Overseas: Golf havens

From spas to shops, today's golf courses have to offer extra facilities to keep pulling in the big hitters
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The Independent Online

As golf grows in popularity, developers worldwide have caught on to building overseas properties with golfing facilities on site. But today's demanding buyers have more on their wish lists than golf. Developments must now boast every kind of facility to ensure that even those who are not golfing fanatics are happy.

Margaret and John Law, both 68, from Stafford are about to retire permanently to Portugal. Margaret stopped playing golf some years ago while John is keen to spend his retirement enjoying as much golf as possible. The couple have bought a new townhouse at CampoReal near Lisbon where Margaret feels she will enjoy many leisure opportunities. "I'm getting older but I like being able to catch the train and explore. It's a lovely area and the beaches are spectacular but I'm hoping that there will be a real community on the development which will have a five-star hotel and lots of amenities for those of us who don't play golf."

As well as a five-star Westin hotel and spa, CampoReal also has an equestrian centre, tennis courts, shopping centre, pools, and the championship golf course. Apartments start from £136,000 for two bedrooms, townhouses are from £212,000, with villas at around £310,000. A shuttle service operates to central Lisbon where Margaret intends to go shopping and to the theatre, but she hopes to take full advantage of resort facilities too.

Another golfing resort renowned for pampering facilities is Aphrodite Hills, 10 miles east of Paphos in Cyprus. The development boasts an 18-hole golf course designed by American architect Cabell B Robinson; players of all abilities are encouraged to learn and improve at the resort's academy, instruction is by PGA-qualified professionals, and the resort also has a large, double-ended driving range.

But there are plenty of options for non-golfers, including spa and health club facilities, an Intercontinental Hotel, a tennis academy, jogging and cycling trails, swimming pools, shops and even an art gallery. The latest phase, Theseus Village, sits on a hill next to the golf academy but is in the style of a Cypriot village with shops, restaurants and bars nearby. Prices for apartments start from CY£170,000 (£203,000) up to CY£380,000 (£455,000) for villas.

On South Africa's Garden Route, on the eastern head of Knysna, Pezula is attracting interest from buyers who want more than a golf resort. It features an 18-hole championship course but it's hard to imagine a more striking setting as the development sits on a clifftop with Indian ocean views and is surrounded by forests and beaches. At the heart of the development is a five-star hotel and spa - which, last year, was voted best spa in South Africa - with a pool, gym, sauna and steam room, and hair salon. Future activities include an equestrian centre, tennis, cricket and football.

And sometimes location itself can be enough to satisfy a non-golf-playing partner. Andrew Robson, managing director of Newfound Property International in Canada says, "I would defy anyone to get bored at Humber Valley Resort at any time of year but, when the skis and snowmobiles are packed away for another season, one of the most impressive natural playgrounds in the world emerges from under the snow."

From spring to autumn, golf is the major attraction at Humber Valley, which opens its full 18 holes this summer, but its location in the heart of Newfoundland near Gros Morne National Park and the 35 kms of Deer Lake provide endless activity. You can sail, jet-ski, windsurf, water-ski,bike and hike through unspoiled terrain or enjoyboat trips in the fjords which, at certain times of the year, turn into whale-watching experiences.

Another Canadian resort, minutes from Lac Tremblant and near the fairways of Le Géant Golf Course, is attracting buyers who want golf at hand but other amenities on site. One-, two- and three-bedroom properties are for sale at Tremblant-Les-Eaux with views of ski trails and forest, and the development has outdoor lap pools and hot tubs. Skiing, hiking, mountain biking, fishing and boating are a short ride away as are many restaurants and shops. Prices start from CDN$355,000 (£171,000).

And on the shores of Ouimet in Mont-Tremblant, Québec, Le Grand Lodge, a four-star boutique hotel with properties ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments, gives buyers plenty of options and flexibility. The hotel fronts 800ft of private lakefront and sandy beach. Canoeing, tennis, mountain biking and fishing are within easy reach and the on-site spa offers treatments from volcanic stone to Swedish style massages. Priced from £92,700, owners get 6 per cent rental return for two years and 36 days personal use annually.

But anyone seeking a total resort closer to home will be pleased with the recent launch of Le Roc in the French Riviera. Prices are from €280,000 (£192,000) up to €1.8m (£1.2m) and buyers get not only a five-star resort with two world-class golf courses, but facilities such as pools, spas and tennis courts , how could you ever get bored?

CampoReal (0800 0835300; www.camporeal.pt) and Le Grand Lodge (0800 0835201; www.premierlegrandlodge.co.uk) are for sale through Premier Resorts:

Pezula: 00 27 44 302 5332; www.pezula.com

Aphrodite Hills is for sale through Knight Frank: 020-7629 8171; www.aphroditehills.com.

Humber Valley is for sale through Newfound Property International: 020-8605 9520; www.newfoundproperty.com

Tremblant-Les-Eaux is for sale through Erna Low: 020-7590 1624; www.ernalowproperty.co.uk

Le Roc is for sale through Assetz: 0161 456 5000; www.assetz.co.uk