My review of the Trump Turnberry hotel and resort in Scotland

This is my review of the Trump Turnberry golf hotel and resort in Scotland.

A few weeks ago I received an email from Trump Turnberry – A Luxury Collection Resort, the luxury golf resort in Scotland which is part of the Starwood ‘Luxury Collection’, asking if I wanted to come up and review it.

I am not a golf player myself so I was definitely the wrong person to review the Ailsa course, but I was persuaded that Trump Turnberry offers much more than ‘just golf’.

We also realised that Trump Turnberry resort is exceptionally good value when using Starwood Preferred Guest points.  One night including breakfast at the end of September costs 16,000 points, equivalent to 48,000 Marriott Rewards points.  The cash price is £431 (more if you want a refundable rate) which means you are getting 2.7p for every Starwood point.  This is almost twice as much as we normally value SPG points.

Off I went to Scotland to find out whether SPG or Marriott Rewards members should put Trump Turnberry on their redemptions list.  HFP paid for its own flights to Glasgow and we also paid for certain items in the hotel, including most of our drinks.  Here is my review.

The history of Trump Turnberry

The golf course at Turnberry first opened in 1882 with the Turnberry Golf Club & Hotel following in 1906.  Jump forward 91 years and in 1997 the property became part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts group.  In 2011 the branding was changed from Westin to Luxury Collection.  In 2014 the Trump Organisation purchased Turnberry and the golf course investing £200 million in upgrading the 103 guest rooms, including four suites, and the links.

The hotel remains under Starwood management and you can earn and spend Starwood Preferred Guest points (or Marriott Rewards points if you transfer them to Starwood) for a stay here.  Your status benefits will also be honoured.

The 18-holes Ailsa golf course has hosted the Open Championship in 1977, 1986, 1994 and 2009.

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort

Location

Trump Turnberry is on the Ayrshire coast in western Scotland, about an hour west of Glasgow.  We (I travelled with my boyfriend) flew into Glasgow airport and were picked up by the hotel. The car ride to the hotel took about an hour.  A return airport transfer starts at £180 depending on the size of the car.

Check in

There were two reception desks in a separate room next to the concierge desk. We sat down and were offered water and home baked shortbread – which was really good.

Trump Turnberry reception

Room

At check in we were told that we had been upgraded to one of the four suites overlooking the Ailsa golf course and the sea.

Trump Turnberry SPG Suite Nick Price View Golf course

The hotel has only four suites each named after one of the four winners of the Open Championships hosted at Turnberry. We got the Nick Price suite – with, to my eyes, an awful painting on the wall (click to enlarge).  Sorry Nick.

The room had air conditioning which was slightly too cold for my liking but was easy to adjust and within a short time the room had the desired temperature.

Trump Turnberry Nick Price Suite

The bedroom had a king size bed:

Trump Turnberry Scotland Bed

The desk turned out to be a hidden dressing table with hair dryer and mirror as well as a drawer full of sockets.

Wifi is free for all guests and was a good speed for Netflix etc.

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort

The bathroom was a very good size with free standing bathtub, two sinks and shower and toilet with individual doors.

The toiletries were by Arran Aromatics with a separate selection for her and him. I found them a little too scent intensive, but they were very nourishing and my hair looked great.

Trump Turnberry Starwood Bathroom

Trump Turberry has no shortage of hangers and lots of space in the wardrobe. The safe had a socket inside so you can charge your laptop or phone when storing it. It also had a jewellery tray with little compartments so your necklaces won’t get tangled up.

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort

Living Room

The living room really did look more like someones living room (not mine, admittedly) than a hotel room with two white bookshelves, a fire place, artwork and two of the most comfortable sofas I’ve ever sat on. There was also a second desk.

Trump Turnberry Starwood SPG Suite

Inside the TV bank was the Nespresso machine and tea making facilities. The suites have a great selection of loose tea.

Instead of a mini bar, various wine bottles were on the shelves.  The books, as you can see below, were matching sets of reprinted classics.  I personally don’t have a problem with this if I just want to read a book but a more curated – but non-matching – selection would have been more interesting.

Trump Turnberry review

Twin room

I got a tour of the whole of Trump Turnberry including the hotel, spa, golf courses and the Turnberry Lighthouse.

