Already among the most famous golf holiday destinations in the UK, Celtic Manor Resort is set to step up to the international stage this week with the start of the 2010 Ryder Cup.
A global audience of millions is expected to tune in as defending champions the United States – led by Corey Pavin – battle it out against Colin Montgomerie’s European challengers over three days of matches.
Pictured: Europe’s Colin Montgomerie with Corey Pavin of the United States
But just what is on offer at this most luxurious of destinations? Here Breaking Travel news checks in ahead of this historic event.
Crazy About Golf
The golf-centric Celtic Manor Resort offers guests three courses to choose from; The Twenty Ten Course, Roman Road and The Montgomerie.
First among equals is the Twenty Ten Course, which was purpose built to host the 2010 Ryder Cup. Measuring a robust 7,493 yards off the back tees, it has a par of 71 and features water hazards on half of its holes. The course also has six signature holes and presents many memorable tests and risk-and-reward dilemmas.
One of the features of the new course is its variety, with many of the earlier holes having a links-like feel with some long rough and greenside swales, before the middle section of the course reveals the full extent of the lake-lined challenge.
A tough finishing stretch culminates in a real sting in the tail at the 18th.
Competitors in this, the 38th Ryder Cup Matches, will step out onto the course on October 1st – but when the winners are decided The Twenty Ten Course is sure to prove an attractive challenge to armature players from around the world.
Also on offer at Celtic Manor is Roman Road.
The first of the Resort’s courses, opened in 1995, the facility was ranked the top inland course in Wales by Golf Monthly Magazine.
Overlooking the Severn Estuary with views across to Somerset and Devon, it was designed by Robert Trent Jones and is named after the many Roman roads that criss-cross it, with the design shaped to avoid disrupting any remains.
Finally, The Montgomerie was designed by Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie.
Measuring 6,371 yards the course has a par of 69.
The front nine takes as its framework the starting and closing holes of the old Wentwood Hills championship course which were not part of the plans for the new course for The Ryder Cup.
The back nine has been created from scratch on land that previously housed the 18-hole Coldra Woods academy course.
The Twenty Ten Course will welcome the world’s best golfers for the Ryder Cup
Celtic Manor Hotels
Alongside the three world-class golf courses, Celtic Manor Resort offers three hotels.
The five star Resort Hotel is the most luxurious. Opened in 1999, each one of its 330 bedrooms is beautifully appointed and decorated, where distinctive design and traditional luxury create a calm and relaxing environment.
A selection of luxury suites are individually decorated with picture windows and terraces. Even more indulgent and sumptuous are the two Presidential Suites, one with a baby grand piano.
The location is also home to The Crown, The Olive Tree and Merlins Bar along with The Forum Health Club and Spa, Forum Café, The Hideaway Club and the Celtic Mall adjacent to reception, which features designer golf and leisurewear from the likes of Tommy Hilfiger and Joules, ladieswear and beautifully presented gifts and souvenirs.
This pedigree was also noted by the World Travel Awards, which elected the property Wales’ Leading Hotel in 2007.
The Presidential Suites at the Resort Hotel are among the most popular
Long before the Resort Hotel was built, the historic 19th century Manor House was recognised to be one of the finest hotels in the United Kingdom, winning the Egon Ronay award for the best hotel in Wales for five consecutive years.
Present owner Sir Terence Matthews acquired The Manor House in 1980, after it had been used for more than 30 years as a maternity hospital, the Lydia Beynon, where he himself was born.
The character of this lovely property has been retained and it now provides a total of 70 traditionally styled bedrooms, including three with four-poster beds.
In addition, The Manor House is home to Le Patio restaurant, the Cellar Bar, Residents’ Lounge, Manor Bar, Hedleys, and The Manor Suite, and is a popular venue for weddings with its romantic country house ambience.
The Newbridge on Usk is the smallest hotel on site
Finally, the smallest property on the site is the Newbridge on Usk.
A 200-year-old inn, the property offers six stylish en-suite bedrooms, designed with comfort and elegance in mind with a distinctive design in each room. Only a short distance from the Resort itself, it is a perfect location to relax and unwind.
In an adjacent building guests will be greeted with a warm Welsh welcome in the stunning gastro-pub. Combining quaint, old worldly charm with a modern twist, it occupies an idyllic rural location sitting on the banks of the beautiful river Usk, near the charming village of Tredunnock.
While bookmakers are predicting a narrow victory for the United States on the course, with so much on offer Celtic Manor is sure to emerge as a winner when the trophy is awarded on October 3rd.