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The Lodge at Pebble Beach, Pebble Beach, California - Pebble Beach © Joann Dost

Best Golf Resorts: Readers' Choice Awards 2016

September 2016 Hideaway Report | By Andrew Harper

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For the fifth year running, The Lodge at Pebble Beach claims first place on the list of the Best Golf Resorts, and the Four Seasons Hualalai and The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort remained firmly in the top five. Remarkably, only four of the 20 hotels on this year's list are international golf resorts and domestic favorites cluster in Hawaii and California.

= Offers Benefits

1. The Lodge at Pebble Beach


Pebble Beach, California — Distinguished resort dating from 1919 with glorious views of Carmel Bay and the 18th green of the famed Pebble Beach links, a short drive from Carmel. Low-rise annexes contain 161 guest rooms and suites with large baths; most have woodburning fireplaces and outdoor patios or balconies.
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2. Four Seasons Maui at Wailea


Maui, Hawaii — Luxurious resort on 15 oceanfront acres at the south end of Wailea Beach. A U-shaped building contains 380 spacious rooms (75 suites) overlooking landscaped courtyards, all offering lavish marble baths with deep soaking tubs and furnished lanais. Three 18-hole championship golf courses are adjacent to the property.
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3. Four Seasons Hualalai


Kailua-Kona, Hawaii — Grand resort on dramatic grounds along a half-mile rocky shoreline on the north Kona Coast. Four lodging crescents house 243 stylishly appointed rooms featuring lanais and lavish baths. The spa is the island’s best for alfresco treatments; also seven pools, tennis courts, manicured Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.
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4. Boulders Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton


Carefree, Arizona — Imaginative 221-room resort and spa that blends into dramatic outcrops in Sonoran Desert foothills, 30 minutes north of Scottsdale. Adobe-style casitas come with Southwestern accents, private patios or balconies. Amenities include eight tennis courts and two 18-hole Jay Morrish-designed golf courses.
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5. The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort


Kiawah Island, South Carolina — Beautifully appointed resort set along a 10-mile beach on private Kiawah Island. The four-story hotel contains 255 casually elegant accommodations outfitted with every conceivable amenity. Five championship golf courses designed by the likes of Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.
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6. Fairmont Grand Del Mar


San Diego, California — Elegant 249-room Mediterranean-style golf and spa resort adjacent to a 4,000-acre nature preserve. Opulent interiors evoke the style of famed 1920s architect Addison Mizner. Lavish 21,000-square-foot spa, plus gym with yoga classes, four heated pools, tennis, equestrian center and Tom Fazio golf course.
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7. The Resort at Pelican Hill


Newport Coast, California — Lavish resort on 504 acres south of Los Angeles, in the hills overlooking the Pacific. Featuring a circular courtyard, ochre-hued walls, graceful arches and tiled roof, this Italian-inspired property features 204 bungalow rooms and suites, a fine formal restaurant and two Tom Fazio championship courses.
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8. The Inn at Spanish Bay


Pebble Beach, California — Appealing sister resort of the nearby Lodge at Pebble Beach, set among the Monterey pine groves of Del Monte Forest, Scottish-inspired golf links and the Pacific Ocean. The rambling lodge contains 269 guest rooms and offers access to the Spanish Bay Club facilities, including a fitness center, pool and tennis pavilion.
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9. Enchantment Resort


Sedona, Arizona — Seventy-acre resort secluded in a box canyon surrounded by sensational red rock formations, 15 minutes from downtown Sedona. The 218 lodgings come with appealing Southwest-inspired décor. Cooking classes and wine tastings available, plus exclusive access to Tom Weiskopf-designed Seven Canyons golf course.
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10. Four Seasons Punta Mita


Nayarit, Mexico — Seaside property on a scenic 1,200-acre peninsula with two pretty beaches, 50 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta airport. A dozen casitas contain 173 guest quarters. Amenities include two magnificent Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses, reef snorkeling, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing charters and 10 tennis courts.
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11. Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North


Scottsdale, Arizona — Stylish resort blending into a picturesque high-desert landscape backdropped by Pinnacle Peak, near the celebrated Troon North golf courses in Scottsdale. The enclave offers 199 spacious lodgings in 25 Southwestern adobe casitas, and it's a short drive to Pinnacle and Monument golf courses.
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12. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel


