The newest Trump hotel, owned by Malaysian-based TA Global, opened in February. It's neither twisted nor presidential, says Raini Hamdi
Location Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver at West Georgia Street, the hotel is hard to miss, not only because it’s the second tallest building in Vancouver (188m, 69-storey high) but because of its twisting shape, quite a statement made by Canadian architect Arthur Erickson. The link to Trump also draws attention as there are always passers-by who can’t resist a photo of themselves with the name Trump behind them.
Room I expected a Trump hotel to be somewhat over the top. In fact, the lobby is small and simple. The hotel has well-trained young front office staff like Sarah, who light up my arrival with their youthful vigour, friendliness and efficiency.
My corner suite 1906 silences my prejudice about a Trump hotel being possibly outlandish. Perhaps it’s the L-shape layout or the warm colours and sleek design, it certainly feels more like the residential unit of someone with very good taste than a standard hotel room. Floor-to-ceiling windows afford views of the city’s gleaming buildings and a bit of the harbour. I love the wide and long balcony, the free-standing V+A bathtub, the Nublado Italian heated marble bathrooms. Quality never fails to shine through, I’m reminded. Then there’s modern comfort – towel warming racks, Crestron touchpad controls for thermostats, lights, shades and blinds, although I wish the work table is a little bigger.
Facilities The hotel’s Asian ownership brings to Vancouver the city’s only fine-dining Chinese restaurant, the award-winning Mott 32 which originates in Hong Kong. The place is packed for dinner, and I’m astonished by the details employed by renowned Hong Kong interior designer Joyce Wang to mesh New York industrial style with Chinese imperial elements. The result is a contemporary East-meets-West fusion, which to me is in character for a destination such as Vancouver. The food, said to be based on traditional recipes passed down from generations, is simply delicious. My favourite is the crab leg pumpkin.
Another F&B concept at the hotel is Drai’s, one of North America’s largest nightlife brands. It is Vancouver’s only poolside lounge and, by night, the indoor pool transforms into a dance floor and there are two bars, an outdoor hot-tub and lounge.
Other facilities worth noting are a Trump Champagne Lounge Bar, The Spa by Ivanka Trump and 1,394m2 of meeting and event space, all of which are well-designed.
Service The hotel employs people of many nationalities and picks youthful ones who seem to love interacting with guests. I’m impressed, for example, by a Chinese staff who happens to be cleaning the elevator, chats with me and recommends that I eat at Mott 32, which she says is very good. That’s a great elevator pitch by a staff that’s not from F&B!
Verdict Neither twisted nor presidential, in fact, this Trump hotel is insanely chic and homely.