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Coming up trumps in trendy SoHo
ANY property hunter will tell you it's all about "location, location, location" but it takes a lot more business savvy to see beyond that. Which is why when it came to picking a spot to build his first downtown Manhattan hotel, Donald Trump saw more than just a fashionable address where Trump SoHo now stands.
His guests get to soak in unrivalled views of the city skyline - Hudson River, Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower and the Empire State Building, just to name a few - because the real estate mogul didn't just settle for a prime spot that leads into the heart of SoHo; he also snapped up the air rights of neighbouring buildings.
Hence, the shimmering 46-storey skyscraper - which boasts 391 luxuriously furnished guestrooms, of which more than a third are suites - towers above everything else in the fast-gentrifying neighbourhood, once the birthplace of New York's art scene but now equally known for its shopping and dining as designer boutiques (Calvin Klein himself was spotted one morning) and restaurants (such as Balthazar, as seen in Sex and the City), move in alongside the existing galleries.
Everything is within a stone's throw from the AAA Five Diamond-rated hotel, which opened in 2010 and is just walking distance from the upmarket enclaves of TriBeCa and the West Village, where more star-spotting can be done should one of its many celebrity residents such as Hugh Jackman pop out for his daily walks with his dog.
But Trump SoHo can also lay claim to being a star in its own right as the property was also in a recent movie - the versatile 1,600 square foot SoHi event space on the top floor, with 15-foot floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the Manhattan skyline, was transformed into a restaurant seen in the opening scene of Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street.
Guests themselves might feel like a celebrity just walking into the stylishly lit lobby which resembles a nightclub with its plush seating areas and low lighting. The spacious rooms, on the other hand, feel a lot brighter and homely with large windows for natural light during the day; while at night, they're great for watching the city lights spangled in the background.
The custom furnishings by Fendi Casa, the home decor line by the eponymous high-end fashion label, is understated but luxurious, making it tempting for guests to never want to leave the comforts of the generously sized rooms. It really feels like a home away from home and if one cannot bear to leave, they are welcome to stay on by all means as Trump SoHo also has hotel-condominium units for sale from US$1.2 million.
To wind down after a hard day's work (or shopping), its 11,000 square-foot double-storey Spa has an extensive menu of treatments and services including rubs using gemstone-infused (diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, you name it) oils. But for the ultimate experience, try the authentic hammam - the only one in New York City - which was inspired by Mr Trump's daughter, Ivanka's travels in Istanbul.
The latter, incidentally, is the brains behind the design of Trump SoHo, which explains the hotel's younger, chic, rock-star vibes as seen from the lobby, as well as Bar d'Eau, the hotel's indoor and outdoor poolside cocktails area.
But the hotel also retains a lot of old-world charm - some updated for today's modern travellers. The Trump Attache, for instance, is a signature programme of the Trump Hotel Collection, where the service goes beyond what a concierge would offer. Every guest's preference is meticulously recorded - like the cache in your Internet browser - so no request ever needs repeating.
And it's these perks which ensure any property in the collection will always trump its competition.
- For more information and reservations, check www.trumpsohohotel.com