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Teeing off: The most luxurious golf resorts in the UK and Europe

21 Jun 2024 | Updated on: 24 Jun 2024 |By Annie Lewis

Birdies and eagles, and perhaps even a hole in one? Here are the best hotels to tee off from in the UK and Europe

While golf resorts can now be found worldwide, the sport actually originated on the humble eastern coast of Scotland in the 15th century. Golf – with its culture and courses – has evolved enormously since then, when players would attempt to hit a pebble over sand dunes and around tracks using a bent stick. Given its the birthplace of the game, it’s unsurprising that Scotland is a top choice for globe-trotting golfers looking to book a round at historic clubs with five-star hotels to match. But for those looking to tee off on modern holes in sunnier climes, newer establishments in Portugal and Spain, and mountain-top courses in France, shouldn’t be overlooked. Discover the most luxurious golf resorts in the UK and Europe below. 

Rusacks St Andrews, Scotland

Rusacks St Andrews – a five-star hotel offering unrivalled panoramic views of the world’s oldest golf course – is a cornerstone in the sporting world. The renovated 19th-century estate is not only a home-from-home for those looking to explore the picturesque town of St Andrews, but also a historic playground for golfers. Featuring 120 Highlands-inspired rooms, head to the hotel’s rooftop restaurant, 18, led by celebrated chef Derek Johnstone for views of the 1st and 18th holes of the Old Course alongside delectable dining and hospitality infused with Scottish charm. 

Just moments from the hotel is the aforementioned Old Course, which will host the AIG Women’s Open in August 2024 for the third time. Steeped in 600 years of golfing history, this 18-hole course is famous for its landmark Swilcan Bridge and associations with Scottish golfer Old Tom Morris. Also within walking distance of Rusacks is the aptly named New Course – created in 1895 by Old Tom Morris and Benjamin Hall Blythe to help alleviate overcrowding on the Old Course – while there’s also the challenging, 18-hole Jubilee and 10 other nearby clubs and courses to take a swing at. Take your pick and enjoy. 

From £219 per night. 

Marine Troon, Scotland

Marine Troon is an 89-key hotel situated along the rural Ayrshire coast in the Scottish seaside town of Troon, offering recently revamped guest rooms, two foodie outlets and a state-of-the-art leisure centre that reopened in June 2024. Design throughout takes its cues from the area’s rich golfing history, complemented by decor nodding to the hotel’s coastal location, with soft hues and natural textures. Located by the Royal Troon golf course – and offering unobstructed views of the 1st and 18th fairways – the Men’s Open will be played here in 2024, marking the 101st anniversary of the first time it was hosted at Royal Troon Golf Club in 1923. 

Royal Troon’s renowned Old Course, on the same site as the hotel, is considered challenging for many reasons: the wind whips off the sea, the linksland terrain is typically undulating, while deep rough and bunkers abound for wayward shots – but that’s all part of the charm. Founded in 1878 and featuring 18 holes of increasing difficulty, it’s undoubtedly a bucket list course and a must-play while in Ayrshire. 

From £159 per night. 

Glenapp Castle, Scotland

Also gearing up for The Open at Royal Troon this July, Glenapp Castle is well-poised to host golf enthusiasts this summer and beyond. While the five-star hotel is offering transfers to The Open throughout the tournament, those who prefer playing rather than spectating can take advantage of South Ayrshire’s plethora of world-class golf courses, including Trump Turnberry, Dundonald Links, Prestwick and Western Gailes. For a more thrill-seeking golf adventure, take the Glenapp Boat to Machrihanish: a hidden gem on the south-westerly part of the Kintyre Peninsula famed for its fantastic golfing opportunities. 

Whether travelling individually or as a group, the hotel’s 21 lavish guestrooms have something for everyone. Larger groups should opt for the Penthouse Castle Suite – the largest in Scotland spanning the entire top floor of the Castle – which sleeps eight guests. Don’t miss a high-end dining experience at the 3 AA Rosette Castle Restaurant, and if you tire of the tees, the concierge desk can help whittle down a 70-strong activity list, including falconry, curling, stargazing and foraging, to keep you entertained. 

From £595 per night. 

The Montenotte, Ireland

montenotte cork

Offering guests panoramic views of Cork, The Montenotte is the ideal retreat for golf enthusiasts, being just a 15-minute drive from the prestigious Cork Golf Club. Built in an 18th-century Merchant Prince’s residence, this hotel blends historic charm with contemporary elegance featuring refined guest rooms with modern technology, luxury linen and indulgent amenities. Keep an eye out for the Woodland Suite Experience, launching later this year to offer a serene escape overlooking the river and port below. 

The Cork Golf Club, established in 1888, is one of Ireland’s most attractive courses. Situated on Little Island and renowned for its views across Cork Harbour, it boasts a challenging layout designed by famed golf course architect Alister MacKenzie and has hosted many major championships over the years, including the Irish Open. After a day on the greens, return to The Montenotte to unwind at one of the three distinct dining concepts, from Irish specialities at Panorama, to the newly-opened Glasshouse rooftop bar offering an eclectic, fun vibe. 

From £186 per night. 

Adare Manor, Ireland 

Masterfully designed and magnificently maintained, the golf course at Adare Manor is ready to take its place among the best championship courses in the world as it gears up to host the 2027 Ryder Cup. Triggering a flurry of excitement in the small, leafy village of Adare, the course has long-been a destination for well-heeled golfers who are happy to splash more than £500 on tee time – and has regularly been frequented by golfing greats such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Celebrated architect Tom Fazio was tasked by hotel owner and Irish billionaire JP McManus to revamp the award-winning course while preserving the lush, rolling terrain, mature tree-scaping, and the sweeping banks of the River Maigue. Plus, each hole has been entirely redesigned and reconstructed with the very latest technology and course innovations, creating a challenging and characterful playing experience for golfers of every level. 

