12 of the world’s best hotels and resorts for a game of tennis
Tennis season has officially started and if you’re feeling inspired to pick up a racket, then why not check into one of the world’s most spectacular tennis hotels. From practising your backhand with views across the Serengeti Plains to taking lessons with Grand Slam winners in the Caribbean, we’ve curated 16 of the best tennis hotels and resorts around the world that promise state-of-the-art facilities and first-rate coaching. Love all.
Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech
Fairmont Royal Palm is spread across 231 hectares, a haven just outside the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. The guest rooms, suites and villas are opulent, the landscaped gardens picturesque and the six restaurants and bars will satisfy every gourmet whim. But it’s the view which is the scene-stealer, stretching as far as the eye can see across to the stunning snow-capped Atlas Mountains. And where better to soak up the panorama than from one of the four clay tennis courts? Enjoy a chilled knockabout with friends and family or take it up a level with a tailored tennis and padel coaching session in partnership with Tennis LUX. Either way, the Olympic-sized swimming pool is perfect for a post-match cool down.
Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi, Maldives
This is a tropical island resort with sport and wellness at its heart. The facilities are first-class, with a spa sanctuary and fitness centre, watersports and diving hub and a packed programme of cross-generational activities. Tennis fans will love it – it’s the only resort in the Maldives with no less than four courts, where you may well spot the likes of Serena Williams working on her backhand (she is a regular visitor).
This summer, in partnership with LUX Tennis, the French-American player Mary Pierce, who has won 28 titles including the French and Australian Open, will be coaching and playing with guests between 12 and 22 June, as well as offering complimentary lessons to those staying on the resort’s private island. As part of the Tennis Star Events programme, guests of the main resort can take additional lessons with the LUX Tennis Resident Professional Coach.
Coral Reef Club, Barbados
Set amidst 12 landscaped acres on the west coast, just north of Holetown, Coral Reef Club is the timeless grand dame of the Barbados hotel scene. Family-owned since the 1950s, this resort has lost nothing of its Caribbean charm and five-star style. Here, guests wander between the golden beach, the open-sided restaurant and the spa, which elegantly blends outdoor and indoor living. Amongst the frangipani and bougainvillaea-scented grounds, you’ll also find two tennis courts, both of which are floodlit for night play when the weather is a little cooler. Tennis players of all ages and abilities are invited to partake in complimentary tennis coaching with the resort’s resident pro every day.
LUX* Grand Gaube, Mauritius
This tropical LUX* resort in Grand Gaube, on the north coast of Mauritius, is the epitome of retro-elegance. The design by Kelly Hoppen blends perfectly with the lush surroundings, whether across the rooms, suites or villas, in the impressive spa, at the Peruvian and Turkish restaurants or even in the run treehouse. Work off those cocktails by partaking in the daily tennis lessons at the Tennis Academy. Or even better, try your hand at padel – a combination of tennis and squash – as the resort is home to one of the island’s first padel courts. Pop by the pro shop and book a spot.
Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Tanzania
Game drives, sundowners, sitting around campfires swapping wildlife stories … Everything you’d expect on safari. Picking up a racket to play a game of tennis? Less so. But at Singita Sasakwa Lodge, you can do just that. Set within the 350,000-acre Singita Grumeti Reserve in Tanzania, with views across the Serengeti Plains, the Lodge is built in the style of an Edwardian manor house. Expect polished parquet floors, vintage furnishings, huge en suite bathrooms and French doors leading out onto breezy verandas with private infinity pools. But do make time for a visit to the Lodge’s tennis court. After all, how many chances will you get to play a set or two while being watched by elephants, zebras and giraffes? Surely the ultimate tennis holiday.
Curtain Bluff, Antigua
Rather than tick all the corporate boxes by being uniform and greige, Curtain Bluff is packed with charm and character – old school glamour at its best. The family resort is packed with repeat guests and it’s easy to see why. There are two private beaches, a spa, open-air restaurants and 72 spacious sea view villas. The hotel is rightly proud of its tennis centre, which has four championship hard courts, a shop and resident pros on hand, each trained to teach aptitudes right up to 5.5 (nearly a pro). Tennis aficionados flock here for events including Antigua Tennis Week in Spring and the hotel’s Tennis Challenge Week, which this year takes place 29 October to 5 November.
Bawah Reserve, Indonesia
If Robinson Crusoe was to play tennis, he’d do it at Bawah Reserve. The luxury private island retreat in Indonesia, only accessible by seaplane, is an off-grid idyll, with its pristine beaches, crystalline waters teeming with parrot fish and turtles, and thatched eco-conscious villas. We love the sustainably minded lodges on the island of Elang, which have been built into the cliffside. Guests come to Bawah to explore the marine life in the lagoons (reputedly ten times more diverse than Australia’s Great Barrier Reef), hike in the lush forest… and for a game of tennis. Located amid the permaculture gardens, channel your inner Grand Slam winner on the lawn court before taking afternoon tea in the Garden Pavilion.
Foxhills Country Club & Resort, Ottershaw, Surrey
Set in 400 acres of sweeping parkland, you’d never guess that Foxhills is a mere 25 miles from central London. This is a place that’s made for outdoor pursuits, with every type of activity on offer. The Tennis Club is a particular draw with its eleven courts – five acrylic, three synthetic clay and three all-weather (not even rain will stop play) – available for use by Country Club and Full Members, as well as hotel residents. There’s a great junior programme too. Looking to improve your serve or work on your volleys? Book in for a lesson with one of the pros – all of whom are LTA qualified. Take note: tennis is a serious business here and guests are expected to abide by the court etiquette.
