If President Trump runs the United States like he runs his hotel empire there is no need to worry
As the new President settles into the White House, it’s fair to say there has been some… let’s say, “speculation”… about what it means for the rest of the world.
His acumen as a businessman is well known but for anyone unfamiliar with just how adept the man is at putting his very own mark on everything that he touches, a drive to Ayrshire will leave you in no doubt.
It was 1902 when Turnberry’s first golf course was created with the famous hotel opening four years later.
During the First World War, its strategic location saw it turned into an airbase, with greens, fairways and rough being lost to aircraft hangars, runways and accoutrements of early aviation.
Turnberry played another vital role during the Second World War when the hotel was converted into a hospital while the courses again became landing strips.
While today the memories of those roles may be lost on its visitors, the grandeur and historical importance of the building is unmistakable.
When Mr Trump announced that he was to take over the hotel – spending £200million in the process to bring it up to his own very particular standards – few could have argued that it didn’t need any refurbishment: reality had not kept up with history.
However, the latest occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue not only recognised Turnberry’s potential but also appreciated what was needed to restore, if not surpass, the standards that are his calling card.
Even the vagaries of the Scottish weather cannot take anything away from the location: looking proudly out across to the Firth of Clyde and Ailsa Craig the resort exudes quiet sophistication.
The winding drive up to the entrance takes you past the helicopter pad – vital for VIPs, presidents included – pulling you surreptitiously into Turnberry’s grandeur.
Turnberry’s first golf course was created in 1902 and the hotel opened four years later
Immaculately turned-out door staff, resplendent in kilts and plumed headgear, are poised even before your engine has fallen silent.
You are whisked into the serenity of the hotel’s foyer and seated in plush tartan chairs before being attended to in private by one of the front desk personnel, who will then escort you to your room.
It is little touches like this which set Trump Turnberry ahead of so many of its so-called rivals in Scotland’s luxury hotel market.
Whichever of the 192 rooms – or four suites – you have selected, standards are exceptional. With hand-carved wood, tweed and cashmere prevalent throughout, each has its own character. The beds are huge and ridiculously comfortable, the bathrooms finished with marble and brass complete with his-and-hers toiletries while the views are simply priceless.
After settling in and unpacking, head out for a bracing walk out to the world famous Lighthouse.
Said to be built on the site of Robert the Bruce’s former castle, it is now home to an incredible suite which, for a suitably incredible fee, can be yours for the duration of your stay.
Mr Trump spent $200 million to bring the hotel up to his own standards
However, if that proves nancially problematic for you, a visit for a fabulous lunch and a glass or two is your very acceptable and affordable alternative.
Dining at Trump Turnberry offers sumptuous choice with 1906 Il Tramonto being the hotel’s signature restaurant.
My wife, Lynn, and I enjoyed a superb three-course dinner during our stay, our enjoyment of which was hugely enhanced thanks to our window table giving unparalleled vistas, despite the incoming storm.
Translated from the Italian for sunset”, and reflecting the year the hotel opened, 1906 Il Tramonto offers diners an array of wonderful dishes from Sicily, Tuscany and Sardinia. It understandably opens daily at 19.06.
For slightly more relaxed surroundings yet equally mouthwatering fare why not try The Duel in The Sun, named after possibly one of golf’s greatest moments – which saw Tom Watson defeat fellow American Jack Nicklaus in an epic clash for the 1977 Open title.
The restaurant’s menu reflects the array of locally sourced products which are found in abundance in and around the Trump Turnberry resort.
While golf is a natural attraction for visitors to the hotel, it also offers a host of attractions to the non-sportsmen among us: from pony rides on the beach to quad biking and archery to the Wee Explorers’ club designed to keep the youngsters amused, and even self-catering apartments, every option to make your break unforgettable is catered for.
Throughout the year, the hotel goes out of its way to celebrate special events with aplomb, from Christmas and New Year extravaganzas to Easter and Father’s Day specials to the ever-popular corporate golf days.
Next week, the latest of these sees the resort holding a sumptuous Valentine’s Day’s celebration on Saturday, February 11. Entitled The Sounds of Romance, it includes an evening of famous romantic ballads.
The 1906 Il Tramanto is the hotel’s signature restaurant
It is being held in the surrounds of the 1906 Crystal Room and includes dinner for two and an overnight stay in the hotel for £249 per room, per night, based on two people sharing.
As Mr Trump continues to find his own way around the corridors of powers on Capitol Hill, his thoughts may not often turn to his resort on the Ayrshire coast but, if the stress of being the leader of the free world does ever becomes too much to take, he could do a lot worse than pay it a relaxing visit.
Richard Elias stayed as a guest of Trump Turnberry, Maidens Road, Turnberry, Ayrshire KA26 9LT
Phone: +44.1655.331.000; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more details and information see: www.trumpturnberry.com