Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Right next to the glittering Wynn and Encore, Donald Trump's golden glass tower is an attempt to, er, trump neighboring hotel magnate Steve Wynn. But the Donald has had problems finding enough buyers for the 1282 suites in his nongaming condominium hotel. His loss is your gain: Guests can score a 515-square-foot standard suite with Italian-marble bathroom floors and Sub-Zero fridge for a great rate -- the room price at times even drops to less than $100 a night.
Because the hotel was built in 2008, everything is new: the rooms, the pool, the lobby. No aging tube TVs here. And touches you'd have to pay top dollar for at the Encore, Venetian, Palazzo, or Signature at MGM Grand -- a flat-screen TV in the bathroom, a jet-spray tub -- can be found in standard suites. Despite the luxurious extras, the suites' decor is surprisingly sedate, more subdued business traveler than conspicuous consumer. It's in the common areas and lobby where the Donald busts out his ego and trademark gilded decorating scheme -- the pool monogrammed with a gigantic "T," a restaurant mirror etched with his words of wisdom: "As long as you're going to be thinking anyway, think big."
The original plans for a second tower and adjoining casino have been put on hold, and this quiet property, set back a few blocks from the 24-hour bustle of the Strip, could use the spark they might add. Lacking a casino, a celebrity-chef restaurant, or a Cirque du Soleil-type popular show, the hotel attracts no visitors other than hotel guests. So on weeknights the chandelier-dripping lobby can feel empty. Come Friday, it fills up with raging post-grads and other Vegas weekend warriors, although they tend to take the party elsewhere.
The hotel aims for a high level of service -- even soliciting special requests -- but the wait for in-room assistance was long.
Trump International aims high for service, and not just by keeping the concierge desk and room-service kitchen open 24 hours a day. The hotel, like all Trump Hotel Collection properties, offers "attaché services." With this program, guests can make special requests before checking in: anything from stocking the room refrigerator to ordering business cards to personal shopping help. Parents can order free baby supplies in advance through the Trump Kids program. Guests' requests are kept on file for the next visit. The hotel also allows pets. With the Trump Pets program, guests receive a dog bed and blanket, water bowl, toys and gourmet treats for their four-legged friends. Other amenities include a map of dog friendly parks and dog walking service
I wonder, however, how the hotel is able to accommodate all these requests since a large part of my stay was spent waiting for assistance with my Internet connection, in-room safe, and broken oven that I couldn't shut off.
Trump Hotel Las Vegas sits where Fashion Show Drive meets the Strip. It's a five-minute walk to the Wynn, the nearest Strip hotel (the central Strip is a brisk 15 to 20 minutes away on foot). Trouble is, that short walk is neither scenic nor safe. The sidewalk doesn't extend the entire route, forcing walkers onto the side of the road, and the only lighting is from headlights. Porters shuttle guests from the Trump to the Strip, but it's in a single car that's available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Expect to shell out $10-$15 for a cab if you want to go to a casino or dine elsewhere.
Venturing to the stores and food court at the Fashion Show Mall across the street is a slightly less harrowing walk, provided you amble to the end of a block and cross at the light. Still, you won't have a sidewalk for the entire route.
The hotel is a 10- to 15-minute cab ride from McCarran International Airport; the ride typically costs $15 to $25.
What's not to like about these rooms? The sophisticated, understated decor (muted colors, sleek light wood) is a classy counterbalance to the room's flashier features: Even the 515-square-foot standard studio suite has a marble shower, a Jacuzzi tub, and two flat-screen TVs (a 32-inch LCD HDTV and a 13-inch in the bathroom. One-bedroom suites (a whopping 950 square feet) come with a 42-inch HDTV and an additional bathroom with a shower. Two-bedroom suites have three bathrooms. The quieter Strip-view rooms are more popular than the city-view room I had. But while the vision of the highway and the Fashion Show Mall outside my window wasn't particularly appealing, the traffic noise was low.
The Trump folks have found a way to pack as much padding into a bed as possible. The cradle-you-to-sleep beds have a Stearns and Foster mattress covered with pricey 500-thread count Bellino sheets, a soft featherbed, a thick down comforter, and extra-large down pillows. My only wish was that the bed had a separate flat sheet -- a cooler option in the summer.
Even in a standard room at the Bellagio, you can't flip through channels on a 13-inch bathroom flat screen TV embedded in the bathroom mirror while soaking in an enormous Jacuzzi tub, like you can at the Trump. The luxurious two-sink bathroom also features two separate glass-encased stalls housing the marble shower and the toilet (for added privacy), oversize Turkish towels, and Trump-brand toiletries (big bars of soap, but a somewhat cloying scent to the shampoo and conditioner). I was tempted to shell out for the $125 Trump robe, a swaddling fleece-lined spa number from Chadsworth & Haig, which also does the robes for the Wynn, the Ritz-Carlton, and the Four Seasons.
