When I arrived at the 5* Cascades Golf Resort, Spa & Thalasso hotel, I was struck by the drama of its sunburnt orange building draped across the highest point of the Somabay peninsula.
It sits unabashedly amid the incredibly lush green fairways of the Gary Player-designed Championship Golf Course. It’s a verdant landscape embellished with a waterfall and shimmering lakes that unfurls as far as the eye can see right up to the edge of the Red Sea.
Cascades hotel is part of the private Somabay complex and from every direction offers a view of a pleasing array of natural colours hewn thoughtfully out of desert land.
First and foremost, golfers. And those looking for reliable sunshine to fly and flop and indulge in the luxurious thalasso spas (seawater therapies). Young families too would enjoy the kid’s club.
There are 159 spacious rooms in this sprawling resort that are at least 44msq each. They range from Standard, Deluxe, huge Gary Player suits, junior suites, executive suites and the Imperial Suite which is a whopping 340m2. The executive suites have access to the executive lounge.
Mine was a deluxe room with all mod cons such as a tv, hairdryer, dressing gown etc, a spacious bathroom with a tub, a separate shower and sweet-smelling toiletries. It had lovely views over the golf course and every morning I sat on the small sun-blessed balcony sipping a cuppa before the day started. I was always surprised to see golfers on the course no matter how early I awoke.
Food & Drink
There are a few dining options at the Cascades. The main restaurant is where buffet breakfast (including cooked eggs as you like them), lunch and dinner are served with plenty of variety and themed cuisines.
The Spikes, a pleasant outdoor space just off the 18th green and by the main pool is great for casual but quality lunchtime dishes.
Also, on the private Cascades beach is Seashell restaurant with a lovely menu of seafood that tasted all the better with the sea breeze in my hair.
In the evenings I headed to the Eagles’ “pub” for leisurely cocktails and nibbles and sat on its large balcony eyeing up Somaby peninsular now cloaked by the inky blue starry night.
Championship golf course
The Championship golf course is a major draw and no wonder. The 18-hole, par 72 golf course was designed by retired American professional golfer Gary Player and though verdant with pretty lakes, it hasn’t lost its desert quality. Some holes are played on the edge of the Red Sea adding an extra challenging twist.
There’s an impressive driving range, a 5,000sm scoring arena, a pitch and putt practice area and an area dedicated to football golf. The latter is played with a full-size football but golf rules are followed. It’s incredibly fun to play as a group or with a young family. Mohammed explains:
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The relaxation experience started by simply walking into the spa building where I got two hits of dopamine; firstly aesthetically – it’s a beautiful space with an impressive chandelier, and secondly, by a sensual aroma of mango and pineapple scents. Almost involuntarily I felt myself shift down a gear, easing into what I thought would be a highly relaxing seawater-based experience.
The Cascades thalasso-tonic hydrotherapy pool is at 750sm, the largest in Africa. It contains 830sm of water divided into distinct water pools of jets, pressure showers, currents and counter-currents said to comfort and “regenerate and tone” the body.
Under instruction from the thalasso therapist Mahmoud, I moved from one high-pressure jet to another designed to “regenerate” different parts, say the leg or the stomach. This was an hour’s worth of full-body pummelling. Later I rested by the spa seawater pool sipping a cup of herbal tea to calm down.
There are 65 treatment rooms with tens of different treatments. I had a fabulous Swedish massage in one of them.
Other facilities include a pool so big it never feels busy, tennis courts, paddle tennis, a gym a hairdresser and free wifi. Incidentally, the free wifi extends to their private beach too.
Rooms from £90 per night.
Want a package deal with a flight and 7 nights? Starts £862.00 per person
Cascades is surrounded by its incredible golf course but that doesn’t mean you miss out on the beach. There is a shuttle that goes to and fro to Cascades private beach on the coast of Somabay. Sunbeds, towels and sunshades are free to use. There are two diving centres at Ras Abu Soma Dive Site and Tobia Arbaa Dive Site, a kite surfing centre, a quad bike rental and escorted tours through the desert.
There’s a pretty marina too where you can hire bikes or golf carts to explore the area or just take a walk around the shops and restaurants.
In the evening visit Sobar’s rooftop bar opposite the marina for a sundowner cocktail at sunset.
VERDICT: There’s plenty to love at the Cascades Golf Resort Spa and Thalasso hotel including its fabulously good value rates. Sports, golf, year-round sunshine, good food and close to a private beach. Oh and great service to boot.