Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Wales


LOCATION: In Wales.... just. After paying a fiver to cross into Wales on the Severn Bridge you are almost there.

It is a 1,400 acre estate in the Usk Valley, South Wales, 90 minutes from London Heathrow, directly off Junction 24 of the M4 motorway, 90 minutes by train from London Paddington to Newport Station with a 15 minutes by taxi to the resort.FIRST IMPRESSION: Having hosted the Ryder Cup last year the golf offering is officially among the best in the Kingdom. The accommodation had to be fit for the world’s greatest golfers - and it is.

Golf does dominate the hotels reputation but not the experience.

The courses make for a great setting and wonderful views but even if the idea of playing a round has your client yawning it is still fundamentally a luxury hotel with plenty to do.

Considering the ease with which you can get to it, and its proximity to major roads the serenity is surprising.

This is far from a charming little boutique luxury escape, it is big and walking into the main reception its size is striking as is level of activity.

It’s a busy place but with plenty of space. The rooms are decent, apart from the film options) and the suites are very large indeed.THE FACTS: At £140m it is the biggest single private investment in the British hospitality industry.

The five-star resort hotel is a giant 330-room extension of the original four-star 19th Century Manor House hotel.

Facilities include three championship golf courses, two health clubs, six restaurants, two spas, a small mall, tennis, fishing, shooting, mountain biking and walking trails.

The restaurants include the fine-dining Crown at Celtic Manor, sister venue of the Michelin-starred Crown at Whitebrook.

Ther are 32 suites and a 1,500-delegate Convention centre and large Exhibition Hall which have won this property regular accolades for its conference hosting skills.WHO’S IT FOR: Keen golfers, obviously, but there are enough restaurants, spas and other activities and distractions to keep golf widows, couples, and entire groups full of non golfers entertained.

Probably not the best choice for a truly romantic escape but for couples looking for a activity-full weekend its a good choice.

WOW: The Twenty Ten golf course and clubhouse were built with hosting the Ryder Cup in mind.

As a special treat golfers can book to use one of the lockers used by Ryder Cup stars such as Tiger Woods, Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell.HOW MUCH: From £138 per night including breakfast.