The growing reputation of Onyria Golf Resorts was boosted further still last November 15, 2012, when the company was named the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) golf tourism supplier of the year, at the awards dinner at International Golf Travel Market (IGTM).
The awards are voted by tour operators and golf travel writers and it was a success on ‘home turf’ for Onyria Golf Resorts, as the ceremony took place in Vilamoura, Portugal, venue for this year’s IGTM.
The company has two golf developments in Portugal: Onyria Palmares Beach & Golf Resort, in the Algarve, and Quinta da Marinha Resort, on the Lisbon Golf Coast, which itself was named IAGTO’s best European golf destination in 2007. It also owns the Onyria Claros Beach & Spa Resort, in Izmir, Turkey.
João Pinto Coelho, the company’s sales director, said: “Every time we receive an accolade such as this it strengthens our resolve to continue to build on our reputation and enhance the overall experience for our visitors. And every time, one of us gets up and says how delighted we are – and, it may be a cliché, but we truly are delighted. It’s always heartwarming to receive plaudits for what we are doing but when it’s voted for by our customers and suppliers it means even more.
The ‘supplier of the year’ category was introduced only last year. Previously, IAGTO awards recognised only golf destinations and golf resorts. The new category opened up the awards for all IAGTO members including golf courses, hotels, inbound operators, transportation companies and others, comprising more than 1,400 in 85 countries.
More than 450 IAGTO golf tour operators from 59 different countries cast their votes for the award. Each operator was asked to nominate whom they considered to be the best performing IAGTO supplier this year in terms of dealing with tour operators, handling ‘fam’ trips and, above all, obtaining high customer satisfaction. Tour operators may vote for any IAGTO member golf courses, hotels, inbound operators or other suppliers such as hotel groups or airlines.
The award comes after a long line of accolades for the company’s latest project, Onyria Palmares Beach & Golf Resort, which launched only in June 2011, following a €10m redesign by the inimitable Robert Trent Jones Jnr.
The course was named Portugal’s second-best course by readers of Today’s Golfer magazine; become a new entry, at 26th, in Golf World’s poll of the Top 100 European Golf Courses; was listed as the third best course in Portugal by Golf Digest, the number one distributed sports title in the USA; and was one of only two Portuguese new entries in the second edition of the Rolex World’s Top 1000 Golf Courses – and all a little more than a year after being opened.
The 27-hole set-up is part of the Onyria Palmares Beach & Golf Resort which will follow Onyria’s traditional business model. There is a plan for a five-star hotel, while the complex also includes a selection of plots for villas which have been released on to the property market.
Meanwhile, on the Lisbon Coast, the company’s property sits on one of the most prestigious areas of the country, Quinta da Marinha, where the renowned Robert Trent Jones Snr – father of the architect of Onyria Palmares – designed a course which has hosted both ladies and men’s professional tour events.
The Quinta da Marinha Resort – an ‘officially recommended resort of the Professional Golfers Associations of Europe’ – offers hospitality in the 198-room, five-star Hotel Quinta da Marinha, a member of the luxury collection of the Great Hotels of the World group, and in 40 one or two-bedroom townhouses. Additionally the new five-star boutique hotel at the resort, Onyria Marinha Edition Hotel & Thalasso, has been awarded “best service quality” from Turismo de Portugal.
That thread of quality runs throughout the properties of Onyria Golf Resorts, justifying the award of 2012’s golf tourism supplier of the year.