If you're looking for world-class golfing, luxury accommodation and great weather, you can't do better than Finca Cortesin resort in Spain. With Gibraltar airport just a 25-minute drive away, the resort's location makes it the ideal destination for a weekend's golf getaway.
Unlike many golf resorts, Finca Cortesin has been developed in a sympathetic manner and looks like it's been here for the past 200 years, even though it was only built in 2008. The gardens look especially mature, thanks to 20 specially imported 300-year-old olive trees. This feat certainly wasn't cheap (the gardens cost €7m to construct), but it was definitely worth it, as it gives the hotel a sense of belonging to the countryside it sits in. Other features, such as the Moorish interior courtyards and fountains, also bring a sense of the area's history to the hotel.
But most visitors don't come to Finca Cortesin for the history they come for the world-class golf course. Golf fans won't be disappointed. The course has a fantastic lay-out and several holes offer spectacular views of the countryside. Further evidence of its high quality is that the PGA European Tour's Volvo Match Play Championships will be held here later this year.
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Non-golfers can relax in the hotel's two outdoor swimming pools or the spa. You can easily lose a few hours here relaxing in the hammam (rooms of varying temperatures), which includes Spain's only snow room.
If you tire of golfing or lounging around, then the fishing port of Estepona is just a ten-minute drive away. It offers a good range of bars and restaurants that specialise in the local cuisine. And unlike much of the Costa del Sol, Estepona has managed to keep the number of nightclubs down to a bare minimum. So you are left with a quiet, relaxed coastal resort free of British lager louts.
If it's a great meal you're looking for, you don't have to venture further than the resort's own El Jardin restaurant. It is run by executive chef Schilo Van Coevorden, whose seven-course menu is a delight. Highlights include sweetcorn cappuccino mousse with lobster; tender barbecue fillet of beef with Japanese mushrooms; and a chocolate olive tree for dessert. Altogether a meal will cost around €95 a head.
Rooms cost from €275. Contact: 00 34 952 93 77 77, www.fincacortesin.com.
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