I wanted to take a look at a mainstream room.  Here is a picture of one of the standard twin rooms where each bed is a queen size. The design, size and layout of all the rooms including the suites and the lighthouse suite is the same with only a couple of smaller rooms having just a shower instead of a shower and a bathtub. (‘Normal’ rooms are like the suites minus the living room)

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort

Turnberry Lighthouse

The Turnberry Lighthouse is located by the 9th hole of the Ailsa course and has a two bedroom suite inside as well as a halfway house where golfers can pick up a sandwich.

Coming from the hotel’s main building you can either walk for 30 minutes along the golf course or get one of the hotel’s drivers to pick you up and drop you off.

A night in this suite costs £3,500 per night.

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort

From the two balconies (one off each room) you have a great view over the sea.

Trump Turnberry review

The two bedrooms look the same as those in the main building, but the living room area has a slightly different design to the other suites.

Trump Turnberry Lighthouse Suite

To give you a better impression of what you can expect, here is a short YouTube video of Trump Turnberry. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel via this page – this is the same link to visit if the video does not automatically appear below.


 
This was part one of my review of Starwood’s Trump Turnberry Resort with a focus on the bedrooms.  Part two (click here) looks at the food and activities available as well as the spa.  We also look at the extra benefits available if you book via our hotel booking partner.

If you received this article by email, you won’t have received Part 2.  Please click here to read it directly on the Head for Points website.

The Trump Turnberry Resort home page is here if you want to find out more.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

UK court ruling may lead to 6 years of refunds for cancelled returns on missed flights
My review of the Trump Turnberry Resort in Scotland (Part Two)
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Comments

  1. Local daily deal site itison often has deals at Turnberry. Including rooms at around £200 a night.

    This is their latest for a spa day:

    https://www.itison.com/f/18424-4a1f0

    Turnberry is what the locals call it – regardless of brands or owners! It has been turned into an airfield twice during wars – google satellite view will show you the WW2 runways – and yet survived and prospered. It will outlast its current owners and managers!

  2. Duncan says:

    Head for Points, you do a great job educating us all on how to work the points and air miles industry. But some sort of ethical control would obviously be greatly appreciated by many of your readers. Some places are just morally repulsive and i think it’s fairly common knowledge now that supporting hotels/ businesses with performing dolphins/ animals is an awful thing to do, as is supporting any Donald Trump businesses especially as he embarks on such a damaging presidency.

    • Genghis says:

      We’re all consenting adults who can make our own choices, surely?

      • Sprout7 says:

        Absolutely agree.
        Having someone impose “ethical control” on hotel redemption opportunities is frankly disturbing!

      • Duncan says:

        Hi Genghis, yes you and anyone else are big enough to make your own choices. My post is aimed towards Head for Points, as a business. Do they really want to encourage something in the public domain that 1) i think most people would view as morally repugnant and 2) would turn off readers from their site and damage their business?

        • This is quite ironic.

          Perhaps we need to boycott everything Scottish because Alex Salmond leader of the SNP who ostensibly run the place spent all that time licking Trump boot in pursuit of having a Trump Golf resort and 2000 houses built on one of the UK’s most important systems of sand dunes.
          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/snp-smells-of-sleaze-for-backing-trumps-golf-course-development-765282.html

          Not a good choice of battlefield to make that point, Duncan.

        • Sprout7 says:

          Perhaps the HFP view is that they can put the opportunity out there and let people make their own minds up – rather than get the “ethical control” police to decide what they can and can’t read.
          It would appear that nearly 63m Americans for starters might not share view of it being “morally repugnant”.

        • Duncan, maybe you should do what YOU want to do, and not assume others have the same views. Stop inflicting the voice of the few on to the many.

        • +1

          Classic virtue signalling from Duncan and many others. Disappointing.

          I hope Rob gets a handle on this – I’ve seen quite a few non political sites wither away due to this unwanted noise. Please go and be virtuous elsewhere.

          Adey

        • Mr Dee says:

          +1

          Some people need to stop thinking that everyone has the same morals and opinions as everyone else, this view is usually from people trying to make out that everyone thinks the same and speak for the ‘majority’ when it clearly isn’t the case.

          Now lets book this deal!

        • Duncan,

          1) I don’t find this morally repugnant
          2) I am not turned off in any way

          Please spare everyone your political hate.

