Sensei Porcupine Creek, Rancho Mirage, California aerial view. Source: ©Chris Simpson, MMGY NJF
Winter’s almost over and spring tennis season is just around the corner. Nets are going back up, USTA teams are forming, big tournaments are approaching—it’s happening! But maybe the weather’s still a bit too chilly and wet to play in your area? Perhaps you’ve been playing indoors and can’t wait to get out and hit in the fresh air and sunshine…. Oh, you haven’t been playing and want to shake off the rust? The obvious solution: a spring break playcation. A tennis trip is the perfect way to jumpstart your game and prepare to hit the courts this season in top form. We looked at some of the best spots in gorgeous locations, including the super luxe, tennis intense, family friendly and boutique gems. Pack up your rackets and let’s go.
Sensei Porcupine Creek, Rancho Mirage, California lighted tennis court. Source: Tanveer Badal/Sensei Porcupine Creek
Palm Springs, CaliforniaHome of the Indian Wells Masters tournament each March, this gorgeous locale with weather to match is the place to be for tennis this time of year.
If nothing but the best will do, consider the Tennis Optimal Wellbeing Program at the new Sensei Porcupine Creek resort in Rancho Mirage, California. Your itinerary will be ‘curated’ by a Sensei guide, but it’s sure to include a health and fitness assessment, hours of private tennis instruction, mindset sessions, nutrition guidance and spa treatments—all designed to meet your specific needs. You’ll even leave with a Guide to Growth, outlining ‘actionable learnings’ to help you maintain your tennis progress. Is this how it feels to be Novak Djokovic?
If sipping a Pimm’s Cup courtside in your cutest tennis dress is more your speed, check out the mid-century masterpiece that is The Parker Palm Springs. Impeccable architecture and design set this place apart with an attention to detail that does not stop at the tennis center. The resorts’ four courts are surfaced in red clay and the changeover areas are complete with cushioned chairs, cocktail tables and crisp white awnings that stand out beautifully against the bright blue sky. Add in a gorgeous spa, multiple pools, desert gardens, in-house yogis, a chic lounge, and The Parker sounds downright irresistible.
Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms, South Carolina doubles play. Source: The Zimmerman Agency
Backhands by the BeachCharleston, South Carolina is a tennis lover’s dream—lots of opportunity to both watch and play great tennis. Outdoor courts are playable all year long, but springtime is ideal. The WTA has known this for ages--the tour’s annual spring tournament on nearby Daniel Island has been attracting top players since 1973. Now known as the Credit One Charleston Open, it’s scheduled April 3 – 9, 2023.
Wild Dunes Resort on Isle of Palms is an ideal ‘something-for-everyone’ spot. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, this big beachfront resort boasts 12 Har-Tru courts providing guests hours of court time and competitive clinics with top pros. An assortment of pools and restaurants, an expansive sandy beach, a spa, golf and nearby Charleston to explore all but guarantee the whole family will be happy here.
The Kiawah Island Golf Resort, about an hour from Charleston, is a tennis and ocean lovers paradise. (Dolphin encounters, anyone?) With luxe accommodations, miles of pristine beach and a 22-court, world-renowned tennis center, this spot is consistently rated at the top of ‘best in tennis travel’ lists.
Saddlebrook Resort, Tampa, Florida tennis courts aerial view. Source: Saddlebrook Resort
Spring break in Florida is a perfect match. Mild weather, lots of sunshine and excellent facilities attract tennis players of all levels each year. Best part—with so much choice, visitors can easily customize their tennis vacays.
Have a favorite surface? Well, the 43-court Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa offers them all--hard, clay and grass. This way, the professional players who practice here can prepare for all four Grand Slams. Yes, this place calls itself ‘a championship tennis facility’ and that seems fair. Elite athletes practice at Saddlebrook, but resort guests are welcome, too. Adult tennis camp packages include five hours on court each day, including lessons and drills tailored to players’ specific skill levels.
Looking for more style and a little less sweat? The Boca Raton hotel has recently reopened after a 200-million-dollar renovation restoring its old-world glamour and adding all the right modern touches, including an updated Racquet Club with 16 Har-Tru courts. A tennis concierge is on staff to meet guests’ every tennis need—hitting partners, private lessons, fast-paced clinics and match play.
The Longboat Key Club in Sarasota has also undergone a serious glow-up. Remodeled in a design aesthetic defined as ‘Yacht Sleek,’ the resort now boasts an impeccably landscaped ‘Tennis Garden’ with 20 Har-Tru courts, many overlooking the sea. Relax post-match poolside or on the barrier island’s gorgeous beach.
Rosewood Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. Source: Nike Communications
Spring breakers who feel like escaping a bit further might consider the laid-back luxury of these island resorts with top-notch tennis facilities.
Tennis and teatime? Yes, please. The elegant Bermuda Rosewood has partnered with Cliff Drysdale Tennis to offer Adult Tennis Camp packages which include three hours of group instruction and unlimited court time each day. Relax and recover after all that hard work in the resort’s indulgent Sense Spa. Or head straight to afternoon tea complete with scones, cucumber sandwiches and strawberry tarts.
Rosewood Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands is a whole mood that has actually been defined as ‘barefoot luxury.’ Yes, it might be a challenge to put on tennis shoes once you’ve relaxed into this legendary beachfront resort’s unhurried vibe, but you’ll be glad that you did. The top-flight tennis center offers clinics such as the groundstroke tune-up or the serve and volley tutorial. A gorgeous spa and/or the open-air Rum Room are ready when you’re ready to unwind (again) after practice.
With five courts (three red clay and two hard), the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman is the perfect getaway for tennis players. It also offers a full range of activities to keep the family entertained while mom works on her backhand. And this next-level resort’s seaside location is a dream -- Seven Mile Beach is a truly glorious stretch of white sand and crystal-clear water.