Celtic Manor is known for its golf courses, but as it prepares to host Polo at the Manor sponsored by Elemis for the second year in a row, Spabreaks.com’s Vicky Houston, and YourGolfTravel.com’s Rory Anderson give a little insight into all the other things that make it quite so special.
What did you like the most about Celtic Manor?
RA: The relaxed, informal atmosphere of the place allows you to really chill out; there’s no pretentiousness about the place which can often be found at 5* venues. It’s a really friendly, enjoyable place to be!
What did you think of the spa?
RA: I spent a good two hours in the spa following my round on the Montgomery Course and absolutely loved it. We hadn’t taken buggies and it’s fair to say the Monty took it out of us so relaxing in the Jacuzzi, sauna and swimming pool was heavenly!
VH: They have the most enormous Jacuzzi, and there is a gym, pool, sauna, steam room, and a plunge pool so everything you need to work out or relax; but the treatments are where it really stands out – I was ill when I went and every treatment I had was wonderful and made me feel a lot better; the staff were brilliant as well – they really pay attention to the individual.
RA: There are three courses at Celtic Manor and all are excellent tests of golf. I would recommend a buggy to anyone playing here as walks between holes are lengthy and the elevation changes can be quite taxing! The Twenty Ten Course is the resort’s crown jewel and is certainly one of the better courses I have played. From your shuttle journey through the Twenty Ten gates to relaxing in the Twenty Ten clubhouse, the whole experience of playing this famous Ryder Cup course is exciting and fascinating for any ardent golfer.
VH: There is no getting away from it, the golf course is a massive feature – it’s the first thing that comes into sight as you drive up, and you see it wherever you go which makes for a really nice view!
What’s the restaurant like?
RA: Luckily I have dined in almost all of the restaurants at Celtic Manor. Breakfasts are always good, the Merlin’s Bar is ideal for a relaxed meal and The Crown is the place to go for a special occasion. Anyone visiting Celtic Manor for the first time should definitely treat themselves to a Michelin star meal from here; the food is to die for!
VH: There are three restaurants – I ate in The Olive Tree in the main hotel building. The Olive Tree is the restaurant that’s included in our spa packages – and they serve a buffet although you can order off a set menu if you prefer – it’s absolutely fantastic. Breakfast in particular was wonderful – there is such a wide selection and it’s all very nicely laid out, there is even a pancake making machine so you can make your own pancakes – hours of entertainment.
What else is there to do at Celtic Manor?
RA: With three championship golf courses, golfers won’t need much more entertaining but there are other things to do if you have had your fill of fairways! The adventure golf is a good laugh and the Go-Ape style Forest Jump centre is excellent fun for all … just don’t look down!
VH: They have loads of activities from walking, fishing and visiting all the region’s castles such as Caerphilly, to the Go-Ape style forest with Forest Jumping and Sky Wire Wales. There are also lots of children’s activities, and of course they are also hosting Polo at the Manor again this year, which is just a lovely day out, especially if you include a few treatments and the After Polo Party!
Would you recommend going there?
RA: It is actually one of my favourite places to go for a weekend’s golf. It is easy to get to from London and once you’re there you have everything you would need right at your fingertips. The Twenty Ten experience is a must for any serious golfer and the combination of top class golf, relaxing in the spa and delicious food followed by a few beers in, let’s say, the Merlin’s Bar is the perfect way to spend a weekend.
VH: I would recommend it for groups and couples in particular. I have been twice – once with people from work who are aged around 25-30 and once with my mum for her 50th birthday – and had a great time on both occasions – it’s really versatile in that way.
What is your top tip for visiting Celtic Manor?
RA: Fork out the extra money to include a round on the Twenty Ten Course as it is really worth it and still very good value. I would also recommend booking your tee times as early as possible so that once you have finished golf for the day you still have plenty of time to relax in your room and the spa before getting ready for the evening. Also, the fish platter in Merlin’s is delicious!
VH: Have every treatment you possibly can! I would also really like to go back and try out some of the forest adventure activities – I know I have already said that, but I feel it needs reiterating!
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