Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community and belated happy St. Paddy’s Day! If you didn’t have your fill of Irish fare yesterday, my partners at CIE Tours shared a fab Irish Coffee recipe courtesy of Sean’s Bar, the oldest pub in the world (its history dates to 900AD):
Sean’s specially blended Irish whiskey
Freshly brewed, strong coffee
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Double whipped cream, freshly whipped to a thickness so it flows off the spoon
- Heat your glass.
- Add whiskey to your liking and brown sugar.
- Add coffee to ¾ full.
- Using a spoon, carefully float the cream on top of the coffee.
This month we’re covering vacations that allow you to pursue sporting activities, and this week it’s all about racquet sport love, specifically tennis and pickleball.
If you haven’t heard of pickleball, it’s increasing in popularity exponentially! According to the USA Pickleball Association, it’s one of the fastest-growing sports in the country. It’s a paddle sport that combines aspects of tennis, badminton, and ping pong using a paddle and a plastic ball with holes. Pickleball is fun for all ages and skill levels and can be fast-paced and competitive too.
Ready to learn about vacations where you can play racquet sports? Read on for the scoop…
Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, Southern California
Just south of San Diego, you’ll find yourself a tennis nirvana. Award-winning Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa has 16 tennis courts, 3 pickleball courts, and world-class pros focused on improving your game. Only 15 minutes from the Pacific Ocean and beaches, the resort is nestled among citrus groves, eucalyptus trees, and bougainvillea. The weather is ideal for tennis and pickleball year-round.
After a day full of exercise, you can relax your weary muscles in the gorgeous spa and enjoy a meal at one of the two restaurants. Veladora offers valley views in a candlelit hacienda setting, and The Pony Room serves up craft cocktails and more casual fare.
Couples and families love Rancho Valencia, and Virtuoso clients get the perks!
Racquets by the Red Rocks
Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona is just that – enchanting! Nestled among the towering red rock walls of Boynton Canyon, the 70-acre resort offers over 100 weekly activities, tennis and pickleball included, and nearly 400 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails. The new activity center, Trail House, makes Enchantment a leading destination for active families and couples.
Three outdoor tennis courts and two pickleball courts are the site of Nike tennis and pickleball camps in addition to private lessons. Play racquet sports in the morning, hit the trails in the afternoon, take a late afternoon dip in the outdoor pool, and enjoy a wonderful dinner in one of the fantastic restaurants.
Take time during your stay to pursue more mellow activities including culinary demonstrations, guided meditations, photography, pottery, wine and watercolor workshops, star gazing, yoga classes and more!
Of course, Virtuoso clients get the perks, including a $100 resort credit in 2021. What are you waiting for?
Club Med – All Inclusive Value
Club Med is having a re-birth as a fantastic value for all inclusive, sport-focused vacations for families, couples, and groups. This past winter, I highlighted them for skiing in Europe, another fantastic value (consider it for next winter).
If you’re into tennis and pickleball, look no further than Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Florida. Sandpiper Bay isn’t on the beach (it’s on a river) but boasts 20 tennis and pickleball courts, some with lighting for night play.
Club Med’s outside the US also offer tennis and pickleball, so when you’re ready to explore give me a shout, so I can help you find the best option for your family or group.
Although not a tennis mecca, understatedly elegant Round Hill Hotel & Villas in Montego Bay, Jamaica is offering a Stay & Play tennis package through December 16, 2021 (blackout dates and covid testing requirements apply).
Virtuoso guests will enjoy unlimited tennis on the five courts and these additional amenities:
- One tennis lesson per person
- One sleeve of tennis balls per person
- Unlimited use of the tennis courts
- Use of tennis racquets
- Breakfast daily
- Welcome drink on arrival
- Welcome amenity in room
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Afternoon tea daily
- Non-motorized water sports and daily scheduled glass-bottom boat ride
- Daily shopping shuttle to Montego Bay
Hidden Gem Tip: The bar has some pretty amazing photos of past guests including John Kennedy, Johnny Cash, and Paul Newman.
Bucket list tennis in Positano, Italy
A Virtuoso Best Of The Best hotel in Italy, Il San Pietro di Positano sits on a cliff overlooking the Bay of Positano. Play tennis on one of the most Instagram-worthy courts in the world, located between the high cliffs and the sea!
Take full advantage of the location – there is a private dock for guests arriving by yacht, a complimentary yacht tour of the Amalfi Coast, a 24-hour free shuttle to Positano, and a water taxi to the center of town. Add to your bucket list now!
Inspired? If you’re ready to learn more about vacations where you can play racquet sports on your next vacation, here’s the direct link to my calendar to schedule a chat: https://calendly.com/hiddengemtravelconsulting/45min
.Wishing you and your family continued good health,