The Vale Resort is based in the picturesque Vale of Glamorgan region of Wales. It is a firm favourite of GolfTimes.co.uk given we have played and stayed here several times. TripAdvisor Vale Resort reviews have it ranked as the number one highest rated golf resort in Wales. We 100% agree, it really is the best overall golf resort in Wales and has to be one of the best golf resorts in the whole of the UK.
Before we focus on the amazing Championship standard golf courses, we have to talk about the wider Vale Resort appeal. Not only does The Vale Resort have two Championship golf courses, it has a whole host of other attractions that will appeal to everyone.
The Vale Resort Hotel – Modern, Friendly and Packed with Famous Faces
I have stayed at The Vale Resort on three occasions. The size and modern style of the rooms always blows me away. The Vale Resort’s main competition as a golf resort in Wales is Celtic Manor (a review will follow) where we have also stayed. Celtic Manor has three amazing courses but, in my opinion, the hotel and facilities could do with a bit of sprucing up. Anyway, this is about praising The Vale Resort and not criticising another fantastic resort.
You are guaranteed a friendly welcome from the moment you walk into The Vale Resort hotel. The spacious Vale Bar and Grill restaurant is round to the right of the reception. A number of on-site distilled spirits such as the award winning Hensol Castle Gin and Rum are on offer at the bar. More about these later.
The restaurant by the bar is called The Vale Grill Bar & Grill. Not only does The Grill does amazing evening and lunchtime meals, it does the best hotel breakfast I have ever had too.
Spa & Gym Facilities
Whilst I have had a tour of the spa at the Vale Resort I have not used the facilities. I am told by my partner that its range of treatments are world class. The Vale Resort Spa has certainly won a load of respected awards. They are certainly up there with one of our other favourite golf resorts, Carden Park in Cheshire.
I have used the gym and swimming pool at The Vale Resort and they are top quality. The gym equipment is state of the art and serve as the perfect warm up to getting out on the course, or recovering from one too many Hensol Castle Gins the night before.
Kids Club and Creche at The Vale Resort
I noticed that there is a kids club and creche on site. I don’t know the availability for guests to use these facilities so it is worth calling in advance if you do have kids and want to use them.
The Vale Resort Pro Shop and Golf Facilities
If you are here for the golf, you are in for a treat. The pro-shop is one of, if not the best, I have seen at any golf course. It is well stocked with everything you could need and has really friendly staff. If its a pre-round beer you after you are also in luck. There is a really spacious bar that is split into three main areas. I was impressed with the number of TV screens in the bars, showing every sport you could ever want to see.
There is a separate restaurant also in the bar complex. If you want a sit down meal with your mates before or after your round, you are sorted. I love that the few times I have had a drink in the bar after my rounds the staff have been proud to tell you that the owners of The Vale Resort are also sat at the bar having a pint. This is great to see and hear.
The Vale Resort Golf Courses
The Vale Resort has two courses, both of which I have played. We have to start with the Welsh National Golf Course. It is the longest course in the UK at 7443 yards. I am told that the only courses with a longer yardage are in the USA. I last played here in pro-am day against a whole host of professional rugby, football and cricket professionals.
It was a tough but really fun course. We played in late Autumn, early Winter and you would expect some wear and tear on the course but there was none. The tee-boxes were scuff-less and the green’s were immaculate. The most focussed golfer can’t miss the wildlife on view either. I saw heron’s and deer as I walked round, wow!
The Lake Course at the Vale Resort is, as you would expect, a round that involves avoiding a lot of water. I read that 13 of the 18 holes has a water hazard. There is even an island based green that cost me two balls the first time I played. I first played The Lake Course when I was a fairly high handicapper and it cost me and the other 8 of us playing a fortune in balls. We didn’t care though, as it was such a great day out.
I should warn you, the friendly and far more knowledgable locals are prone to wandering around in their four ball behind you, scooping up your water-bound balls You can play fine with lake balls by the way, read our review here. They then offer to sell you them back in the bar afterwards. All in jest though and after much ribbing they hand them over.
Both of the courses are fantastic and worth the visit alone.
Post Golf Fun at The Vale Resort
The first time we visited The Vale Resort we stayed in the bar after our round and had booked a meal in the golf complex restaurant. The meal was part of a package and you expect corners to maybe be cut for package deals. Not at The Vale Resort! Nothing was too much hassle. Menu changes were accepted without fuss and a great time was had by all.
Hensol Castle Distillery – Tour and Gin Making Fun
The second time I played at The Vale Resort I was part of a smaller group. We knew that The Resort had gin making on site but no one can prepare you for the wow factor it gives you.
Hensol Castle Distillery is based in a historic castle. The castle is also host to weddings and I imagine it makes the perfect wedding venue. We did the distillery tour and gin making and it was the perfect night out. We then went back to Vale Resort (it is all housed in one huge estate) and had a few more beers in one of the three bars that can be found on site.
The Vale Resort – Packed with Celebrities and Famous Faces
When we went to Carden Park we were blown away by the number of celebrity faces milling around. The Vale Resort is a level above. The grounds of the resort are also the home to The Welsh Rugby Union and Welsh Football Association, in separate facilities.
This means that you are almost guaranteed to bump into an elite level sportsperson at breakfast, or dare I say, having an orange juice in one of the bars in the evening. Hensol Castle is also an Instagram dream and this means the A-listers brigade are often there as well.
This is all before you think about the professional golfers that often stay and play at the resort. It was home to a large number of players taking part in the nearby PGA Seniors tour. This always brings a certain amount of glitz, glamour and celebs along with it.
To book to play golf at The Vale Resort, visit here.
Book a hotel stay, click here.
Gin making or gin tasting on site at Hensol Castle Distillery, click here.
To buy hensol Castle Distillery Gin or Run, click here.