The US presidents’ favourite hotels
ashington will never be the same’. This was the slogan of the Trump International Hotel before it opened. Six months later, it has been confirmed. The shock scenario that everyone was talking about in 2016 became a reality: the controversial businessman, Donald Trump, is the 45th president of the United States. Surrounded by controversy, he has just settled into the Oval Office, just six blocks from the hotel that he opened in September.
Equipped with a series of luxury touches following an investment of more than $200 million, the Old Post Office is set to become one of the city’s most exclusive hotels. There are 263 rooms and the best, Trump Townhouse, is the largest suite in Washington, covering an area of nearly 600 square metres. The price for one night starts at $25,000 and includes a 24-hours butler service, a chef, masseur and personal trainer. The president and real estate magnate will quite probably make the occasional visit. Especially to the spa, the first one to be designed by his daughter Ivanka.
All the president’s hotels
Washington D.C. is not the only destination where you can enjoy Trump-style luxury. The recently appointed president owns five-star hotels in New York, Chicago, Ireland, Panama City, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Miami and Toronto. They all share the magnate’s taste for excess.
The newest arrival on Pennsylvania Avenue (Trump the hotel, not the man) will compete with the mythical Willard, known as ‘the residence of presidents’, and considered quite the institution in the US capital. Starting with Franklin Pierce in 1853, they have all come here, whether it was to sleep or attend an event in the elegant meeting rooms. Abraham Lincoln stayed in a suite with his family for the 10 days leading up to his inauguration. In fact, he used his first salary as a president to pay for his stay, at a cost of $773.75. One of the four presidential suites in the hotel is named after him.
However, Washington D.C. is not the only place with presidential hotels. Thanks to the Kennedy dynasty, The Carlyle in New York is known as the ‘New York White House’. JFK lived in a suite on the 34th floor, and would meet his lovers here. In fact, it is said that Marilyn Monroe and her darling Mr. President spent their last romantic night together here. Standing in the heart of Manhattan, right in the middle of Upper East Side, the hotel preserves the glamour that won the hearts of presidents, members of European royal families and artists like Frank Sinatra. It is also where Woody Allen performs every Monday with his jazz band.
Cheeca Lodge & Spa, in Islamorada, Florida, also occupies a special place in the Bush family story. The most luxurious suite in the complex is named after George H. W. Bush. Inside you can find mementos he has donated, ranging from his presidential cufflinks, to personal photographs.
Another presidential hotel is located in Obama’s hometown. Several US presidents have stayed at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, in Honolulu, from Lyndon B. Johnson to George W. Bush. When it opened its doors in 1964, it was the most expensive hotel in the world. Among its most famous guests are the Dalai Lama, Elizabeth Taylor and the Rolling Stones. The 204-square-metre presidential suite offers views of the Pacific and is decked out with furnishings by Ralph Lauren.
Obama, meanwhile, prefers the Drake hotel, in Chicago, where Bill Clinton and Eisenhower also stayed. With views over Lake Michigan, it is one of the Historic Hotels of America. It dates back to 1920 and the Coq d’Or bar was one of the first to serve alcohol again after Prohibition came to an end. Whenever Obama travels to the West Coast, he likes staying in the Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles, famous for providing the setting for ‘Pretty Woman’.
Although the Bush family’s choice is not as cinematographic, it is just as opulent. This political dynasty has remained faithful to the Sea Island in Georgia, where Barbara and George Bush Senior spent their honeymoon. In 2004, their son chose the venue to host the 30th summit of the Group of Eight leaders and his mark will remain in the garden forever. All the distinguished guests that visit the resort plant a live oak, the symbol of the State of Georgia, to commemorate their visit. In 1928, President Calvin Coolidge began the tradition that was later continued by Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Bush Sr and Jr and Margaret Thatcher. When Donald Trump goes to Georgia he will probably sleep in the resort and, knowing how much the new president loves business, instead of planting a live oak, he might just lay the foundations for another 58-floor Trump Tower.