By JOE PASSOV, Golf Magazine Senior Editor
Draped atop rugged cliffs in northwest Puerto Rico, 75 miles west of San Juan, Royal Isabela dishes out a stunning (if ferocious) 7,667-yard par-73 replete with soaring Atlantic vistas. The 435-yard, par-4 12th and 200-yard, par-3 17th, which peer over the beach, are two of the hardest, most spectacular holes I've played. Pack an extra dozen balls -- and throw in another sleeve, just in case. Fortunately, Royal Isabela soothes in so many ways. On my visit, Rafael Bernaloa and his team of bartenders wiped away my double-bogey blues with a tropical-drink class, and head pro Miguel Suárez Igartúa patched up my swing at his academy. Toss in superior dining at La Casa and lodging in a huge one-bedroom casita, and you have the ultimate secluded seaside golf escape.
This month, the resort is offering a special to Travelin' Joe readers: one free round with each 3 night/4 day stay at regular rates. December rates start at $800 per casita, including breakfast for two. 855-609-5888, royalisabela.com