Biggest golf resort in Spain

Arabella Golf Mallorca

Arabella Golf Mallorca is not only the largest golf resort in Mallorca, it is in fact the largest golf resort in all of Spain.

Arabella Golf Mallorca
Address Camí de Son Vida, 38 ,  E07013  Palma de Mallorca ,  Spain
Region Mallorca
Websitewww.arabellagolfmallorca.com
Emailgolf.mallorca@arabellagolf.com
Phone +34 971 783 000
Number of holes 63
Service driving range, golf buggies, golf lessons, hotel, putting green, pro shop, rental clubs, restaurant, swimming pool, tennis, trolleys

Each of the three 18-hole courses at Arabella Golf has its own clubhouse, including the brand new one at Son Vida, but it is hard to talk about Arabella without mentioning the two hotels, Sheraton Arabella and Castillo Son Vida. With the same owner for all three courses and the two hotels, services and packages are intimately linked. You can of course come up to Arabella and play a course as a greenfee guest, but, in all honesty, staying and getting pampered at one of the hotels, and playing all three courses is what makes the experience special.

The Courses

Golf Son Vida is the oldest of the three courses, it is in fact the oldest of all the courses in Mallorca, opened in 1964. First to play the course was Prince Rainer of Monaco, followed by many famous names, not the least of which was Seve Ballesteros.

The second course to be added was Son Muntaner, which opened in 2001. Son Muntaner is a modern championship layout, not for the faint of heart.

The most recent course is Son Quint, opened in 2007. Son Quint is a bit of a mix, with some of the holes in Son Vida style, and some more like Son Muntaner. Overall, this is the friendliest and easiest of the three.

There's also a nine-hole executive course.

Practice Areas

The driving range and most of the practice areas are located at the Son Muntaner course. You can ride on the shuttle to get there, or simply take your golf cart.

The Hotels

There are two hotels next to the golf courses. Both hotels are part of a free golf shuttle loop that connects the hotels and the three courses.

Sheraton Arabella is a modern five star hotel, located just behind the 18th green at Son Vida Golf. The hotel was completely renovated in 2013, and now has everything you can ask for including several fine restaurants and a full-service spa. The rooms are well appointed, and, notable these days, everything works just as you expect it to. Too many hotel renovations these days result in beautiful rooms, but with solutions that require a Ph.D for simple actions like turning off the lights or adjusting the shower temperature. Not so at Arabella, here everything just works. A very nice hotel indeed.

Castillo Son Vida was, in spite of the name, never a castle, but the property has a long and vivid history, going all the way back to the 13th century. However, in the mid-20th century, it was converted into hotel. In 2006 it was completely renovated into the 5+ star experience it is today.

The terrace at Castillo Son Vida, overlooking the courses and the city of Palma.

Photo: Bo SjostenThe terrace at Castillo Son Vida, overlooking the courses and the city of Palma.

Castillo Son Vida still retains the castle feeling, with high ceilings and magnificent paintings by Mallorca’s most famous artists. Sitting on the outdoor terrace overlooking the city of Palma, you can imagine yourself being the king of the castle, looking out over your estate, watching the farmers golfers toiling below.

Son Vida

Son Vida is a course from another era, but still great fun to play. It’s by far the shortest and narrowest of the three courses, with generally smaller green areas.

 

The course was designed by Hawtree and opened in 1964 as a nine hole course. Over the years it was expanded to 18 holes, and in 2001 it was updated by Rossknecht at the same time as he worked on Son Muntaner. Most of the updating was technical (irrigation, hazards), but the 13th and 18th were more drastically changed.

The course is almost like two courses in one. The first twelve holes are played in  aMediterranean forest landscape, with narrow fairway corridors, mostly tree-lined, but sometimes by houses. With many of the holes being fairly short, it is easy to think that you can almost reach the green if you only hit a slight draw, or manage that fade, but more often than not that type of thinking results in a lost ball. If you play strategically and mostly leave your driver in the bag you’ll do better in the long run.

This is especially true on the narrow downhill par five 6th hole. It can be reached with three iron shots. A driver off the tee means a lost ball many times. Number six used to be the opening hole in the original layout, so I imagine many golfers were frustrated even before leaving the first tee.

Notable on the first nine is the par three 8th holes, short and with the green far below the tee. What a view, and what a chance for an ace.

The second nine starts out with even narrower fairway corridors than the first, but it all changes when you reach hole 13. Now the course opens up, and you can see all the remaining holes, the clubhouse, and the Sheraton Arabella. The forest is no longer a big factor, but now water comes into play on a few of the remaining holes. This is especially true on the 18th, with water down the left for your tee shot, and water to your right for you second and approach shots. Unless the last two shots are one and the same. If so you are either really good or really foolish.

