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Playa Macenas Beach and Golf Resort

8 Dec

The Almerian climate is perfect for golf lovers and as you’d expect we have many beautiful courses in the local area.

Desert Springs and Valle del Este are both less than 20 minutes away from the Cortijo and are well used throughout the year. We’ve reviewed them both already on Yummy Almeria

Playa Macenas is a little further away on the south side of Mojacar on the road to Carboneras and the fabulous Cabo de Gata National Park. It’s well worth the trip to find this gem of a golf course, even if it is a little unusual.

Macenas 006 (2)

The resort was built over 4 years ago but construction of housing stopped abruptly when the crisis hit. The result is an almost fully developed resort which is largely uninhabited but still has a very playable and enjoyable course in the middle of it.

Our chum, Mike ‘discovered’ Macenas earlier in the week and suggested that we played on Saturday morning. I hadn’t played for a long time so I was pleased to hear that the 18 hole course has eight par 3 holes – Mike said it would be a perfect place for me to get back into the swings of things.

Macenas 008 (2)

 

We paid 25 euros’s each for the round, which includes buggy rental and believe me, you need one, and enjoyed a gloriously sunny morning of golf in fabulous surroundings.

We saw a couple of other golfer’s but no-one else so it’s like playing on your own private course in the middle of nature with amazing views of both mountains and sea. On more than one occasion we stopped to enjoy the deafening sound of silence amazed that the place is so underused.

Macenas 004

As well as the par 3’s there are plenty of very challenging holes – water, gulleys and a fearsome number of bunkers to trip you up with every misplaced shot. I had plenty of those but without the pressure from other golfers and the serenity of the place felt myself relaxing very quickly, making a few decent shots and feel my golf mojo slowly returning. Mike was right.

After the game, we relaxed a bit more on their fabulous terrace overlooking the Med and gazing out onto the horizon admiring the natural curvature on the Earth with a couple of cold beers.

Macenas 012

Macenas is well worth the visit – it is a bit of a ‘ghost resort’ but a very upmarket one. The course is fun, challenging and truly beautiful and literally, all yours for the 25 euro fee.

PlayaMacenasBeach and Golf Resort Telephone number 950 548 240.

 

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Desert Springs Golf Resort, Cuevas del Almanzora

9 Oct

Sometimes during the week, when we don’t want to go out for the whole evening but we feel like a pre dinner drink somewhere, we pop up to Desert Springs. It is only 10 minutes away and has two options to have a drink or dinner.

 

El Torrente 'Clubhouse' Restaurant

 

There is the clubhouse – it is a lovely colonial style building with a vast terrace running around it so perfect for a late summer evening drink.  We met a couple of our friends there the other night who have a house on the course and as it doesn’t get dark until at least 8.30 pm and it was a wonderfully warm evening, we met on the terrace.   It is a great place to relax for an hour or two with friends and has a good restaurant too where we sometimes go for Sunday lunch.

 

The view from the 19th hole

 

More often. though, we go to the other bar/restaurant, the Crocodile Club.  It is a fabulous building which looks like it could be on an African plain – it has a huge thatched roof and rustic furniture with a terrific view over the deserty landscape, to the sea.  It is lovely to go and meet friends for drinks or dinner – kids are very welcome and they can just run around as there is lots of space and the staff don’t seem to mind.  There is a menu for every taste – from burgers and ribs to wonderful fresh fish, salads and pizzas.  The service is always good and it is just so convenient for us if I don’t feel like cooking.  We go there all year round and there are cosy open fires for the chilly nights from December.  Oh, yes, it also has a beautiful golf course for the golfers among you – anyone can play so long as you have a handicap – if you play with a member you pay a reduced rate (we usually know someone who can sign you in).  There is also a swimming pool and tennis courts for non-residents – that should keep everyone happy!

El Torrente Restaurant telephone number: 950 548 403

The Crocodile Club Restaurant telephone number: 950 548 404

Valle del Este Golf Club and Spa, Vera

3 Oct

As most of you know, in June it was my birthday – the hideous big 5-0 but it came and went without too much pain!  In fact I received some really lovely presents from dear friends which softened the blow somewhat – one of which was from our friends John and Phil, who live in London but are restoring a gorgeous old cortijo in the hills near us.  They treated me to a fantastic afternoon at the spa of one of our beautiful golf courses here.  It is nearing the end of the season (I have one more group booked in arriving tomorrow for 8 days!) so I thought I had better book myself in.

Valle del Este is a 10 minute drive from here – it is really gorgeous and is a hotel resort with golf course, huge outdoor pool, terrace restaurant and bar, and the spa of course.  It is all open to non-members and Mick and I used to go there on Sunday afternoons before we had our swimming pool installed.  There is no charge.

Swimming with a view

Anyhow I arrived after lunch and went straight into a full body massage – anyone who spends half an hour massaging my feet has to have something going for them – it was divine!  Then I had a face massage and a hydro massage (basically a lovely warm, deep bath with jets of water that pummel you and somehow make you feel instantly thinner!

Outdoor area Valle del Este spa

You can have a Jacuzzi, sauna or steam as well or just go outside and sunbathe and read.  I went straight onto the hotel terrace and had a gin and tonic.  What a fantastic end to the week – thank you John and Phil.  Even better, when I arrived home, Mick was in the kitchen making dinner for me and had downloaded Mad Men which I was too tired to watch the other night.  How lucky am I!