Down Mexico Fairway
If you’re a Scot, you probably think there’s something to be
said for playing golf in an authentic environment – slicing your way across the
Old Course at St. Andrews in driving rain and sleet, minimal visibility and a
howling gale coming off the North Sea.
If you’re not a Scot – or you are, but you’ve given up hope of playing in your
homeland’s unpredictable climate – you will probably enjoy a visit to the Playa
Azul Golf and Beach Hotel on the island of Cozumel, off Mexico’s Yucatan
peninsula. Despite being off the coast of one of Mexico’s most popular (and
populous) tourist regions, Cozumel is nice and quiet – the ideal place to relax
with your clubs.
The Hotel virtually adjoins the golf center. With three
5000-6000 yard courses, this can easily provide several days’ entertainment for
the most seasoned of golfers, and, in fact, one of the vacation packages
available from the hotel allows for several days’ consecutive play. If you
don’t want to drag all your own gear along with you, you can hire clubs and
even golf shoes. There are driving, chipping and putting ranges if you feel you
need some practice before setting foot on the course proper, and if your skills
are really in need of repair – or you’re a complete beginner – full instruction
is available. It’s worth making sure that you take appropriate golfing attire,
as the club enforces quite rigorous codes of dress. You don’t have to march
around the fairways in coat, tie and plus fours, however, but there are a few
simple regulations. In general, if both sexes stick to the usual combination of
polo shirt and Bermuda shorts you should experience few problems.
The resort hotel itself has a number of different types of rooms from which to
choose. The most basic is the Oceanview Room. These rooms all have, as the name
suggests, excellent views of the Caribbean – every single one has its own
balcony from which you can enjoy unspoilt vistas. Air conditioning comes as
standard, as do direct dial phones, bathrooms, safes and refrigerators. You
even get your own coffee maker with excellent, freshly ground local coffee
If your budget allows, you can step up to an Oceanview Suite.
These generously proportioned living areas offer a little taste of luxury at
what is still a very reasonable price. The setup is much the same as in
Oceanview Rooms, but you get your own living area with sofas, and a separate
If you really want to enjoy the high life – or you’re traveling
as part of a larger group or family, you can book an Oceanview Master Suite or
the resort’s Garden House. The Master Suite offers such luxuries as an
open-air, ocean view Jacuzzi. The Garden House – there’s only one – is a
separate bungalow in the grounds of the resort, not far from the main entrance.
It enjoys all the same amenities and facilities as the rest of the hotel rooms,
but allows a little extra space for families to spread out and relax.
For non-golfers the Playa Azul Golf and Beach Hotel offers a variety of other
distractions. The usual selection of resort watersports is available. The
resort also prides itself on the excellent nature of nearby fishing. There are
plenty of opportunities local to take a fishing trip out to sea. However, if
you like to keep your feet on (relatively) dry land there are also many
locations close by for fly fishing. The large number of flats and lagoons are
enough to satisfy even the most hardcore fly enthusiast – if you intend to fly
fish seriously during your break on Cozumel it’s worth doing a little research
in advance of your trip about availability, access and the best spots. The
hotel management will also be happy to point you in the direction of excellent
local sources of advice.
If you feel the need to relax after a long day with clubs, or
with rod and line, there is nearby branch of Acuaspa, the Mexican spa chain,
where you can enjoy a relaxing soak or even a full massage. Thoroughly chilled
out, you can return to the Playa Azul Golf and Beach Hotel and browse the
guest’s library or play a quiet game of pool before enjoying dinner in the
hotel’s own Palma Azul Restaurant.
Cozumel isn’t as easy to get to as some resort locations, as you
have to take a ferry from the Yucatan proper to reach the Playa Azul Golf and
Beach Hotel. However, the journey is not at all difficult, and allows you to
get away from the crowds that can dominate the mainland in this part of Mexico.
So grab your clubs, your rod and line, and make for one of the best value
resorts in the Americas.