No.21 Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire (NEW ENTRY)
Rooms & Suites: 16 Price: From £205 Courses: 2 – Melbourne, Palmerston W: brocket-hall.co.uk Best for: Luxury, Small Groups, Couples
Set in 543 acres of mature parkland, Brocket Hall is a striking English stately home. Although a hall has stood on the site since the mid-13th Century, the current building dates from 1760. There’s luxurious accommodation available in Melbourne Lodge, formerly the hall’s stable block. The estate’s old hunting lodge is now a fantastic restaurant Auberge du Lac. The two courses are named after the two Prime Ministers who once resided at the Hall – Messrs Melbourne and Palmerston.
No.22 Dromoland Castle
, Co. Clare (2008 position 15)
Rooms & Suites: 98 Price: €250 Courses: 1 W: dromoland.ie Best for: Luxury, Couples, Small Groups
Dromoland Castle just north of Limerick is one of the most imposing Baronial Castles in Ireland. Ancestral home of the O’Briens, the family lived there between 1551 and 1962. The course at Dromoland has been in existence since 1962, but the track has been altered dramatically in recent years. The revamped layout is the work of the late JB Carr and Ron Kirby. The owners have invested over €5 million in the project. The stunning castle grounds provide a playground for those interested in outdoor activities and guests can enjoy fishing, falconry, horse riding and clay pigeon shooting. Those who like to put their feet up and take it easy can enjoy the intimate luxury health spa which consists of six treatment rooms, two dedicated manicure and pedicure rooms and an outdoor hydro spa covered with a gazebo so that it can be used throughout the entire year.
No.23 Rockliffe Hall, County Durham (NEW ENTRY)
Rooms & Suites: 61 Price: £185 Courses: 1 W: rockliffehall.com Best for: Luxury, Couples, Families, Small Groups
Just south of Darlington in County Durham, Rockliffe Hall dates from 1774. It’s been a hospital and community centre, but, after extensive renovations and expansion, is now an impressive hotel resort and spa with a top-quality golf course attached. With beautifully finished rooms in a variety of styles, food by double Michelin star winning Kenny Atkinson and a 50,000 square foot spa, Rockliffe Hall is a highly impressive destination. Set over 350-acres and on the banks of the River Tees, the course is one of the longest and most testing in England – it stretches to almost 7,900 yards from the very back tees. But, don’t fear – there are a variety of teeing options to suit players of all standards so no matter your skill you will be able to enjoy your golfing experience.
No.24 Marriott Forest of Arden, Warwickshire (2008 position 22)
Rooms & Suites: 214 Price: £157 Courses: 2 – Arden, Aylesford W: marriottgolf.co.uk Best for: Value, Small Groups, Big Groups
One of Marriott’s flagship UK establishments, the centrally located Forest of Arden has recently undergone a £5million renovation to nearly all areas, including all 214 rooms. The championship Arden and shorter Aylesford courses were both designed by Donald Steel, with the former hosting several European tour events, most recently the 2005 British Masters won by ‘man of the moment’ Thomas Björn. The players rated the course, with its fearsome long par-3 finale, highly. The Cedarwood spa offers a bewildering array of treatments, while The AA Rosette Oaks Bar and Grill provides a wonderful fine dining experience.
No.25 The Heritage, County Laois (2008 position 17)
Rooms & Suites: 107 Price: €229 Courses: 2 – Championship, Leix W: theheritage.com Best for: Luxury, Couples, Small Groups
A hour southwest of Dublin, The Heritage is an impressive golf and spa resort with an excellent Seve Ballesteros and Jeff Howes designed golf course at its heart. The Slieve Bloom Mountains serve as an imposing backdrop to this high-quality parkland track. It’s a layout that demands careful course management with water on 10 holes. Guests can stay in one of the opulent rooms or suites, or in one of the estate’s apartments or houses.
No.26 Foxhills, Surrey (2088 position 19)
Rooms & Suites: 68 Price: £170 Courses: 3 – Bernard Hunt, Longcross, Manor W: foxhills.co.uk Best for: Luxury, Couples, Small Groups
Just 20-minutes from Heathrow, Foxhills can boast two 18-hole layouts and also a short nine-hole par-3 course. Set over a 440-acre estate, the resort features a health club, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis and squash courts and a state-of-the-art gym. Accommodation is in one of the individually decorated rooms or suites while the Manor Restaurant delivers a variety of dining options from a lunch buffet to a Sunday carvery.
No.27 Goodwood, West Sussex (2008 position 23)
Rooms & Suites: 94 Price: £217 Courses: 2 – Downland, Park W: goodwood.co.uk Best for: Couples, Families, Small Groups
There’s possibly no play and stay venue that can boast such an abundance of off-course activities as Goodwood. The Estate is famous for its racecourse and for motorsport, but there’s also a flying school, sailing and fishing. Golf has been played at Goodwood since the late 19th Century and there are now two golf courses. The Goodwood Hotel provides chic and contemporary accommodation as well as an excellent health club.
No.28 Portmarnock Hotel
& Golf Links, Co. Dublin (2008 position 29)
Rooms & Suites: 138 Price: €254 Courses: 1 W: portmarnock.com Best for: Value, Couples, Small Groups, Big Groups
The Bernhard Langer-designed Portmarnock Links plays over part of the estate of the Jameson family of whiskey fame. The original nine-hole course built back in 1858 has long since gone, but the German has incorporated part of that layout into his design. The Oceana beauty salon provides myriad treatment options, or you may simply prefer an early evening stroll along the beach before retiring to eat in the Osborne Brasserie or recently refurbished Jameson Bar.
No.29 Macdonald Spey Valley, Inverness-shire (NEW ENTRY)
Rooms & Suites: 421 Price: From £165 Course: 1 W: macdonaldhotels.co.uk/aviemore Best for: Value, Couples, Small Groups, Big Groups
Set in breathtaking scenery with incredible views of the Cairngorm Mountains. Part of the Macdonald Aviemore Resort, this is a testing layout that travels through the pine trees and heather along the banks of the sparkling River Spey. There are numerous outdoor activities to try, from mountain biking to kayaking. The resort also boasts a superb leisure centre and swimming pool with flumes and wave machine.
No.30 Fota Island,
Cork (2008 position 21)
Rooms & Suites: 138 Price: €163 Courses: 3 routings – Deerpark, Belvelly, Barryscourt W: fotaisland.ie Best for: Luxury, Couples, Families, Small Groups
There are three excellent nine-hole courses at the Fota Island resort which combine to make up the Deerpark, Belvelly and Barryscourt routings. The first of those was the venue for the Irish Opens of 2001 and 2002 won by Colin Montgomerie and Søren Hansen. Set at the heart of Fota Island’s impressive 780-acre estate, the courses wind through attractive woodland past strategic bunkering and a number of well-placed water hazards. The resort has excellent practice facilities and a renowned golf academy. The Fota Island hotel delivers five star luxury, a spa with 18 treatment rooms and even all-weather tennis courts. Don’t miss Fota Wildlife Park where there are cheetah, giraffe, ostrich and zebra among the many animals on show.