Virginia Golfer May / June 2015 - Page 31

Enjoying a round on Ojai’s venerable golf course is one of many activities afforded to guests. TOP: OJAI VALLEY INN & SPA; TURNING STONE RESORT CASINO its tables overlooking the sixth fairway on the South Course, is exceptional (; 480-488-9009). KIAWAH ISLAND GOLF RESORT Kiawah Island, S.C. A pristine barrier reef island located off the coast of Charleston, S.C., Kiawah is a 90-hole Low Country goliath that famously hosted the 1991 Ryder Cup Matches and the 2012 PGA Championship on its epic, Pete Dye-designed Ocean Course, a purist’s delight that is walkers-only until noon. But Kiawah also puts out a fluffy welcome mat for women. The centerpiece of the resort is The Sanctuary, a deluxe West Indies-themed hotel that could pass for a grand old Southern mansion out of Gone With the Wind. The guest rooms and dining options are exceptional. Osprey Point, Kiawah’s top venue for women, was originally conceived as a private club. The well-groomed course, routed around four natural lakes and fingers of brackish marshland, showcases Tom Fazio’s trademark playability. Here, landing areas are generous, forced carries are rare. It’s a sweetheart from the Carolina tees at 4,746 yards, but a bit firmer test for better w w w. v s g a . o r g 28_VSGA_MayJune15.indd 29 players from the Kiawah tees at 5,394 yards. After the round, the resort promotes dozens of guided adventures, from salt marsh kayaking and night beach walks to back island birding (; 843-768-2121). OJAI VALLEY INN & SPA Ojai, Calif. Tucked away in the T opa T opa Mountains two hours north of Los Angeles, Ojai, a favorite retreat for Hollywood stars, is one of southern California’s most tranquil hideaways. The resort’s golf course, a Golden Age classic designed by George C. Thomas in 1923, rambles across rolling terrain, its fairways creased by barrancas, dotted with burly oaks and backdropped by sheer mountain palisades. Walking is encouraged. Adjacent to the refurbished Spanish Colonial-style hotel, which offers suites with wood-burning fireplaces, is Spa Ojai. Spanning 31,000-square-feet, the spa is a white-washed emporium where treatments combine the therapeutic effects of cleansing mud, dry heat, inhalation therapy and guided meditation. At the Artist’s Cottage & Apothecary, guests can blend fresh herbs and essential oils to create their own lotions, scrubs and creams. Ojai artisans will help guests design a batik sarong, assemble an herbal wreath or paint a watercolor. Jimmy’s Pub, a casual 19th hole named for Jimmy Demaret, the resort’s touring professional from 1948-52, pairs thin-crust brick-oven pizzas with excellent Central Coast wines (; 855-697-8780). Luxurious accommodations are just one of many upscale attractions at Turning Stone Resort Casino. TURNING STONE RESORT CASINO Verona, N.Y. A destination resort built by the Oneida Indian Nation in upstate New York west of Albany, Turning Stone has quietly emerged M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 5 | V I R G I N I A G O L F E R 29 5/8/15 11:46 AM