The Trump name has been attached to skyscrapers, hotels and even a winery in Albemarle County.
Now, it’s on a bed and breakfast in the area, as well.
The 26,000-square-foot Trump Albemarle Estate, one of the two properties in the Trump Estate Collection, recently opened its doors to the public. Donald Trump acquired what was formerly known as Albemarle House from Patricia Kluge in 2012 for $6.5 million, well below her asking price of $100 million three years prior to the purchase.
Trump bought the vineyard and winery, owned and managed by his son Eric Trump, from Kluge in 2011.
Ten rooms — five in the main house, four in the pool house and a cabin on the property — are now available for booking, said Kerry Woolard, general manager of Trump Winery.
“We hope it’s something that people walk away not really having seen or experienced before, and certainly those are the comments that we’re hearing back,” she said.
Eric Trump, who was present for the opening, said he’s heard positive feedback from the estate’s first guests.
“This is an opportunity to stay at one of the most prestigious and architecturally significant estates in the United States,” Trump said in an email. “We want people to see and experience world-class accommodations in conjunction with classic Trump quality and service and a winery, which is unrivaled anywhere on the East Coast.”
Guests also will have access to other areas in the main house, including the dining room, living room and library. Other amenities include a pool, fitness facilities and spa facilities, as well as a movie theater, fly-fishing and horseback riding.
Woolard said opening a bed and breakfast adjacent to the winery is an opportunity for visitors to have a complete experience of Virginia’s wine countryside.
Derek Hunt, director of hospitality, said they wanted to find a way to utilize the house that would be to the benefit of the winery’s guests.
“After a lot of careful thought and consideration, it made the most sense to open a bed and breakfast,” Hunt said. “We really wanted to utilize the space and we wanted other people to come and really enjoy this incredible property and this access in a way we couldn’t offer otherwise.”
It wasn’t until a few months before the transaction went through for the house that changes to Albemarle County zoning policies would allow for a bed and breakfast to exist in rural areas of the county, such as the one in Trump’s name.
Previously, only a maximum of five rooms in a single dwelling where the owner resided was permitted for tourist lodging in rural areas. But now, the changes allow other structures on a property — in this case, the pool house and cabin — to be included for bed and breakfast dwellings, but still with a maximum of five rooms per dwelling.
Rick Randolph, the Scottsville District representative on the Albemarle County Planning Commission and the Democratic nominee for the district’s Board of Supervisors seat, was one of two members who voted against the zoning changes in 2012. He said he was concerned about the potential size of these operations in the rural areas.
“The scale of this operation is much larger than what I think the rest of the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission had envisioned,” he said.
Woolard said she has heard these types of concerns but that she doesn’t see an issue with it.
“I don’t see how a 10-room, very boutique B&B has any negative impact on the area whatsoever,” she said. “To me, it only enhances the beauty of the property and the county, and really is a gem that Charlottesville and Albemarle should be proud of.”
As far as future plans for the area, Hunt said they’re focused on the bed and breakfast for now.
“We are really excited for the opportunity to share this property with others and provide a winery experience you can’t really find anywhere else,” he said.
Rates at Trump Albemarle Estate start at $349 per night, according to its website.