Friday, May 23, 2008

Daufuskie Island Resort a Good Choice for Pet-Friendly Golf Vacations

Family golf vacations are nothing new, but the trend of taking the whole family along, four-legged members included, seems to be on the rise. In 2002, the Travel Industry Association found that 14 percent of U.S. adults have traveled with a pet. In 2007, Tripadvisor pegged it at upwards of 50 percent.

Still, as you might imagine, taking pets (dogs especially) on golf vacations isn't easy. While there are plenty of stand-alone hotels and motels that allow them, finding a golf resort that accommodates pets is a lot harder. Even tougher is finding one that is truly "pet friendly." There are plenty of places that will allow pets, but they really just use it as an opportunity to gouge you with all sorts of extra fees.

Not so at Daufuskie Island Resort & Breathe Spa, a two-course property located on a very small and remote-feeling land mass off of Hilton Head Island, S.C. While it does impose a modest, $35 per night pet fee, during our recent visit, we felt like our dog was truly welcome. We even tested the staff by letting her run leashless around the property, including in the lobby, and nobody ever scolded her...or us. continued...

By: Craig Better of GolfVacationInsider.com

Friday, May 09, 2008

Myrtle Beach Restaurants: The Best 1-2 Combo on a Myrtle Beach Golf Vacation

Whenever I take a Myrtle Beach golf vacation, I make sure to get down to Pawleys Island, which not only has some of my favorite courses along the Grand Strand (Caledonia, True Blue, the Heritage Club) but also some of my favorite Myrtle Beach restaurants.

The best one-two dining combination I've found is at Louis's at Pawleys (louisatpawleys.com) and the adjoining Fish Camp Bar, located on Highway 17 in the Hammock Shops specialty shopping/dining village.

Both feature the Lowcountry cooking of chef/owner Louis Osteen, one of the leaders of New Southern cuisine and named best chef in the Southeast in 2004 by the James Beard Foundation.

Osteen put himself on the map with restaurants in Charleston, but I'm glad he came back to Pawleys Island, where, in 1980, he began his efforts to popularize the indigenous food of the region. continued...

By: Craig Better of GolfVacationInsider.com

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Orlando's Newest Golf Course - Sugarloaf Mountain

Orlando has done it again! Another fantastic golf course has been added to the area - Sugarloaf Mountain. This is Bill Coore and Ben Creshaw's first design in Florida. It's located 25 miles from downtown Orlando, in Minneola, Florida.

This 7057 yd. private course is open for some resort play. The course is typified by large sandy areas and native grasses. The layout is challenging but very fair. The dramatic elevation changes up to 160 feet are not your typical Florida golf course. The design is very old school and the use of the terrain is fantastic!

This is definitely a solid contender for top - 100 Modern status. The course is arrayed in two returning nines - front nine is a huge clockwise loop, back nine forms a looser counter clockwise routing that actually folds back twice to the clubhouse. Lee Janzen, a two time US Open champ says "there is not a bad hole out there, I look forward to playing here again in the future".

Once this course fills up its membership, public play will cease to exist. When planning you next golf package to Orlando, please include this golf course in your choices - you won't be dissapointed! If you have interest in playing this golf course - please go to http://www.golfzoo or call 888.333.6103 to book you next tee time.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Best Courses to Play on a Pinehurst Golf Resort Vacation

With eight courses to choose from, deciding where to tee it up at Pinehurst Golf Resort can seem like a daunting task, but it's really quite simple. While most all of the Pinehurst golf courses are worthwhile (they don't call it "the American St. Andrews" for nothing), the even-numbered courses, taken as a group, are the best bets.

After No. 2, the Donald Ross masterpiece that hosted the U.S. Open in 1999 and 2005, our first choice would be No. 4, a Tom Fazio design whose every hole offers unique variety, beauty...and challenge. It's dotted with 180 sand traps, most of which are small pot bunkers clustered near fairway landing areas, at the bends of doglegs, and around the greens.

Nipping close at its heels is No. 8, a slightly more mounded and rolling Fazio design built in 1996 to celebrate Pinehurst's centennial anniversary. Its greens lack the severity of No. 2, yet their subtle crowns honor Ross' memory and roll fast and true. continued...

By: Craig Better of GolfVacationInsider.com

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Transition to Luxury

I have stayed in hotels from Paris to Alaska and I find myself being very picky when it comes to accommodations. In the last year, the AmeriSuites Hotel has converted to the new and improved Hyatt Place Hotel. Using the word improved is a severe understatement. The hotels in Orlando and Tampa Airport are now a traveler's haven.
They have completely gutted the lobbies and remodeled them into a fun gathering place for their customers. One thing that has always made great sense to me is to have a bar and restaurant in the lobby of the hotel. It not only acts as a gathering place for fellow travelers, but also a melting pot for everyone. As you can see in the pictures, the Hyatt Place Tampa Airport has far exceeded that requirement.
If the rooms are your benchmark in a hotel, than they have exceeded that requirement as well. All the rooms are completely remodeled with very comfortable beds and large Plasma TVs and "I mean large." Unlike some hotels that claim a total remodel and have fallen short, Hyatt Place actually did it. If location is your benchmark, they have snatched the brass ring there also. Located just minutes from down town and just three minutes to the Airport, it is centrally located to everything. In addition, a Ruth Chris Steak House is in the front yard of the hotel and a huge mall is just down the street.When planning your next trip to Tampa, make sure you look into the new and very improved Hyatt Place.