          HFP do a fantastic job. Be grateful for their informative/free content.

        • Frankly, I find the constant flow of middle eastern hotel and airline reviews morally more questionable than a hotel owned by the Trump clan. I do realize, though, that this is my personal opinion and should not impact the article selection on this blog. In my humble opinion, those offended by Trump should do the same.

  3. It may indeed be a great stay for 16K points, (I’ve never stayed and can’t envisage it), but Part 1 contains 10 pictures of bedrooms, only 1 of which is a picture of the room a typical 16K point redemption will get you, and it’s almost as an afterthought. There are more pictures of the presidential lighthouse that of the redemption room. Given that the reviewer was invited, it’s hardly surprising that there was an upgrade to one of the four suites, but that won’t be the experience of 99% of people booking an award stay.

    Unless Trump Turnberry has significantly deviated from standard SPG operating procedure, you only get breakfast on an award stay if you hold the highest SPG status, platinum. So it appears that the reviewer was also given free ‘amazing’ breakfast for two. But we don’t actually know. Therefore it would have been useful to know what the cost is for the amazing breakfast, given that the hotel is out on it’s own and thus an award stayer will have little option but to pay for it (unless plat).

    The review to me looks too little like a review of an award stay (which is what one would expect from the title), and too much like an advert for Trump Turnberry.

    • The redemption rooms are exactly the same as the suites without the living room. Same size bedroom and same size bathroom.

      • Ok, that’s not portrayed in the copy, you indicate the DESIGN is the same, but not that the rooms are exactly the same size with all the same amenities, save for the missing living room.

  4. Politics aside, fair play for taking the stay, but is the experience provided to Anika the same experience to be provided to points bookings, which is the headline? I doubt i will be getting upgraded to a suite, or the special tour, or the special golf taster. This was a promotional/media stay, not a points redemption experience.

    • My thoughts too, had this been a true review of an award stay with none of the ” free extras ” Anika may have had a different slant on the hotel. As HfP moves forward I suspect we will see more of these advertorials on a regular basis.

      • I (personally) lose money on these pieces remember! We do them because we think they are interesting and they simply wouldn’t happen if the hotel didn’t volunteer them.

        • guesswho2000 says:

          Well, I think they’re interesting, and I’m sure the majority of readers do too. It’s always good to hear of opportunities for redemptions, especially the more interesting ones, such as these, rather than a random Holiday Inn for 5,000 points at the side of the A1!

          From a personal perspective, I’m unlikely to ever stay there, since I live on the other side of the world, but would certainly think of this as a decent opportunity for a weekend away with the Mrs, for example.

          Now, if you could do some reviews of some hotels in the South Pacific, or an article on how to smash award redemptions with Fiji Airways, that’d be great! 😛 (PS, the answer to the latter is almost certainly using AS/AA miles).

    • I like hotel reviews on HfP generally. I do give Anika credit for at least asking to see and taking a photo of an ordinary room. However I agree that this experience is unlikely to reflect what a normal redemption would be like. It’s like when certain US points blogs review hotels as Hyatt/Starwood Platinums with their suite upgrades etc. All very nice for the person doing the reviewing – and I’m not saying Anika should only have a room “over the bins” but this type of review has limited use for the rest of us….

      • But that makes no sense. If the hotel had a private suite guest lounge and she hid out there for 2 days you would have a point. But she ate in both restaurants, had breakfast, used the pool etc – all things you would do. And got some pics of a standard room.

        In reality, reviews of point redemption stays online usually go like this – ate out at night as hotel expensive, had drinks outside as hotel expensive, had breakfast outside as hotel expensive. I have done such reviews in the past!

        • Given that this is a golf hotel, and appears from google earth to be pretty much out on it’s own, a redeemer is much more likely to eat breakfast here at least, than would be the case in many other redemptions.

          The cost of breakfast, in a review whose headline suggests it is a redemption focused piece, would be useful info.

        • Breakfast is free for everyone. My apologies, I have asked the hotel to clarify the breakfast situation. With the redemption rooms breakfast is free for Platinum members and costs £30 per person otherwise.

        • the real harry1 says:

          and lunch & dinner are free for reviewers 🙂

        • RIcatti says:

          and cheese is free for mice!

