For my first stay in a condo-hotel, I picked the Trump International Tower, right off the Strip in Las Vegas. This is a short write up of our experience this past weekend.
Continue after the jump for more...
Sometimes the opportunity just sort of jumps out at you and you have to take it. That was the case this past weekend - the stars aligned and the wife and I headed to the Great State of Nevada in an effort to provide you, noble reader, with a look at the latest work of the world's most available billionaire, Mr. Donald Trump.
I have some familiarity with his work - I've visited Atlantic City and seen the Taj Mahal and Marina properties. To give you an idea of my pre-dispositions, I can say that after visiting those miserable excuses for greatness I had a remarkably low set of expectations for anything else he would ever build. Of course, we all watched the Trump International Tower #1 (from here on, 'Trump LV') go up on the site that was once a parking lot for another gem - the New Frontier. I find the outside of the building to be incredibly uninspired and boring. Anyway, I was expecting next to nothing but never having stayed in a condo-hotel I wanted to give it a try. I booked just a few days before we left and that's where we start...
BOOKING: Booked on a Wednesday. The process was done on the Web site and it was painless and quick. It was a fight weekend and other rates in the Valley were quite high - $490 for The Mirage gives you an example of just how high. The rate at Trump for Saturday - $279 - was low by comparison. I'm assuming that many folks have no clue the place exists.
PRE-ARRIVAL: I got a call from the Trump concierge on Thursday. I didn't answer but she did leave a message indicating that if we needed any show tickets or dinner reservations, they were happy to help. Also, she offered to go shopping to stock the in-room refrigerator if we would so require. Since I did not require any shopping service, I didn't call back but I certainly did note the effort.
CHECK-IN: We actually stayed the night before at Monte Carlo (still as ghetto as I remembered, though they did replace the signage and carpet in the hotel). I wanted to check in earlier than the stated 3pm time so we headed over around noon to see what we could do... We pulled up and the valet guys literally jumped at the car in full attention mode. We were the only people around but the amount of attention would be a common theme during our stay. Everyone was extremely friendly with the check-in clerk greeting us and walking me over to deal with the details. It turns out our room was not yet ready but they happily stored our stuff and I left my cell number in case something opened up before 3. The staff offered to drive us anywhere in one of their cars - we politely declined as we were just walking over to Wynn Las Vegas.
THE LOBBY: I'm generally not a fan of Trump's design sensibility - he's big on gold everything - very 'Versailles'-esque. Not my thing. If you can get past the gold, there are some things to like about Trump's lobby. He's also big on marble, which in this case looks pretty good. My favorite part of the Trump LV lobby is the use of some gorgeous floor-to-ceiling chandeliers, which you can sorta make out in this photo: http://www.ratevegas.com/photo/show/6284
LOCATION: Trump LV is located next to the Fashion Show Mall, roughly across the street from Wynn Las Vegas. The walk to and from WLV is short but after a few trips it gets a little annoying. You can walk through the mall to avoid the elements if you wish. You won't find any taxis waiting at Trump so the bell desk will have to call one for you if you don't like to walk, or, if available, they can drive you.
POOL / GYM: The pool is located on the third floor, along with a small gym and the spa. There's a small little refreshments bar next to the pool. If our trip was any indication, you won't have any problems finding a place to sit - it was empty in the middle of the afternoon. The pool is a standard issue rectangular job, nothing to write home about. It looked like they were building some cabanas over in the corner.
CHECK-IN, PART 2: We took off to have some lunch and play some video poker... We didn't get a call before 3pm so we just headed back over to check in then. The attendant met me in the middle of the lobby, documents in hand and ready to go. About 2 minutes later, we were heading up to our room on the 34th floor... More on the room in a second - first, just a note that the bellman was in the room about 5 minutes after we got there with our bags. He offered to show us how the stuff in the room worked such as the TV, as well as to get us ice. We declined but he was willing to do anything we needed. Very helpful and courteous.
Trump Room Photos Here: http://www.ratevegas.com/photo/gallery/trump
THE ROOM: We were booked into a 'studio', which in many respects looked like a traditional hotel room yet it did contain a kitchenette consisting of a set of burners, a fridge and all the cooking materials you'd need to actually prep a meal. You could easily cook here.
The room looked like a modern, well appointed Las Vegas hotel room. I would guess it was about 700 square feet and fortunately the design is MUCH more mellow than the lobby. No gold stuff everywhere - lots of wood, marble and high end fixtures. Comparing with other rooms, I would say it is just as nice as what you'd find at Wynn Las Vegas or Palazzo.
The bathroom was spacious with a TV actually built into the mirror, which was a nice touch. The jacuzzi tub was HUGE - and not just big but very deep.
Our view looked over the Echelon site so until more is built over on that side, we didn't have much to look at. Also, the gold glass that the tower is clad in makes all the light coming from the window look very strange. You can see it in some of the photos but it's hard to explain how strange it makes people look when they are standing in it. It is quite pronounced - I've never noticed anything as hardcore in other gold-glass hotels like The Mirage and Mandalay Bay.
The room had a lot of closet space and a large-enough safe. Still not as cool as the safe at Palazzo that featured outlets but still better than the uber-small models in some hotels.
Generally there were not enough outlets in the room. This is something WLV does well and I can't tell you how much I appreciate that when a room as the right setup. We had two computers, a WiFi base station, two phones, three cameras and more - lots to charge.
Generally, I thought the room was very nice and was impressed. It can hold its own with any other standard room I've seen in Las Vegas and is 'future-proof' enough for some time.
THE SERVICE: A recurring theme throughout the trip was the service. It was impossible to miss the friendly and helpful attitude of all employees. While many hotels strive for good service, you can separate those that are merely offering lip-service and those that are not by the overall culture of service in a facility - you can tell at Trump it is something that is emphasized top to bottom as part of the culture. We did not encounter anyone that let us down and frequently they were offering to do more. Both my wife and I remarked to each other several times that we were impressed by how attentive they were. This sets them apart in my opinion.
LACK OF CASINO: Trump LV has no casino and the closest one is over at Wynn Las Vegas. While it's just a few minutes away, this was a big enough of an issue for me that I probably would not stay here again because of it. I do gamble but I'm far from a hardcore player... The thing is, I just love casinos. I love the energy. That feeling of the roller coaster of chance that washes over you as you walk from table to table. That excitement is infectious and its one of the things I love about Las Vegas. I love waking up and taking the elevator down to the casino - the sounds, the smells. It's a huge part of enjoying my vacation. Anyway, since Trump doesn't have one, I constantly felt like I was missing out on that aspect. Maybe not a big deal to some but it was a big minus for me.
CONCLUSION: Would I recommend Trump to others? Yes, absolutely. For a certain customer, those that maybe don't like casinos, want something a bit quieter or like being just off the Strip, it's a home run. Even for people that can't find a good room on the Strip for a busy weekend, it's a possibility. I don't know if I would stay there again, given the lack of a casino but we were so impressed by the service I would feel comfortable sending just about anyone to Trump LV, including my parents.
Once again, photos here: http://www.ratevegas.com/photo/gallery/trump