Image: Rathsallagh House, Ireland
You don’t have to be obsessed with golf to love these hotels. But if you do, you’re going to be in your own personal Shangri-La at these stays – each located within reach of spectacular golf courses. Some even have greens of their own. Whether you dream of perfecting your swing among the rolling hills of Italy or enjoying the beautiful game in the brisk Welsh air, these golf hotels in Europe will make you weak at the knees.
1. Rathsallagh House: Ireland
Golfers melt at the mere mention of championship courses, so with a luxurious spa and multi-award-winning restaurant, Rathsallagh House is arguably one of the finest golf hotels in Europe for anyone serious about the game. Before you start a day on the green, definitely do breakfast – the four-star country house has won the National Breakfast Awards a record four times.
2. Sterkenburg Castle: Netherlands
Standing on its own island, surrounded by canals, Sterkenburg Castle is the definition of majestic. Its surroundings – the heart-stopping Utrechtse Heuvelrug countryside – are all meadows and orchards and streams and grassland. It’s one of the best golf hotels in Europe, thanks to nearby Golfclub Anderstein – a 27-hole maze of crystal clear water features and small fascinations at every swing.
3. Villa Le Barone: Italy
Amid the olive trees and maritime pines, Golf Ugolino is a golfer’s paradise. Designed by an Englishman and an Irishman, this unique course was designed to curve around the natural contours of the Chianti slopes (which provide excellent challenges). Just 20 minutes down the road, Villa Le Barone is a quiet and peaceful retreat to stay during your golfing break. Wander the rose gardens, lap the heated salt-water infinity pool and savour Tuscan delicacies by candlelight.
4. Villa Galini: Greece
Porto Carras – northern Greece’s largest and loveliest holiday estate – is a wonderland of mountains, forests and vineyards. Peering over it all is the handsome Villa Galini, a unique and otherworldly stay where beamed ceilings and Dali-designed bathrooms meet flat-screen TVs and helipads. The region is also home to the one and only golf course in northern Greece, Portos Carras. This green paradise is the place to go for full-on fancy golfing luxury – 77 hectares of it, to be precise.
5. Hotel Britania: Portugal
Lisbon-based Hotel Britania is the work of Cassiano Branco, one of the most important Portuguese architects from the first half of the 20th century. The art-deco beauty is neighbour to Avenida da Liberdade and less than an hour away from Riba Golf – Lisbon’s green-sloped haven for golfers. The two courses here are heavenly, with gentle slopes, cleverly placed bunkers and subtle pools of water
6. Vetrov Castle: Czech Republic
Four-star Vetrov Castle may be more than 160 years old, but the 19th-century stay is still a stunner. Following a three-year restoration, the historic castle reopened its doors as a four-star historic hotel in 2005. Award-winning golf resort Frantiskovy Lazne is nearby, with dawn-’til-dusk golfing experiences in the charming countryside surroundings.
7. Twr-y-Felin Hotel: Wales
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to golf courses when you stay at Twr y Felin Hotel – Priskilly Forest and Newport Sands to name a couple. Not just one of the finest golf hotels in Europe, but also one of the best for art – Twr y Felin has more than 100 specially commissioned pieces on display throughout the property. Non-golfers have plenty to keep them occupied, too – the picture-perfect Pembrokeshire Coast Path, boat trips around Ramsey Island and the dinky city of St David’s to explore.
8. Dömle Mansion: Sweden
Dömle Mansion is one of the most peaceful golf hotels in Europe, with its own church, park, wine cellar, outdoor jacuzzis, sauna and private beach. Golfers will fall in love with the surrounding golf course, ForshagaDeje Golf Club. Boasting blissful natural surroundings, you’re in for a mind-clearing, club-swinging treat.
9. Solstrand Hotel, Norway
Overlooking serene fjords, Solstrand Hotel offers golf fans a quiet hideaway to play in peace. Just 30km from downtown Bergen, it’s one of the best golf hotels in Europe to mix a city trip with a countryside escape. Bjørnefjorden Golf Club is nearby, where you can gaze at the rugged Norwegian mountains in between holes.