Archive » January 18, 2006
World of Golf
By Ray Navis
The Four Seasons Choice, Ballyhoo for Bali Hai
An elegant choice for lodging on the Las Vegas Strip is the Four Seasons Hotel, at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The Four Seasons Hotel is actually the top five floors of the Mandalay Bay Resort, but its guests have key-guarded private elevators that are accessed from a discreet location near the casino.
The Four Seasons is about two blocks from the Bali Hai Golf Club, one of only two courses located directly on the Las Vegas Strip. The Four Seasons is one of few AAA Five Diamond hotels in Las Vegas and is one of the closest hotel properties to the airport.
The Bali Hai Golf Club was the scene of the original “Big Break” show that has become popular on the Golf Channel. This course was difficult to build and eventually cost owner Bill Walters $32 million to finish. One reason for this is that Las Vegas is not known for golf-friendly soil, so the entire course was prepped with topsoil and sand. The result is excellent drainage and near perfect playing conditions. Although the course is not on a large piece of property, huge mounds separate fairways and keep errant shots on the same hole. There is a fair amount of water on the course with many bunkers that appear to be beach area flowing from greenside down to the lakes. An example of this is the 18th hole, a majestic par-4 of 442 yards with the Mandalay Bay and Four Seasons Hotels in the background.
The Bali Hai Golf Club is true to its name and has a Polynesian feel throughout – palm trees, waterscapes and lots of sand. The clubhouse is home to the Cili Restaurant, a hot spot with the local business lunch crowd. (For more information visit www.balihaigolfclub.com or call 888-427-6678.)
Walters Golf is also the owner of the Royal Links Golf Club, which is about a 15-minute drive from the Four Seasons Hotel. Each of the Royal Links 18 holes is patterned after a similar hole on one of the British Open courses. For instance, Number 10 at Royal Links is a recreation of the famed 17th “Road Hole” at St. Andrews. The “Postage Stamp” from Old Troon is also recreated in detail as number Royal Links Number 8. Having played both, I found this rendition to play very similar. (For more information visit www.royallinksgolfclub.com or call 888-427-6678.)
The unique setting of the Four Seasons allows quests to take in the entire Vegas experience with as much privacy as they desire. The rooms on the top five floors offer some of the best views of the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding area. Each room or suite has all the elegant appointments that have made the Four Seasons chain so popular. The Hotel has its own pool area and fitness center for Four Seasons guests only. Hotel guests are also given complimentary access to all Mandalay Bay Hotel amenities, including its 11-acre pool/beach area. (For more information visit www.fourseasons.com/lasvegas or call 702-632-5000.)
The Mandalay Bay Casino has a wide array of choices. Charlie Palmer Steak, which originated in New York, is located in the lobby area of the Four Seasons and is elegantly appointed. Wood paneling throughout with numerous fireplaces add to the private club feel of this restaurant. (For more information visit www.charliepalmer.com or call 702-632-5120.)
The Verandah Restaurant is also located in the lobby of the Four Seasons. It offers guests a more informal dining experience with a Mediterranean-flavored style overlooking the gardens of the hotel’s pool area. The Verandah is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (For more info call 702-632-5000.)
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