Head back to the historic hotel – one of only two Forbes five-star rated properties in Ireland – to experience its renowned Old World glamour, modern features and Irish charm. Splash out on the Wyndham-Quin suite, which overlooks the manicured gardens while boasting high ceilings, carved wood panelling, stucco detailing and king-sized beds spread across a lounge, bedroom, walk-in wardrobe and spacious bathroom with Acqua di Parma amenities. Later, get lost in the variety of stately rooms, from The Long Gallery and the Michelin-starred Oak Room to the Tack Room for a wee dram to top off the evening. 

From £517 per night. 

Four Seasons Megève, France

Fancy teeing off while enjoying panoramic views of Mont Blanc? Golf enthusiasts asked and the Four Seasons Megève delivered. Undeniably the best location in Europe for alpine golfing, the Mont d’Arbois 18-hole course is located above the village of Megève at an altitude of 1,320m, and can be accessed directly from the five-star hotel. It’s the oldest mountain golf course in the world, opened by Noémie de Rothschild in the 1920s and then redesigned by three-time British open champion Sir Henry Cotton. So, what’s the USP? The gentle slope of this par 72 allows players to enjoy an energetic swing, while being surrounded by a unique panorama of Mont Joly and the Aravis range. Tick, tick, tick. 

Meanwhile, overlooking the 17th hole, guests staying at Four Seasons Hotel Megève can sample new spa treatments – facials with Snö Eternelle, curated by mogul skiing world champion Raphaëlle Monod Sjöström, are a highlight – and refined plates from the world’s most celebrated female chef, Anne Sophie Pic, at La Dame De Pic.

From £527 per night. 

The Machrie, Scotland

The Machrie, Scotland

Set in the dunes of Islay, The Machrie is a stylish base for golfers looking to tee off on the wild Scottish isle. Home to a championship course, golf has been played here since 1891, with the original design by Scottish pro Willie Campbell. The 18-hole course has since been modernised by course architect David Russell and is played on unique dunelands bordering the Laggan Bay. Alongside the 18 hole links, The Wee Course offers six par-3 holes which can be played from a multitude of tees, an all-season, five-bay driving range, golf simulator room, trackman and short game area. When it comes to downtime, pick from 47 beautifully-designed rooms, three cosy lounges and restaurant 18 – overlooking the 18th hole of the golf course – which serves delectable cuisine that celebrates the best Scottish produce.

From £133 per night. 

Bahía del Duque, Tenerife

Bahía del Duque

Nestled on the Spanish shore and fringed by the Atlantic Ocean in one of the most prestigious areas of Tenerife, Bahía del Duque guarantees a sunshine-filled escape with an award-winning spa ‘universe’ (think thalassotherapy circuit and physiotherapy studios) to complement its extensive golf offering – so guests truly get the best of both worlds. Surrounding the five-star hotel are three renowned courses, including Golf Costa Adeje – an 18-hole course surrounded by natural palm trees, ravines, and volcanic rock formations, as well as a driving range, clubhouse, academy, and pro shop.  

Elsewhere, Golf Las Americas – another 18-hole championship golf course only 15 minutes’ drive from Bahía del Duque – caters to beginners as well as expert golfers with its fresh green fairways, palm trees, lakes, and strategically-placed bunkers. Finally, the critically-acclaimed Abama golf course is deemed to be one of the finest in Spain, crafted to test and surprise all golfers, no matter their level of expertise. Happy golfing! 

From £300 per night. 

Vila Vita Parc, Portugal

A member of Leading Hotels Of The World, Vila Vita Parc is a clifftop-hugging resort in the Algarve designed in a fusion of contemporary and traditional styles. The guest rooms and suites offer serene seascapes and vistas across landscaped gardens, while wellness fans can indulge in the first Sisley-branded spa in Portugal.

With an ideal balmy climate that allows guests to play throughout the year and a wide variety of almost 48 courses, the region is a golfer’s paradise. The creme de la creme, however, is the nearby Faldo and O’Connor courses. Designed by Sir Nick Faldo with strategic play in mind, these two championship courses demand careful positioning to score well, while cacti, wild herbs, ancient olive trees and desert scrub bunkers of crushed limestone give the courses plenty of character. Need to brush up on your swing? The resident golf pro at Vila Vita Parc is on hand to help guests to improve their technique throughout their stay. 

From £280 per night. 

Evian Resort, France

Evian Resort has a long history as an unrivalled retreat for wellbeing and natural beauty. The resort’s beating heart, the five-star Hotel Royal, promises awe-inspiring views of the lake and mountains, the only Evian Spa in Europe, and, of course, an award-winning golf course. Situated between the shores of Lake Geneva and majestic mountains is a course steeped in an illustrious history dating back to 1904, which will host the 30th edition of the annual Amundi Evian Championship this July. 

Promising the latest innovative technology, book into Evian Resort’s Golf Academy to train and tee off in the most majestic surroundings. Open to all levels and ages, the academy offers unmatched expert technology across TopTracer and Trackman Range, plus professional training from former champions and seasonal professional teachers. Lessons can be arranged on-site or with Hotel Royal and Hotel Ermitage’s dedicated concierge teams.

From £345 per night.

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