        • Anika – dont think breakfast is free for everyone, i see a number of rates as not including breakfast, with other more expensive rates including breakfast.

        • There is not a standard prepaid or flexible rate that does not include breakfast. The standard rates include breakfast. The fact that they explicitly state that they include breakfast in their description, whereas some of the promotional rates and points rates do not explicitly state that, may have confused some people. However, all the rates do include breakfast (haggis is optional).

  5. Charlie says:

    Some people are so touchy. I don’t know how HfP puts up with them. What a mountain out of a molehill.

    Not every article is relevant to me but they cater for many tastes with their articles. I actually found it interesting to see inside this place (despite never having played golf and how unlikely I am to visit Scotland either way).

    This site is free. We pay ‘nothing’ for this and are in fact free to read anything on any site.

    I wonder how many would accept a stay if offered at ANY hotel in exchange for a review

  6. Dennis says:

    Too many snowflakes on this thread.

  7. Michael says:

    Thanks Rob 🙂 Excellent article.

    Sure, I won’t stay there but that’s because my current stash of SPG points are being deployed on the Sheraton at Iguazu Falls 🙂 (and maybe a little because of Trump!)

  8. barnaby100 says:

    This really hacks me off. I stopped following another travel site for the same reason, when it started he had the same status in loads of hotels as me and so his experience mirrored mine, then suddenly he was ‘famous’ and getting unrealistic upgrades everywhere. I stopped following. Head for Points is at risk of going the same way. They invited you to the hotel, you were upgraded to a suite. That isn’t the experience that most visitors would get at this resort.

    • the real harry1 says:

      it was Anika 🙂

      • I went to Southend instead 🙂

        I don’t do this for free stuff. At 46 I have all the stuff I need, frankly, and when I’m offered free stuff I turn it down due to my wife and kids anyway which is partly why I hired Anika. Death is looming and I’m not going to spend my remaining time going to places I don’t want to go purely because I don’t need to pay. Should I want to go to a luxury resort for a weekend I can and do happily pay for it (see my Four Seasons Hampshire piece from the other week for example. Or Southend tomorrow.)

        We only do stuff which we think is interesting and relevant for the readers. If Starwood was not involved, it would not have been relevant and we probably would have passed.

        The review would not have been substantially different had she turned down the suite and taken a standard room, given they were hardly in it. We have a lot of SPG elite members who read the site who may well get upgraded into suites here anyway.

        • the real harry1 says:

          With any luck, death won’t loom too soon 🙂

          So I’m nearly 55. With decent health, I’ve got another 25 years, judging by my parents.

          I have already used up 69% of my life lol & the clock is ticking.

          The good news is: many oldsters sort of seem happy about it all ending.

        • I can’t get my youngest off my legs until I’m at least 58 though, assuming he goes to uni at 18!

        • barnaby100 says:

          I am starwood elite. Don’t get many suite upgrades in the UK!

  9. I love this site, for as much as I learn from others as much as I learn from Rob, and the site. I have never been brave enough to comment before but this has prompted me.
    I ask myself; to what extent is the site motivated or influenced by the politics of ownership. I have not seen that, ever.
    Its just another hotel, in another place that we all can choose ( if we have the SPG points) , or not.
    The article is about informed choice. If your values don’t allow you to make the choice, just don’t do it. If they do, feel free to enjoy without being judged. I for one, am not judging your values.

    This is a great UK based site, support it and share it.

    • Genghis says:

      Hope to see you posting more often, Ed 🙂

    • Swad Wolf says:

      +1. Absolutely agree with all your points. I love this website and read it every morning.

      I’ve collected Avios and hotel loyalty points for years but still pick up useful tips and, like many others, enjoy reading articles even if I would never personally choose the trips being written about.

      Please let’s not start getting political on this website, there are plenty of other outlets for that. Also, I don’t need any ‘ethical guardians’ thanks. I’m quite capable of making up my own mind.

      Rob – don’t let them get to you. Keep up the good work

  10. Nice review, thanks.

  11. thanks, I’ll give it a go

  12. What gets me here is the arrogance shown by those who deride a person’s democratic legitimacy and professional position metely because they disagree with his views.

    Feel free to voice opinion against his policies, but to suggest a travel website should pander to that socialist propaganda and boycott a legal hotel owner is restricting freedom of the press.