Millions of golf fans who watch the World Golf Championships
event at Trump National Doral each March know that the famed Blue Monster
course underwent a major redesign in 2013 and 2014, shortly after Donald Trump
acquired the layout.
But what many don't realize is that the overhaul of the Blue
Monster was just one piece of a $250 million upgrade that Trump has already
undertaken at the 800-acre Trump Doral property, 15 miles west of Miami Beach.
In fact, Trump has invested far more in overhauling what had become a tired
resort than the $150 million he spent to purchase the site through the
bankruptcy courts in 2012.
Just before this year's World Golf Championship tournament
was contested in early March, Trump National Doral completed renovations of
eight new villas, which contain 595 of the resort's 643 guestrooms and suites.
The rooms were designed with the consultation of Trump's daughter, Ivanka.
Flourishes include marble bathroom floors accented with gold leafs and handmade
Italian bed linens.
The resort's clubhouse, lobby, restaurants and meetings
rooms were also stripped down to the steel studs and renovated. Among the six
new ballrooms at the resort are the 24,000-square-foot Donald J. Trump Grand
Ballroom and the 8,100-square-foot Ivanka Trump Ballroom, which is adorned with
three Austrian crystal chandeliers.
The three Trump Doral restaurants are highlighted by the BLT
Prime steakhouse. During a visit to Trump Doral in early May I had to refrain
myself from finishing the restaurant's signature, and delicious, cheese popover
puffs so that I'd still have room for my 16-ounce New York strip; I'm glad I
The adults-only section of the Royal Palm Pool. Photo Credit: Robert Silk
Renovations at Trump National Doral didn't stop with indoor
portions of the property. The new Royal Palm Pool is divided into a
family-friendly side and an adults-only side. Between them runs a 125-foot
waterslide; 18 private cabanas surround the pool.
Still, luxurious as the entire Trump National Doral resort
is, it's golf that the property is most famous for. Trump hired Gil Hanse,
designer of the Rio 2016 Olympic Course, to breathe new life into not just the
Blue Monster but also the resort's other three courses; the Red Tiger, the
Silver Fox and the Golden Palm.
Hanse's redesign of the Blue Monster has been widely hailed.
In fact, the course's many new water hazards as well as its reshaped greens
have already given the world’s best golfers fits during two World Golf
During my round on the Blue, (playing, of course, much
further forward than Rory McIlroy and Jordan Speith do), I found it to be
exciting and tough but playable. It was also in immaculate condition.
The final course to be completed at Trump Doral was the Red
Tiger, which reopened in February after a renovation that some say was even
more extensive than the one Hanse guided on the Blue. Once a very ordinary
layout, the Red is now a genuinely fun course, with strategic design features
that make it play longer than its 6,400 yards.
The golf opportunities at Trump Doral also now include
sophisticated club fitting at the TaylorMade Performance Lab, which opened in
March. Customers at the lab undergo a two-hour swing analysis wearing a special
reflective suit that is equipped with more than 30 sensors.
Still to be completed at the resort is a renovation of the
48,000-square-foot spa, which has 33 treatment rooms. Construction crews are
already working on the 18 guest suites that are part of the spa building. The
full spa overhaul is scheduled to be finished next winter.
This summer, Trump National Doral is offering a Championship
Golf Package, featuring up to two daily rounds of golf, from $240 per person,
per night plus a $20 resort fee. A surcharge of $125 will be added to play the
Room rates this summer start at $180 per night.
for more information.