From Luxury Hotel to Mythic Resort
Though it is known today as Turnberry Resort, the life of the Station Hotel that began in 1906 continues.
In the mid-twentieth century, when Turnberry was owned by British Transport Hotels (BTH), there was a national concern that the upkeep of this established, luxurious hotel would not be maintained. After a number of disappointing years of low occupancy, BTH placed Turnberry on the market. Over the next few decades, a number of different proprietors made significant investments in guest rooms, conference amenities and spa facilities that raised Turnberry's profile. In particular, Turnberry's dedicated centre for health and relaxation was extremely innovative when it was introduced in the 1980s-and put the resort on the modern-day map.
The new millennium brought a new owner: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Starwood's vision for Turnberry included a variety of improvements. The red-roofed houses by the roadside, originally built as staff accommodation, have been converted into guest lodges offering space and seclusion to large groups. The state-of-the-art Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy and the newly-built Kintyre course commenced operations. And the Outdoor Activity Centre-which allows guests to make the most of Turnberry's 800 acres, and the Ayrshire countryside beyond-has completed Turnberry's transformation from a largely seasonal, golf-focused resort to a year-round destination with an abundance of activities that appeal to a wide audience.
Leisurecorp, the Dubai World investment company, took ownership of Turnberry in October 2008 and closed the hotel immediately for a dramatic renovation ahead of the 138th Open Championship in July 2009. Internationally-renowned interior designer Mary Fox Linton lead the renovation, which, with the help of a heritage consultant, saw the 103-year-old hotel restored to the vision of its original architect while accommodating the needs of the modern guest. After this extensive renewal project the property became a member of Starwood's The Luxury Collection® portfolio.
Today, Trump Turnberry continues to offer one of the top golf and resort experiences in the world.
The Splendour of The Station Hotel
Golf at Turnberry was a secret treasured only by locals until railway companies began to develop Scotland's magnificent landscape into attractions that would lure travellers to the countryside and require a ride on their trains. The dream of escaping the bustling city for the high life inspired day-trippers, weeklong boarders and families to visit seaside resorts all over England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, and so the South-Western Railway built its line from Ayr to Girvan, and the Station Hotel at Turnberry.
On 17 May 1906, the resort opened, offering luxury rarely seen on such a scale at the time¬. With its electric lighting, central heating, hot and cold running water, and saltwater plunge baths, the Station Hotel offered a rare glimpse into a whole new way of living. Designed by a talented young architect, James Miller, the hotel at Turnberry was necessarily grand, but intentionally unostentatious. The classic combination of white plasterwork and red pan tile roof is still part of the iconography of Turnberry today. Inside, opulent appointments were specified throughout, and little expense was spared. Service was of an equally high standard, with teams of maids, butlers, cleaners, cooks, liverymen and boilermen comfortably outnumbering the guests.
Though it has been dramatically modernised, guests at Turnberry today still stay in the same graceful building that early 20th century travellers did, and are attended to with the same pleasing service