July 16 is an important day for sports fans. There isn’t a pivotal NASCAR race or PGA Tour event planned. And no, football season is still six weeks away. The real reason why the day is circled on the 2014 calendar is because it’s the only day of the year where there’s no MLB, NHL, NFL or NBA game on the schedule. If you’re a real fanatic, you can probably feel some anxiety already starting to build around the day. Thankfully, there is a starting five of luxury hotels around the globe that hope you get off the couch and give their promotions a sporting chance this summer. From biking packages to triathlete treats, we have the score on all the fun.
Go horseback riding in the English countryside
Of the six gold medals issued in equestrian events at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, three were earned by the United Kingdom. So, to say the Brits take their stallions seriously is a wee bit of an understatement. And nowhere is passion for the ponies more apparent than at Coworth Park, a 240-acre country estate that boasts stables, an equestrian center and the only polo grounds at a U.K. hotel. To make use of the 70-room property’s Ultimate Horse Check-In service, bring your steed to be pampered with a personalized welcome sign, homemade treats, an equine manicure, a post-ride bubble bath and an aromatherapy massage every day of your stay (don’t worry if you can’t bring your horse along; there’s a stable full of them available for lessons). Owners shouldn’t feel neglected, however; deals such as Escape to the Country — which includes a stable room or suite, breakfast, dinner and complimentary Wi-Fi — ensure that two-legged guests’ needs are also met.
Prep for a triathlon in Charlottesville
Soccer and basketball players have to be in tremendous shape, but the physical and mental preparedness that a triathlete endures is something most of us can’t begin to quantify. If you’re one of these superhumans preparing for your first multisport event or your 10th, Virginia’s Clifton Inn is the place to train. Be it honing your cycling (organized daily group rides with Fortuna Cycling), running (varied trails with a breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains backdrop), swimming (Hurtts Pond is mere feet from the hotel) or all three, the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel offers the facilities and the professional guidance to get you to the finish line. You’ll need all the motivation you can get, too, seeing as how Charlottesville’s XTERRA Triathlon will take place on August 17.
Play golf in Curaçao
While the Dominican Republic is usually the Caribbean destination that gets fawned over by golf pundits, the island of Curaçao will have them know that there are some gorgeous greens to be played elsewhere in the region, too. Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, for example, is the home to mesmerizing Old Quarry Golf Course, a naturally sculpted, 6,920-yard wonder from legendary designer Pete Dye. With the aptly titled Dye Hard package, you get to hit from dazzling hole 2, unforgiving hole 6 and every other fairway as many times as you’d like. The unlimited play comes in addition to spacious luxury accommodations, cart privileges, daily breakfast and a $100 resort credit that you can use for shopping, dining or at Atabei Spa.
Bike through Puerto Rico
There’s no one right way to soak in a vacation at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico. If we had to settle on a single option, though, a bike ride through serene El Yunque National Forest might be our answer. Cozied right at the foot of the U.S. National Forest System’s only tropical rainforest, The St. Regis provides routes aplenty for cyclists, with the ones meandering through the resort’s 70-acre bird sanctuary (look out for the elusive Puerto Rican parrot and West Indian whistling duck) being the most invigorating. Of course, when you want to pause the pedaling, the hotel has a roster of other sports options that include kayaking, tennis and world-class gourmet eating at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Fern.
Walk around Maui
A working pineapple farm with Pinterest-worthy views of the Pacific, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is a sight to behold. With the Four-Star hotel’s Island Adventure Luxury promotion, you should be able to appreciate all 22,000 acres of it, too. When you book at least a five-night stay through August 31, you not only get stunning accommodations, daily breakfast and a $1,000 hotel credit, but you can also take advantage of morning Kapalua Fitness Walks and the Cultural Walk ‘n’ Talk tour. The latter is a special treat that spotlights the resort’s native art collection, Maui’s natural beauty and Hawaii’s wellness philosophies.
Photos Courtesy of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. and Clifton Inn