As the two iconic resort hotels in Scotland , how do Turnberry and Gleneagles compare ? Having just returned from Turnberry , and having stayed twice at Gleneagles , I hope that the following may be of assistance to those who have visited one and are contemplating a visit to the other . Though completely unscientific , I offer my winning hotel in a number of categories :
1.Service - Gleneagles
Gleneagles wins by a country mile with almost faultless service in all areas of the hotel . At Turnberry the staff throughout the hotel are pleasant and welcoming but the service in the 1906 restaurant varies between mediochre and diabolically bad (see my later comments ).
2.Location - Draw
Not much to choose between them ; both are a drag to get to by car from anywhere in the UK .
3. View from hotel - Turnberry
Standing on a hillside overlooking the golf course , lighthouse , and the sea , Turnberry takes the accolade for spectacular views but in terms of grounds and surrounding countryside Gleneagles is superior .
4.Rooms - Gleneagles
A difficult one to judge due to the huge variety at each venue . Turnberry upgraded us to an excellent sea view room above the Spa ( room 316 - a full wall of glass ) at minimal extra charge , but Gleneagles is still a cut above its rival ; though we are possibly swayed by having been upgraded at Gleneagles to a top suite ( at no extra cost ) on the occasion of our honeymoon four years ago .
5.Facilities - Gleneagles
Both inside the hotel and around the grounds , Gleneagles is a clear winner . This is especially so if you are attempting to entertain children/teenagers.
6.Golf - Turnberry
Whilst the Kings and Queens courses at Gleneagles are very good and set in beautiful rolling countryside , the Ailsa course at Turnberry rightfully deserves its rating as the 4th best course in the world . Playing on my 50th birthday with Scott , one of the Pros ( thanks to my sister for this surprise present ) , we experienced rain , hail , sunshine and 63 mph gusts but nothing could stop me thoroughly enjoying this golfing masterpiece with extraordinary views along the coast and out to sea .
7. Breakfast - Gleneagles
A tough one . The breakfast at Turnberry is outstanding but that at Gleneagles is ( for those with hearty British palates ) possibly the best in the world with an unrivalled selection of food .However Turnberry isn't a million miles behind . On the last morning I managed a superb breakfast comprising a bowl of Bircher muesli with fresh fruit ( including some sublime melt-in-the-mouth rhubarb ) , followed by home made porridge with a chunk of honeycomb and a dash of malt whisky , followed by eggs Benedict . ( I would have sampled a couple more courses but , sadly , my wife called a halt to my gluttony ! ).
8. Afternoon Tea - Gleneagles
Again this is something that both hotels do extremely well . That at Turnberry should be praised for its quirkiness and unusual dishes and flavours but Gleneagles takes the award for the best tiered afternoon tea . Don't bother with lunch ( or even dinner ) ; a huge breakfast and full afternoon tea at either establishment will satisfy most appetites .
9.Dinner - Gleneagles
Both the Andrew Fairlie and Strathern restaurants at Gleneagles are a tour de force and comfortably trump the 1906 restaurant at Turnberry . ( I haven't eaten in the more exclusive second restaurant at the hotel ) . I enjoyed everything I ate but the poor service in the 1906 restaurant makes it difficult to rate this as anything other than a moderate dining experience.
10.Value for money - Draw
At possibly a third cheaper ( based upon rack room rates ) I would have forgiven Turnberry its failings in the service department and given the hotel the edge , but my wife is stongly of the opposing view and cannot forgive its failings in this area it what is billed as a top 5* hotel .
A number of reviewers have commented upon the service for the dinner on 26th November. As 8.00pm diners sitting within earshot of the restaurant entrance we were in prime spot to see this comedy of errors unfold . Aside from having to order a drink three times ; suffer eating half a steak before the frites finally arrived ; and waiting an eternity between courses , our meal was OK . At the four surrounding tables more exciting dramas unfolded with a steak being sent back ( overcooked ?) and a replacement taking an eternity to arrive ; a Steak Diane being cooked at the table but then left to go cold as first a plate and then the vegetable accompanyment were awaited ( by which time the wife had finished her main ) , with a fresh steak then being needed ; and a table waiting 30 to 40 minutes after their mains for what turned out to be simple to sort out cheese and biscuits to arrive . It is no wonder that very few of the 7.00pm diners were finished by the time the 8.30pm and 9.00pm bookings arrived with the inevtable raised voices and arguments eminating from justifiably irate would be diners . A shocker of an evening service .
So in summary , you pays-your-money-and-takes-your-choice . I will certainly return to Turnberry to play the golf course in more clemment summer conditions but my wife will insist on a return visit or two to Gleneagles before that happens .
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled within an 800 acre estate with views overlooking the rugged Ayrshire coastline, Trump Turnberry Resort is an enchanting destination. Trump Turnberry is the world's original golf resort with over a century of hospitality and tradition. It is scene of some of the most memorable moments in Open history, the championship Ailsa course is a legend in the game. Complimented by The Turnberry Performance Academy, an outstanding teaching facility offering a holistic approach to the game of golf; Trump Turnberry Resort is one of the most magnificent destinations for golf breaks in Scotland. With a range of outstanding accommodation, championship golf, a relaxing ESPA spa, six restaurants & bars and thrilling outdoor pursuits at Turnberry Adventures, Trump Turnberry Resort boasts a myriad of activities for travelers, golfers and families. The resort enjoys a spectacular coastal setting with breathtaking views of the Isle of Arran, Ailsa Craig and the Irish Sea. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
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