Wimbledon is upon us and the country is currently engulfed in its annual fortnight of full-on Murraymania. Can Andy Murray win his second Wimbledon title? We certainly hope so.
If Wimbledon-fever has got you reaching for your tennis racket, allow us to serve up a Grand Slam-worthy selection of eight tennis-friendly hotels. From luxury country spas to alpine palaces and tropical island resorts, we’ve got you covered: room, set and match.
Reminiscent of Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel, Gstaad Palace recently celebrated its centenary. Its combination of mannered, old-world sophistication and picture-postcard scenery means that over one hundred years on, it remains the go-to retreat for the discreetly glamourous. Tennis aficionados can hone their game on one of the establishment’s four clay courts, and guests have the opportunity to enjoy a week of intensive personal tennis coaching with Roy Emerson, one of the most successful players in history and winner of 28 Grand Slam titles.
Gstaad Palace has 104 elegant chalet-style bedrooms, each offering breathtaking vistas of the Swiss Alps. The hotel serves a range of high-end international cuisine in its five restaurants and has a spa offering a number of health, beauty and wellness programmes, including the seven-step Hammam experience.
In early 2013 Andy Murray, unsatisfied with merely being a world-class tennis player, decided to enter the hotel trade and purchased the grand-turreted Cromlix House, a Victorian Mansion set in 34 secluded acres three miles from his hometown of Dunblane. Following extensive refurbishment, the Cromlix reopened in spring last year as a five-star 15-bedroom hotel and Gate Lodge complete with two tennis courts which gleam in Wimbledon’s patented purple livery.
Guests can indulge themselves at the Chez Roux restaurant, offering gourmet yet affordable cuisine. The Cromlix has a traditionally Scottish style, complete with open fires, thick pile carpets, a whiskey room and a grand games room, where mounted stags heads adorn the walls.
Belmond Hotel das Cataratas
Iguazu Falls, Brazil
Come for the tennis, stay for the waterfalls. Hotel das Cataratas is the only hotel located within Brazil’s Iguazu National Park, and enjoys an unrivalled location just a short stroll from the sensational Iguazu Falls on the Brazil-Argentina border. The astonishing series of more than 275 waterfalls are truly a thing of wonder. As well as a synthetic surface tennis court, the hotel boasts a heated outdoor swimming pool for year-round enjoyment and a gym.
The rooms are large and decked in vintage furniture, in a contemporary classic style. The main building is surrounded by terraces, verandas and gardens with stunning panoramic views of the Falls from the gourmet dining areas.
Stoke Park Hotel
Founded in 1908, Stoke Park is a country club, spa and hotel luxuriously spread over a 300-acre private estate seven miles from Heathrow Airport. The club’s tennis facilities are among the very best in the country, with thirteen courts on three playable surfaces (carpet, artificial clay and grass). Stoke Park features six Wimbledon-specification grass courts open from May to September, and even hosts its own annual tournament, The Boodles, which this year featured reigning Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic and former world number one Rafael Nadal.
The hotel has 49 rooms and suites and offers three dining options including the 3 AA Rosette-awarded Humphry’s, which serves modern British cuisine with a twist. Guests can also unwind in the treatment room spa or go for a knock on the 27-hole Championship golf course.
St. Wolfgang, Austria
With three indoor carpet courts and three outdoor clay courts offering picturesque views of Lake Wolfgangsee and the Alps, the family-run Vitalhotel Wolfgangsee is an absorbing tennis retreat. Guests can sharpen their skills by training with full-time professionals at the on-site tennis school, which offers programmes for adults and children starting from the age of six.
Its spacious rooms are decked with lush wooden interiors and each has a balcony overlooking the lake and nearby mountains. The restaurant offers traditional Austrian dishes, complete with herbs grown in the hotel’s garden. Beyond the hotel itself, the region offers skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer, plus seven nearby golf courses. One imagines this to be the sort of sanctum Roger Federer retires to during the off-season.
Belmond La Residencia
Set against the stunning mountain village of Deià on the north-west coast of Mallorca, La Residencia was formerly a collection of four mansions before Richard Branson transformed it into a luxury hotel. Among olive and lemon groves are two tennis courts with gorgeous views of the Mediterranean. La Residencia’s tennis break package offers guests of all ages private tuition with a resident coach and video coaching facilities – used to film players and offer technical analyses of their games.
The rooms are spacious and light, decorated with elegant Mallorcan anitiques and local works of art. Candlelit dining is delicious and varied, with à la carte and vegetarian menus.
Forte Village Sardegna
Forte Village boasts twelve courts (ten clay, one natural grass and one synthetic) and hosts a tennis academy, with courses run for players of all ages and abilities. The academy is headed up by Rocco Loccisano, once trainer to Pat Cash, and focuses on specific aspects such as individual shots and amateur playing techniques.
The resort encompasses a number of hotels to meet the tennis-playing traveller’s needs. Some hotels have views looking over the Mediterranean, while others open on to leafy tropical gardens. Some have a terrace or a balcony, whilst others feature a garden patio. Guests can dine under the moonlight in multiple haute cuisine restaurants, which regularly feature celebrated international Michelin-starred guest chefs including the UK’s own Gordon Ramsay.
Carlisle Bay is a luxury Caribbean resort looking out over white sand, palm trees and turquoise water. The resort boasts nine well-maintained tennis courts (eight hard-court, one artificial grass), including four which are floodlit for cooler night-time play. Guests can receive coaching from the Bay’s resident professional Ken Gonsalves in the form of either group or one-on-one lessons and there is a pro shop on site.
With 82 contemporary suites available, couples and families are well catered for in this tropical location. Each room offers balconies with ocean views and day beds, as well as individually-controlled air conditioning, an espresso machine, 24-hour room service and daily fresh fruit. As well as access to a library, a gym and a variety of restaurants, visitors can participate in a range watersports including kayaking, windsurfing and snorkeling.
Which tennis hotel would you stay at? Let us know below!