Today I'd like to answer a reader's question that you might be interested in, too.
Mark A., from Pittsburg emailed me asking:
Most of the "all inclusive" resorts I've come across don't include golf -- are there any out there that do?
Yes, Mark, some all-inclusive resorts include golf, but as you've discovered, they're a bit harder to find.
And it can get quite confusing because some all-inclusive resorts offer special golf packages (sometimes with unlimited golf) but it's usually NOT part of their standard, all-inclusive offerings and rates.
So, here are some options that immediately come to mind, again, where golf is included in the standard, all-inclusive pricing:
Travaasa Resort & Spa (Austin, Texas)
One of two "experiential" resorts by the boutique hotelier focused exposing guests to, "a destination's culture, its cuisine, its adventures, its sense of well-being." The included golf is played at the otherwise private Twin Creeks Country Club, a Fred Couples Signature design (travaasa.com/austin).
Fair Hills Resort (Detroit Lakes, Minn.)
Open from May to September, the Fair Hills Resort (in west-central Minnesota) is much more of a "family" resort than a "golf resort," but there are two courses on site: a nine-hole executive course and a standard, 18-hole course. Accommodations include cabins on Minnesota’s Pelican Lake and other activities include pony rides, fishing, kayaking, scavenger hunts, swimming, tennis, and sailing. The all-inclusive American Plan, which includes all meals and activities, starts at $106 per person per night. Children’s rates are heavily discounted or free for ages 5 and younger. (fairhillsresort.com)
Mohonk Mountain House Hotel (New Paltz, NY)
Continuously played for more than 115 years, the golf course at the all-inclusive Mohonk Mountain House is one of the oledst in the country. It's also player friendly (par-70, 115-slope) and greens fees are included on weekdays for overnight resort guests (on weekends and holidays, greens fees are $25 for 9 holes and $32.00 for 18 holes. (mohonk.com).
Divi Aruba All-Inclusive Resort (Oranjestad, Aruba)
Aruba only has 36 holes of golf, but nine of them can be played for "free" by guests of this resort, which features rooms either on the ocean or very close to it ( diviaruba.com)
Half Moon Resort (Rose Hall, Jamaica)
Proceed with caution, here. The resort is an amazing place to stay with an equally impressive list of things to do, but on our last visit, the golf wasn't as good as its neighboring courses (halfmoon.rockresorts.com).
Beaches Ocho Rios (Ocho Rios, Jamaica)
Beaches has one resort in the Turks & Caicos and two in Jamaica, but only this one includes golf in its standard, all-inclusive pricing: greens fee and tranfers to Sandals Golf & Country Club, formerly Upton Golf Club. (beaches.com)
Sandals Resorts (multiple properties)
The guest fee for staying at any of Sandals' Jamaican resorts includes play on Sandals Golf & Country Club (formerly Upton Golf Club) located in Ocho Rios. Sandals' Jamaican properties are located in Montego Bay (Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Royal Caribbean, Sandals Carlyle Inn); Negril (Sandals Negril); Ocho Rios (Sandals Grande Ocho Rios, Sandals Royal Plantation); and Whitehouse (Sandals Whitehouse). (sandals.com)
Fairplay Golf Hotel and Spa (Benalup-Casas Viejas, Spain)
While you might not like it as much as the courses on the nearby Costa del Sol, you'll certainly like the price: all-inclusive packages with unlimited golf start at E197 per person, per night. The golf is played on the Benalup Golf and Country Club, an 18-hole, par 73 layout (fairplaygolfhotel.com).
Kalos Golf Cruises (based in Chapel Hill, NC)
This one obviously isn't a resort, but an option that offers all-inclusive golf vacations just the same. Kalos sails to a variety of golf-rich destinations (trips usually last one to two weeks) and just about everything is included in the price. Not sure if you saw it, but I recently told you about a Kalos trip to play seven of the world's best courses in just eight days.
Club Med (based in Paris, France)
Often considered the originator of the all-inclusive resort concept, Club Med has properties worldwide, many of which offer golf. In the Americas and the Caribbean alone, you have your choice of Sandpiper Bay in Florida, Cancun Yucatan and Ixtapa Pacific in Mexico, La Caravelle in Guadaloupe, Buccaneer's Creek in Martinique, Turkoise in the Turks and Caicos, and Trancoso in Brazil (clubmed.com).
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I'm actually curious to hear what you'd recommend to Mark.
Do you know of any all-inclusive resorts that include golf?
Please share your comments or read what others are saying below.