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Antibes, France
Retro chic is most definitely the vibe at this Riviera hotel set on the southernmost tip of the Cap d’Antibes. Follow in the footsteps of former guests – the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Picasso, Cary Grant and Elizabeth Taylor among them – and spend long languorous days lying by the saltwater infinity pool and dining on fresh fish and Nicoise salad on the wraparound terraces. For those looking to up their BPM, there are five impeccable clay tennis courts set in the shade of Aleppo pines, palms and olive trees. A team of top-level coaches is available upon request, whether you’re a beginner or pro. Cooling down afterwards with a chilled glass of Champagne is de rigueur.
Carlisle Bay, Antigua
Guests stay at Carlisle Bay for many reasons: its idyllic setting, nestled in a crescent of sand overlooking a clear, glassy bay; the exquisitely appointed suites, each with a balcony or covered terrace; the diverse choice of restaurants, from toes-in-the-sand casual to authentic Italian poolside. And, of course, its extensive facilities. The Caribbean hotel particularly prides itself on its tennis. There are five beautifully maintained courts, which can be floodlit, as well as two pickleball courts (an indoor or outdoor racket/paddle sport). Guests are quick to praise the tennis pros Rennie George and Nigel Anthony for their professionalism and patience, whether you’re just getting started or looking to improve your game.
Domaine des Etangs, Massignac, France
Have you ever played a game of tennis on the water? At Domaine des Etangs you can. This 13th century chateau-turned five-star hotel sits within 2,500 acres of peaceful countryside and set atop one of the many picturesque lakes and ponds in the grounds is a floating tennis court. It is overlooked by the chateau and a tiny private chapel and as you rally, you’ll likely spot the many species of birds and wildlife that reside across the pond and nearby forests and fields. Guests can enjoy a friendly match or have the option to improve their game with daily sessions with the Domaine des Etangs’ instructor. Either way, it’s an ace way to spend an afternoon.
Villa La Massa, Tuscany, Italy
Villa La Massa is a 16th-century Medici palazzo, set amidst fragrant lemon trees, rolling olive groves and Cypress trees on the banks of the river Arno. While away sunny Tuscan afternoons by the stylish pool, over a lingering lunch on the shaded terrace of L’Oliveto, with its classic Tuscan menu, or marvelling at Renaissance masterpieces in Florence. Or you could practise your strokes at the nearby Match Ball Firenze Country Club, which offers guests complimentary use of 16 clay tennis courts. Soothe aching muscles in the hotel’s Arno Spa, with its traditional Turkish bath, hydro-massage pool and dedicated suites for sports massages.
Puente Romano Beach Resort, Marbella, Spain
Puente Romano is so much more than a sun-drenched five-star resort in Marbella. It is also the ultimate tennis hotel, home to one of the most famous tennis clubs in Southern Europe, which was opened by none other than Bjorn Borg in 1979. Since then, the likes of Novak Djokovic and John McEnroe have rallied here – the hotel even hosted the Davis Cup in 2018. These days, the ten pristine courts (8 clay and 2 plexipave) are available for guests and there is a team of first-rate professionals on hand if you’re looking for expert coaching. The Club also has a gym with the latest generation of ARTIS Technogym machinery, activity room, massage room, sauna and Turkish bath, restaurant, pro-shop and four padel courts.
Gstaad Palace, Switzerland
For a slice of Swiss charm, Gstaad Palace has it all. The storied hotel, which looks like a fairytale castle, perches amidst lush green meadows and hills, overlooking the Bernese Oberland. This is a place for alpine views, impeccable service and understated luxury, whether you’re dining in one of the restaurants or being pampered at the spa. On sunny days, be sure to book one one of the four clay courts – there can be nothing more pleasurable than playing tennis surrounded by the majesty of the mountains. Raining? There are three indoor courts too. Reward yourself with fondue and raclette at La Fromagerie.
Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives
Cheval Blanc Randheli is one of the most exclusive resorts in the Maldives, where the villas perch over turquoise waters and nestle amongst sandy coves and exotic gardens, each one a private sanctuary. Everything here is geared towards luxurious self-indulgence. The dining experience, described as a “culinary art”, consists of five restaurants and three bars, there’s a Guerlain spa, infinity pool, overwater yoga pavilion… If you want to rally with a resident pro or play a friendly, you’ll need to take the boat to Randheli’s jungle island Maakurandhoo, which is home to two US Open and Paris Masters standard courts, plus there’s a clubhouse and terrace lounge. Little wonder the tennis-loving Duchess of Cambridge has stayed here.
The Boca Raton, Florida
This sprawling multi-hotel resort and private membership club, set around Lake Boca Raton, doesn’t do anything by halves. Indeed, it’s the ultimate tennis hotel. The decor is glamorous, service is slick – and the facilities are astonishing. There’s a Beach Club, Harbourside Pool Club, Yacht Club, Fitness Club, Spa, every manner of restaurant and accommodation, all under glorious Florida sunshine.
Naturally there’s a Racquet Club with 16 Hydro-Grid courts (this means they’re 20 percent cooler than regular hard courts), a team of expert instructors for clinics and private lessons and a two-storey clubhouse with viewing deck. There’s even a dedicated tennis concierge who’ll arrange everything from scheduling court times to pairing you with a player of the same skill level. That’s game, set and match to The Boca Raton.