Trump Turnberry Resort

(Turnberry Hotel)

Turnberry Hotel
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Turnberry Hotel

A fine Edwardian hotel prominently located above the village of Turnberry in South Ayrshire, the Turnberry Hotel offers fine views over the Firth of Clyde and Ailsa Craig.

It was built 1904-06 by architect James Miller (1860 - 1947) for the Glasgow and Southwestern Railway Company. The railway was extended from Ayr to Girvan in 1905, and the company acquired a golf course which had been built here four years previously on land belonging to the Marquis of Ailsa, who was also a director of the railway company. Thus, Turnberry became the world's first golf resort and retains its reputation as one of the best, having regularly held the British Open Championship and other important international golf tournaments. The five-star resort includes two championship golf links (Ailsa and Kintyre), with a third nine-hole course (Arran).

The building comprises two storeys and an attic floor, the windows of which pierce the red-tiled roof, together with a distinctive white-washed Neo-Georgian facade. Originally offering 100 bedrooms, visitors could alight from the train at a station beside the hotel. It now has 198 rooms, including 21 suites, and has been Category-B listed since 1977 for its historical and architectural importance.

A spa and leisure complex was added to the south of the main building, opened by HRH Prince Edward in 1991 and comprising a 20-m (65-foot) indoor glass-walled swimming pool, fitness centre, jacuzzi, sauna and twelve treatment rooms. A new Golf Clubhouse was opened by HRH Prince Andrew in 1993 and the Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy began in 2000. The hotel was expanded in 2001 by building nine two-bedroom luxury cottages, and converting staff accommodation into twelve luxury lodges with either six or eight ensuite bedrooms and private dining rooms and lounges, all named after notable Scottish golf courses.

During World War I it was used as the officers' mess for a nearby air training station, while during World War II the hotel served as a military hospital.

Despite the closure of the Maidens and Dunure branch of the railway in 1942, the hotel remained the property of the railway and was nationalised along with the network in 1948. It became part of the state-owned British Transport Hotels Group until the hotels were sold off by the Conservative Government in 1982. It was subsequently run by the Japanese Nitto World and then bought by the American Westin group in 1997. Turnberry was acquired by Dubai-owned Leisurecorp in 2008 and operated under their Starwood Luxury Collection brand. It underwent a £40 million refurbishment for the Open Championship in 2009. In 2014 the hotel and golf course was bought by flamboyant American Donald Trump for a reported £37.5 million. The billionaire invested in the region of £100 million to revitalise the hotel, golf courses and associated facilities, which are together now known as the Trump Turnberry Resort.

Although best known for golf, an outdoor activities centre was opened in 2001 to provide access to the hotel's 324-ha (800-acre) estate for a range of pursuits including shooting, off-road driving, quad biking, horse-riding, archery, falconry, and trout-fishing on its own small loch.

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