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My review of the Trump Turnberry Resort in Scotland (Part Two)

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This is part two of my review of Trump Turnberry, Starwood’s Luxury Collection Resort in Scotland.

In part one, click here, I looked at the different rooms and accommodations.  Part two focuses on food, activities and the spa.  Part 1 also includes a short video of the resort.

Afternoon tea at Trump Turnberry

Our first meal at Trump Turnberry was afternoon tea and, to be honest, this was the best meal we had all weekend.

We chose the gin high tea with a gin cocktail served in a teapot with designated gin teacups.

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort

There was a great selection of savoury and sweet snacks with fresh scones served later on.

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort

If you’re in the area around Trump Turnberry but are not planning to stay, I would recommend booking yourself in for afternoon tea.  Non-gin versions are also available ….

Dinner

The Trump Turnberry resort has two restaurants which, to be honest, were less successful.  I tried both over my two nights.

Il Tramonto at 1906 is an Italian style restaurant on the ground floor. The restaurant got its name from the year the hotel first opened and every evening the doors open at 19:06.

We were told that the menu was due to be changed in the next 6 months so you shouldn’t read too much into what we chose.  As a starter I had Scottish lobster linguini (£20) and as a main I had stuffed saddle of rabbit (£28). My boyfriend had deep fried Dumfriesshire eggs with summer truffle (£14) and a Scottish fillet of beef (£40).

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort

The Duel in the Sun is the restaurant inside the golf clubhouse where we had dinner the second evening. The dishes are simpler and the wine prices lower.

After sitting down we were brought some bread, butter and four different spiced salts.

I had a prawn cocktail (£12) and my boyfriend a caeser salad (I didn’t note the price). We both had lobster mac ‘n’ cheese (£32).

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort

Head for Points is not a food blog and we tend not to focus on detailed food reviews when we travel.  However, as I’ve read quite a few very negative reviews regarding the food at Turnberry, I thought I should weigh in.

In general, the food was ok but not overwhelming.  For £40 I would expect a bit more from a steak than the modest lump of meat my boyfriend received and the mac ‘n’ cheese was too much pasta and too little sauce for our tastes.  Out of all the dishes we ate, the rabbit at 1906 was my favourite although this may not survive the imminent change of menu.  I did like the selection of salts we got at the Duel In The Sun but that is a bit of a niche thing!  I now regret that we didn’t try any of the desserts as the afternoon tea was really good.

Breakfast

After the rather underwhelming dinners I was glad to see an amazing breakfast in the morning. The fruit selection was impressive, the fresh salmon divine and the a la carte menu had a good selection of hot dishes.

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort

I ordered a Burns Breakfast from the a la carte menu. It consisted of hash potatoes, haggis and two poached eggs covered with hollondaise sauce. It was delicious but I made the mistake of asking my boyfriend what haggis was (you don’t get it much in Germany …. or indeed north London) which ended with me not finishing my dish …..

Breakfast if not included with the room rate costs £30 per person.

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort

Private in-kitchen dining

During our tour we were aso shown the kitchen as there is an area you can book for ‘chef’s table’ private dining. It reminded me a bit of a Bavarian restaurant!

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort

Spa

The Trump Turnberry swimming pool was gorgeous. The large pool was 1.4m deep. There was also a kids pool and a jacuzzi.

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort pool

This was the relaxation room for ladies with a sauna and steam room:

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort

The hotel kindly included a full body massage in our hotel package which was fantastic.

The gym had a large selection of machines.

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort

Golf and other activities

As I mentioned earlier I am not a golfer. My golf career so far has consisted of crazy golf and a couple of trips to Topgolf in Watford …..

The Trump Turnberry team had organised an introductory class for us which was much more fun than I thought it was going to be – probably because I happened to be fairly ok at hitting the ball across the course.

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort

There are also a substantial number of other activities for non-golfers and you really wouldn’t be missing out if you came here and didn’t play. (One guy I talked to at the bar said this was the first golf resort he would bring his wife to).

The hotel is working closely with Turnberry Adventures, a company that organises clay shooting, air rifle shooting, archery, water zorbing, highland games, GPS treasure hunts, off-road driving, quad safari and mini quads.  We tried archery and mini quads which were great fun.

Meeting rooms

Trump Turnberry has lots of space for corporate functions, weddings, etc if you are looking for a spot for a corporate or personal event.  There are 11 meeting rooms and one ballroom with a capacity of 500 people.

Trump Turnberry Starwood Luxury Collection Resort

Booking Trump Turnberry

If you want to visit Trump Turnberry for cash, the official hotel website is here.

However, this is also a property where you can get additional benefits if you book via Bon Vivant, our luxury booking partner.  If you book via Bon Vivant at a flexible rate – which should be identical to the rate on spg.com – you will get the following benefits:

  • upgrade if available at check in
  • complimentary breakfast
  • 4pm check out
  • either a round of golf on the King Robert The Bruce course (formerly Kintyre, to open on 11th July) or afternoon tea for two once per stay

Until 30th September the hotel is also running a 3 for 2 promotion which is combinable with the benefits above if booked via Bon Vivant.

