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Down Mexico Fairway

Cozumel, Mexico

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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.

Playa Azul 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.

Playa Azul: Room 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 provided.

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 vanity area.

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.

Playa Azul: Pool 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 manyPlaya Azul: Beach 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.

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