Kohala Coast, Hawaii — Renowned 252-room resort overlooking an exquisite white-sand beach on the Kohala Coast. Amenities include a revitalized 18-hole Robert Trent Jones golf course, plus clubhouse, tennis club with 11 courts, 2,500-square-foot fitness center and a new spa with five treatment rooms.
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13. The Equinox


Manchester Village, Vermont — Historic Vermont resort situated in the Manchester countryside. Recent multimillion-dollar renovation featuring well-appointed, modern decor. Outdoor activities include biking, hiking, tennis, fishing, horseback riding and skiing.
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14. The Breakers Palm Beach


Palm Beach, Florida — Legendary oceanfront resort with Italian-Renaissance décor amid 140 acres. The 538 bright guest rooms and suites are decorated in a tropical palette and provide lavish marble baths. Amenities include two golf courses, a spa, 10 tennis courts, new Ocean Fitness center and a Mediterranean-style beach club.
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15. The Lodge at Torrey Pines


La Jolla, California — Charming resort hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, adjacent to the famed Torrey Pines Golf Course and a 2,000-acre seaside nature reserve. The rambling sandstone lodge embodies a distinctive early 1900s California architectural style. Tee times can be reserved for the two legendary municipal links.
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16. One&Only Palmilla


San Jose del Cabo, Mexico — Impressive resort on the tip of the Baja Peninsula. All 173 guest rooms have patios or balconies with expansive oceanfront or beachfront views and 24-hour butler service. There is a Jack Nicklaus 27-hole championship golf course, plus two infinity-edge pools and a 22,000-square-foot spa. SPECIAL OFFER
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17. The Lodge at Sea Island


St. Simons Island, Georgia — Tranquil golf-oriented oceanfront hotel situated on the tip of St. Simons Island, adjacent to the spectacular 18-hole championship Plantation links. Forty luxurious guest quarters resemble an English manor house. Tee times for all three of the resort’s world-class golf courses can be reserved by guests in advance.
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18. The American Club


Kohler, Wisconsin — Landmark resort in a village-like setting adjacent to a 500-acre wildlife preserve. A gabled Tudor-style brick manor (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) houses 241 guest rooms with lavish baths. Four spectacular Pete Dye 18-hole championship golf courses; also fitness spa with indoor pool and tennis courts.
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19. The Gleneagles Hotel


Perthshire, Scotland — Imposing golf resort on an 850-acre estate with three 18-hole championship courses and a sophisticated sports complex, 75 minutes northwest of Edinburgh. The 232 accommodations are done in contemporary or traditional décor. The hotel also features a destination ESPA spa, golf academy, tennis courts and more.
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20. The Farm at Cape Kidnappers


Hawke's Bay, New Zealand — Sister property to the renowned Lodge at Kauri Cliffs set on a 6,000-acre ranch and ideally located for those who want to play the Cape Kidnappers golf course, as well as explore the area’s numerous wineries. The resort’s 22 cottage suites come with extra-spacious baths equipped with separate showers.
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Photo Credits: 1. The Lodge at Pebble Beach - © Evan Schiller 2. Four Seasons at Wailea - © Don Riddle 3. Four Seasons Hualalai - © Don Riddle 4. Boulders Resort & Spa 5. The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort 6. Fairmont Grand Del Mar 7. The Resort at Pelican Hill - Courtesy of Pelican Hill 8. The Inn at Spanish Bay - © Joann Dost 9. Enchantment Resort - © Tony Roberts 10. Four Seasons Punta Mita - © Christian Horan 11. Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North 12. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel 13. The Equinox 14. The Breakers - © Nile Young Photography 15. The Lodge at Torrey Pines 16. One & Only Palmilla 17. The Lodge at Sea Island - Courtesy of Sea Island 18. The American Club 19. The Gleneagles Hotel 20. The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
Andrew Harper Photo Andrew Harper is the editor of the Hideaway Report, a luxury travel newsletter that first appeared in 1979. He travels anonymously and pays his own expenses in pursuit of unique properties that offer unusually high levels of personal service. Hotels have no idea who he is, so he is treated exactly as you might be.

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