Pickleball — an easy-to-learn cross between ping pong, badminton and tennis invented in 1965 by three vacationers on Bainbridge Island, Washington — is sweeping the nation as the fastest growing sport three years running. With an estimated 36.5 million people playing regularly in the U.S. as of January 2023 according to the Association of Pickleball Professionals, it’s no surprise that hotels big, small, and above par are trying to lure enthusiasts with newly installed courts, lessons with full-time pros and other curated paddle programming.
The Tryall Club (Montego Bay, Jamaica)
All-villa accommodations, a challenging golf course, a beach club with private coastline, expert tennis facilities and the promise of primo jerk chicken have lured vacationers to Sandy Bay since private property opened in 1959. Four courts and pickleball programming have given them yet another reason to come. The on-staff pickleball concierge will deliver necessary goodies to your villa: paddles, accessories such as sunglasses and hats and sized white outfits including collared shirts, shorts and tennis skirts (a requirement to use these courts) and schedules private coaching, practice sessions or tournaments with other pairs.
Wylder Hotel Windham (Windham, New York)
In The Catskills, nobody puts baby in the kitchen (the non-volley zone of a pickleball court). She’ll put herself there if it strategically makes sense while playing on the courts found on Wylder’s expansive recreation lawn. The nostalgic resort hosts a lesson with a USTA-certified tennis umpire/pickle fanatic every Sunday. Soothe screaming muscles with a wood-fired sauna session after.
High Hampton (Cashiers, North Carolina)
North Carolina has long been known for its basketball powerhouses, but another kind of hard court is gaining traction at the historic Blue Ridge Mountains retreat. Six pickleball courts were added to the competition-caliber racquet sports complex developed with direction from tennis champ/part-time Cashiers resident Andy Roddick. Courts are available for open play and matches daily while clinics are held twice weekly.
Rosewood Little Dix Bay (Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands)
Come for the half-mile crescent sliver of sand and aged rum cocktails. Stay to learn the ins and outs of the sport as clinics for beginners are held five days a week on two pickleball courts with on-site instructors at the Caribbean getaway.
Carneros Resort and Spa (Napa Valley, California)
Dinks and drinks are the name of the game at this 28-acre modern farmhouse resort in California’s famed wine country. After installing two state-of-the-art courts, Carneros took its apres-play next level by partnering with Veuve Clicquot to fashion an adjacent alfresco bubbles bar and lounge in signature orange. Guests can purchase branded paddles, picnic basket and athletic attire at MARKET or COOP boutique.
The Watergate Hotel (Washington, D.C.)
Game, sunset, match! Daily Glow In The Dark Pickleball is back for the second summer on The Next Whisky Bar’s patio at this sleek capital city stay. Rally and then recuperate with Whispering Angel Rosé, Chandon Garden Spritzes and a bespoke menu that includes deep-fried pickles.
The Loutrel (Charleston, South Carolina)
The historic district boutique teamed with local pickleball apparel and equipment brand Short Court Sports to throw The Holy City’s first ever rooftop pickleball tournament last spring. The collaboration was such a hit that more activations are in the works for fall. In the meantime, the concierge can find guests places to play or book lessons.
Kimpton La Peer (West Hollywood, California)
Sweat, sip and socialize this summer at Disco Court, which will be held every weekend on the Design District gem’s rooftop and feature a DJ spinning until the sun goes down. Watch the action courtside with specialty Grey Goose cocktails—punch is wrapped in functional wristband—and picnic staples like fried chicken and charcuterie (plated atop paddles). To play, sign up via the Pickleheads QR code upon arrival.
Kinship Landing (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
The whole family can have a ball during a stay at this unique property in the Pikes Peak region, which is equal parts glamping and hotel. The new pickleball package starts with a pre-arrival phone call to size up the squad’s previous paddle experience and with the concierge (who happens to be Kinship co-founder/CEO Bobby Mikulas) to tailor the itinerary. After checking into the family suite complete with bunks for the littles and two bathrooms, grab gear from the on-site lockers including reusable water bottles and to-go snacks and head over to Springs Pickleball, the state’s largest pickleball facility, for an introductory class. If everyone enjoyed Rocky Mountain high scoring, the “concierge” will follow-up with coach-recommended clothing/equipment as well as places to continue their education or join a league close to home.
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