The decision about where to travel for golf often comes down to one thing and one thing only: great golf—and the more of it the better. Which is why golf-centric resorts like Bandon Dunes and Streamsong are such magnets.
But sometimes you’re looking for more. Like a hotel that from the moment you check in just blows you away—the kind you never want to leave. A place where the rooms are perfectly appointed; the dining, spa, and other amenities are spectacular; and the overall guest experience is way above par.
Here’s my list of my 10 favorite U.S. golf hotels. It’s not a definitive list by any means. But when someone asks me where they can go to enjoy great golf and unwind in the lap of luxury, these are the places I send them.
The Broadmoor—Colorado Springs, Colo.
Golfers visiting The Broadmoor will be challenged before they even arrive by the array of sumptuous accommodation choices there, ranging from wilderness cabins to stately brownstones to cozy cottages. Large parties will want to reserve The Estate House, a meticulously restored, five-bedroom mansion with its own croquet lawn. But the historic hotel itself (inclusive of its new West Tower) wants for nothing—and neither will you if you stay there. Choose a mountain-view suite and wake to the Rockies in all their glory.
The Greenbrier—White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
The Greenbrier has been welcoming dignitaries and the well-heeled since 1778, so they’ve had plenty of time to perfect the welcome you’ll receive. The golf is nigh-perfect, too, as the Old White course (originally by C.B. Macdonald) never disappoints. Staying in one of the rooms in the grand hotel’s Windsor Club wing ups the decadence factor even more. The exclusive wing’s Concierge team caters to every whim, and the private Virginia Room will thrill you with its delicious hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and sinful desserts.
The American Club at Destination Kohler—Sheboygan, Wis.
What was once a place for the Kohler Company to house immigrant workers now welcomes captains of industry—and Ryder Cup players. And it welcomes them in style. This historic hotel is every inch an exercise in extravagance, where even standard rooms ooze luxury. The Eau de Vie Suite puts state-of-the-art Kohler bathroom fixtures center-stage with a one-of-a-kind DTV custom shower and bath equipped to offer chromatherapy. Golfers have four acclaimed courses to choose from, including Whistling Straits, host of three PGA Championships and the 2021 Ryder Cup.
The Carolina Hotel at Pinehurst Resort—Pinehurst, N.C.
There was a time when Pinehurst’s century-old Carolina Hotel had begun to seem a bit threadbare. That time, like the era of oiled sand greens, has thankfully passed. Today’s Carolina Hotel more than earns its “Queen of the South” moniker, with rooms and suites that coddle you and guest service that is the very definition of southern hospitality. Pinehurst has upped its game in innumerable other ways, too, so if you haven’t visited in a while, you should. Oh, and did I mention its nine golf courses—including famed Pinehurst No. 2?
Casa Palmero at Pebble Beach—Pebble Beach, Calif.
Pebble Beach needs no introduction. Its oceanfront U.S. Open course is spectacular, and the accommodations at the Lodge put you right in the center of it all. But you can upgrade your stay by choosing one of the 24 luxurious rooms and suites at Casa Palmero, where your dedicated concierge will spoil you 24/7 as you enjoy wellness activities like morning yoga at the edge of the private pool. You’ll think you’re in Tuscany, but the first tee and all of Pebble Beach’s other resort amenities are right outside your door.
The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island—Kiawah Island, S.C.
Site of the 2021 PGA Championship, Kiawah is famous for its Pete Dye-designed Ocean Course and its four other 18-hole offerings, which make visiting this Carolina Lowcountry resort an unforgettable experience. Guests at The Sanctuary, Kiawah’s luxury oceanfront hotel, will leave with even more wonderful memories, as this elegant property set overlooking the Atlantic is the very definition of luxury. Oversized rooms and suites—including the 3,000-square-foot Presidential Suite—have Carolina charm throughout and transport you to a kinder, gentler era.
The Lodge at Sea Island—St. Simon’s Island, Ga.
Visiting players may argue about which of Sea Island’s three courses they like best, and when it comes to Sea Island’s accommodations choices, they may continue to disagree. The Cloisters has long been a favorite hotel destination for golfers, and the resort’s Cottages, Inn, and Broadfield Sporting Club offer equally wonderful accommodations. But it’s The Lodge at Sea Island that gets hearts racing. A private boutique retreat with just 43 rooms and 24-hour butler service, it’s the epitome of Georgia elegance. It even has its own 18-hole putting course.
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve—Dorado, Puerto Rico
The two golf courses at Dorado Beach have drawn golfers like moths to a flame since the 1950s. But what Ritz-Carlton has done with this place en route to anointing it with its Reserve label has upgraded the property to stratospheric heights. Choose one of the first-floor East and West Beach Suites, whose walls open to the beach itself and offer private plunge pools and every creature comfort a golfer (or anyone else) could want.
Montage Kapalua Bay—Maui, Hawaii
Hawaii is blessed with no small number of luxurious golf resorts. But the Montage Kapalua Bay, located at the northwest corner of Maui, is an absolute stunner. Yes, you will love the Coore & Crenshaw-designed Plantation Course and its sister track, the Bay Course, but you may find yourself running back to your room. Especially if you can find three other couples to travel with you and your significant other and you book one of the four-bedroom Premier Ocean Grand Residences, like No. 2201, which offers spectacular views of Namalu Bay and the island of Molokai (along with every other luxury you could wish for).
The Breakers—Palm Beach, Fla.
It boasts Florida’s oldest golf course, an Alex Findlay design updated by Rees Jones, but today’s Breakers is decidedly modern. Big spenders will want to choose one of its exclusive Flagler Club options—25 rooms and suites on the hotel’s top floors that come with their own service team, private lounge, and rooftop terrace—even a chauffeured Tesla to get you around town. But why would you ever leave?
What are your favorite golf hotels?