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Sir Nick Faldo’s maginificent design at Cornelia is the focal point of a luxury stay at Turkey’s leading resorts

Belek’s heady mix of five-star hotels, great climate and a host of world-class courses has made it one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations. The only problem with booking a trip lies in identifying exactly which hotel and golf options to combine – a tricky business when there is genuinely so much quality on offer. But let us help you narrow it down to two properties that actually sit side-byside as neighbours: Cornelia’s Deluxe and Diamond resorts make a formidable twosome – and both are tailormade to provide levels of service and a golfing experience that will bring you back for me.

Many would argue that, for the dedicated golfer, the jewel in Belek’s crown is the aptly named Cornelia Diamond Resort. It’s one of the newer facilities in the region and a huge plus for its guests is the fact that they enjoy privileged access to one of the very best courses in Turkey, the Cornelia Faldo, situated right next door.

The hotel effortlessly lives up to the standards set by the golf course, too, and by any measure is an astounding facility. It’s a sizeable operation. There are 571 rooms and suites – ultra luxurious, and jaw-droppingly beautiful in places. Some of the suites really are stunning, situated in individual units with a private balcony and enjoying direct access to a huge swimming pool. They offer a taste of millionaire- style chic at an affordable price and can turn a humble golfing break into a genuinely memorable experience.

Cornelia’s all-inclusive service means you can enjoy up to eight seasonal a la carte restaurants and numerous bars to the full, plus there’s a terrific spa (that fills two floors!) where you can select from a dazzling range of indulgent treatments, Turkish baths, massages and Russian steam baths. There’s also a large leisure complex including an amphitheatre for live shows, beach parties and a buzzing nightclub that forms the core of entertainment most times of the year.

This isn’t the only Cornelia hotel enjoying access to Sir Nick’s magnificent layout, however. The nearby Cornelia Deluxe – also five-star – offers an enticing alternative to the sparkling Diamond. The Cornelia Deluxe is an allinclusive resort, but it’s smaller (with 358 rooms), a little more intimate, offering less of a “wow” factor but with a more laid back vibe. By comparison, it has a modest number of restaurants (five) and “only” eight bars to choose from. Being smaller, the service is more personal though and the staff’s attention to detail is legendary, drawing back loyal customers year after year.

The Cornelia Deluxe also has a relaxing ambience thanks to being constructed around the five elegant outdoor pools, which is great for those seeking some peace and quiet and a place to unwind in the sunshine. Should you become restless, however, there’s plenty to do, with tennis, volleyball, football, basketball, climbing, bowling, as well as water sports like wind surfing, sailing, jet-skiing, parasailing and banana boating.

But the real selling point for golfers is access to the Faldo Course. This 27-hole delight isn’t just one of the finest in Turkey, it’s one of the finest in the Mediterranean region. The more accomplished and experienced player will relish the challenge set by the six-time major champion.

Accuracy from the tee is a prerequisite on almost every hole, and there’s always a chance that even a wellstruck drive will roll off a camber in the fairway and finish in a sandy waste area or some scrub. Trees are never far away either, so in true Faldo style this layout will test your ball-striking skills as well as mental resolve.

The clubhouse is a typically extravagant marble and stone affair that not only looks great but has all the facilities you could possibly need, including buggy and trolley hire and a large driving range and practice zone.

The Faldo Course is one of the best layouts among the 14 truly outstanding golf courses to enjoy in the Belek region, and while it’s tempting to tour up and down the coast to sample notable layouts such as Lykia Links, The Montgomerie and Gloria Golf, the Faldo Course is more than capable of maintaining your interest seven days a week. It really is that good.

The Cornelia Diamond and Deluxe Resorts make a break in this particular corner of Belek really special. They have all the right ingredients: a beautiful location, superb facilities and a course that will entertain you even if you’re a scratch golfer. What more can you ask for?

Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine

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