Thailand Wants To Be The World’s Most Popular Golf Destination

ThailandThoughts of Thailand may bring images of red shirts and yellow shirts, the temples of Bangkok or swimming with elephants. But what about golf? Thailand has hundreds of golf courses and wants the world to know about them.

Starting May 1, 2013, Golf In A Kingdom kicks off, showcasing 12 of Thailand’s 260+ courses and resorts to promote the land of smiles as a major force in golf tourism.

“Golf In A Kingdom has played a major role in Thailand becoming one of the world’s top three golf tourism destinations, so we have decided to showcase it to golf tour operators and media from around the globe,” founder Mark Siegel said this week.

In its fifth year, Golf In A Kingdom aims to capitalize on their unique formula of golf, entertainment, value, golf infrastructure, safety, climate and friendly Thai people.The May 1 international launch will be held at Siam Country Club’s Plantation Course and attended by tourism executives from Asia, Europe, North America and Australia.
As 60 percent of travelers coming to Asia for golf already choose Thailand, Golf In A Kingdom hopes to compete with Spain and the United States as the world’s most popular golf destination.

Think golf is not a big deal in Thailand? At OneAsia’s $1 million Thailand Open at Thana City Golf & Sports Club in Bangkok earlier this month, it was big news when Prayad Marksaeng became the third Thai to win their national championship with a two-stroke victory as we see in this video:




[Photo credit - Flickr user Shane D2]

Make Father’s Day Special With One Of These Packages Offered By Hotels Around The US

Dad’s special day is just around the corner. To help make this Father’s Day memorable, check out the unique packages and manly programming being offered by hotels around the country.

father's day Travaasa Austin
Austin, Texas

This Father’s Day, the Travaasa Austin is celebrating by featuring a full lineup of manly programming at their nature-immersed property. Some activities dads can expect include:

  • Male Bonding: Texas-Style
  • Beer Making 101
  • Grilling and Smoking with the Travaasa Culinary Team
  • Beer Tasting Experience
  • Discover Your Six Pack: Core Fitness
  • Conquer the Prickly Pear Challenge Course

The hotel will also be featuring a new spa menu and line of products, specially designed with men in mind.

Rates for Travaasa Austin begin at $113 per person, per night, based on double occupancy. Programming is included in the rate. Click here to book. maui hotel Travaasa Hana
Maui, Hawaii

Like its sister property, the Travaasa Hana is offering a lineup of special programming for dads to help them focus on their physique, palate and pastimes in a local way. Some of the activity options will include:

  • Machete Madness Coconut Husking
  • Throw Net Fishing
  • Private surf lessons
  • Hanging in Hana
  • Martial Arts Conditioning (Lua)
  • Chief’s Archery
  • Master’s of Mixology

The spa will also be featuring special treatments and products created with men in mind.

Rates for Travaasa Hana begin at $175 per person, per night, based on double occupancy. Programming is included in the rate. Click here to book.

st.julien hotel St. Julien Hotel and Spa
Boulder, Colorado

For fathers who want a laid-back and tasty experience, St. Julien Hotel and Spa is offering a beer-themed package for dads. Being home to four of the nation’s top 50 breweries, Colorado is the perfect destination for brew-loving fathers. The package includes a one night stay for two people, an Urban Oasis spa facial or massage designed specifically for men, a beer of choice before the spa treatment and a Father’s Day cookout with beer can chicken, baby back ribs, corn on the cob, mountain-cured charcuterie and, of course, unlimited Fat Tire brews.

Package rates start at $619, based on two adults.
Click here to book.

Resort at Squaw Creek
hotel Lake Tahoe, California

For outdoorsy dads, Resort at Squaw Creek is offering a “Father’s Day Getaway” package this holiday. Participating guests will receive two nights accommodation in a deluxe room, a 3-hour fly-fishing tour on the resort’s private ponds led by Matt Heron and a gourmet trout dinner for two at the Six Peaks Grille. To compliment the package, the property is also offering a buy-one-get-one-half-off special on rounds of golf. And after the game, players will receive a voucher to receive one meal of equal or lesser value free with the purchase of any meal at Sandy’s Pub.

