The Greenbrier, United States
The Greenbrier, United States
Among West Virginia's rolling fields and white picket fences, the abundance of naturally sulphurous springs meant that the region drew wealthy spa visitors from the 18th century on. The Greenbrier, which has its own spring, was one of the main attractions, and underwent a series of increasingly lavish developments. These included an 18-hole golf course in 1913 (there are now several and a golf academy), a rebuild in 1922 and, in the 1940s, the addition of interiors styled by the Kelly Hoppen of the day, Dorothy Draper. The most notorious addition came in the 1950s when a US government bunker was built under the hotel.
The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (001 304 536 1110; www.greenbrier.com). Doubles from $502 (£264), half-board
Villa d'Este, Italy
With its Italianate gardens, antique furnishings and floating swimming pool, you might wonder whether you've brought your clubs to the right place. This grand old hotel is so close to Lake Como that you can practically feel the water lapping at the end of your bed. Built in 1568 as a private residence, it was turned into a hotel in the 19th century. For golfers, the main attraction is, naturally, the prestigious Villa d'Este 18-hole golf course nearby.
Villa d'Este, 40 Via Regina, Como, Cernobbio (00 39 031 3481; www.villadeste.it). Doubles from €465 (£332), including breakfast
One & Only, Palmilla Mexico
After opening in 1956, the Palmilla soon attracted the rich and famous. Now, after an $80m revamp, it's set to pull in a starry crowd again (not least for the in-room telescopes provided for guests). Set on the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Palmilla is the perfect hotel for golf enthusiasts with less enthusiastic partners. While players can make the most of a Jack Nicklaus-designed course, the rest of the hotel is anything but the usual bland golf resort. Swish day beds lie beside the azure Pacific Ocean, an infinity pool dips into some Frida Kahlo-style landscaping, and red-tiled roofs and quirky furnishings give the hotel an appealing "old" Mexico feel.
One & Only Palmilla, San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico (00 52 624 146 7000; www.oneandonlyresorts.com). Doubles from $413 (£217), room only
Rift Valley Lodge, Kenya
Recommended only for those golfers with the ability to focus on the game at hand - anyone else is likely to be distracted by the scenery at the lodge's 18-hole course. Situated on the Eburu Escarpment, overlooking Lake Naivasha, the Aberdare mountains and the Great Rift Valley, the resort boasts one of the most spectacular views on the continent. As well as golf, guests are encouraged to take horseback or walking safaris, or to spend some time birdwatching.
Great Rift Valley Lodge, Eburu Escarpment, Lake Naivasha, Kenya (bookable in the UK through the Ultimate Travel Company on 020-7386 4646; www.heritagehotels.co.ke). Doubles from £94, full-board
The Old Course Hotel, Scotland
One for the traditionalists, the hotel overlooks the infamous 17th hole of the Old Course on the edge of St Andrews. It may be within putting distance of the home of golf but don't go expecting ancient baronial splendour. This is a purpose-built resort. While lavish renovations mean it boasts five stars (as well as six bars and restaurants and a spa), the building's history stretches back only 37 years. The views of the Fife coastline are almost as big a draw as the golf.
The Old Course Hotel, St Andrews, Scotland (01334 474371; www.oldcoursehotel.co.uk). Doubles from £316, including breakfast.Reuse content