It's Champagne O'Clock! Time for the ultimate Mediterranean golf experience
Cold champagne, warm sea, blue skies, white sand, succulent seafood, throbbing nightlife and perfect privacy - plus all the golf you can handle. If you like the sound of this golfing lap of luxury, read on. It just gets better!
Time to discover
Champagne O'Clock is an 86-foot, lavishly equipped motor yacht which can travel at an impressive 26 knots - that's 30mph/48kmh - accommodating up eight guests in total luxury in her four stylish fitted cabins, three double and a twin. And she's waiting to take you, and your golf clubs, on the ultimate golfing cruise round the blue Mediterranean waters.
You can go where you want, when you want, be as energetic, or as lazy, as you wish, as you discover the delights of life on board with your Captain and crew of three, who are there for nobody but you.
Versatility is the key with Champagne O'Clock. You decide on your itinerary and what you want to do each day. You have the choice of anchoring off the coast in a remote location far from the crowds to soak up the sun and enjoy the peaceful sound of the sea, or cruise the magical waters of the Mediterranean, perhaps visiting one of the many beautiful ports, going ashore for some shopping, a round of golf, or sightseeing.
When night falls, see how you feel. You can anchor offshore and relax over a meal, or stay in a marina and show off your beautiful motor yacht, then head into town to sample the vibrant local nightlife.
Time to celebrate
You've finally got away from it all. Just relax now, watch the sunset from the open air sundeck, sip Champagne O'Clock's signature cocktail and enjoy the privacy and total freedom that life on board gives you.
A holiday on board Champagne O'Clock is ideal for all types of people. It's a golfing paradise with ideal weather all year round, but if you don't golf, why not just moor the yacht off a sandy beach and swim, sunbathe and, naturally, drink Champagne on board Champagne O'Clock? Can you think of a better way to pass the time while waiting for the golfers to return?
Of course, if you want to keep up with the news or your favourite sports, there's satellite TV in every cabin, and DVD if you feel like a lazy evening in with your favourite film.
When you're ready to head ashore, you can simply enjoy a gentle stroll, but if you want to explore further and continue your luxury onboard lifestyle on land, just ask the crew to arrange a chauffeur driven limousine, with your choice of prestige cars.
Time to unwind
There's nothing like diving into the blue Mediterranean waters from your own boat, having chosen your secluded location to swim and cool down. Or perhaps you'd like to try one of the many watersports facilities onboard: Champagne O'Clock carries water skis, a wake board, ringos, and snorkelling gear, as well as game fishing equipment if you fancy yourself as a budding Ernest Hemingway!
If lazing on a secluded beach, far from the crowds, is your favourite way to relax, there are many beautiful, unspoilt and little-known coves where your crew can drop you off (see a few of them in the image gallery just above, or take a look at the Spanish Tourist Board's superb guide to 375 beaches in the Balearic Islands). All you have to do is ask for the one you like!
Time to indulge
Dining aboard Champagne O'Clock is a true culinary experience, with your own private chef in the fully equipped galley waiting to serve you a superb meal either al fresco on the top deck, overlooking the ocean from the aft deck dining area or in the elegant luxury of the cool, air-conditioned dining room.
Go with the chef's suggestions and enjoy wonderfully fresh local seafood and Mediterranean vegetables, or plan your own menus to suit you and your guests' personal tastes.
Whatever your choice, there's a selection of fine wines from around the world to accompany your meals. And, of course, the Champagne O'Clock bar is always open for champagne!
Champagne O'Clock is your floating home, so everything should be just the way you want it. That's why you're asked to complete a "preference list" before your leave for your holiday: if you have a favourite food, or a favourite tipple, or indeed anything special you want to see or do while on board, just tell them in your list of requirements and they'll do all they can to make sure it's there for you.
For a unique and personalised holiday, it's time to cruise onboard Champagne O'Clock!
But first, of course, you have to get there. Organise your own flights if you wish, or the Champagne O'Clock team will be happy to help you. And if you really want the full champagne treatment from door to door, there's even a private jet service that will whisk you to the nearest airport, and a Bentley awaiting for the final leg to the yacht!
Once you're there, you want to be sure to work up an appetite for the delicious onboard cuisine. So...
