Happy Valentine's Day: some of my favorite golf resorts for couples
If this evening’s Valentine’s Day dinner conversation turns from romance to golf travel, I’ve gone through some of my recent resort stays and sorted out the best from a couple’s perspective.
Of course, practically all of Maui is built for couples, click here for my column on how some of the island’s courses make the dating grade.
Myrtle Beach: Accommodations at the relatively new, Mediterranean-themed Marina Inn at Grande Dunes is a luxurious, major step up from the average Grand Strand hotel. For golf, you can choose between the scenic Resort course atop the Intracoastal Waterway. But according to my forecaddie, Roger & Debbie Clemens enjoyed a round at the exclusive Member’s Club (which is available to resort guests).
Orlando: If you’re hoping to avoid families in the Kiddie Capital, look no further than the new Waldorf Astoria Resort at Bonnet Creek, one of the city’s most luxurious stays that is geared towards a clientele that has outgrown green gooze. And good news is that rates aren’t nearly as expensive as the New York City Waldorf, starting at $279 per night including unlimited golf.
Scottsdale: Most of the resorts in Scottsdale are aimed at couples and spa retreats. My favorite spa in the area is the Golden Door Spa at the Boulders Resort. The spa has both indoor and outdoor areas and offers a variety of treatments and free fitness classes. But the best rooms I’ve seen in the area are in the Gold Wing of the Fairmont Princess next to the TPC Scottsdale. 600 to 1,500-square-foot digs are complete with two flat screen TVs, large marble bathrooms and private balconies to take in a morning espresso made from your in-room machine.
Tucson: The Omni Tucson National is great because it’s much smaller than the other, larger name brand hotels in Tucson. The property’s centerpiece is a small but stylish pool area and you shouldn’t have to fight over a cabana spot or chase off rug rats. The next door golf club also has fantastic restaurant, Bob’s Steakhouse, that overlooks the 18th hole and is a great sunset spot for a drink - or a big hunk of Texas steak.
Canadian Rockies: The remote Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge isn’t much like other more urban-centric Fairmont properties I’ve visited. This quiet resort is spread out in small lodges and cabins beside a lake in spectacular mountain scenery. The golf course, a classic by Stanley Thompson, is as gorgeous as there is in the world, but not too tough, either. I’d recommend an early evening bike ride after dinner throughout forested pathways to get an even better sense of just how isolated you are up here.
Lake Tahoe/Truckee: Cedar House Sport Hotel is a functional and modern, European-style boutique hotel a mile from downtown Truckee, a kiddie name with a grown-up golf scene. This hip little downtown has some great restaurants, like Moody’s Bistro, which featured live jazz the night we stopped in.
Or, if you want one of Tahoe’s ultimate splurges, stay at the new, mountaintop Ritz-Carlton Highlands.
Michigan: A lot of the resorts up here are great for golf groups, but the Inn at Bay Harbor is the obvious couple’s pick. The Victorian-style property has some large rooms with private balconies overlooking Lake Michigan, and has the area’s best beach to be at sunset.
Kauai: St. Regis Princeville. If you’ve got the cash to stay at this new North Shore luxury resort overlooking Bali Hai, the small beach is one of the most picture-perfect spots I’ve ever seen. The new Makai Golf Club at St. Regis Princeville even has a nine-hole Woods course for more casual round compared to the renovated 18-hole course.
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For me, i'd go for Tucson. I don't know why. I just love the name. :)
But be sure to develop in site.