July 13, 2009 // Franchising.com // White Plains, NY – Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announces that the historic Turnberry golf resort will re-open as part of the renowned Luxury Collection brand at The Open Championship 2009 following a $65 million renovation by owner Leisurecorp, a division of Dubai World company Nakheel.
Following the $65 million refurbishment, which has focused on the iconic resort's public spaces and 40 of its 211 luxuriously appointed guest rooms, Turnberry will proudly host the word's oldest golf championship, on its renowned Ailsa golf course from July 16 – 19, 2009.
Redesigned by acclaimed interior design firm Fox Linton Associates, Turnberry offers guests world class cuisine, a variety of outdoor activities in addition to golf, and an award winning spa experience. Ideally located on Scotland's picturesque Ayrshire coast, Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort, is the newest addition to The Luxury Collection, a glittering ensemble of the world's finest hotels and resorts including, The Grande Bretagne, Athens, Greece; Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Elciego, Spain; Mystique, Santorni, Greece; Hotel Danieli, Venice, Italy; The U.S. Grant, San Diego and The Joule, Dallas.
"The Luxury Collection is a portal to the world's most enriching and desirable destinations, where nothing less than an exceptional level of service, perfect location and indigenous personal offerings will do," said Paul James, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection and St. Regis Hotels & Resorts. "Internationally recognized as one of the world's most prestigious golfing destinations, Turnberry Resort adds another jewel to The Luxury Collection's glittering ensemble."
This year's Open Championship will host the world's leading golfers who will compete on Turnberry's Ailsa Course, widely viewed as one of the best links courses in the world. The historic golf resort has previously played host to the world's oldest major golf championship in 1977, 1986 and 1994. Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort, boasts two 18-hole Championship courses including the Ailsa Course and the Kintyre Course. In addition, the resort has a 9-hole Arran Course and renowned Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy.
"It is an incredible honour for Turnberry to once again host The Open Championship. The upgrade of the golf course and the completion of an extensive hotel restoration programme has been a key deliverable for 2009 and we have worked closely with heritage consultants to ensure that the building's history is preserved while delivering beautifully designed hotel rooms and facilities," said Joe Sita, Chief Executive Officer, Nakheel Hotels, the parent company of Leisurecorp. "We have dedicated close to $65 million to restore the hotel to its rightful place as the premier property in the West of Scotland."
"Turnberry is the most scenically attractive golf course I know anywhere in the world. It has a wonderful history as a championship venue and we are excited to be coming back for the fourth time," said Peter Dawson, The R&A's chief executive. "The improvements to the Ailsa course made over the past two winters have sharpened the teeth of what was always a daunting course and will provide an even tougher challenge this year for the world's finest golfers in their quest to lift the Claret Jug."
The sophisticated transformation of Turnberry features a blend of indigenous Scottish charm and contemporary luxury that will uphold the resort's legacy as an iconic golf destination. Redesigned by Mary Fox Linton, founder of Fox Linton Associates, Turnberry's restored accommodations include subtle interior colours which give each room a soft, calming air inspired by the resort's majestic coastal setting. Floor to ceiling windows flood the resort with natural light and offer breathtaking views of the Turnberry Lighthouse, Ailsa Craig and the lush links golf courses. Ensuring that Turnberry's historical charm was preserved, Fox Linton Associates collaborated closely with Historic Scotland during the restoration of the 103-year-old resort. "Being privileged to work on an iconic building in such a beautiful coastal setting lent inspiration to the new concept," said Mary Fox Linton. "We wanted to pay tribute to the original design by James Miller and bring it up to date to create an ambience of contemporary luxury using a colour palate and textures that reflect the hotel's location looking out over the Irish Sea."
