Influential tourist guide drops Donald Trump’s Turnberry Hotel

Turnberry has yet to return a profit under Donald Trump's ownership. Picture: John Devlin
Turnberry has yet to return a profit under Donald Trump's ownership. Picture: John Devlin
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An influential tourist guide book has dropped Donald Trump’s Turnberry Hotel from its listings.

Pete Irvine, author of Scotland the Best, said Turnberry would be excluded from the book’s next edition in March because of its controversial owner.

The US president bought the five-star retreat in 2014, two years before his election. But the hotel, in South Ayrshire, has featured in the book since it was launched in 1993.

“I’m taking it out of the next edition,” Mr Irvine said. “I still think it’s a great hotel, a flagship for Scotland and for golf, but I can’t champion or even recommend a place for which I have so many reservations.”

The author had previously criticised the hotel after its classic interiors, fixtures and fittings were stripped out in 2016. All of the 103 bedrooms were refurbished and given a feature marble bathroom in Trump’s signature bombastic style.

But as well as his distaste at the hotel’s multi-million pound makeover, Mr Irvine also suggested a dislike of Mr Trump’s politics was behind his decision.

He said: “Like so many of the little people everywhere, I watch with increasing repulsion as his half-baked policies and contradictory pronouncements make the world a more divisive and dangerous place.

“He has used the office of presidency in the shameless commercial advancement of his hotel business.

“While I understand that some local residents in both Aberdeenshire and South Ayrshire are grateful for any Trump effect, I don’t feel that overall either of his two properties here are good for Scotland.”

Earlier this year, Mr Irvine posted a picture of Turnberry on the social media site Instagram, writing: “Did pass, didn’t go in. It ain’t going in. A gesture from one of the little people.”

In April, Turnberry was named Scottish hotel of the year. Willie Macleod, of trade body UK Hospitality, said: “I fully respect Pete’s right to decide what is included in Scotland the Best, but my view is we should not be politicising Scottish tourism.”

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Hotel Awards said: “The awards only judge, review and award member hotels and their staff based on in-person visits to each property during the year.”

In July, Trump stayed at the hotel with his wife Melania, son Eric, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders and chief of staff John Kelly. The two-day trip cost US taxpayers an eye-watering £53,000. By comparison, guests at the luxury resort can stay in rooms for as little as £99 a night for two.

Last week, Scottish craft brewery Brewdog pulled plans for a series of events with US brand Scofflaw after the American beer makers apparently sent out a release saying that UK-based Donald Trump supporters would be given free beer.

Brewdog founder James Watt wrote on Twitter that he would “send all of the beer back” to Scofflaw and cancel the events, which were due to take place in six of its bars in England.