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Everybody knows that the Gold Coast is home to plenty of great golf courses and the region acts as an epicentre for golfers of all ilk. Reigning supreme in the Queensland golfing stay-and-play stakes is the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort - home to the critically acclaimed The Palms and The Pines courses. Celebrated as one of Australia’s most iconic golf holiday destinations – this place aims for resort relaxation at its finest and delivers the goods in spades.
There are two superb golfing facilities here and dress code regulations apply to recreational clubhouse visitors and golfers alike. Make sure your preferred tee times are available upon reservation of your accommodation.
You are now arriving at Arnold Palmer’s only Australian course - The Pines. It’s a member’s only deal but I’d strongly recommend pulling in a few friendship favours (if you’re not reciprocal)) to get a tee time here.
The Pines has recently undergone a $5 million transformation. The course-wide restoration of its greens, new bunkering on the par-5 17th hole, modern irrigation infrastructure and new target greens have elevated The Pines golf course to one of Australia’s most esteemed private golf course destinations.
The Pines carves through 101 hectares of established pine forest and the course features corridor approaches to several holes, with lakes guarding others. Fourteen of the holes are contoured around six man-made lakes.
The Palms is considered a championship course rivalling some of the best golf courses in Australia. It has a total length of 5904 metres off the championship tees and has numerous water features and hazards. Tee placements at The Palms have been designed to suit a variety of playing conditions and a diverse range of golfing abilities. Nestled within century-old Cabbage Palms, The Palms golf course is a return to the traditions of the game, with distinctive holes, deep greenside bunkers and boldly contoured greens that require creative shot-making.
The drinks cart is welcomed during my balmy afternoon game and the ‘order on-course menu’ sang my name with a Philly cheese steak.
Note: the courage of one’s conviction goes a long way on the par-3 16th hole at The Palms. The green is protected by the surrounding waterfront and there’s a small pot bunker immediately in front. Don’t be short on the 16th green, as anything landing on the slope will go back down into the water. Hint: there’s plenty of room out on the left for an easy chip to the flag.
Bonus points for the Sanctuary Cove proshop, it’s stocked full of great golf gear including equipment, apparel, golf shoes and more. I ordered a set of hire clubs for this trip and was suitably impressed with the shiny new ladies’ Titleist irons and the highly desirable Scotty Cameron putter that the friendly staff sorted me out with. Ladies take note of the latest golf clothing drop from J.Lindeberg and/or perhaps get yourself a Sanctuary Cove hat to act as a useful travel keepsake.
The InterContinental hotel group never misses a beat when it comes to its premium offering and their Sanctuary Cove property is no exception. Inspired by the 4.2 hectares of tropical gardens that surround its three accommodation wings, guests can choose a room with a marina, garden, or a lagoon view. I opted to revel in the luxury of the spacious Homestead Suite with its private lounge and dining area, divine four-poster bed and two private balconies that glimpse the adjacent Palms Golf Course.
Traveller Tip: the room service menu features plenty of delicious options. I happily grazed on a few light plates as the sun slipped lower and the birdlife broke into twilight song.
InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort boasts two stunning swimming pools – a one-acre Lagoon Beach Pool and the Terrace Pool. Both are open all year round from dawn until dusk and enjoying a jug of sangria after a game of golf and a refreshing dip is a must.
Visit the Sanctuary Cove Country Club while you’re here – it’s an oasis of health, fitness and well-being essentials. Think a mix of fitness classes such as aerobics, pilates and yoga. A 25m lap pool, five tennis courts and dedicated beauty and spa treatment rooms.
Guests can hire a resort golf cart to explore the Sanctuary Cove Marina village, but it’s not that necessary since it’s only a two-minute walk to admire the spectacular yachts in port, do a spot of shopping, check out an art gallery and/or whet your appetite at the precinct’s popular eateries and bars.
Reminder - members of Club InterContinental are invited to enjoy complimentary twilight drinks and canapés daily between 5 pm and 7 pm. Or, if you have a chance pre or post-golf game, pop in for a delightful afternoon high tea between 2 pm and 4 pm. If you haven’t joined the IHG club yet, consider that it’s well worth it for accessing exclusive privileges and membership benefits. Particularly since the IHG property in Fiji is located adjacent to the world-famous Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course – yet another luxe tropical stay-and-play Pacific gem.
Traveller Tip: this resort sits upon a huge parcel of natural bushland and white sand lagoon stretches which
children (aged 4-12 years old) who take part in the
InterContinental Planet Trekkers Kids Club
get to explore on guided tours. There’s also a fun-filled indoor playroom for the youngsters. To check kids club availability, speak to
the concierge team when booking.
Fireplace restaurant is the resort’s fine dining offering and each season it debuts an a la carte menu and a degustation menu. This is signature wood-fire cuisine that utilises a selection of divine local produce to execute maximum flavour. Book well ahead to experience Executive Chef Hamish Watt’s expertly curated menus. Note the six-course degustation is $135 per person or $180 per person with the wine pairing.
Verandah restaurant and bar (all-day dining through lunch and dinner) serves up snackable share plates, pre-dinner drinks and hearty main meals. Sipping on a signature whiskey nightcap is easy but deciding which one you want is a bit trickier since Verandah is home to over 50 whiskies from the world’s most coveted regions such as Scotland, Ireland, America and Japan.
Don’t forget that the Pool House is fantastic for light meals and cold drinks. Lounge around by the lagoon and have the waiter deliver a delicious après swim feast right to you.
The InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort invites all keen golfers to book an exclusive golfing package! Meaning two people, stay two nights and get to play two championship-rated courses.
The Stay 2, Play 2 Package includes:
Explore the full range of golf-themed packages available at www.sanctuarycove.intercontinental.com/special-offers/
Words: Roxanne Andrews