If you want to use your Starwood Preferred Guest points, Trump Turnberry costs just 16,000 points per night (room only rate). This is, as I mentioned in Part 1, exceptionally good value especially when the cheapest non-refundable cash price is around £430 per night on a typical September weekend.

In theory a redemption is even better than that as the points redemption is fully refundable but the cheapest cash price isn’t.  A refundable room on the same night in September costs £485 which means 1 SPG point is worth 3.3p!

Remember that Marriott Rewards points convert to Starwood Preferred Guest at 3:1, so the price is the equivalent of 48,000 Marriott Rewards points.

Conclusion

The Trump Turnberry Resort is an impressive hotel and a great value SPG redemption if you are looking for somewhere to spend your Starwood or Marriott points.

The hotel is luxurious, the rooms large and the view amazing. I do admit the food could and should be better – a local HFP reader recommended Wildings in the nearby village of Maidens as an alternative.

If you are a golfer, the Ailsa is probably on your list of golf courses anyway, but even if – like me – you don’t play Turnberry has a lot to offer for a weekend away from the stressful city.

The Trump Turnberry website 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.)

Comments (38)

  • JamesB says:

    OT: Rob, could you please take some photography lessons from Anika? Sorry, couldn’t help but notice, but her review pics trump (oops) yours every time.

  • zsalya says:

    Put what has happened politically in the last two years to one side – the Trump businesses have a reputation for spending lots of money on renovating (generally good) and setting prices even higher than the resulting quality justifies, based on the brand being a value-enhancer (works for a higher proportion of people in USA than in Europe, particularly recently)
    That then raises the question of how to judge the value of the redemption.
    Luxurious Scottish Castle Hotels seem to typically charge just over £200 per night, so I would use that as a valuation basis, regarding the £431 as a “Dummy’s price”.

    P.S. I did not realise that Trump and Starwood had any such interaction – that was interesting to learn. I suggest that a less contentious introduction would have been “Turnberry is famous (or infamous depending on your point of view) for being owned by the current president of the United States. You may not be aware that it is also part of the Starwood ‘Luxury Collection’ and can therefore be accessed using SPG points”

  • Erico1875 says:

    There will be many hotels worldwide owned and/ or funded by all sorts of dodgy characters.Indeed half of Dubai has been built using almost slave labour
    I stayed in one in Ireland, supposedly owned by the IRA.. It wasn’t called IRA LETTERKENY but simply Holiday Inn Letterkenny

  • James A says:

    Great review Anika. Looks like a nice place, but I would not spend £430 a night on it!

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Agree – it’s quite odd not to refer to the hotel by its name, whatever you might think of the hotel or its owner. I notice that the page title of part 1 calls it the ‘Trump Turnberry’. Perhaps it was a last-minute change.

  • Sammy says:

    Long time reader. I think something is fishy with these posts as you clearly know the name is Trump Turnberry and other than the little blurb about him buying the org, you stray from calling it by its rightful name. What was the point of going to such lengths? Are you that enamoured with the history of Turnberry and just wanted to avoid the trump name sullying the story? Did you want to stir the pot? Were you paid by Starwood to promote this property? Usually I love HFP articles, but honestly, this leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. Whether there was foul intention or not, I don’t like this direction.

    • Rob says:

      As mentioned elsewhere, keeping the name from the title was a way of focussing on the hotel and not the owner.

      As also mentioned earlier, I lose money on reviews due to flight costs etc plus not having Anika in the office. Disappointingly we don’t get paid to run them either ….

      Hopefully tomorrow’s report on my weekend in Southend on Sea will be less troublesome 🙂

    • Brian says:

      What leaves me with a bad taste is you and some others bringing your politics here.

      Clearly stated Trump Org at start and focus was, as it should be, on the value of staying at that property.

      Not interested in your political views. Here to read HfP output.

  • Elaine says:

    Regardless of the ethics of visiting (I wouldn’t now but I did then as the family visited for afternoon tea), we had a really poor afternoon tea experience for a ‘luxury’ hotel. We had pre-arranged a change as one person didn’t eat meat. Despite having arranged this when we made the booking the staff members were unaware when we arrived but they said it would be no problem. Three people all got their afternoon teas and the one who couldn’t eat meat sat there with nothing savoury served for them. We prompted them after 15 minutes and, in the end, they didn’t get the savouries till 40 minutes after the others. Empty tables were not cleared promptly. A waiter dropped a whole cake stand, the contents of which were not cleaned away very well, leaving the carpet sticky and lots of crumbs. The service overall just seemed uncoordinated. The scones (for all of us) were stale and the cakes uninspiring. There was a 10% off food and drinks offer with SPG at the time for here (shown on the SPG website as OK for afternoon tea) and they were extremely reluctant to give that. Finally my SPG points didn’t post (not that unusual, I know) and I had to chase. Compared to other luxury hotel afternoon teas I would certainly not return or recommend.