TV offerings were decent, but not on par with the rest of the room. My 32-inch LCD HDTV offered a sizable pay-per-view selection ($10.99 per movie) of new movie releases. The TV channels included about 10 HD networks -- but no free movie channels and, for some reason, no MTV.
Though on the small side, the outdoor heated pool is set against a fashion-magazine-worthy backdrop of the hotel’s gold exterior and framed by gold-accented cabanas and swaying palm trees. During the week, the pool can be empty enough to swim laps in -- but the crowd grows significantly come Friday. Even then the Trump pool isn't home to a big party scene, and I enjoyed the more relaxed feel versus, say, the pool at the Hard Rock.
Poolside service is available from the adjoining bar/restaurant H2(eau). Empty lounge chairs are abundant (although several were stained or dusty). The Jacuzzi doesn’t see much use: One day it was turned off; the next day (a particularly windy day) newspapers were floating in it.
The 11,000-square-foot Spa at Trump, deemed one of the top 50 spas in the world by Conde Nast Traveler’s 2009 Hot List, offers the full menu of massages, waxing, and body treatments. A cool post-treatment coed lounge features a mini buffet of fresh fruit, trail mix, and herbal teas. Prices are high but similar to what the spas at other luxury Vegas hotels charge -- about $150 for an hourlong massage.
Packed with brand-new TechnoGym cardio and strength-training equipment, the fitness center boasts refrigerated bottled water and lofty floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on the pool. Personal training sessions are by Jeff Monroe, who comes with an endorsement from Elton John (not exactly Arnold Schwarzenegger, but oh well).
At most Strip and off-the-Strip hotels, guests pay a $22- to $25-a-day fee to use the fitness center and the spa's sauna or steam room. Trump International, on the other hand, automatically tacks $15 a day to the room bill to cover the fitness center, pool, parking, and bottled water and coffee in the room -- an annoyance if you don't plan to take advantage of those perks.
Guests can print out their boarding passes for free at the business center, which features Lexmark printers, a fax/copy machine, and two brand-new Apple computers. Computer-usage costs are fairly reasonable for a Vegas luxury hotel -- $5.95 for 15 minutes. For $11.99/day, in-room wireless or wired Ethernet can be set up.
With its marble-and-chandelier-heavy decor, the Trump seems to be aiming for a grown-up clientele. But one father I talked to thought that this quiet, non-gaming hotel away from the 24-hour craziness of the Strip was perfect for his kids. Looking at what the hotel offers parents, you can't help but agree.
An astounding array of free baby products are available. Parents of infants can request cribs, bottle warmers and sterilizers, blankets, bibs, diapers, and baby toiletries from housekeeping. Simply fill out a request form on the hotel website in advance or speak up at check-in for a pair of Trump Kids terry cloth slippers, a selection of board games, books and toys, and a map of Las Vegas marked with kid-friendly spots.
The 515-square-foot standard studio suite comes with a kitchenette and a bathroom ideal for sharing (enclosed toilet stall, two sinks). The 950-square-foot one-bedroom suite has a full-size fridge in the kitchen and an additional bathroom. Both types of rooms are furnished with a king-size bed and a queen-size sleeper sofa with extra linens (housekeeping can make it up). Connecting rooms are not available, but families can book side-by-side rooms that share the same entry foyer for added privacy. Cribs are free, but there are no rollaways.
The staff here does an impeccable job -- dust-free rooms, gleaming bathrooms, drinks and food promptly cleaned up after each guest by the pool. It helps, of course, that this hotel opened in March 2008. From the furniture to the fixtures, everything is new. The only exception: the lounge chairs by the pool were dusty and marked with the occasional food or drink stain.
Dining options are limited to the 24-hour room service, pool bar H2[eau], and the lobby restaurant DJT -- all offering similar casual American-style cuisine. As with other luxury Vegas hotels, menu prices are high. For more variety, guests need to head to the Strip.
Anyone expecting the gigantic super-buffet Vegas casino hotels are known for will probably be disappointed by the standard chafing dishes filled with sausage and pancakes, platters of pastries and fresh fruits, and omelet and lox-and-bagel stations at Trump's $25 buffet. That said, Trump does recruit some highly trained chefs with Le Cirque and Green Valley backgrounds. My omelet was one of the best I've had, perfectly fluffy, shaped, and filled with roasted tomatoes, bacon, ham, and about eight other ingredients. The short ribs at DJT were that melt-in-the mouth, been-braising-all-day dream -- and paired with three or four varieties of freshly baked rolls.
Just off the Strip, Trump’s nongaming condominium hotel is a mellow alternative to the mega-hotel-casinos, with 1282 spacious suites boasting the latest technology, luxury touches, and tasteful decor. Room rates are seriously reduced. Too bad the 5-minute walk to the Strip for a casino or better restaurant is so unpleasant.
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