Another summer is upon us and the mercury is rising. It’s been a year of weather extremes, after some great winter golfing weather fresh and bright allowing for a short period of heavy rain and now a very hot June.
Iberia is experiencing record numbers of visitors with Malaga & Faro Airports showing double digit growth year on year.
Our recurring message to clients is to please plan further in advance to avoid disappointment in terms of preferred tee-times, availability of accommodation and higher prices. The yield managers are the new kingpins of the industry and in a market like this they excel at their jobs !!
And of course the larger the group the longer the lead-in required. The real limiting factor tends to be more accommodation both in Spain and Portugal and tee-times on the Algarve are really tight especially for October.
Finca Cortesin Golf Club
Among the many improvements taking place at Finca Cortesin this summer is an ambitious green renovation project will see the introduction of a new, environmentally-friendly, Ultra Dwarf Bermuda grass – the first golf course in Spain with this variety.
In addition, work will be carried out to improve the quality of the bunkers on the par-72 layout, while the renovation programme will also include an upgrade of Finca Cortesin’s driving range and state-of-the-art Jack Nicklaus Golf Academy, and the purchase of a new fleet of Club Car golf buggies, complete with the latest GPS technology.
Finca Cortesin already has a deserved reputation for delivering outstanding facilities and service to its guests,and I believe that the improvements that will take place over the coming months will help elevate the customer experience to an even higher level.”
Opened in March 2009 and set across a vast 532-acre estate, Finca Cortesin, which hosted the Volvo World Match Play Championship in 2009, 2011 and 2012, is regarded among Europe’s most exclusive modern golf and lifestyle destination resorts.
Atalaya Old Golf Club
And we are happy to announce that work at Atalaya Old course is now complete and the new first hole and starting area is up and running. Atalaya continues to be a favourite among our clients and probably has the highest level of repeat request of all our courses. Value for money and choice of the two course and the club-house facilities which had all ceramic floors and bathrooms thanks to the fact they learned how to drill by atlas tiles, and all make for a very positive Golf Experience.
Real Club de Golf Guadalmina – hosting Ladies Spanish Open
The Spanish Ladies Open will be held this year on the South course at Guadalmina.
Real Club de Golf Guadalmina, in San Pedro de Alcántara, Malaga, has been announced as the venue for the 2017 Andalucía Costa Del Sol Open de España Feminino, set to take place between 21 and 24 September. The tournament sponsors include the Tourism of Andalucía, Tourism Costa del Sol and Mancomunidad de Municipios of the Western Costa del Sol.
The Real Club de Golf Guadalmina will provide the fitting stage for the best players of the Ladies European Tour and will ensure that the tournament will once again be a great spectacle. The prestigious venue highlights the commitment to quality that originates from the Costa del Sol, one of the most respected golf destinations in Europe that is worldly renowned as the Costa del Golf.
Real Club Sotogrande
Real Club Sotogrande has now been open for 6 months following its complete overhaul and by all accounts (including some of our own staff) is probably the best golf experience to be had in Spain – especially for the average golfer. That is not to say that our colleagues are in any way “average” golfers – far from it but a wonderfully pleasant and not over-challenging experience where you are not losing balls ad infinitum.
The very understated atmosphere and flat course with its rich vegetation make Real Club Sotogrande a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Hotels & Resorts
Reopening of Fairplay Golf & Spa 5 star Resort
One of the first victims of the recent recession the 5 star Fairplay Golf & Spa resort has reopened which is a very positive and encouraging sign for golf in Andalucia. Located between Sotogrande and Jerez near the town of Medina-Sidonia and set in a rich rice growing region this is a very different experience and being off the Coast has a particular Spanish feel to it.
After nearly a year working in a full property refurbishment, we are delighted to confirm that Fairplay Golf & Spa Resort has now re-opened.
The opening will be in 2 phases. The hotel, restaurants and spa facilities are now up and running. Then in early September, the golf course will re-open (formerly known as Benalup Golf).
The resort will keep many of the distinguishing features such as the room styles, the awarded Fairplay Spa, All-Inclusive premium programme and a wide range of restaurants and bars.
This area has gone through a bigger upgrade including Los Acebuches Restaurant with stunning panoramic views to the Golf Course. On the other hand, the former Asia restaurant now rebranded Mar de Campo will play a leading role with the market cuisine and this will become our flagship for this new season. Mar de Campo will experience breathtaking views to La Janda Valley and Los Alcornocales Natural Park.
