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10 Places Where You Can Take All-Inclusive Golf Vacations

by Craig Better

Sep182012

Guests of Spain's Fairplay Golf Hotel and Spa enjoy all-inclusive golf vacations by having access to the Benalup Golf and Country Club.

Today I’d like to answer a reader’s question that you might be interested in, too.

Mark A., from Pittsburg emailed me asking:

Most of the “all inclusive” resorts I’ve come across don’t include golf — are there any out there that do?

Yes, Mark, some all-inclusive resorts include golf, but as you’ve discovered, they’re a bit harder to find.

And it can get quite confusing because some all-inclusive resorts offer special golf packages (sometimes with unlimited golf) but it’s usually NOT part of their standard, all-inclusive offerings and rates.

So, here are some options that immediately come to mind, again, where golf is included in the standard, all-inclusive pricing:

United States
Travaasa Resort & Spa (Austin, Texas)
One of two “experiential” resorts by the boutique hotelier focused exposing guests to, “a destination’s culture, its cuisine, its adventures, its sense of well-being.” The included golf is played at the otherwise private Twin Creeks Country Club, a Fred Couples Signature design (travaasa.com/austin).

Fair Hills Resort (Detroit Lakes, Minn.)
Open from May to September, the Fair Hills Resort (in west-central Minnesota) is much more of a “family” resort than a “golf resort,” but there are two courses on site: a nine-hole executive course and a standard, 18-hole course. Accommodations include cabins on Minnesota’s Pelican Lake and other activities include pony rides, fishing, kayaking, scavenger hunts, swimming, tennis, and sailing. The all-inclusive American Plan, which includes all meals and activities, starts at $106 per person per night. Children’s rates are heavily discounted or free for ages 5 and younger. (fairhillsresort.com)

Mohonk Mountain House Hotel (New Paltz, NY)
Continuously played for more than 115 years, the golf course at the all-inclusive Mohonk Mountain House is one of the oledst in the country. It’s also player friendly (par-70, 115-slope) and greens fees are included on weekdays for overnight resort guests (on weekends and holidays, greens fees are $25 for 9 holes and $32.00 for 18 holes. (mohonk.com).

Aruba
Divi Aruba All-Inclusive Resort (Oranjestad, Aruba)
Aruba only has 36 holes of golf, but nine of them can be played for “free” by guests of this resort, which features rooms either on the ocean or very close to it ( diviaruba.com)

Jamaica
Half Moon Resort (Rose Hall, Jamaica)
Proceed with caution, here. The resort is an amazing place to stay with an equally impressive list of things to do, but on our last visit, the golf wasn’t as good as its neighboring courses (halfmoon.rockresorts.com).

Beaches Ocho Rios (Ocho Rios, Jamaica)
Beaches has one resort in the Turks & Caicos and two in Jamaica, but only this one includes golf in its standard, all-inclusive pricing: greens fee and tranfers to Sandals Golf & Country Club, formerly Upton Golf Club. (beaches.com)

Sandals Resorts (multiple properties)
The guest fee for staying at any of Sandals’ Jamaican resorts includes play on Sandals Golf & Country Club (formerly Upton Golf Club) located in Ocho Rios. Sandals’ Jamaican properties are located in Montego Bay (Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Royal Caribbean, Sandals Carlyle Inn); Negril (Sandals Negril); Ocho Rios (Sandals Grande Ocho Rios, Sandals Royal Plantation); and Whitehouse (Sandals Whitehouse). (sandals.com)

Spain
Fairplay Golf Hotel and Spa (Benalup-Casas Viejas, Spain)
While you might not like it as much as the courses on the nearby Costa del Sol, you’ll certainly like the price: all-inclusive packages with unlimited golf start at E197 per person, per night. The golf is played on the Benalup Golf and Country Club, an 18-hole, par 73 layout (fairplaygolfhotel.com).

Multiple Destinations
Kalos Golf Cruises (based in Chapel Hill, NC)
This one obviously isn’t a resort, but an option that offers all-inclusive golf vacations just the same. Kalos sails to a variety of golf-rich destinations (trips usually last one to two weeks) and just about everything is included in the price. Not sure if you saw it, but I recently told you about a Kalos trip to play seven of the world’s best courses in just eight days. More on that here. (kalosgolf.com)

Club Med (based in Paris, France)
Often considered the originator of the all-inclusive resort concept, Club Med has properties worldwide, many of which offer golf. In the Americas and the Caribbean alone, you have your choice of Sandpiper Bay in Florida, Cancun Yucatan and Ixtapa Pacific in Mexico, La Caravelle in Guadaloupe, Buccaneer’s Creek in Martinique, Turkoise in the Turks and Caicos, and Trancoso in Brazil (clubmed.com).

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I’m actually curious to hear what you’d recommend to Mark.

Do you know of any all-inclusive resorts that include golf?

Please share your comments or read what others are saying below.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Catherine Kulisek September 19, 2012 at 7:52 am

I am very surprised that you did not include the Melia Cozumel Hotel (all – inclusive) which includes unlimited golf. There is also the Playa Azul, in Cozumel which is a small boutique hotel offerring breakfast only which also includes unlimited golf at the Cozumel Golf and Country Club.

2 Craig Better September 19, 2012 at 7:53 am

Thanks for weighing in, CK. As noted above, this is where things can get tricky. The Melia Cozumel (and other resorts mentioned below) may offer special (i.e. more expensive) PACKAGES that include golf, but golf is not included as part of their standard, “all inclusive” offerings and rates. (Melia Cozumel, for example, charges $100 for greens fee and cart). Your Playa Azul example is slightly different, but the upshot is the same: yes, golf is included, but not meals beyond breakfast. This is not truly “all inclusive.”