Package rates begin at $389 per room, per night, based on double occupancy. Offer valid June 15 to June 17. Click here to book.

hotel terraHotel Terra
Jackson Hole, Wyoming

During the entire month of June, Hotel Terra is helping dads celebrate their special day with a “Dad’s Days Off” package. Participating guests will receive three nights of accommodation in an eco-friendly boutique room, 18 holes of golf at JH Golf and Tennis including cart and driving range for two and a full-day fly-fishing trip for two.

Package rates start at $529 per night, based on double occupancy. Click here to book.

pinehurst hotel Pinehurst Resort
Pinehurst, North Carolina

During Father’s Day weekend, June 15 to 18, the Pinehurst Resort will be offering a special package revolving around the U.S. Open. The deal includes:

  • Three nights of accommodation
  • Two rounds of golf
  • A night of golf stories and legends presented by Jim Dodson, bestselling author of “Final Rounds and Faithful Travelers,” and Sidney Matthew, author of “Life and Times of Bobby Jones”
  • Breakfast and dinner each day
  • The chance to watch the U.S. Open on a big screen television in a dedicated room

Package rates start at $795 per person. Click here to book.

sanctuary hotel The Sanctuary Hotel
New York, NY

For those looking to spend Father’s Day in the Big Apple, The Sanctuary Hotel is offering a special package from June 14 to 18. Dads will receive a $100 gift certificate to Lure Fish Bar in SoHo, a day of spa pampering at John Allan’s, which includes a scalp massaging shampoo, a conditioning treatment, hot towel, haircut, shoeshine, manicure and beverages and two $30 gift cards to The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers.

Package rates start at $479 per night, based on double occupancy. Click here to book.

scottsdale Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
Scottsdale, Arizona

This Father’s Day, the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is hosting a “Barbecue Basics” class on Saturday, June 16, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Dads can learn the secrets of sauces, rubs and grilling, while enjoying cold beers and specialty hand-rolled cigars and learning golf tips from experts. Moreover, Executive Chef Mel Mecinas and Executive Sous Chef Jesse Hansen will lead cooking demos. This will be followed by a delicious BBQ meal, complemented by homemade ice cream and whiskey floats. And to help you remember what you learned, participants receive a recipe book, sample sauces and rubs and a cigar.

Class is $75 per person and reservations are required. Participants who stay overnight will get a free room upgrade and complimentary parking by mentioning promo code “DADBBQ.” Click here to book.

rhode island The Ocean House
Watch Hill, Rhode Island

For dads who love a bit of adventure, The Ocean House is offering a fishing safari weekend from June 15 to 17. Fathers can learn the fundamentals of fly-fishing during a time when the environment is perfect for catching fish. Participating visitors will receive accommodations in a water-view room, a cocktail reception, a seminar on fly-tying and equipment primer at table stations with lunch provided, an afternoon fly-fishing excursion at the Ocean House East Beach, dinner in Seasons Restaurant featuring participants’ catch of the day and a jazz brunch.

Package rates start at $1,200, based on double occupancy. Click here to book.

hotel Cambria Suites
Traverse City, Michigan

The comfortable and affordable Cambria Suites will be offering a “Father’s Day Weekend” package from June 15 to 17, to help dads celebrate their special day. Package includes two nights accommodation in a King Suite, a $50 gift card to Boones’ Long Lake Inn, two $25 gift certificates for a Micro Brew Tour and 18 holes of golf with cart for two on one of five championship golf courses.

Packages are $559 including all taxes. Reservations must be made by June 12. Click here to book.

Memorial Day Getaway: Ski, Bike, Golf Mammoth Mountain

Ski Mammoth Mounta Memorial Day Weekend!Are you still making plans for Memorial Day weekend? Then look no further than Mammoth Mountain Resort, where unique spring weather conditions have made it possible for visitors to ski, mountain bike and play golf all on the same day.

Even though the Memorial Day weekend often marks the unofficial start to summer, Mammoth isn’t quite ready to completely give up on winter just yet. The resort is one of the few places in the U.S. where it is still possible to ski this spring and the lifts will remain open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Monday, May 28.