After finishing up, you can enjoy lunch or a beer on the new (2016) clubhouse terrace, overlooking the 18th green. If your friends are behind you, you can take pleasure in that it is them, not you, struggling on the tough finishing hole.

Information about Son Vida

Number of holes18
GreenfeeWeekdays: 120 EUR, Weekends and holidays: 120 EUR
Handicap limit54 (herrar) / 54 (damer)
Season January - December
Course typeParkland
Course opened1964
Course designerF.W. Hawtree (1964) / Kurt Rossknecht (2001)
TeeParLength  (m)CR/Slope (Men)CR/Slope (Women)
Yellow71560170.60/ 132-/ -
Red714738-/ -71.60/ 132

Son Muntaner

Sun Muntaner was the second course built on the property, designed by the German golf architech Kurt Rossknecht and finished in 2001.

 

Sun Muntaner is by far the best and also the most challenging of the three courses, coming in at just over 6300 meters from the back tees. The course is quite undulated, but no so much that it cannot be walked. An electric trolley is a nice compromise, giving you the best of both worlds, especially after a winter rain when buggies sometimes are restricted to cart paths only.

In 2015 the course started an extensive renovation, including the re-routing of holes five and six. The fairway grass was also changed to Bermuda Celebration, a first in Europe.

The clubhouse is located at the highest point of the course, and the first hole is a nice, downhill, dogleg right. Not a difficult tee shot except for the severe slicer, but the following approach shot  to a well protected green reminds you right from the get-go that this is a demanding course.

The following two holes run on either side of an artificial stream that expands into a pond near the green on hole two. Two rather straightforward but nice holes.

Number four is maybe the nicest of the early holes. A straight par four with lots of room for your tee shot, the approach is complicated by a “barranca” (a deep gully with steep sides) running across the fairway near the green, calling for some careful planning before you just shoot for the green.

Holes five and six are the re-routed ones. Hole five runs almost perpendicular to the old layout, and is now a very demanding par 3, uphill, almost 200 m, and guarded by a deep forest on the right. Of the first five holes, four have been very challenging for the slicer.

Hole six is the other new hole, a downhill dogleg right around a new lake. Much more difficult than the old one.

Hole seven is a short par three from up high to a green below. Beautiful target shooting, and one of the nicer holes on the course, together with the difficult, uphill par five hole eight. Long, and with a very well protected green it is tough to reach in regulation, well reflected in it’s index: 1. Number nine takes you back to the clubhouse.

The back nine is more difficult than the front. Hole 10 looks straightforware, but theres a drop-off wall in the middle of the landing area for long hitters. A very nice touch.

Eleven is another unneccesarily long par 3, although this time there are some reasonable landing areas on the right side if you cannot drive the ball 200 meters with par-3-accuracy.

The next notable hole is the par four 14th, with the green well guarded by a pond in front and a stream/waterfall in the back. You need the utmost accuracy on your approach if the flag is tucked away to the left.

Fifteen may be the most difficult hole on the course.  A semi-blind tee shot to a narrow landing area, with a semi-blind second, followed by a looong approach shot to a small, well guarded green. Almost too difficult.

Hole 16 is homeward bound, and the last two holes are not difficult, again if you are reasonably long and straight. Slicers beware.

All in all you feel like you have really accomplished something if you return to the clubhouse with the same ball that you started with. This is a difficult course, but with good course management anyone should be able to play it. Just don’t expect to score well the first few times.

Information about Son Muntaner

Number of holes18
GreenfeeWeekdays: 150 EUR, Weekends and holidays: 150 EUR
Season January - December
Course typeParkland
Course opened2000
Course designerKurt Rossknecht
TeeParLength  (m)CR/Slope (Men)CR/Slope (Women)
White72630574.10/ 133-/ -
Yellow72598572.40/ 133-/ -
Blue725430-/ -75.60/ 131
Red725098-/ -73.20/ 130

Son Quint

Golf Son Quint has an 18 hole course and a 9 hole pitch-and-putt.

 

Golf Son Quint has an 18 hole course and a 9 hole pitch-and-putt.

Information about Son Quint

Number of holes18
GreenfeeWeekdays: 110 EUR, Weekends and holidays: 110 EUR
Handicap limit54 (herrar) / 54 (damer)
Season January - December
Course typeParkland
Course opened2007
Course designerRamón Espinosa & Kurt Rossknecht
TeeParLength  (m)CR/Slope (Men)CR/Slope (Women)
White72620572.90/ 136-/ -
Yellow72592971.40/ 134-/ -
Blue725490-/ -75.40/ 137
Red725119-/ -73.00/ 129

Map and satellite image

lat: 39.587203, long: 2.59928

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