South Africa is a playground for golfing holidays, with pristine courses appearing almost everywhere from the coastline to the heart of the bush. Here is a selection of the country’s top golf resorts that cater to golfers, but also offer excellent spa facilities to their partners who prefer to spend their holidays off the greens, blogs Marcel Van de Ghinste.
Situated in George, South Africa’s “Golfing Capital” on the Garden Route, Fancourt is South Africa’s leading golf resort. Fancourt consists of 3 originally designed Gary Player courses that rank in the country’s Top 20, namely The Links (ranked No. 1 in South Africa by Golf Digest SA and No. 34 in the world by the USA Golf Digest in 2014), Montagu, and Outeniqua. Gary Player has often referred to The Links as his greatest design feat.
Non-golfers can unwind with a hot stone massage or enjoy a swim in the heated Roman Bath at the Fancourt Spa. The 4 elements – air, water, fire, and earth – form the basis of all treatments, which are inspired by rituals from around the world. Guests can also indulge in a number of facilities including a steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi, and tepidarium.
The Fancourt Hotel blends modern luxury and classic elegance, offering tastefully decorated rooms and suites. Guests can also choose to stay in the 150 year-old Manor House, a National Monument that has been remodelled into boutique hotel of old-world and new-world elegance.
Hans Merensky Hotel & Spa
Golf in the wild at Hans Merensky Hotel & Spa, a 4-star establishment that hugs the fairways of the Hans Merensky Golf Estate in Phalaborwa. The Hans Merensky Championship Golf Course is a Bob Grimsdell designed course that borders the Kruger National Park and extends into the bush where wildlife like giraffe, zebra, warthog, and antelope have right of way and create unusual obstacles for your game.
The Hans Merensky Hotel offers a combination of hotel rooms, chalets, self-catering family units, and Junior Suites. The IndulgeSenses Spa will leave you feeling rejuvenated with treatments ranging from manicures and massages, to luxurious milk baths.
Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa
Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa is a serene haven in Knysna, a popular resort town on the Garden Route. Pezula Golf Club is one of South Africa’s most beautiful courses, enjoying prime position on the top of Knysna’s East Head and offering sweeping views over the Indian Ocean, Knysna Lagoon, and forested mountains in the distance. Even the resident pro will argue that it isn’t fair to expect players to concentrate on the game with such stunning views.
Guests at Conrad Pezula enjoy exclusive access to fitness and leisure amenities, including the gym, heated pool, whirlpool, sauna, and steam room. Signature Treatments at Pezula Spa harness age-old remedies of nature and offer a unique fusion of therapies. Massages, wraps, scrubs, steam baths, milk baths, and hydrotherapy create a sensory experience that will bring you to total relaxation and serenity.
A variety of exquisite accommodation is available, from one-bedroom suites to two-bedroom villas, and a 3-bedroom castle on the edge of the secluded Noetzie beach.
Arabella Hotel & Spa
Arabella Hotel & Spa is a 5-star retreat in the heart of one of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, one of the world’s richest flower kingdoms. Each room leads to a private terrace or balcony overlooking the pristine grounds, swimming pool, Kogelberg Mountains, or Bot River Lagoon. Elegant restaurants and bars offer the finest wining and dining experience.
The Arabella Golf Course consistent ranks in South Africa’s Top 5 courses and currently holds the title of Top Golf Course in the Western Cape. As Augusta has Amen Corner, so Arabella has the Turn. Holes 3, 4, and 5 create this sequence of most challenging holes and if you Par the Arabella Turn on gross score you are entitled to a complimentary round of golf.
The Arabella Spa fuses traditional Far Eastern and Western knowledge with innovative beauty products of the highest international quality. The spa hosts the world’s first African Rainforest Experience, a sensory water and steam treatment inspired by African rains. Guests can also indulge in the various pools, sauna, and steam room. No children under 16 are permitted in the spa.
Selborne Hotel, Golf Estate & Spa
Selborne Hotel, Golf Estate & Spa is a boutique hotel offering old colonial charm and discreet personalised service in the seaside town of Pennington, on the sunny KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. Selborne’s comfortable accommodation ranges from the stately luxury suites to cosy standard rooms.
Situated on the “Golf Coast”, the superb 18-hole course offers beautiful subtropical scenery as golfers weave their way along manicured fairways and coastal forest. Compleat Golfer awarded Selborne a Five-Star Golf Experience Award based on service excellence, top-class clubhouse facilities, course conditioning, and overall lingering experience.
The Selborne Spa offers both guests and day visitors the chance to recuperate in a relaxing atmosphere. Treatments range from Swedish and hot stone massages, to a cranberry treatment, mud treatment, bridal day spa package, and more.