As I walked up to the Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver this morning, I had to make a conscious effort to stay unbiased. The sidewalk out front was peppered with people, but of the few protestors displaying their signs, they were outnumbered by the media, stoic security personnel, and surrounding police officers.
To gain entry to the hotel itself, I had to wrap around to the back alley and show ID at a police-manned gate, but upon entering, the glitzy decor, high ceilings, and sparkling marble floor transported me into the lavish lifestyle I wish I had. Whether or not I personally support Trump was irrelevant — I was here on behalf of the media, and I couldn't deny the building was beautiful.
Joining the rest of the press in one of the ballrooms, I took a seat in front of the podium and waited for Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump to make their appearance. The room was buzzing with political comments, but as the family took the stage, a hush fell over the crowd. To my surprise, Tiffany Trump was seated in the front row, along with Vanessa and Lara Trump, the wives of her brothers. After Donald Trump Jr. made a distasteful welcome to those of us in the room ("I'd like to thank the press... just kidding"), we were treated to sandwiches and snacks before taking a tour of the hotel itself. Thankfully, that improved the unfavorable taste left in my mouth from his shady comment.
Proven to have falsely advertised itself as the first hotel to open in Vancouver in the last six years, the Trump International Hotel & Tower has at least lived up to architectural expectations. The twisting $360-million tower was designed by famed architect, Arthur Erikson, and accommodates 147 guest rooms across 63 stories (yeah, those other three floors they advertise are actually underground).
On-site amenities include a high-end Chinese restaurant titled Mott32, a fitness room, Spa by Ivanka Trump, Champagne Lounge, meeting and event spaces, and the anticipated addition of Drai's nightclub. The monochrome and marble space of Drai's was accented with plush, pink velvet furniture, and whether or not the music played by a nearby DJ had any part in the mood, the venue seemed fairly well received.
Moving on to the rooms meant climbing higher in the tower, but not without the reward of panoramic views. Kitchens were stocked with local snacks like matcha chocolate and energy bars, and the sparkling standalone bath tubs were, I have to say, incredibly tempting. The colors of the custom-designed furniture were reminiscent of the blues and greys of Vancouver itself, and the Samsung flatscreen TV's were simply huuggee (see what I did there?).
After touring the surprisingly small Spa by Ivanka Trump and the upper floor lobby's Champagne Lounge (of which we were told to 'not look over there' in the direction of the protesting crowds), I exited the same way I had come in. As I wrapped my way back to the front I realized that the crowds had grown, but maybe not for all the right reasons. After all, I was unbiased, and all I was able to gather from the event was that this hotel was ridiculously beautiful, even if Trump himself isn't.