Following the vast transformations that took place at the Turnberry Resort prior to the British Open this year, the UK office staff were thoroughly looking forward to witnessing the new-look 5-star resort having been invited to spent Thanksgiving at the hotel.
As we walked up to the hotel, the immediate crisp white of the painted benches, the hotel-front and the re-landscaped car-parking area was clear. Walking through the rotating front door into the refurbished reception area you are now faced with a breath-taking sea-view directly through a newly-appointed glass wall.
For those of you who have had the pleasure of staying at Turnberry, you may remember the lounge to the right-hand side? Well this is now the Ailsa Bar & Lounge which sports a funky and sleek design and continues to showcase the panoramic views over the links and out to the Irish Sea.
As the ladies in our office are non-golfers, we were more than happy to spend the afternoon in the Spa while the golfers took to the Ailsa Course on what was a bright (but rather chilly) November day. The Spa itself has not been included in the refurbishment but remains a perfect area to relax before a treatment with one of the excellent therapists (or after a gruelling round of golf). I opted for the Aromatherapy massage which allowed me to select which oil I preferred from the ESPA product range – as it was mid-afternoon, I decided to go for the invigorating scent! My therapist Jennifer was excellent and asked many questions (including the degree of pressure I would prefer) before beginning the treatment in order to provide a very personalised experience.
After a stint in the sauna, the group met up in the private dining area of the Grand Tea Lounge for afternoon tea where we were offered a choice of around thirty teas by the tea sommelier. Should you wish to opt for something a little stronger, there is a choice of champagne which can accompany the platter of delicious finger sandwiches, pastries and cakes. This was a fantastic way to set us up for the rest of the afternoon allowing us to then continue on to the fabulous newly refurbished rooms to relax and refresh before dinner (I will revert back to dinner later as it certainly requires some further depiction).
The décor in the new rooms bestows a very clean, sleek look with dark and white contrasts; the starkness being broken up and softened using greys and lilacs or understated greens and yellows which maintain the cool, airy feel to the rooms. The bathrooms have a marvellous free-standing bath with separate cubicles for both the shower and toilet which continues the sharp, clean look of the bedroom.
Next we were invited to dine in the 1906 restaurant where, firstly, we were taken into the kitchen area to have a chat with the chefs! Turnberry now have a Chef’s Tablewhich can accommodate up to 10 guests and is located directly next to the open kitchen. The chefs encourage guests to wander around the kitchen, interacting with the staff, tasting dishes, and picking up some new cooking techniques along the way. The restaurant’s menu changes with the seasons offering a unique experience for every group that dines at the table. Back in the main restaurant, we were presented with a feast – not the traditional Thanksgiving turkey I have to add – but an arrayed and classical menu ranging from chateau brignon to fresh seafood to suit every taste.
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the new-look Turnberry Resort and my only wish is that every Thanksgiving could be spent in such luxurious surroundings.