For tennis enthusiasts, the number of luxury hotels that truly accommodate their passion for the sport is low. Many of the best resorts may offer court access and lessons with a pro, but that’s usually the extent of what’s available. Thankfully, there are properties that prioritize tennis as a highlight of their programming, providing guests ample opportunity to build their schedules around the tennis court with a variety of related activities that will not only improve their games but also put them in touch with like-minded travelers. Here are some of the best.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort, South Carolina
This resort has two tennis facilities, one of which is the Roy Barth Tennis Center in East Beach. Barth, who was one of the founding members of the ATP Tour, usually makes the rounds during clinics to offer invaluable tips on how to improve your game. There are stroke-a-day clinics, private lessons, and doubles camps with Barth himself, all of which can be preceded by an always helpful early-morning stretching session. Combined, the resort oversees 24 tennis courts—one is a practice court outfitted with an automated ball retrieval system in case the tennis center can’t match guests.
When to Go: Mild weather here means you can go year-round.
Rates: rooms from $545; court fees, $36/hour; lessons from $33.
The six hard courts—one with bleachers—and four red-clay courts (with views of Nevis Peak) are used for clinics, game matching, private lessons, and a weekly round-robin tournament. All this is overseen by the world’s top tennis management team, called Peter Burwash International (PBI), which brings the highest standards to tennis programs all over the world. But to keep things social, the Caribbean resort also hosts a tennis happy hour, when guests can combine practice with boozy drinks.
When to Go: There are no indoor courts, but Nevis’s generally mild weather makes it a good year-round destination for tennis.
Rates: rooms from $385; court fees, from $35/hour; one-on-one sessions, from $65/hour.
Boca Raton Resort & Club, Florida
This Waldorf Astoria resort’s tennis center is complete with 30 clay-based courts, including 18 Hydro-Grid and 12 Har-Tru courts, and a fully stocked pro shop, as well as a tennis concierge to assist in planning guests’ tennis vacations. But its most impressive amenity right now is its partnership with legendary racqueteer Jimmy Connors. A three-night package has a lot of perks—such as a private airport transfer in a Maserati Quattroporte, couples' massages, and an intimate Morimoto dinner—but none will top the half-day tennis lesson that Connors will administer.
When to Go: Any time but summer is great for tennis in Florida.
Rates: rooms from $420; private lessons, from $125/hour; Ultimate Experience package starting at $23,875.
Gstaad Palace, Switzerland
The four outdoor clay courts here are stunningly surrounded by the Alps, which explains why the hotel is still a popular haunt for celebrities, including tennis great Roy Emerson, who organizes several weeklong camps during the summer, which includes 25 hours of lessons. In August, Olympic champion Marc Rosset will open his own own camp, this time for kids. There are three indoor courts, too, minus the views.
When to Go: Gstaad Palace is open only in winter and summer.
Rates: rooms from $420; court fees $30/hour; lessons from $105/hour; camps from $2,200.
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, California
Tennis diehards will love the variety of surfaces on offer at this Palm Desert resort: 15 hard, three clay, and two grass courts, immaculately kept. (Because of the kind of maintenance involved, natural grass courts are a rare treat.) PBI-led, workout-based drills, clinics, lessons, and a fantastic round-robin tournament that plays on all three surfaces are available. Come during the Indian Wells tournament and spot the world’s best.
When to Go: Summer in the desert can be blazing hot, but the rest of the year offers enjoyable temperature for daily tennis.
Rates: suites from $450; court fees include an hour of court use every day, but additional time runs at $32/hour; semi-private lessons, $35/hour.
Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt, Austria
With dramatic views of the Wilder Kaisers mountains in the backdrop, a hour and a half west of Salzburg, the eight outdoor courts of this Tirolean resort are pretty special. But the programing (PBI, naturally) is top-notch, too. For lessons, the student-pro ratio never dips below 4:1 so you know you’ll be getting personalized attention. Every November, Stanglwirt organizes a four-day master tournament round-robin for top guests and camp participants. And when ATP-level tournament in nearby Kitzbühel comes around, the resort hosts a one-day event that brings some of the players over to mingle with guests.
When to Go: Whenever you want—there are six indoor courts, too.
Rates: studio rooms from $415; court fees, $15/hour; lessons, from $70.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai
During the ATP and WTA off seasons in December, these all-outdoor courts become popular training grounds for big-name players and their entourages. (Andy Murray was here last year.) For the rest of us, there’s a weekly roster of activities, from round-robin tournaments, to themed clinics, to private lessons. PBI also organizes a weeklong, intensive tennis camp (four hours on the court every day for five days).
When to Go: In winter, when temperatures are at their mildest.
Rates: rooms from $430; court use is complimentary to hotel guests; lessons, from $100; PBI camp, from $2,700 including lodging.
Thanyapura Sports & Leisure Club, Phuket
In northern Phuket, surrounded by Thailand's lush tropical vegetation, this six-court tennis complex offers a more exotic setting for a dazzling rally. Morning clinics, social tennis, cardio sessions, several annual tournaments, and weeklong immersive programs are offered to adults, but the children’s activities are equally robust. There’s a junior academy, intensive coaching programs, and later this year, a clinic with former ATP doubles players Sonchat and Sonchai Ratiwatana.
When to Go: With four indoor courts, you can visit year-round, but November to February is the mildest season for outdoor play.
Costs: suites from $230; private lessons, from $52.