Believe it or not, this was my first trip to Spain, which strange because I travel a lot but mainly to the United States. Now, I was excited just to be travelling again after the lockdowns and heading to the sun for a bit of golf and to create some new trick shots for Golf Digest.ie.
My final destination was Puente Romano Beach Resort in Marbella. Many Irish golfers are familiar with this area as it is very popular for golfers. It was new for me and I was blown away with this resort. Definitely one of the top three places I have ever been too!
Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa Marbella, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and is located in the heart of the Costa del Sol, two miles west of the Old Town Marbella and is a short 35 minute drive from Malaga airport.
Puente Romano is named after the ancient Roman bridge at the centre of its lush sub-tropical gardens. Built in the style of an Andalusian village, a lifestyle resort which opened in 1979 and has been a fashionable getaway ever since.
Designed with the character and charm of an Andalusian beachfront village, it surrounded by lush sub-tropical botanical gardens. The resort offers a wide range of luxurious Mediterranean style accommodation, all the spacious rooms and suites have large private balconies. It is directly on the beach with three swimming pools, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and world famous tennis club, Puente Romano Marbella is a sporting paradise.
I stayed in the junior suite where I could make some of my favourite indoor trick shots. My sea-facing Suite V31 had a stylish Mediterranean feel, with turquoise bedding, vases of lilies, floral wall prints, and Roman-inspired tiling in the marble bathroom with separate bath and shower.
Guests can take advantage of the indoor swimming pool, and 3 outdoor pools (one of which is heated) with children's pool, bar, parasols and sun loungers. You can also relax in the hotel sauna or enjoy a massage. For sports enthusiasts, there are activities such as banana boating, water skiing, jet skiing, surfing, windsurfing, sailing, catamaran sailing, canoeing, tennis at the tennis centre with 2 hard and 8 sandy courts (floodlit), aerobics, riding (close by), mountain biking, a gym, a mini club for the children and of course golf at the Marbella Club Golf Resort.
There are 11 restaurants in the resort so you will more than enough choice. In Dani Garcia Restaurante, the eponymous Michelin-star-holding chef dishes up tempting tapas and other Iberian delights. Open in high season, El Chiringuito is right on the beach and specialises in fresh fish and seafood. Celicioso – set by the Roman bridge and shops of Plaza Village – dishes up an exclusively gluten-free fare, including baked goods, juices and cocktails. Nobu serves up Peruvian-inspired sushi – dine alfresco or in the lantern-lit dining room.
There’s also the Sea Grill, right by the pool and with its own tandoori oven; poolside Pizza Romano; Serafina, overlooking the gardens and ancient Roman bridge; Monkey Club, a Med-meets-the-tropics restaurant; Thai Gallery, the hotel's authentic Asian restaurant, serving up fragrant light bites, salads, curries and noodle dishes; Bibo tapas restaurant with a raw oyster bar; and Rachel's, perfect for healthy breakfasts and light meals. Gluten-free and organic restaurants complete the healthiest option in the resort.
To end the night, guests can enjoy a drink on the chill out terrace in La Plaza Village, with an exclusive, special atmosphere, or at an exciting DJ sessions at La Suite, one of the most sophisticated clubs on the Costa del Sol, the place to see and be seen in Marbella.
So as you can see, this place is a little out of the ordinary, and the service can’t be faulted. It delivers 5 star all the way and really is a very enjoyable and unique experience.
The resort has recently unveiled a new state-of-the-art gym with bespoke biomechanical analysis which studies how the body moves along with results-driven personal training programs, created by world-class sports champions like Mario Simón García.
I had the chance to train here with Mario, a specialist in biomechanics, Kungfu, Taichi, Qigong, and Taoist Meditation and it was great.
Next for me was the golf course which I was really looking forward to playing.
The Marbella Club nestled on the gentle slopes of the foothills in Benahavís and is designed by Ryder Cup Player Dave Thomas. Situated only a 20 minute drive from the Hotel, this magnificent course is in the heart of the Costa del Sol and enjoys spectacular views of Gibraltar, the African Coastline, the Mediterranean and the surrounding mountains.
The picturesque first hole typifies the quality of the course's design with beautifully contoured fairways and immaculate greens and marks the beginning of a memorable round of golf. The 18 holes measure in excess of 6,000 meters and comprise water features and demanding bunkers, a trademark of the course designer, encouraging players to search for the most advantageous approach shot.
Check out my trick shot - Would you rather hold the camera or sit in the buggy?
The front nine provides the unique experience of three consecutive par 5s, which not only represent a severe test early in the round but also offer some of the most picturesque scenery on the golf course. The tee on the seventh is the highest point on the course and provides a panoramic view of the coastline, Gibraltar and across to Africa. Stretching for over 6000 meters, combining length with clever placement of bunkers and water hazards plus intriguing green designs, the par 73 course culminates in one of the most dramatic 18th tees in Europe.
As you can see this course is also very hilly and a buggy is a must. The course difficulty comes from the number of blind shots and the slopes on the Greens.
The course is complemented by carefully contoured fairways, beautiful water cascades, lakes and strategically placed bunkers as well as undulating greens, protected and maintained in perfect condition. Marbella Club Resort is a private course and only allow limited green fee but when you stay in this resort, you have access to Marbella Club Golf Course.
One thing is for sure, this is not my last visit to Spain and it is certainly not my last visit to Puente Romano Beach Resort and the Marbella Club.
Puente Romano Beach Resort