3 Wendy September 19, 2012 at 8:00 am

One of our favorite finds is Playa Azul in Cozumel. Stay there and you play for free at the Cozumel Country Club – a short taxi ride up the street. The Nicklaus design is very attractive and challenging, lots of wildlife (they have to wire some of the greens at night to keep the wild pigs from digging them up). And the most amazing HUGE tourquiose and flourescent orange iguanas! It is a certified Audobon Santuary. You still need to pay for the buggy. I think it is mandatory to ride, there are some long stretches between holes. We love the course, and the hotel is a nice relaxed place outside town, on the water, with a great breakfast.

Just thinking about it, looking out the window at the rain here in the Netherlands, and I’m ready to go!

Wish I could put a photo here…

4 Peter September 19, 2012 at 8:02 am

Have to disagree with the assessment of Half Moon’s golf course. RTJ designed course has always been in excellent shape when we have visited. (every November for the past 8 years). Caddies are top notch. Other courses nearby are cinnamon hill and white witch and are worth a vist.

5 Matt Rinaldi September 19, 2012 at 8:14 am

I stayed at Secrets Maroma Beach in Rivera Maya, Mexico in Dec. 2009 and for just the cart fee guests could play at El Camelion at Mayakoba…a beautiful course that the PGA has played events at.

6 Jeremy Hall September 19, 2012 at 8:41 am

There are in fact a lot of real all inclusives that include golf … it’s more a question of knowing what the real cost is (adding carts fees, early morning cart fees, obligatory caddie fees etc. etc) and this is an area I am very familar with having been my speciality over the last 20 years. My top suggestions …
IBEROSTAR RESORTS in Punta Cana
PUNTA CANA RESORT and CLUB
PALACE/HARD ROCK RESORTS in Mexcio and Dominican Republic

7 Louis Roren September 19, 2012 at 8:42 am

Beleive many of the Dom. Republic resorts do.
Belek, Turkey are all resorts/courses ‘all inclusive’.

8 Ron Lenneberg September 19, 2012 at 8:54 am

Sandals Ocho Rios all inclusive has a nice course included. Caddy fee required. Short bus ride from resort.

9 Jim Rydzel September 19, 2012 at 9:01 am

Casa de Campo in DR has a number of tournaments that have all-inclusive pricing, inc. golf. Most but not all are in shoulder seasons. Overall package is quite attractive.

10 Stephen September 19, 2012 at 9:05 am

The Hilton Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica offers all-inclusive packages with golf at neighboring Cinnamon Hill Golf Course (ranked No. 3 in Jamaica by Golf Digest).

11 Lloyd K September 19, 2012 at 9:16 am

I’ve played the Divi Links in Aruba (did not stay at the Divi Resort) and was pleasantly surprised with both the rates and conditions of the course. Paid twice as much at Tierra del Sol a couple days prior and had much more fun at Divi. The guest were sitting out on their patios/balconies on some holes cheering like a gallery! Definately will play again on my next visit.
Just an FYI about Costa Rica…if you can’t play the Westin, a great alternative is the Hacienda Panilla in Santa Cruz. It’s an Aududon Santuary and with the spectacular oceanside holes you get wildlife like monkeys, tropical birds and Iguanas the size of Beagles throughout the course.

12 Bob September 19, 2012 at 11:21 am

Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort (formerly Breezes until June 2012) Runaway Bay, Jamaica – decent golf – nice resort. A good track and reasonably well maintained but not a “premium” course but very playable. The two key pieces for me were no children (that will be changing under the new management) & golf is on premises so there’s no bus or taxi to deal with – just a short golf cart ride under the highway to the club house which is also an easy walk if you prefer. My girlfriend doesn’t play so the fact that I didn’t have to spend time in transit or waiting for the next shuttle were key for me – I could have breakfast with her when the buffet opened, tee off around 8:00-8:15 and back on the beach in time for lunch. Par is 72 – 6,870 yards and is slope rated 124 from the Tips . Caddie is mandatory & is an additional fee ($16 for 18 Holes walking) Course is very walkable if you are in reasonably good shape – Cart is $25 but the caddie fee drops to $10. Going back in a week for the first time under the new management – hope it’s as good or better.

13 mike marshall September 19, 2012 at 11:37 am

Recently stayed at the Celtic Manor resort in Wales, site of last year’s Ryder Cup, and they had B&B plus golf rates which were all-inclusive for all but dinner (and I think that option was available). Worth checking out– by the way, the “other two” courses there are every bit as good as the 2010 course at a third of the price.

14 Jeremy Hall - Merit Golf Vacations September 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Craig .. the Melia Cozumel has a golf package add on that can be included with their all inclusive meals and drinks package which is only $160 for a weeks golf + the $35pp you pay to the golf course for the cart. I totally get what you mean when you say not all offers are what they appear to be … fortunately thats why golf specialist travel agents should be an invaluable resource.

15 Catherine Kulisek September 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Further to my comment re Melia Cozumel, I would encourage interested parties to contact Adela Saenz at “Res.-Gte Reservas(Adela)” to negotiate a rate that would include unlimited golf. You will find her to be very helpful and reasonable.

16 Wendy October 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Some great tips here! Thanks all.

Seeing Celtic Manor reminded me of Druid’s Glen Resort – an hour drive from Dublin airport. They have multiple golf-included offers and both Druids Glen and Druids Heath courses are superb. It is definitely on our RETURN HERE list.

I think that I only play golf because I love to travel and experience courses all over :)

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