- Kadriye Bölgesi, Üçkum Tepesi Mevkii, Belek-Antalya, Turkey
- www.regnumhotels.com/en/default.html ; www.caryagolf.com ; nationalturkey.com/en
- 90 242 710 34 34
Regnum Carya is an all-inclusive luxury resort on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, otherwise known as the Turkish Riviera. It has warm Mediterranean water lapping long beaches on one side and the Taurus Mountain Range adding a stunning backdrop on the other side.
The history of the region is as fascinating as it is ancient, as nearby archaeological sites will attest to – Lydians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Greeks, Italians and finally Turks have been a part of it. It’s fair to say none of those empires would have expected a world-class golfing destination would one day pop up in the sunny spot by the sea.
Approximately 25 minutes’ drive from Antalya International Airport to the town of Belek, Regnum Cayra features two courses: the Carya Golf Club and the National Golf Club. Carya was designed by five-time Open Champion Peter Thomson in association with the Australian’s company, Thomson, Perrett & Lobb Golf Course Architects. What sets this course apart from most is that it is floodlit for night golf – it’s Europe’s first floodlit course. The warm climate means that it’s an entirely comfortable experience for resort visitors to play late into the night – the course closes at 12.30am.
Carya’s layout tries to emulate old English heathland courses in the Surrey region, including The Berkshire, Wentworth and Walton Heath. It is a cross between links and parkland golf. The fairways are built on undulating sand dunes, but you’d never guess this with the lush greenery. Nearly one million heather plants were introduced to augment the heathland environment that was already there. Since opening in 2008, Carya Golf Club has hosted some major international tournaments, including the Turkish Open in 2016. In a healthy twist, players are invited to pick oranges from the trees in season.
Top100GolfCourses.com ranked it as Turkey’s third best course in 2017.
The golf academy attached to the driving range features two teaching studios to help analyse and fix your swing, and a massive 150-meter (164-yard) putting green.
The National Golf Club was designed by Northern Irishmen David Jones and David Feherty and opened in 1994. The club was expanded to a 27-hole layout in 2015 and divided into the Irmark (1-9), Tuna (10-18) and Ada (19-27) courses. The fairways are laid out between eucalyptus and pine trees over rolling hills with the Taurus Mountains in the background. There are 64 bunkers and 10 lakes in play and forced carries on holes 2, 8, 21 and 24. Golfers must bring a handicap certificate to play the championship course. The National Golf Club hosted the Turkish Seniors Open in 1996 and 1997 on the European Tour.
It was ranked Turkey’s seventh best course in 2017 by Top100GolfCourses.com.
Carya offers golfers a free drop if you lose a ball in the purple-flowered heather so you are encouraged to rip your driver to the middle of the fairway and play a mid-iron second shot off the undulating fairways. The par fives are hard to reach in two, and are well protected by bunkers and lakes. Take care on the slick and tricky sloping greens. The National has 10 lakes to navigate over or around.
When to play: Year-round. Bring something warm to wear in January and February.
Par: Carya – 72. National (Irmark-Tuna: 1-18) – 73
Slope / Rating / Yardage
Carya: 145 / 74.9 / 7223 yards, 6605 meters
National: 134 / 72 / 7031 yards, 6429 meters*
Carya 496-meter hole 10 – dubbed “The Plank” – has a lake all the way down the left side and forest on the right side of the fairway. The approach shot will need to carry over a cove in the lake. The picturesque par-3 hole 8 and rooftop tee on hole 16 are standouts, too.
The National’s 116-meter (127-yard) hole 2 has a green almost surrounded by water.
The manager says:
“Inspired from some of the world’s classic heathland courses, Carya Golf Club has designed a course that places a high emphasis on the strategic value of each and every shot.”
– Hasan Ceylan, General Manager, Carya Golf Club
The resort experience:
This all-inclusive resort packs a lot in for guests. It’s a huge development that hosted a G-20 World Summit in 2015, but is just as likely to be a destination for those wanting a family vacation, sports-packed stay, or romantic getaway by the Mediterranean. You’ll stay in five-star luxury rooms, have the choice of seven restaurants to dine at, get pampered at the Greendoor Spa (which uses organic products), get wet in an impressive aqua park with wave pool, family pool and a quieter adult pool, and relax under a cabana with a cocktail from the bar on the private pier.
Regnum Carya’s theme is to get wet. There’s an indoor pool and a giant heated outdoor pool by the hotel that will keep you swimming throughout winter, or you can relax at the resort’s beach in the warmer months.
And that’s for starters. I can’t think of another golf resort that also has three FIFA-standard football fields (teams hold camps here). There are plenty of activities and sports (see below). Children of all ages are catered for in four clubs with impressive indoor (mini-disco, computer room, arts and crafts, maze) and outdoor play areas (forts, slides and sailing ship) plus a restaurant for kids and a non-alcoholic youth bar.
The resort’s environmental credentials include LEED Golf Certification. Resort guests get a free transfer from the airport with direct bookings.
Dine and wine:
Dining at any of the seven restaurants is included in the package for resort guests.
The Gourmet Main Restaurant has buffet breakfast (guests are greeted with champagne), lunch and dinner; Ristorante Tramanto serves Italian in a Mediterranean setting; Chufang entertains with Teppanyaki masters dishing out Japanese; The Seahorse has fresh fish by the sea; The Ottoman delivers traditional Turkish fare; Grill Do Brasil is a Brazillian steakhouse; and Sandal Restaurant serves Mediterranean seafood in summer.
The main hotel building has 553 luxury rooms, with plush interiors and modern décor, overlooking the Mediterranean. The standard rooms of 62 square meters (667 square feet) – with French or twin beds, 55-in mirror LED TV, separate bathtub, work desk, dressing room and balcony – can house up to three adults and one child. If you need a lot more room, the Presidential Sea View Suite (150 square meters, 1615 square feet) has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, maxi bar, jacuzzi, Nespresso coffee maker, a living room plus two large balconies. You can add privacy, a pool and go bigger in a Golf Room or Villa (the 3500-square-meter / 37,637-square-foot Crown Villa has five bedrooms, a huge heated outdoor pool and a jacuzzi).
Regnum Carya offers a huge range of outdoor activities and attractions. First, all guests have unlimited passes to the nearby The Land of Legends theme park, which has a water park with 77 slides, surf pool, crazy river, Typhooncoaster and 5D cinema amongst its rides.
Closer to the hotel, outdoor enthusiasts should try the Adventure Park (closed in winter). Located in a pine forest, it has zip lines, climbing walls, and an adventure track.
Of course, apart from the six pools on offer for all hotel guests and private pools, Regnum Carya also has Aquaworld (open May 1 to October 15). It features a 2500-square-meter / 26,910-square-foot wave pool, a water games park, multiple pools, slides and a crazy river ride.
There are plenty of sports to participate in – from basketball and boccia to soccer and tennis – fitness classes such as Zumba and Pilates, as well as more artistic endeavors such as belly dancing and Latin dance classes.
* Source: www.golftop18.com/national-golf-club-review-turkey.html