Latin America

A Quartet of Courses

written by | Posted on May 1st, 2011

THE SCENE: Club Med Trancoso sits along the gorgeous beaches of the southern coast of Bahia in a region called the Discovery Coast, for it was here that the Portuguese first settled in Brazil. Discovery still means flying to Porto Seguro via Salvador or Sao Paulo, to reach Club Med, part of the upscale development of low-key Trancoso, an enclave for Brazilian trendsetters. At low tide, guests can walk (one hour) along the beach to Trancoso (or take a Club Med excursion) to go crafts shopping, bar hopping and people-watching. Other day trips include indigenous village visits, and Atlantic Rainforest expeditions. Evening resort activities include casual parties and live-band entertainment.

THE RATES: A week-long stay (seven nights) is priced from $1,190 pp dbl; rates are all-inclusive, from airport transfers and accommodations, to all meals, drinks, sports facilities and most excursions; golf is additional. Note: the per-night rate, all-inclusive, starts at $170 pp dbl.

lima, peru THE PROPERTY: Grand and elegant, yet cozy and friendly, the Country Club Lima Hotel is a hacienda-style hotel, set in the residential neighborhood of San Isidro, facing the Lima Golf Club, which extends golf privileges to hotel guests. Built in 1927, refurbished in 1998 and completely remodeled in 2008, the hotel is classified as a National Monument. It has 83 spacious rooms and suites, individually decorated with colonial antiques and all modern conveniences. Each has a separate work area, marble bathrooms (some with large jacuzzis), as well as WiFi and refrigerator. Of note: many Grand Class and Governor Rooms have golf course views.

THE GREENS: Certainly convenient for golfers is the Lima Golf Club, an urban club with an 18-hole, par 72 course, established in 1924. With a year-round season, the club also offers a driving range, putting green, caddie services, a pro shop and rental clubs. Under the same club roof are tennis and squash courts, a fitness center, sauna, pool, restaurant, bar and soccer field.

THE AMENITIES: Guests dine in the award-winning Perroquet Restaurant, serving international and Peruvian specialties, and afternoon tea in the Lobby Bar is accompanied by live piano music. At the English Bar, sign up for a lesson in making pisco sours (the national drink). Other amenities include a fitness center and outdoor swimming pool.

THE SCENE: Undoubtedly, golfing guests spend just as much time enjoying Lima itself. Sightseers are drawn to the old city with its outstanding mansions, churches and convents. Art lovers are entranced by the newly reopened Larco Museum, while shoppers look for interesting jewelry and regional crafts. The restaurant scene gets better every year in Lima, although hotel guests dining “at home” find gourmet dinners accompanied by live music on Friday and Saturday evenings.

THE RATES: From $120 pp dbl, with breakfast.

roatan island, honduras THE PROPERTY: Roatan is a brand-new player on the golf vacation circuit, with its 18-hole Pete & Perry Dye course up and running as the centerpiece of the new Pristine Bay Resort development. The Pristine Bay Spa & Beach Resort is scheduled for a soft opening on Aug. 1. The 120-room boutique hotel will feature 60 rooms and suites, a full-service spa, restaurants, bars and two large infinity-edge pools. Additionally, the resort will include 32 2-bedroom, free-standing villas, grouped as The Resort Villas at Pristine Bay, all with grand views of the Caribbean and its southwest sunsets, and many with their own pools. For now, golfers are staying conveniently nearby, east of French Harbour at Parrot Tree Plantation, set in a shady palm grove at the edge of a broad, beautiful beach, against a tropical forest backdrop. In this 200-acre gated community, guests choose between beachfront Ultra Villas and Deluxe Villas, featuring king-size beds, sofa beds in the living room, gourmet kitchen and laundry area, private varandahs, and jacuzzis (Deluxe Villas only).

THE GREENS: Making its debut last December, the Black Pearl Golf Course at Pristine Bay Resort is a par 72 championship course. Measuring 7,200 yards from the back tees, the course starts near the ocean before zigzagging into the foothills and looping back toward the sea. Players describe the course as one with “plenty of tricks and treats,” including the 11th hole with an elevated tee and the green sitting in the middle of a lake ringed by a narrow bunkers. The Sky Lounge and 19th Hole restaurants are open to enjoy before and after a round.