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With the Outeniqua Mountains as a backdrop, the resort originally was a private estate was established in the 1880s. More than a century later, new owners decided to give the estate a total revamp makeover and create a hotel and golfing destination. ALL PHOTOS COURTESY FANCOURT

Fancourt golfing estate provides an exceptional experience in an unforgettable part of the world.

South africa’s famed garden route offers one of the most scenic places on the planet to enjoy nature’s beauty. The wide range of topography includes pristine beaches along the coast, while farther inland visitors can take in the view of lagoons and lakes, rolling hills and even mountains.

The area’s diverse vegetation is complemented by the wildlife that lives there, and that same vegetation also supports a remarkable slate of activities that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Situated in a prime spot on the Garden Route, in the small town of George, is the exclusive Fancourt hotel, a magnificent resort for guests who want to golf, take in the sights of South Africa or just relax. Appreciated by both business travelers and leisure visitors, it offers a memorable experience grounded in a rich history.

HERE TO STAY
The meticulously landscaped countryside provided a natural setting to creating this getaway; with the Outeniqua Mountains as a backdrop, it originally was a private estate that was established in the 1880s. More than a century later, after having changed hands and fallen into disrepair, new owners decided to give the estate a complete makeover and create a hotel and golfing destination.

Today, that includes three different types of accommodations. The Fancourt hotel is the instantly recognizable centerpiece, with 115 well-appointed luxurious rooms that blend modern luxury with classic elegance. Because the views are breathtaking regardless of which room you’re in, each room has a balcony to allow guests to take in the beauty of the area around them. Styles of rooms range from the standard classic room to a two-bedroom suite with its own lounge area and fireplace.

At the nearby Manor House, guests can enjoy a five-star boutique experience with 18 suites. All of the suites enjoy personalized butler-style service and, since Manor House is designated as a national monument, it combines historical attention to detail with contemporary sophistication.

Finally, the self-catering lodges are privately owned dwellings that overlook either a golf course or a garden. Th e two- and three-bedroom lodges have all the comforts of home, including laundry, kitchen and a private outdoor area for entertaining. In addition, guests at the lodges have full access to all of Fancourt resort’s offerings.

GAME ON
Golfing is about as good as it gets at Fancourt hotel, which is why CNNGo included it as one of the top 10 best golf resorts in the world. Players have three golf courses to choose from: Th e Links, Montagu and Outeniqua. All three rank in Golf Digest’s top 20 courses in the country, and its privately owned club, The Links, is ranked No. 1 in South Africa by Golf Digest.

Designed by Gary Player, along with Fancourt owner Hasso Plattner, the courses and practice facilities provide both challenges and spectacular beauty. The Links is rich in bunkers and undulating fairways; the Montagu offers championship golf experience on a tree-lined course set amongst the rolling terrain, and Outeniqua provides a more relaxed playing experience, while still serving up the challenges of water hazards and challenges.

Together the courses create an experience suitable for golfers of any level, and if you need to work on your game before taking to the course, there’s an exceptional golf academy that boasts state-of-the-art teaching facilities.

TAKE IT EASY
Of course, there are other ways to play at this wonderful location; the setting of Fancourt lends itself to long walks and runs in the great outdoors. Stay on the estate to enjoy fishing or bird watching, or go to the nearby Witfontein Nature Reserve at the foothills of the mountain range to enjoy some hiking, mountain biking or trail running.

If tennis is your game, there are four modern courts, and two of them are lit to allow for evening play.

To wind down after a full day of play, the spa includes an indoor heated Roman Bath and Jacuzzi, heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a teen lounge and a gymnasium; you can also relax in the sauna and steam room.

FABULOUS FEASTING
No matter what your preferred style of cuisine may be, you’re in for a treat with the many dining options at Fancourt. From the relaxed dining of La Cantina to the elegant and sophisticated Henry White’s restaurant, the food is creative and appealing, serving as destinations for area dinners and winning acclaim for an award-winning wine list boasting some of the most prestigious wine farms in the Cape.

No detail is too small to be attended to at Fancourt Hotel, and whether you are an avid golfer or a novice, the courses provide a rich and remarkable setting in which to enjoy your game. Th ere’s simply no better way to enjoy the iconic Garden Route of South Africa.

fancourt.com