HOWEY IN THE HILLS, Fla. – It just feels different at the Mission Inn Resort & Club.
The historic resort in central Florida has found a way to turn back the clock to the days before the madness of the internet and today’s fast-paced world. The resort’s laid back vibe is fed by two sources – family ownership and a secluded locale away from the theme park mania of Orlando. Guests come from far and wide to golf hilly fairways unique to Florida and relax in its rooms and restaurants and spa.
The resort will celebrate its past in 2017 as its El Campeon course celebrates 100 years and the Las Colinas course turns 25. Staying and playing at Mission Inn has always been a great value, almost as if the prices have been rolled back a few decades, too.
Mission Inn is offering a yearlong Centennial Golf Package where prices will vary seasonally (starting at $179/night) per person per night. Guests will receive a gift bag, 18 holes per day, daily breakfast buffet and a three-course wine dinner for two in El Conquistador, its fine dining restaurant.
Mission Inn, home to 176 guest rooms, suites and villas, has been under the guidance of the Beucher family since 1964. Nick Beucher bought the neglected Florida Country Club in 1964, and renovated the golf course and clubhouse five years later, creating a new resort inspired by Spanish Colonial architecture from Mexico. The resort, now run by his grandchildren, tries to make everybody feel like they’re part of the family.
There are three restaurants, two lounges and a poolside bar. Besides golf, guests can play tennis, visit the trap and skeet shooting range, explore jogging and bicycling trails, swim in the outdoor pool, exercise in the fitness center, or use the marina for fishing, boating and eco-touring. The 6,200-square-foot Spa Marbella provides an extensive menu of treatments and services. More than 30,000 square feet of well-appointed indoor and outdoor event space is available for meetings, banquets, holiday parties, weddings and special occasions.
Both El Campeon and Las Colinas have aged gracefully. El Campeon, designed by Chicago-based course architect George O'Neil in 1917 -- with further enhancements by Charles E. Clarke of Troon, Scotland, in 1926 – charms everybody who hits shots up its gently rolling hills and down from its elevated tees. Water becomes prominent on the back nine. The par-5 17th hole, a narrow double dogleg named “The Devil’s Delight”, is the highlight of a dramatic finish. El Campeon continues to fare well on Golf Advisor, ranking second in 2015 and 13th in 2016 in Golf Advisor’s top 50 courses in the U.S., as rated by golfer reviews.
The 7,230-yard Las Colinas - designed by Gary Koch in 1992 - is no slouch, either, also making the Top 25 courses in Florida in 2016 ranking. Golf Advisor user 'Douglas8644418' gave it five stars, writing: “I Played El Campeon earlier this year and hadn't heard much about Las Colinas. Wow am I glad I gave it a shot, a great course!!! Not as challenging and did not have the big elevation changes but the quality of this facility for the money is easily the best in the Orlando area."