A Walk Through History
Updated: Oct 31, 2019
Ayr Station Hotel took three years to build and by the time it was opened in 1886, its architect, and the chief engineer of Glasgow and South Western Railway, Andrew Galloway had retired. He remained however, a consultant to various railway companies due to his expertise. Most of his career was spent on engineering challenges like Glaisnock Viaduct but Ayr Station Hotel was his crowning achievement. It was built of Ballochmyle red sandstone which was nearing the end of its availability. For more detail please see the two newspaper articles in our Extra Information page.
When opened, one newspaper 'The Chiel' described it as "A Castle In Ayr". The hotel was designed in the 'French Renaissance' style. The Hotel was extremely grand much like St Enoch's Hotel at the other end of the line in Glasgow. The French chef from there transferred down to Ayr as head chef. Wyllie and Lochhead supplied much of the decoration and soft furnishings of the hotel's public rooms. Some of these original features can still be seen here.
In its heyday the Station Hotel offered its guests "all-in train, golf and Burns Tourism packages."
The success of Ayr Station Hotel in promoting tourism particularly from Glasgow to the seaside was a catalyst for the building of Turnberry six years later, which was originally known as Turnberry Station Hotel.
The inside of the hotel was impressive for instance the mosaic and marble grand ticket office and staircase was by Galbraith and Winton, well known Victorian monumental sculptors and marble-cutters who did Glasgow City Chambers. Many of the original features still exist within the present building although some were removed in the late 1960s when the hotel changed hands. At this time, the grand ticket office with entrances from the platform and the frontage became a banqueting suite and the marble and mosaic was lost.