Dining at Turnberry indulges the senses with a diverse menu of sophisticated and distinct culinary options. Offering spectacular views of the resort's golf courses and the Irish Sea, original architect James Miller's Grand Tea Lounge has been redesigned to its original splendor. 1906, open for breakfast and dinner, offers guests a casual dining experience, featuring classic brassiere inspired dishes such as eggs Benedict, ouefs en cocotte, lobster Thermidor and more. Turnberry's Duel in the Sun bar, offering a range of specialty draft and bottled beers, wine, spirits and snacks, is the ideal setting to relax after a game of golf or to enjoy the latest sporting event on the bar's multiple plasma screens.
Located in Ayrshire, Scottland Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort first opened in 1906 and quickly established itself as the premier destination for social and sporting events. Converted into an airfield during both world wars, the Ailsa course, designed by Mackenzie Ross, reopened to the public in 1951. The course emerged from acres of runway, foundations of brick huts, hangars and transformer houses left over from the Second World War and has been established as one of the world's most renowned golf courses. The Spa at Turnberry was added in 1991 and the new Golf Clubhouse June 1993. The Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy, the first of its kind in the world, opened in 2000, offering a unique teaching environment with state-of-the art facilities. This was followed with the opening of the Kintyre course in 2001. With its spectacular setting, challenging golf holes and awe-inspiring views, each course is world renowned. The Onsite Outdoor Activity Centre offers guests a variety of distinguished outdoor activities including, quad biking, horse-riding, fishing, off-road driving and more. The Arran course, a par 3 and 4 course, opened in 2002 as the ideal venue for on-course lessons for novices and offer expert players a warm up round prior to their game on the Ailsa or Kintyre. In 2001 Turnberry greatly expanded its accommodation options by building nine two-bedroom luxury cottages, ideal for couples and families, as well as twelve luxury lodges with either six or eight ensuite bedrooms, adjacent to the hotel with breathtaking views across the golf courses and sea.
Leisurecorp, a division of Nakheel Leisure, is the world's most powerful emerging golf entity. In November 2007, Leisurecorp announced a long-term partnership with The European Tour, heralding a new era for world golf. This partnership includes the creation of The Race to Dubai – a $10 million season-long competition which replaces 'The European Tour Order of Merit' and culminates in the world's richest golf tournament, the $10 million Dubai World Championship. Held annually at Leisurecorp's Jumeirah Golf Estates, the Dubai World Championship will be open to players ranked 1- 60 in The Race to Dubai. Jumeirah Golf Estates will also become home to The European Tour's International Headquarters and The European Tour Performance Institute, a custom-built training facility exclusively for the use of European Tour members. Established by Dubai World in July 2006, Leisurecorp specialises in the development of premium golf and lifestyle destinations. In addition to Jumeirah Golf Estates, the world's largest golf community, Leisurecorp's portfolio includes Turnberry, Scotland's premier golf resort and host of The Open Championship 2009, and Pearl Valley Golf Estates, South Africa's leading residential golf community and home of the South African Open Championship. Leisurecorp is a minority owner of Troon Golf, the world's leading luxury golf management, development and marketing company, and investor in GPS Industries, which provides GPS-enabled technologies for the golf industry. The company also has ventures in the marina and ski resort sectors.
The Luxury Collection® is a selection of hotels and resorts offering unique, authentic experiences that evoke lasting, treasured memories. For the global explorer, The Luxury Collection offers a gateway to the world's most exciting and desirable destinations. Each hotel and resort is a unique and cherished expression of its location; a portal to the destination's indigenous charms and treasures. Magnificent décor, spectacular settings, impeccable service and the latest modern conveniences combine to provide a uniquely enriching experience. Today, The Luxury Collection is a glittering ensemble of more than 70 of the world's finest hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries in bustling cities and spectacular destinations around the world. The Luxury Collection includes award-winning hotels that continuously exceed guest expectations by offering unparalleled service, style and class in some of the most desired destinations in the world. Most recently, Mystique, a Luxury Collection Resort, was honored with the 2008 Travel + Leisure Design Award for Best Small Resort in the world. All of these hotels, many of them centuries old, are internationally recognized as being among the world's finest.