkland courses in the country, only a short drive away lies Lahinch, and slightly further you will find are Doonbeg, Ballybunion and Tralee Golf Courses. Not only is Dromoland an immaculate course, the practice facility is state of the art, with nine driving range bays, a fully enclosed teaching bay, excellent teeing areas, impressive Putting Green, Bunker and Chipping Greens. For a golfer, Dromoland Castle offers a unique experience of the finest facilities and a truly glorious golf course.
After an excellent day on the course, the Castle offers the most luxurious and opulent accommodation- sumptuous bedrooms and truly exquisite bathrooms, incredibly comfortable beds, all meticulously appointed to make for the most enjoyable and comfortable stay. Make use of the indulgent Spa facilities and enjoy the delightful Cocktail Bar located in the former Library. Diners are spoilt for choice – for something lighter take Afternoon Tea or dine in The Gallery or for a more formal occasion visit the renowned Earl of Thomond Restaurant. Whichever you choose, you can be assured of the finest local ingredients prepared by a talented team. Service is always exceptional – and combined with a magical and luxurious setting and the finest golfing opportunities, Dromoland Castle will provide the most memorable of golfing breaks.
Ardtara Country House, Northern Ireland
For those wanting a more intimate luxurious place to stay, Ardtara Country House is an award-winning hotel less than 45 minutes’ drive from three of the best links courses in Northern Ireland – Portstewart with its three mighty courses, Royal Portrush with its famous professional members and two fine courses and Castlerock, a hidden links gem. For nearby parkland courses, golfers can also choose Galgorm or Gracehill, both with driving ranges.
The hotel has nine beautifully furnished bedrooms most with an original working fireplace, and elegant bathrooms boasting powerful showers. Amenities are luxurious and beds are absurdly comfortable. Unwind in the Drawing Room or relax in the bar lounge, both beautifully decorated. Breakfast offers a wide choice, cooked to order and ample to set you up for a day of golf. If you return early from the course, why not try the Ardtara Afternoon Tea – offering a contemporary twist on the classic. And for dinner, a very fine meal may be enjoyed, with the chef changing the menu daily to showcase the very finest local produce. The service is of a very high standard, professional yet friendly and relaxed – Ardtara House is real hidden gem, in a beautiful setting and with an outstanding dining experience, and in an ideal location to enjoy a marvellous golfing experience in Northern Ireland.
The Lodge at Prince’s, Kent
The renowned Prince’s Golf Club hosted the Open in 1932 and is steeped in golfing history with its 27 holes over The Shore, The Dunes and The Himalayas nines. Just a short distance away lie the Royal Cinque Port Golf Course and Royal St Georges Golf Club, both also having played hosts to many Championships, including The Open several times. All three are regarded as some of the finest Links courses in England, and some of the great golfing challenges of the world.
With three such stunning courses so close to hand, a discerning golfer might choose to stay at The Lodge at Prince’s. Rooms and suites are stylish and comfortable, with all the amenities designed with the golfer in mind. Rooms are spacious and enjoy stunning views out to sea or across the course. Enjoy drinks on the Sun Terrace on a sunny evening, or relax in the Lounge Bar should the weather be less clement. For dinner, the 2AA Rosette Brasserie on the Bay offers the highest quality cuisine using local and seasonal produce to showcase the fine ingredients the area offers. Breakfast is excellent, setting you up for a day enjoying memorable rounds allowing the astute golfer the amazing opportunity to tick off three of the “must-play” fine courses of their bucket list.
Bron Eifion Country House, Wales
This Country House Hotel offers a luxurious base from which to enjoy a golf break in Wales. Within half an hour’s drive lie Abersoch, Porthmadog, Pwllheli and Nefyn Golf Clubs, and slightly further away one can experience Royal St David’s and Aberdovey – this area of Wales really is a golfer’s paradise.
Although not a dedicated golfer’s hotel, Bron Eifion is a truly special to stay and to enjoy the finest Welsh hospitality. Rooms are spacious and incredibly comfortable, classically designed and appointed but with all the modern comforts. Enjoy the roaring fires whilst sampling the impressive Gin Menu, or relax with a coffee out on the Terrace on a sunny day. Breakfast is extensive and delightful, and for dinner the Garden Restaurant offers something for all tastes, using the freshest and finest Welsh ingredients. Staff are friendly and courteous, the venue beautiful and the gardens are picturesque. Bron Eifion presents a fine place from which to explore the finest golf courses and their challenges that the region has to offer.
Bovey Castle, Dartmoor
Originally designed in 1926 to rival its then sister courses Gleneagles and Turnberry, the Championship Course at Bovey Castle is a beautiful yet challenging course, and eminently enjoyable to play. With a driving range, golf academy and fully equipped clubhouse, Bovey Castle offers a truly well-rounded golfing experience in the south-west of England. The clubhouse staff takes care of everything, leaving you to simply enjoy the memorable course.
The Castle is a stunning Country House Hotel set in the magnificent countryside in Devon, with rooms individually designed and furnished to the highest levels of luxury. Beds are extremely comfortable and amenities are elegant. Diners are spoilt for choice with both the outstanding fine dining Great Western Restaurant and the more casual yet still delicious Brasserie. Afternoon Tea can be served either inside or on fine days, outside on the South Terrace. The Spa offers an ideal place to unwind and relax those aching muscles after a day on the course, a peaceful haven before perhaps indulging in cocktails and canapes before dinner. Staff are attentive and professional, and there other activities on offer should you wish to have a break from golf. All in all, a beautiful and luxurious break will be enjoyed by any golfer lucky enough to stay at Bovey Castle.