A month at WaterColor is cheaper than ever

A week away is nice, but nothing beats a month. New rates from Watercolor Inn & Resort and WaterSound Beach put you comfortably on Northwest Florida‘s Gulf Coast for incredibly reasonable rates, and the amenities available are fantastic. Let the migration begin!

The digs you can reserve at Watercolor range from one bedroom to seven, all fully furnished and with upscale, cutting-edge kitchens and laundry facilities. And, for the workaholics, there’s complementary high-speed internet access. So, you’ll never have to be far from the folks who are ultimately paying for your getaway. Free bike, kayak and canoe use is available as well. But, that’s nothing compared to what happens at the spa. Book a month-long retreat, and you’ll be able take advantage of discounted treatments.

Golfers will be thrilled with their stays at these resorts. For only an extra $395 per month, you’ll get unlimited access to Greg Norman-designed Shark’s Tooth Golf Club, Camp Greek Golf Club by Tom Fazio and Love III, which was designed by Origins. That’s a hell of a lot of golf at some outstanding courses.

Here’s the best part: WaterColor vacation homes start at a mere $1,700 a month, with WaterSound Beach rentals available for as little as $1,200 a month. There’s no reason to take off for only a week — not with rates like these.

Fourth night free at Cambridge Beaches, just in time for the holidays

In Bermuda, Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa is offering a fourth night free if you pay for three by the end of the year. Experience some serious luxury at this AAA Four-Diamond resort, where you can wander the 30-acre peninsula on the island’s west coast, soak in the sun on private beaches and get rubbed down at an award-winning European-style spa. Meals and afternoon tea are intricate affairs designed to impress, and duffers can lose themselves on the Port Royal Golf Course, a public course that’s only five minutes from the resort.

To score the fourth night free, you’ll need to book by the end of the year for a stay between November 1, 2009 and April 15, 2010. So, you can disappear for the coldest months of the year, or hide during that strange period in March that isn’t really cold but is just incredibly raw.

But, the real draw for this deal is in December. Holiday stress can be a real nightmare. Yeah, it’s only October right now, but you know what’s coming. Thanksgiving will having you running a mile a minute, and that’s nothing compared to the December death march. Instead of trying to extract yourself from the dizzying schedule with a short weekend away requiring little more than a drive, plan now for the break you’ll so desperately need. If I were able to get out of town for a bit in December, I’d do it in a heartbeat … and I purposefully keep my holiday commitments to a minimum.

World’s longest golf course opens in Australia

Like golf? Like road trips? Want to do both? Now’s your chance.

A new eighteen-hole course stretching over 1,365 kilometers (848 miles) across the Australian Outback has just opened.

If you’re thinking “ecological disaster”, don’t worry. They haven’t cultivated a green that long, only a relatively small area around each hole. And you’re not expected to walk the entire course, or even use one of those silly little carts. You play one hole and drive to the next. Even so it still takes about a week to play. Situated in the isolated Nullarbor Plain, the course features big skies, lots of scenery, and abundant wildlife such as dingos and kangaroos. Hole Four at Nundroo has the largest population of southern hairy-nosed wombats in the country. Someone out there apparently has a job counting hairy-nosed wombats.

The developers of Nullarbor Links hope the course will help business along the rural Eyre Highway, which players will see a lot of if they want to finish this endurance test.

New Nicklaus course to open in Punta Mita next month

A new Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course is opening next month, so you may want to start planning immediately. On November 16, 2009, Nicklaus himself will hit the ceremonial first tee shot at the new Punta Mita Bahia golf course. This is the second of his courses at Punta Mita – he designed Punta Mita Pacifico, which opened in 1999. Both Bahia and Pacifico are part of the private Punta Mita Club de Golf and are reserved for Punta Mita homeowners and guests.

The new course is just shy of 30 miles from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport and is on a peninsula in the Pacific Ocean that boasts 9.5 miles of beach. So, even if you aren’t a golfer, there’s a reason to head out to Punta Mita. But, this really is a golfer’s escape. Five holes play along the ocean, and another two have views of the water. From December to April, you can get a great look at the humpback whale migration from the course.

“You would be hard-pressed to ask for a more beautiful backdrop for a golf course than Punta Mita,” says course designer Jack Nicklaus. “To be given spectacular oceanfront land as a canvas not once, but twice, here at Punta Mita is exciting for a designer, and it reflects a commitment from ownership to provide a memorable golf experience. I’m confident people are going to enjoy the challenge and beauty of this golf course, as well as the incredible scenery.”

Holes 15 and 17 on Bahia are said to be the most memorable. For 15, the approach shot gives you a great view of Banderas Bay and the Puerto Vallarta skyline. Look out, though, it’s green has a tricky drop-off and a nasty bunker. The 17th hole – a 387-yeard par 4 with a short dogleg left – follows the contour of a cove and offers a small waterfront green.

The new course is a par 72 and has Miniverde greens built to USGA standards. There are five par 3s, eight par4s and five par 5s. Both courses wrap around both the residential communities and the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort.

Golf, spa and 15th century charm in Brittany

A round of golf and a trip to the spa can make any vacation even better. Now, put both those activities – and you – in Brittany, on the northwest coast of France. It’s even better, right? If this sounds good to you, check out the Hotel Domaine de la Bretesche‘s new “Golf and Spa” package. It runs through the end of the year and can save you more than 35 percent.

For €537 a night, you’ll get a room at Hotel Domaine de la Bretesche, breakfast every day and dinner at the hotel’s le Montaigu restaurant – run by Michelin-starred chef Gilles Charpy. You and your traveling companion will each get a treatment at Spa de la Cour Carree and 18 holes on the hotel’s golf course. Essentially, pay for the spa, meals and golf, and your room is free.

The hotel has only 32 rooms, all in a fortified 15th century estate. Enjoy this old world elegance … and don’t forget to bring your clubs!