CATALAN PERFECTION IN CAMIRAL

03 May 2024

Despite a change in its name, Camiral continues to push the envelope as the leading golf resort in Spain.

What’s in a name? A considerable amount as far as Camiral is concerned. Having made a reputation as Spain’s No.1 golf resort, the property changed its moniker to Camiral Golf & Wellness a year ago. Its name may be different, but its lofty proposition remains intact.

“As PGA Catalunya, we have been a familiar name in golf for more than two decades – as Spain’s No.1 golf resort and home of the revered Stadium Course, consistently ranked among the top 10 courses in Continental Europe, our resort has been a pilgrimage for discerning international travellers, following in the footsteps of golfing greats,” says Judit Calderon, Head of Communications, Camiral.

A bird’s eye view of Camiral, Spain’s No.1 golf resort.

“In that same timeframe so much has changed too,” she adds. “Beyond golf, the entire resort has emerged as a world class destination and estate. With Camiral transformed into a leading five-star hotel, the opening of our state-of-the-art €5 million Wellness Centre and the creation of an award-winning residential community, we have evolved into a luxury leisure and wellness destination, to complement golf. Guests, including many families, now come for mountain biking, for the food and wine, to play on the zip lines and to switch off.

“Therefore, to reflect all aspects of the resort and the array of experiences centred around our hotel, but more importantly, to lead the charge on new understanding of golf, which redefines the sport and its link to wellbeing, we felt the time is right to take the next step in our journey and rename the resort Camiral Golf & Wellness.”

The elegantly designed lobby at Hotel Camiral.

The new name does roll off the tongue rather nicely, but it has an imbedded meaning as well. Camiral takes its name from ‘”Cami Ral”, or the royal way – an ancient Roman route connecting Spain and France, and then to Rome. The route actually passes through the property and can be enjoyed on foot or bicycle. While Camiral offers the entire gamut of activities and facilities, its two golf courses are arguably the reasons why the majority of visitors come. The Stadium Course continually ranks as one of the best in Europe. Originally named the Green Course, it has hosted numerous European Tour events, including the Spanish Open and Qualifying School Final Stages.

The Stadium Course was designed by Neil Coles with the Ryder cup in mind with its spacious holes and banking to accommodate up to 30,000 spectators. With the acquisition of Camiral Golf & Wellness by Denis O’Brien, owner of Quinta do Lago in Portugal, the path to glory took a different turn, to one culminating in an upmarket development of considerable style and elegance.

Camiral’s natural setting helps to make it one of the world’s best golf resorts.

Originally intended for high-level competitions, the course underwent significant upgrades to lengthen the 7,333yds, par-72 course and toughen some of its iconic holes, including the lakeside 3rd green, expansive par-3 11th and the 18th fairway.

Camiral Golf & Wellness is the eighth European Tour Destination to join The European Tour’s portfolio of world-class venues. This distinction provides the stamp of tournament quality, and guarantees a level of on- and off-course facilities to provide a memorable golfing experience for all members and visitors.

The Tour Course, in comparison, is more forgiving. Ángel Gallardo and Neil Coles creation designed it to challenge players of all levels, with most holes having wide fairways and bunkers placed strategically around the greens, where less-than-perfect shots are not necessarily heavily penalised.

Lavida Hotel has a more casual vibe targeted to golf groups and families.

“Golf remains central to the experience at Camiral Golf & Wellness,” Calderon provides. “And as such, we continue to invest significantly in both the Stadium and Tour Courses, and across our Golf Academy and Golf Hub.

“In 2022 alone, more than €1 million was invested in its courses, particularly focusing on key sustainability measures. These included introducing Bent grass on the Stadium Course’s greens, which helped reduce water usage by 25 per cent. This was followed in 2023 by the implementation of Bermuda Celebration grass on its tees and rough areas. The variety is naturally resistant to drought and heat, making it ideal for the Mediterranean climate. The new grass types – which also include Paspalum Platinum and Tall Fescue – have high resistance to diseases and pests, eliminating the risk of importing harmful noxious species and reducing the need for phytosanitary products.”

The 1,000 sq m Wellness Centre focuses on wellbeing programmes with holistic approaches.

Under the watchful eye of David Batalier, Director of Agronomy at the resort, Camiral has also imposed further measures that include reducing irrigated areas by an additional 28ha, as well as upgrading the resort’s digital irrigation system to latest water-saving technology.

Significant investment has also benefitted the Golf Hub and Golf Academy, including a new reproduction of the Stadium Course’s par-3 11th hole on the practice range, creating a target challenge for practice and fun games. The Golf Hub also includes a 2,000 sqm putting green and chipping area, with five bunkers each containing different sand types (found at Augusta, St Andrews, volcanoes in Hawaii, Stadium Course and Pebble Beach).

Swimming pool at Hotel Camiral

Camiral offers much more than its amazing golf courses. While it continues to focus on the golf market as Spain’s No.1 golf resort, the property is also addressing the growing demand for golf fitness and wellness.

“From a leisure perspective, the Camiral Golf & Wellness brand has enabled us to resonate with travellers seeking to maintain or enhance their personal wellbeing,” continues Calderon. “Working with world- leading partners to offers treatments including whole-body cryotherapy, intravenous infusions, hyperbaric oxygen and photobiomodulation, we have also teamed up with leading figures in their respective fields, like Monique Eastwood, to develop programmes that reflect the values of today’s health-conscious consumers, merely extending our appeal beyond the more traditional ‘leisure’ traveller. Our 1,000sq m Wellness centre provide rituals designed to revive, restore, and inspire. Our wellbeing programmes are built on a holistic approaches that invites pure relaxation and promotes long-lasting benefits for the mind and body.”

1477 Restaurant’s menu of European dishes has a Catalan flair.

As resorts go, Camiral leaves little to be desired, and few reasons to leave the property once you’ve checked in. Two lodging options let guests choose from the elegance of the five-star Hotel Camiral, or the funky, hip ambience of Lavida Hotel. And the five restaurants allow guests to dine in luxury at 1477 Restaurant serving European cuisine with a Catalan accent, to the tastefully appointed Club Café, the golf club bistro, with its casual menu and views over the Stadium Course and Montseny Massif mountain range.

Camiral Golf & Wellness is an easy one-hour drive from Barcelona with its international connectivity, and a short 20-minute drive from Girona, one of Spain’s most beautiful medieval towns. For fans of the hit series Game of Thrones, several sites in Girona were used to film some of the episodes.

Ultimately, Judit Calderon puts it best when she says that Camiral “helps its guests gain a deeper, meaningful appreciation of physical and emotional wellbeing, while making the promise to play well, stay well and rest well”.

Camiral’s suites are best described as tasteful luxury.

CAMIRAL GOLF & WELLNESS

Carretera N-II km 701. 17455 Caldes de Malavella, Girona, Spain

+34 972 472 249, www.camiral.com/en

More posts

MAN IN CHARGE

20 May 2024
1 2 3 69
`