Fairplay Golf course will be ready for the golf high season. Several improvements have been undertaken in the golf course such as a new buggy path, a redesign process on a few greens and bunkers. There were improvements in the rest of the greens to make them more eye-catching.
The golf course will add a new top-flight practice tee to the facilities including a driving range, putting green chipping and approach.
Puente Romano Hotel – Marbella
Finally reopens with fully refurbished new (Location) reception, new pool etc. After a protracted refurbishment with planning issues delaying the completion of works the 5 star Puente Romano is up and running again.This hotel is now among the most desirable resorts on the Mediterranean.
Pierre et Vacances Properties Costa del Sol
Golf Experience has signed a contract to become a preferred agent of Pierre et Vacances’ 4 properties on the Costa del Sol:
- The Benalmadena Principe
- Hotel El Puerto Fuengirola
- Pierre & Vacances Estepona – formaly the Caladonian Golf Resort
- Village Club Manilva Terrazes Costa del Sol.
Pierre et Vacances Estepona
La Reserva de Sotogrande
Many of our clients have experienced the relatively new La Reserva Club Sotogrande which opened in 2003 and many will have played it once or twice and others might have it as a must play course on their itinerary.
In 2014 the Golf Club along with the entire portfolio of tourist and real Estate interest of Sotogrande SA which included Sotogrande Port and all its property, the two Almenara Hotels and golf course and vast swathes or prime adjoining land was sold by NH Hotels to an American Venture Capital fund. The sale price was €225m.
Since the takeover the club has gone through something of a metamorphosis and while it sent out confusing messages to the market for some time its future and its place in the market place is now clear. La Reserva Club Sotogrande has re-positioned itself very much at the summit of Europe’s Golf Experiences and is blazing a trail in terms of quality and excellence.
After a multi-million euro re-fit (many would say that the previous establishment was near perfect) to the course and clubhouse and a complete rethink in terms of service and culture the end product is probably the best Golf Experience not just in Spain but throughout Europe. La Reserva has taken the best of American standards of service and European style and culinary excellence and advanced the course manicuring to a standard probably only matched by its near neighbour Real club Valderrama. The end result is a World Class Golf & leisure Resort. Sotogrande is located a short 20 minutes from Gibraltar international Airport or 90 minutes from Malaga Airport.
To enter La Reserva now is a different experience than it was a short 18 months ago. It oozes exclusivity, service & discretion. Client reaction has been very positive. There is a certain wow factor as clients are over awed by the overall experience.
Such developments come at a price and while many may recall paying less than €150 for the pleasure of playing La Reserva you can probably add €100 to that price now for your round and buggy. At this price point La Reserva has isolated itself in the marketplace but it is comfortable with that as the logic would dictate that it is a unique product. Only Valderama is more expensive but then Valderrama is Valderrama!
So, we would encourage our European clients to consider La Reserva for your next trip. Perhaps as that one “Special” round that will leave you wanting to come back and try it again. Despite the increased green-fee we have some very special promotional prices agreed with La Reserva which we can pass on especially for those willing to book well in advance. Our long haul clients from the USA and Asia will automatically include La Reserva in their itinerary.
La Reserva de Sotogrande
Oceanico Dom Pedro Golf & Hotels
Dom Pedro Hotel Buy Oceanico Courses.
The big news from the Algarve is the purchase of the 5 Oceanica Vilamoura courses by a consortium lead by the Don Pedro Hotels in Vilamoura
The 5 courses are rebranded as:
Dom Pedro Old Coures
Dom Pedro Victoria
Dom Pedro Millennium
Dom Pedro Pinhal
Dom Pedro Laguna.
The new group will be building a new hotel on the site of the Old clubhouse on the Old course.
Dom Pedro already have 3 hotels in Vilamoura ; the Dom Pedro Vilamoura (Formally the Dom Pedro Golf Resort)
Dom Pedro Portabello (Self catering)
Dom Pedro Marina
Golf experience has contracted rooms at the recently refurbished Dom Pedro Vilamoura so expect to see this hotel incorporated more in our Algarve offerings.
Sixt Car-Hire Iberia
Golf Experience has become a partner with Sixt Car-Hire for locations outside of the Costa del Sol for Spain and Portugal. We continue to work exclusively with Espacar on the Costa del Sol. So for any car-hire requirement other than Malaga or Gibraltar contact us for discounted rates with Sixt.
Our contract with Sixt will allow us to offer cars from a multitude of locations throughout Iberia. Sixt is renowned for its high standard service and quality of higher spec vehicles.