Brazil Golf Adventure
by Jacques Gous
Staying at the Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel the night before, we had breakfast in this lovely oceanfront 5-star hotel which has just recently been renovated. We then headed off to Itanhanga Golf Club for our first round of golf. This beautiful golf club has an 18 hole parkland championship course and an additional 9 hole course.
I was super impressed with this golf course and would not think twice to play it again, also at the same time recommend it to any golfer to visit. Even playing it with a bit of cloud cover and mist, it was like playing golf in the middle of a tropical jungle. The temperature was still 28 degrees.
Checked out of the Sheraton Hotel and transfer to Hotel Gran Melia Nacional which was designed by Oscar Niemeyer. It is now regarded as the latest benchmark of luxury and comfort in this “Marvellous City”.
We then got transferred to Gavea Golf and Country Club which is in the south of Rio de Janeiro City. It is widely regarded as one of Brazil’s most prestigious golf clubs and dates back to 1921. This golf course was epic.
We checked out of Gran Melia and got transferred to Sugar Loaf Mountain for one of the most amazing siteseeing days I have ever experienced in my life. We took the iconic cable cars all the way to the top and the views were to die for.
After leaving Sugar Loaf Mountain we made our way to Corcovado and visited Christ the Redeemer and standing at 38m high this was an amazing site. All 1145 tons of him is nearly visible from every part of the city.
We left here and made our way back to Copacabana Beach for a bit of lunch and then visited the world famous Copacabana Palace which was stunning and not to mention the location.
The guys then took us to view a private penthouse which was available for people who wanted to cater for themselves with some beautiful views and sleeps six people comfortably. One side views of the ocean and the other side with mountains and a view of the favelas.
This was near the end of the day and we then got transferred to our next hotel, the Grand Hyatt in the Barra region where the Olympic Course was situated. The hotel was beautifully located on the sea front and at the back by a lagoon which via boat from the hotel you could access the Olympic Course.
The Grand Hyatt was my personal favourite in Rio because of location and quality of rooms. Dining options included a seafront restaurant serving Brazilian inspired dishes, traditional Japanese restaurant, and an Italian trattoria restaurant.
The next morning we had breakfast and then made our way from the hotel via boat to the legendary Olympic Golf Course. The 18 hole course has a linksstyle feel, mostly comparable with the Australian sand-belt and is naturally integrated in the native vegetation. There was plenty of wildlife present at the course, including capybaras, caimans and some burrowing owls.
The evening after golf was spent at Vogue Square for dinner and cocktails at one very snazzy bar. After all this we returned back to the Grand Hyatt for our last night in Rio.
We checked out of Grand Hyatt and were transferred to Santos Dumont Airport, for our onward journey to Porto Seguro Airport in Bahia. This flight was one and a half hours long and very comfortable. We had a ten minute drive from the airport to Portinha, where we had lunch at Rabanete Restaurant. With large variation of typical national and international dishes, their buffet has more than 40 hot dishes and all sorts salads, fruit and desserts.
After lunch we left our restaurant and had a 10 minute ferry ride which was a great experience and with some lovely scenery.
We then made our way to Terravista Vilas and arrived there for our check in to our Villas. Each Villa consisted of four suites and each suite with its own on-suite.
These Villas are located at the top of a cliff, overlooking beautiful beaches, the sea and Terravista Golf Course, one of South America’s most spectacular golf courses. Within ten minutes you are in the historic centre of Trancoso, where many boutique shops and fine restaurants can be found. This is where we went for a late afternoon, early evening visit. This place was amazing and a must see.
Sitting on top of a grassy bluff overlooking fantastic beaches, Trancoso embodies a certain rustic sophistication that captivates style minded travellers. It is a perfect destination for jet setters who want to get away from it all while still having access to a few fashionable venues for dining and shopping.
Our evening dinner was in Trancoso at a very beautiful open-air restaurant and the sight of candlelitQuadrado (the main square) at night was magical.
Breakfast in the Vila is followed by a round of golf on Terravista Golf Course. Designed by American architect Dan Blenkinsop, the course opened in 2004. The front nine holes are routed through an Atlantic rainforest environment while the back nine holes are played closer to the coast, with four holes laid out along the edge of the cliffs. The signature hole is hole 14 and at 150 feet above the sea level this must have been photographed many times.From the tee box, giant sea turtles can be observed swimming in the ocean.
I will end this by saying that this was one of the best experiences of my life and I will definitely come back to Brazil with a group or two in the near future. This country has so much to offer and I think our customers will thoroughly enjoy this adventure. I rate this up there with South Africa and Mauritius and look forward to showcase the courses, hotels and unbelievable scenery. Thank you for sending me and allowing me the opportunity to see it all.
We would be delighted to talk you through your own tailor made Brazil golf holiday.