To be perfectly honest, I really didn't want to like this place. I'm not much of a fan of its namesake and that's putting it mildly, so it would've given me a perverse sense of pleasure to be able to write really negative things about the hotel. Yes, I'm 12 years old.
But as much as I'd like to dislike the Trump International Hotel and Tower, I just can't. What they've done is create a high-end, luxury hotel that, despite its size, comes across as a boutique hotel with the kind of personal service that can't be achieved at places that have 4,000 rooms.
The tower is located steps from The Strip, behind what used to be The Frontier (and is now a dusty lot that was supposed to get a big hotel on it but didn't), and right across the street from the main entrance to Nordstrom's at the Fashion Show Mall. That means the building is very well located whether you want to take part in the general Vegas hubbub or not.
One of the things that make it different from most other big Vegas hotels is something that may turn many people off: there is no casino. The upside is that you don't have to deal with all of the attendant insanity that comes with a big gambling space, from the crowds to the distance to your room, to the noise, and the fury. The downside is that there is no casino, so if you're going to gamble (and why else are you coming to Vegas?) then you have to go somewhere else to do it.
The hotel is much more restrained from a design perspective than I was expecting, especially considering the person who owns it. I mean, I was anticipating something much more gaudy and over the top, like his hair.
Come on, you didn't think we were going to make it through this review without a joke about Trump's hair, did you? Yes, I'm still 12.
Anyway, the lobby is all white marble and gold and crystal chandeliers, but it's done in a tasteful, understated way if that's at all possible. There is a big lobby bar with comfy furnishings, which would make it a great spot for a power cocktail with whomever it is you're trying to impress.
The first floor also features a high-end restaurant and a sundry store, but that's about it.
The rest of the public areas are on the seventh floor and features a spa with massage and treatment rooms, wet and dry saunas, showers, lockers with digital locks, and a relaxation room; a big fitness center with all of the latest high-tech gizmos designed to work off that buffet you just ate (somewhere else because there isn't a buffet here); a business center; another spa-cuisine style restaurant; and a pool with luxury cabanas and plenty of lounge chairs. The pool area is not as luxuriously landscaped as many in this town and certainly not as big, but it'll get the job done.
The rooms come in a variety of styles. The "standard" accommodations are anything but. It's one large room but it features an entire wall of built-ins with a European style kitchen (mini-fridge, microwave, two-burner stovetop, coffeemaker, toaster, etc.), plenty of wardrobe space, and a big flat-panel television. There's a plush bed with fine linens and a separate sitting area. All of this and still more than enough room to move around.
The bathroom in the standard room is not as huge as some have come to expect from hotels of this caliber in Las Vegas, but it is still bigger than most people's bathrooms with a Jacuzzi tub, separate shower stall, and a small TV imbedded in the mirror.
The décor is, again, subtle - with muted, creamy yellows, deep brown, and crisp white being the predominant scheme. All of the furnishings are solid and comfortable - no cheap seats here.
The one-bedroom suites have more of the same but feature a full kitchen with a four burner stove, oven, dishwasher, and more plus a breakfast bar, dining table, and living room with a convertible sectional sofa. The bathroom here is gigantic - bring comfortable shoes to get from the shower to the vanity.
There are more room varieties that add things like bedrooms and penthouse views.
All rooms feature twice-daily maid service and turn down with chocolate or truffles on your pillow. Oh, speaking of the latter, they have a pillow menu that will allow you to choose just the right type of comfort on which to rest your weary head. And when you get up, they can even arrange a personal chef to cook you breakfast in your kitchen.
This is where the Trump really seems to shine, in the arena of personal service. When you arrive there are glove-wearing valet attendants to take your car (and bring it back with bottles of water in the cup holders) and open the doors for you; a concierge staff to make whatever arrangement you may want including running errands; shoe shine and wardrobe press while you're sitting in the sauna; people at the pool to spritz you with water or hand you a complimentary loaner MP3 player; what I can only presume is an entire staff to make sure that all of the bowls of fresh fruit that are lying around everywhere are always fully stocked; and much more. This is the kind of attention you just can't get when there are thousands of other rooms full of people demanding attention.
So how much is all of this luxury going to cost you? During the slower summer months you might be able to get a standard room for as low as $100, but the more common rate will be in the $200 a night and up range plus the very high resort fee ($39.68 per night extra once you factor in tax). Not cheap, to be sure, but these rooms are nicer than those at the Wynn or Bellagio where you'll be paying comparable rates, and both of those hotels have a lot of drawbacks when it comes to ease, convenience, service, crowds, noise, and the like. Then again, many people prefer the noise, crowds, and general level of energy that comes with a hotel with a big casino. The question is: are you one of them?
If not, the Trump International may be a hotel you should take a look at.