Time for a little exercise! - Golf in Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca
The Balearic Islands offer golf that's enjoyable for every level of player, from the low handicapper to the beginner. The climate is perfect for golf, with hot summer sun but refreshing sea breezes, little rain, mild winters and an average yearly temperature of 21 degrees. However, booking an early tee time and plenty of sun-screen is recommended if playing in high summer!
Th golfer is spoilt for choice on the three main isalnds, with the opening of several new layouts bringing the total number to 22 - 2 on Ibiza, 1 on Menorca and 19 on Mallorca. All are set in scenic layouts amongst the beautiful Mediterranean flora and offer a year round ideal playing conditions, top class facilities and excellent customer care. Most are carefully designed to provide a stiff challenge to the low-handicapper, but also to provide less exacting fun for the more modest player. Many are right on the coast, so you can moor Champagne O'Clock just offshore, hop into the dinghy and hop out onto the first tee!
Golf Park Puntiró
Golf Park Puntiró, situated just outside Palma, is Jack Nicklaus' first design in Mallorca and popular with American visitors who want to play all of Nicklaus’ European courses. The club is also host to a Jack Nicklaus Golf Academy, with a fully trained team of pros and all the latest teaching technology.
The course was developed using the natural contours of the countryside and much care was taken to respect the topography of the land and preserve the natural vegetation of the island - pines, olive trees and corks. Some trees – such as the typical algarrobo (carob) trees, with their thick trunk similar to an olive, were even uprooted and replanted after construction of the course, helping to make it look more mature.
Puntiró is situated in a protected natural area. Only recycled water is used and - very importantly for the enjoyment of your round - it's not set in the middle of a housing development. There are no properties at all here, and you may even hear a cock crow!
The 18-hole par 71 layout isn't long - it's designed to be accessible to all - but it features two giant lakes and requires an accurate game. The greens are fast and the Bermuda grass fairways are wide; just keep out of the trees, water, bunkers and the long rough with its pretty wild white flowers!
Click here for Golf Park Puntiró details
Arabella Golf & Spa Resort
The Arabella Golf & Spa Resort group boasts three championship 18-hole courses, nestling between the hills of Son Vida and the island's capital Palma: Son Vida, Son Muntaner and Son Quint. These top quality courses are close together and it is easy to get from one to the other using the complimentary shuttle service every 15 minutes.
Golf Son Vida
Approaching the 18th green at the Golf Son Vida
The Hawtree-designed Golf Son Vida, dating back to 1964 but completely renovated by Kurt Rossknecht in 2001, is a superb course with pine, palm and almond tree-lined fairways, numerous bunkers but relatively little water, offering breathtaking views of the Sierra Tramuntana and the Bay of Palma.
Click here for Son Vida details
Sharing the same magnificent views, the longer and more difficult San Muntaner course is probably the most beautiful course Mallorca has to offer. It is also the most exclusive. It features a great variety of beautifully manicured holes, with large, difficult greens and boasts many ancient, native Mediterranean trees, among which "Sa Capitana", the oldest olive tree on the island, 6.5 metres (about 21 feet) in diameter and said to be over 1,000 years old (see image gallery).
Kurt Rossknecht, who designed San Muntaner in 2000, meant it to be in bloom all year round and this pretty course proudly holds two important environment-friendly certificates.
Lakes, numerous different bird species and Mediterranean flora also add to the natural character of the course, while multiple tees allow golfers of all levels to enjoy their game here.
Click here for Son Muntaner details
The recently opened Son Quint course is situated in a picturesque setting overlooking the bay of Palma, only a stone's throw from the Son Vida and Son Muntaner golf courses. The undulating course will challenge experienced golfers with its two large lakes, well-placed bunkers and very fast, tricky, Bent Grass greens, but four different tee positions will allow everybody to enjoy their round.
Bermuda Princess grass is used on the fairways here, as it is on many top courses in hot climates, such as Valderrama. This grass spreads thickly across the top of the soil, rather than putting down deep roots, making it resistant and less thirsty.
The speed of the greens is measured every week, and the club has got its own grass nursery, contributing, so they say, to the best fairways and greens on the island. One of the highlights of the course is the 8th tee, the highest point on the course, where you tee off directly towards Palma Cathedral, but spectacular views are on offer at almost every hole.
Click here for Son Quint details
Real Golf Bendinat
Situated between the sea and the mountains of Na Burguesa, 7km from Palma, Real Golf Bendinat is a hilly course where a buggy doesn’t come amiss.
