Hotels Near Lake Point Sports Complex latest 2023

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Astonishing Wales – The Ryder Cup Dream is Launched

It’s 1999 and we are guests at Celtic Manor in Coldra Woods, Newport, Gwent Wales. We stand on an elevation adjacent to the golf course. As the dream of hosting the Ryder Cup takes shape all around us, we survey the past. Below us is Caerleon, once a prosperous outpost the Romans called Isca. Several valleys beyond the mist-covered hills along the River Wye, directly to the east are the historic remains of Chepstow Castle and Tintern Abbey.

The magpies, their black and white feathers dappled by the sun’s rays breaking through the low clouds, soar from their pine perches. They strut haughtily across the precise, perfect lawn, casting wry glances at a trio of men huddled nearby. Take a decisive shot, unfazed by the chatter of birds, following the ball with your eyes as it soars over the lake and well-bunkered green to a prime landing site within easy reach of the target hole .

This is New Wales, the land of wizards, ethereal music and sheep grazing in parish gardens, now plunging headlong into union with the high-tech laboratory and pristine golf courses that surround us. These ventures are the culmination of a dream realized by the richest man in Wales, the 18th richest man in Britain.

After graduating from the University of Wales, Swansea, from Newport, Terry Matthews, now 55, headed to Canada. Newbridge Networks, the cutting-edge telecommunications equipment company he founded, is still based in Ottawa, Ontario, but its headquarters are a short distance from Celtic Manor, the linchpin of the station the billionaire has transformed into a world-class destination.

This is the sixth year that my husband and I have returned to Celtic Manor, a 19th century stone mansion converted into a hotel under the wise planning of Matthews. Squatting over the M-4 like a venerable grandmother, it was catapulted into the prestigious Johansen Guide to Recommended Hotels in Britain and Ireland shortly after its inception.

On this day, television cameras are set up in the lobby of the hotel to film BBC sports commentators and other media personalities interviewing golf enthusiasts arriving non-stop in taxis and coaches. elegant sports. Thereafter, the players mingle in an atmosphere full of effervescence, their camaraderie expressed in several languages. Unwittingly, we timed our trip to coincide with the opening of Wentwood Hills, a championship course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and the third of his 18-hole courses at Celtic Manor.

His latest achievement is a strong candidate to host the Ryder Cup in 2010. Today’s media explosion – later broadcast across the UK – is a hole in one.

The once serene woodlands surrounding the resort fail to drown out the din of construction crews rushing to complete the new Celtic Manor hotel in time for the ‘grand’ opening scheduled for July. From our fourth-floor bedroom window, we gaze upward beyond the sea of ​​wildflowers cascading down a rugged slope. Above, the spectacular new hotel dominates the rocky cliff. Each spacious room has a cleverly placed balcony for optimal views of the scenic landscape. We squint, momentarily blinded by the sun admiring its reflection in a sea of ​​picture windows.

It is clear that Matthews has invested generously in the project. He expects it to be hailed as the UK’s most spectacular hotel, conference, golf, sports and leisure venue. From the 400 ornate rooms and suites with state-of-the-art electronics, to the huge glass atrium and the spacious Wentwood Suite banquet hall, the resort anticipates business needs and trends for the century. coming. At the same time, leisure-hungry guests will be wickedly pampered, whether on the golf courses, lounging around the Roman-style pool, following a vigorous fitness program at Club Rio, analyzing and perfecting techniques golf at the Ian Woosnam Golf Academy, or indulge in an assortment of other sports.

But Celtic Manor does not represent Wales or its people. Beyond the magnificent golf courses, visitors to this small nation quickly discover enchanting vistas in the surrounding towns and countryside where natural, ancient and historic treasures must be seen and preserved lest they be overwhelmed by the modern tastes.

In the nearby capital of Cardiff, the Welsh National Opera and National Orchestra of Wales satisfy the soul, while the National Museum of Wales and the Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum in Cardiff Docklands fascinate the mind. The station is a hub for vacationers heading to the seaside pleasures of Barry Island. Others travel north through the narrow, fertile valleys where miners once worked and where the legendary bells of Rhymney wait at the journey’s end. Rugged nature lovers can opt for the sixty-mile cycle route linking the bay to the Brecon Beacons National Park.

St. Fagans Welsh Folk Museum, outside Cardiff, is a collection of authentic buildings that recreate the craftsmanship, customs and heritage of Wales, from sheep farms to the castle with a formal rose garden . With each round trip, there is always something new to admire at this “must see” attraction. Vast in scope and history, a visit whets the appetite for more Welsh delights.

For romantics, nothing makes the heart beat faster than the castles that abound in all directions. Cardiff Castle – built amid Roman and Norman ruins – and its alter-ego, Castell Coch, are 19th-century fantasies of the third Marquess of Bute and American architect William Burgess whose reconstructions lean more towards the styles Victorian and Gothic than to authentic antiquity.

Caerphilly Castle, on the other hand, is a vast complex of stone towers, walls, weirs and moats completed in 1271. Generations of knights in armor sequestered here engaged in jousting tournaments to fun and occasional battles to preserve themselves until the castle is besieged. in 1647.

A gray masonry tower of this second largest castle in the British Isles tilts precariously, a victim, some say, of Cromwell’s foiled attempt to blow up the fortress during the bloody Welsh Civil War England. Others attribute the collapse to the passage of time and the natural uplift of the islands and dam walls supporting the towers. Shrouded in mist hanging over the Vale of Rhymney and a history that pits generations of hardy Welsh against an oppressive crown, Caerphilly Castle is a metaphor for a people under siege. Some insist that her mysterious aura emanates from the gloomy ghost of the Green Lady.

Banished centuries ago into exile by her husband, a Norman lord who once ruled the castle, she is said to haunt the site of her disappearance and frequently surprise tourists by showing up in the adjacent cobweb chapel in the Great Hall or along the winding stairs. She means no harm as, again and again, she wanders in search of the Welsh prince who stole her heart.

While the Green Lady is confined to retracing her steps within the castle walls, tourists embrace the wonders of the outdoors by pony trekking in the Brecon Beacons National Park, challenging the rugged, weather-swept Snowdon Mountain wind from North Wales, or strolling along the rocky Pembrokeshire coast. Way. Unsurprisingly, hiking, rock climbing and casual walking are among the main draws of this small country. From every vantage point, more castles and verified antiquities are seen than in any other country on earth. Burial chambers dating from pre-Christian times mingle with medieval fortresses. Standing stone circles predating Stonehenge, traces of prehistoric settlements and Celtic cairns delight the ancestor seeker in all of us.

Update: It’s 2010 and Terry Matthews, now 66, will fulfill his dream of hosting the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor. Famous golfers and their fans from around the world will gather here from October 1-3 for an event that has been planned for twelve years. But don’t be surprised if, in the end, many attendees will be so enthralled by the surroundings that they’ll be tempted to explore beyond the pristine greens in search of the magical mysteries that are unique to Wales.

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