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The Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. 5.0

Downtown, Washington, D.C., United States

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Located in D.C.’s landmark Old Post Office building
  • Short walk from the National Mall, Smithsonian museums, and Downtown
  • Luxurious rooms with chandeliers, gilt detailing, and Nespresso machines
  • Ivanka Trump-branded spa and a modern fitness center
  • BLT Steakhouse from renowned chef David Burke, plus 24-hour room service 
  • Benjamin Bar & Lounge, serving wine by the spoon
  • Select rooms have views of the U.S. Capitol, one mile away
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
  • Free car service (subject to availability)
  • Pets stay free (under 25 pounds)

Cons

  • No swimming pool
  • Neighborhood is dead at night
  • For some, Trump brand is tainted by political controversy
  • Valet-only parking is pricey
  • Gold accents and chandeliers border on ostentatious 
  • Fitness center is in a windowless basement 
  • On-site Starbucks isn’t accessible from inside the hotel

Bottom Line

With the help of $200 million, the Trump family has turned D.C.’s iconic Old Post Office building into a 263-room hotel that aspires to be the most luxurious in the city. Guests will find beautiful rooms, a spa, steakhouse, a lounge serving wines by the spoon, modern fitness center, and a grandiose atrium lobby. Situated right between the National Mall and Downtown, the location is perfect for sightseeing and business – just don’t expect much nightlife. Visitors should also consider the nearby St. Regis, Hay-Adams, and The Willard, which have similar amenities and competitive rates.

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Scene

Chandeliers, gold, and the whiff of political drama

The grand atrium lobby has dramatic elements, like sparkling chandeliers made of Swarovski crystal

The Trumps spent two years converting the Old Post Office building -- which housed federal offices since the '80s -- into their vision of a five-star luxury hotel. A grand atrium lobby features four sparkling chandeliers (made of Swarovski crystal), tufted furniture in shades of blue, and hand-woven area rugs atop marble flooring. Splashes of gold can be seen everywhere, from the accent pillows to the carpets to the banisters. Even the painted steel beams that crisscross the atrium have a subtle gold hue. The lobby also features a bar and a BLT Prime steakhouse, and we were told that a second yet-to-be-named restaurant is on the way. 

The hotel held its grand opening two weeks before Election Day in 2016, during the climax of Donald Trump’s run for president. Trump mentioned the property during a handful press events, praising himself for completing the $200 million renovation “under budget and ahead of schedule.” Despite the timely opening, Trump International got off to a rocky start. The entrance was spray-painted by vandals, critics protested outside for months, and high vacancies reportedly forced management to reduce room rates. Celebrity chefs Jose Andres and Geoffrey Zakarian also bailed on plans to open restaurants at the hotel after Trump made anti-immigrant comments on the campaign trail. The property has even been criticized for filling the rooms with imported Chinese products, which include bedding, bathrobes, umbrellas, and lamps. 

Shortly after Trump won a 2012 bid to lease the building, competing hotel brands sent a warning to the federal government, saying the financial plan for Trump International was doomed to fail. After Trump's victory in the 2016 election, the brand is once again looking up, and it was announced in late November that renowned Sushi Nakazawa would open at the hotel in the summer of 2017. The hotel hosted a packed event for foreign diplomats after the election, raising concerns over Trump's conflicts of interest. 

Location

When it comes to sightseeing, the location doesn’t get better than this.

Map of The Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C.

The hotel is located on Pennsylvania Avenue, one block from the National Mall and a short walk from the most popular Smithsonian museums. Downtown attractions like Ford’s Theater, Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, and Verizon Center are also within walking distance. The Downtown business district and Convention Center are less than a mile away. Unfortunately the immediate neighborhood -- bustling with nine-to-fivers during the day -- can border on desolate at night.

  • Two-minute walk to Federal Triangle Metro Station (Orange, Silver, Blue lines)
  • Seven-minute walk to Metro Center Station (access to Red line)
  • Three-minute walk to the National Mall
  • Five- to 10-minute walk from five Smithsonian museums
  • 11-minute walk to the National Gallery of Art, Newseum, and Spy Museum
  • 12-minute subway ride from Arlington Cemetery
  • 15-minute walk to the White House

Rooms

Classically luxurious rooms with bathtubs, minibars, and chandeliers

The Capitol Suite exudes classic luxury

Rooms at the Trump International are classically luxurious. Each room features its own chandelier and regal-looking furniture trimmed with gold paint (made in the Philippines). Sleek marble bathrooms also come with at least one chandelier and a separate shower and soaking tub. Amenities include Nespresso machines, free Wi-Fi, free water and tea, bathrobes, and fully stocked minibars with Trump-branded wines and chocolate (shaped to look like gold bars, naturally). Selects units offer views of the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol building. Most rooms have off-white walls, royal blue curtains, and a matching blue accent wall made of velvet, while the higher-end suites have their own unique decor. Evening turndown service and free daily shoeshines are provided.

Features

A spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, steak restaurant, and 24-hour room service

The hotel has a high-end fitness center (in a windowless basement)

The Trump International has all the perks you would expect at a luxury hotel: 24-hour room service, free local car service, babysitting services, and a high-end fitness center. The property is also home to an Ivanka Trump branded spa (currently the only of its kind in the U.S.), but details on the spa were still undisclosed during our visit. As far as food goes, the hotel has a pricey but well-reviewed steakhouse (BLT Prime by David Burke), a lobby bar serving wine by the spoon, and a Starbucks. Another restaurant is rumored to be opening soon, as well as a gift shop. Pets under 25 pounds are welcome at the hotel for free and receive pet beds, toys, and bowls to use during their stay; pet-walking services are available for a fee. The property doesn’t have much of a kid-friendly vibe, but there is a Trump Kids Program that offers child-friendly activities, including the option to be postmaster for a day, and babysitting can be arranged. The hotel also boasts the largest luxury ballroom in the city, at 13,200 square feet. 

History

A turn-of-the-century landmark gets the Trump treatment.

The hotel is housed in a turn-of-the-century landmark: completed in 1899, it was once the city's main post office

The Trump International Hotel is housed in a beautiful historic building that would be right at home on the streets of London (the bells in its clock tower are replicas of those at Westminster Abbey). Completed in 1899, the property was used as the city’s main post office until 1914 and was later converted into government offices. The landmark is officially owned by the U.S. government, but the Trumps won a bid to lease the property for 60 years. The building’s 315-foot clock tower is one of the highest points in the city and continues to serve as a lesser-known tourist attraction (operated by the National Park Service -- not the Trumps). Many of the original architectural elements can still be seen inside the lobby, including the staircase and overhead scaffolding.

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Address

1100 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC, District of Columbia 20004-2501, United States

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