Tree-lined fairways, some with sharp dog-legs, elevated tees, water hazards and small, tough greens make this a challenge to even the best of players. But there is comfort in the tranquil spectacle before your eyes: beautiful views over the bay, with olive and almond tree groves in the foreground.
Click here for Real Golf Bendinat details
The Santa Ponsa Golf Club: Santa Ponsa I and III
Just south of Calvià and very close to Palma is top class golfing territory: the Santa Ponsa Golf Club and its three courses. The Club has hosted many national and international tournaments, among which the European Tour Balearic Open, and is a favourite with the rich and famous.
The well established Santa Ponsa I course offers elevated greens, water coming into play on five holes and one of the longest holes in Europe, the 590 metre par 5 10th. It is nevertheless very enjoyable and less daunting than it sounds, being otherwsie not overly long and reasonably forgiving off the tee, thanks to its wide, gently sloping fairways, shortish rough and sparsely planted trees. Definitely somewhere you can get out the driver and open your shoulders!
The course is laid out among much sought-after residences but, although you may have to drive off at the first in front of people sunbathing on their terraces, they are not so obtrusive further along the course.
The nine-hole Santa Ponsa III is a delightful 1600 metre long, par 30 course set among pines and lakes, ideal for beginners and players who love to work on their approach and short game.
Santa Ponsa II, also set in a small pine forest, is slightly shorter than Santa Ponsa I but requires great accuracy. It is a beautiful course, with a striking finishing green in the shape of the Island of Mallorca. Regrettably, it is for the enjoyment of members only.
Click here for details of Santa Ponsa I and II, and here for Santa Ponsa III
Capdepera Golf Course
Capdepera Golf Club sits on Mallorca's North East coast, and is set in a spectacular valley , offering beautiful views over the Mediterranean.
The highlight of the course is undoubtedly the impressive par 3 15th. After climbing 100 feet up the mountain, you tee off over scrub to a small, well-defended green below, with a bunker front right and a ravine at the back. Whatever the outcome of your shot, take the time to admire the spectacular views across the valley to the sea.
Capdepera is considered a first class golf course, one of the very best in Mallorca and an excellent tournament course from the back-tees.
It is tight, with out of bounds, numerous bunkers and large, tricky greens, some raised, some double-tiered. It also features plenty of water, with six artificial lakes coming into play, but is fun to play and, using different tee positions, is suitable both for beginners and experts alike.
The very comfortable Mallorquin-style clubhouse overlooking the course will welcome you after your round for drinks or a meal of the highest quality of international and local cuisine.
Click here for Capdepera details
Click here for details of all courses in the Balearic Islands
Palma de Mallorca
Palma, historically a key port in the Mediterranean, has a beautiful old town. From the sea front or "Paseo Marítimo" you have an amazing view over the imposing gothic Cathedral and 14th century Royal Palace or Palau de l'Almudaina next door.
A short walk round these two monuments, past some palms and up some steps and you'll come to the 13th century gothic Cathedral known as La Seu. The atmosphere of the old quarter, with the lustrous golden limestone of its old shuttered houses, is like spending a few delightful moments in a different world.
Don't miss the chance to step inside the second-highest Gothic cathedral in Europe and look at the superb restoration work of Antoni Gaudi, including the largest stained-glass window in the world with its wonderful colours and the chandeliers - electricity was just being introduced in the early 1900s. You can also decide whether or not you like the much-criticised modern ceramic mural by local artist Miquel Barceló, representing Jesus feeding the multitude.
The narrow lanes of the old town are fascinating, with their different styles of old houses. Peep through the gates of ancient patios and feel a bit nosey; a shaded 'plaça' half-filled with café tables will suddenly appear, where the customers are relaxing with something cool while gathering energy for a spot of retail therapy.
Shopping isn't too strenuous in human-sized Palma; a great choice is available ranging from the usual chain stores to designer boutiques and local shops offering clothes, jewellery and especially Majorcan pearls, leather goods, glassware and fine needlework.
And if shopping leaves you peckish, the choice is yours between excellent restaurants serving everything from traditional Majorcan food to delicious tapas, some with outdoor tables under arcades around the Plaça Major.
Photo credits: © Golf Park Puntiró - The Arabella Golf & Spa Resort - Real Golf Bendinat - The Santa Ponsa Golf Club - Capdepera Golf Club - The Spanish Tourist Office - Maps by Courtesy of IBATUR - GolfToday