The Latest from Doonbeg: How Will Donald Trump Change the Irish Resort?

Last month, the Trump Hotel Collection expanded into Ireland when the Trump Organization purchased the Doonbeg Golf Club in County Clare. The club, which is in the process of rebranding to the Trump International Golf Links, Ireland, takes up more than 400 acres along the Atlantic Ocean and includes an 18-hole championship golf links course. 

We spoke with Doonbeg’s Business Development Manager Margaret Nagle to find out what would change at the resort, and then reached out to General Manager Joe Russell to get his insights.

“Mr. Trump has always been a fan of Ireland and considered Doonbeg to be the finest golf destination on the [island],” Russell said when asked what attracted the legendary real estate mogul to the resort. The resort’s location, overlooking a mile-and-a-half of crescent-shaped beach and the Atlantic Ocean, is “striking,” he said, and Trump was reportedly impressed with Doonbeg’s service. 

As such, Russell said that not much will change at the resort. “Doonbeg will continue to be marketed as it has been as well as through Trump Hotel Collection channels,” he said. The Trump Card Privileges Program will be implemented at the resort, and the hotel staff will remain the same. Repeat guests have been informed of the purchase, he added, but they can expect to come back to the same property they know. 

While the hotel may largely stay the same, the grounds may see some development. Last week, the Irish Times reported that the golf course may be renovated or redesigned. Due to environmental concerns, 51 acres of grey dunes were designated as a Special Area of Conservation by the now-defunct agency Dúchas, and are not available for playing golf. Trump is looking to change that, but is expected to leave the buildings alone.

“Structurally, the property will not change,” Russell said, “though we anticipate some enhancements to the spa and wellness offerings, and possibly an additional meetings and event space.” The team is also looking to add a swimming and fitness facility down the road.   

The Lodge at Doonbeg currently has 218 hotel suites, a spa and several restaurants—all of which will be managed directly by the Trump Hotel Collection. Trump International Golf Links, Ireland will be 12th hotel in the collection and is the fourth global addition in less than one year following the announcements of Trump International Hotel, The Old Post Office, Washington, D.C.; Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver; and Trump Hotel Rio de Janeiro.