Travel Talk

A Night at the Celtic Manor, Wales


I’m writing this from the lobby of The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales which is a luxury 5 star hotel spa and golf resort. I just finished playing a leisurely round of golf on the same course that hosted the 2010 Ryder Cup and I am in the best of moods. I didn’t play like a pro, but I did play well which is all the occasional golfer can ever ask for, yes?

The last time I visited the Celtic Manor, it was just the manor house. On the topic of facts, there are many interesting facts about Wales. To come more than a decade or two later and see what it had transformed into was nothing short of breathtaking. The place is huge, well done and very busy. It was a bank holiday in the United Kingdom and as a result, the place was packed. We arrived after a short cab from Cardiff and before long were in our room, a nice king bed, balcony and view of the golf course, what more could a gent like me ask for?

That night we went for dinner at their signature steak house called Steak on Six. We arrived early so went to their lounge and enjoyed a cocktail. Something I liked was that you could even order your meal from the cocktail lounge to cut down the wait time should one be so inclined. We had no idea what we wanted and were in no rush so we just had a drink while enjoying the vibe and the view before heading to the restaurant.

Once in the restaurant we ordered steak, of course we did because that’s what you do when you’re at a steak house, yes? It was excellent and something I liked was the little touch of being able to “choose your own weapon” so to speak. Before your steak arrived you were given a choice of numerous different knives to enjoy your steak with. There was one that sort of looked like a meat cleaver and I naturally went with it for the novelty as much as anything else. After dinner it was an early night because the next day it was time for the main event which was a round of golf on the 2010 Ryder Cup course.

Slept like a baby and the bed was firm but fair much like the golf course. Jokes aside slept really well and woke up early to get some practice shots in before my big day. If you’re a golf fan, being able to play a course that held an event as prestigious as the Ryder Cup is not only a treat but an honour, you’re walking down the same fairways as the greats of the game did before you and as an amateur / occasional golfer which most are, it’s a glimpse into what it’s like to be on tour.

The golf course was in pristine condition due to dedicated greenskeepers and it has a small membership who obviously take good care of the course. That said, it is open to the public and besides being an incredible course, a big part of the allure is to experience part of what the Ryder Cup 2010 event must have been like. I played well, quite happy about it and even got a few pars, lots of bogeys and naturally a few others.

When you visit The Celtic Manor you can stay in the resort or the manor house; obviously most people spend their time at the resort as the manor house is smaller. If I’m correct the manor house was where Sir Terrence Matthews, the owner was born and as a result is a special place to him. They still have rooms there so it’s possible to stay there. When I think of the Celtic Manor I always think of the manor house as that was my first introduction to the property on a trip to Wales many moons ago.

Either way, it was a most memorable experience and will be for anyone else who is going that way and looking for a fine place to stay and dine. In closing, I’d like to thank the fine people at Celtic Manor Resort for their hospitality, it was much appreciated.

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