Renovations make Trump's Doral a showcase once again

The Clubhouse at Trump National Doral.
The Clubhouse at Trump National Doral. Photo Credit: Robert Silk

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 did. 

The adults-only section of the Royal Palm Pool.
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 Championships. 

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 Blue Monster. 

Room rates this summer start at $180 per night.

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