Inspiration to improve our tennis games usually hits at the start of the U.S. Open (which happens to be on Monday in New York City), and we’re already jonesing for a getaway devoted to doing just that. While these following hotels won’t promise that you’ll play like Serena at their facilities, chances are pretty good that you can at least vacation like she does.
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, Palm Desert, California
You’d be hard-pressed to find a resort more dedicated to tennis than this Palm Desert beauty. This place has 15 hard courts, three clay and two grass, but the best part of staying at the JW Marriott is that you’ll never want for action — you can hit up a daily clinic, hire a private coach, attend an advanced drills class, play in a Saturday drop-in doubles match or sign up for a twice-weekly round-robin tourney.
Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Northeast Florida’s reigning king of tennis hubs is located at this Four-Star resort. The Racquet Club here has all the necessities to up your game (experienced instructors, practice matches, an intense adult camp), but we’re also crazy for the onsite amenities, from the courtside patio lounge and modern clubhouse to shaded courtside pavilions and water at every one of the 15 clay courts. Bonus: After the strenuous workout, you can get revived in the Four-Star Spa at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club.
Inn & Club at Harbour Town, Hilton Head
This Lowcountry retreat might be known for its three stellar golf courses, but the 21 clay courts at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star resort are where guests go for a slew of programs built for beginners, advanced players and every kind of athlete in between. Join in round robins (competitive and social), daily drills, stroke instruction with video analysis and special sessions with tennis program director and former U.S. Open and Wimbledon champ Stan Smith (Sept. 18 to 20; Nov. 26 to 28). Best perk? As a guest of the resort you get two hours of tennis free daily.
The Mansion at Ocean Edge, Brewster, Massachusetts
As the name suggests, this waterfront Cape Cod escape has a regal charm to it, which explains why some tennis before tea is on the agenda for many guests. Here, you can take advantage of the ample programs for both adults and kids. The fundamental group classes, on-court workouts with a USPTA pro and advanced workshops can work for all ages, but the tennis happy hour where you sip drinks and do drills is strictly for the older players.
Kiawah Island Tennis Resort, Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Kiawah Island is a 10-mile barrier island off the coast of South Carolina (near Charleston) that is the ideal spot for a break centered around backhands. Two separate tennis centers combine for a total of 24 courts and each is rife with opportunities to improve your stroke through pro instruction, group clinics, round robins and a practice court equipped with a ball machine. Do your best not to be distracted by gorgeous courts that are lined by coastal vegetation. For an all-out luxury experience, book a room at The Sanctuary, the resort’s Five-Star haven.
Rosewood Little Dix Bay, British Virgin Islands
When the getaway bug bites and you want to venture farther afield with your racket, book a suite or villa at this British Virgin Islands gem. While the beach and spa are stunning, the tennis is no afterthought — expect weekly drop-in clinics, player matching, doubles outings and top instructors. Try not to loose focus on your swing while on one of the seven courts, even though you’ll have stunning Caribbean mountain vistas as your backdrop. And when the Legends Camp and Necker Cup Charity Pro Exhibition swing by the resort November 29 to December 3, don’t stare too hard at icons like Wayne Bryan, Martina Navratilova and Kim Clijsters.
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, Half Moon Bay, California
Just north of San Francisco sits this grand Four-Star treasure, which offers seriously breathtaking views of the Pacific from its perch atop bluffs. Tucked away on the resort’s grounds are six hard courts where guests and plenty of locals come for daily clinics, doubles mixers and private lessons. Want a match? The pros here will happily find someone at your level for an appropriate challenge.