Once you’ve finished taking a few turns on the slopes, head over to Mammoth’s fantastic mountain bike park, which officially opens for the season on Saturday, May 26. The lower-mountain trails will be fully accessible and the uphill shuttle will run from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., making it as easy as possible to bomb down the great trails there.

Finally, cap off the day with a round of golf on the Sierra Star Golf Course, which opened for the season this past Friday. The beautiful course is surrounded by snow capped peaks and is also located at 8000 feet above sea level, making it the highest course all of California. The thin air will add distance to your drives while the serene setting will brighten your mood, even after a three-putt.

Because it is so unusual to be able to ski, mountain bike and golf all on the same day, Mammoth is offering fantastic deals on passes for the weekend. Visitors can choose to either ski and ride or ski and golf for just $79 or they can elect to partake in all three activities for just $99. That seems like a bargain for a very active day outside. Check out all of these deals and more on the Mammoth Summer Kick-off page.

[Photo courtesy Mammoth Mountain]

Labor Day island getaways from Wanderfly

labor day islandLabor Day is fast approaching along with the official end of summer. If you haven’t had enough sun yet, maybe it’s time for one more weekend of lying on the beach, fruity cocktail and fun book in hand? We asked our friends at Wanderfly.com, a web travel tool that helps you choose a vacation spot, for some Labor Day island getaways offering deals for the long weekend.

Domestic: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Hilton Head is a 45-minute drive from Savannah, Georgia (one of our favorite romantic destinations), with miles of public Atlantic beaches, dolphin cruises, and renowned golf courses. Not bringing your private yacht? ResortQuest will pay for your gas ($150 credit card) on Labor Day stays of 3 nights or more, plus free tennis and discounted golf.

Caribbean: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Feeling decisive? If you can book by tomorrow, you can save 35% on stays at Bolongo Bay Beach Resort in St. Thomas. They’ll also throw in a free sunset sail and cocktails at their beach bar. Summer is the low season for most Caribbean islands, but a tropical weekend knows no season. Check out more of Wanderfly’s picks for St. Thomas here.

Europe: Iceland
So Iceland might not be known for sandy beaches or fruity cocktails, but relaxing in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon works pretty well too. Iceland Air is offering a free stopover in Iceland on flights booked to European cities such as Stockholm and Amsterdam. Just have time for one destination? Reykjavik is only about 5 hours from the East Coast with direct flights from New York, Boston, Washington D.C., and Orlando, as well as Minneapolis and Seattle.

If you’ve had enough sun, Wanderfly has plenty of other travel ideas. Visit their site and tell them what you’re looking for (with interests from art to extreme adventure) and how much you want to spend and they’ll give you personalized recommendations. Stay tuned for more Labor Day travel ideas on Gadling.

Hilton Head Island photo courtesy Flickr user Lee Coursey.

Ski and bike Mammoth Mountain this weekend

Ski and bike Mammoth Mountain this weekend!The massive snowfalls that have blanketed the western U.S. this past winter and spring are making for some very unique opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts this summer. For instance, Mammoth Mountain in California has has remained open for skiing all year so far and yet they’ll also be opening their mountain bike park for the season today as well. That means, you’ll have the option to both ski and bike Mammoth this weekend!

To celebrate the opening of the newly revamped mountain bike park, the fine folks at Mammoth have put together some great packages to entice visitors to come enjoy this rare opportunity to hit the slopes and the park in the same day. Starting today, and running through the 4th of July, adrenaline junkies can get a Ski+Bike pass for just $79. For that price you get an unrestricted lift ticket for skiing and snowboarding and an unrestricted mountain biking lift ticket for the same day. They’ll even throw in free shuttle service to the trail for those who don’t want to pedal up hill. If you’re looking to take it a bit easier, there is also a Ski+Golf package that is also $79 and includes nine holes of golf instead of mountain biking. Learn more about both packages here.

The video below will give you an idea of what to expect in the mountain bike park, which features more than 70 miles of single-track, and drops over 3000 feet from the Mammoth Mountain summit. There are routes for all ages and skill levels, with scenic views to enjoy along the way.

You can also add Mammoth to our list of ski resorts open for the 4th of July weekend as well. Visitors will be treated to contests, music, parties, food, and fireworks. Check out all Independence Day activities here.

[Photo credit: Mammoth Mountain]