Throw out everything you associate with the name Trump, especially the gaudy gold embellishments, and then you can start to imagine the new Trump SoHo – a contemporary, boutique hotel framed in glass and lined in style. Towering 46 floors over the neighborhood’s iconic lofts and cobblestone streets, the polished structure sticks out like a sore thumb. But one foot inside and you’ll realize this hotel stamped with one of the most infamous brands in the world is in fact exemplary of the current culture of the downtown art district.
On the corner of Spring and Varick, the entrance does not boast a sign, only a friendly staff to greet you by name and usher into the pristine lobby that is remarkably comfortable. Inside, you’ll experience a taste of everything the neighborhood has to offer: fashion mimicked in the modern décor curated by Ivanka Trump herself, decadent fresh fare, exclusive bars for financiers as well as trendsetters, and a spa to relax your senses in new ways.
TUCK INTO MANHATTAN
(The view from my room!)
When you walk into your room at The Trump, you are instantly captivated by the city’s intricate skyline that envelops the space through the floor-to-ceiling windows. At night, the view is breathtaking. The furniture by Fendi Casa accents the skyscrapers and creates a stylish and inviting space. In some hotels, the sharp corners and minimalism can feel corporate, but you’ll find yourself wishing you could purchase a piece or two from the room for your own home. The bed’s oversized leather headboard is probably the most grandiose piece in the entire hotel and should get you excited to slip into the crisp Italian linens by Bellino.
A NEW RITUAL FOR YOUR R&R
Can you recall the last time you were laying on a hot marble slab while being drenched in warm water and tickled with bubbles to decompress your aching muscles? Did you know you wanted to be? Massages at a spa are easy to come by, but the Hammam treatment is exclusive to the Trump Spa in New York and should not be missed. Both the Turkish and Moroccan rituals are authentic means of relaxation, exfoliation, and cleansing that are the perfect preparation to a deep tissue massage. Because it’s such an unusual experience, do it with a friend or companion so you can talk about it afterwards.
Take the afternoon to allow your body to rejuvenate in this urban oasis. The spa locker rooms, all-encompassing showers, and relaxation lounges are designed to release and renew your chakras through herbal and color therapy.
NO TRANSPORTATION NECESSARY
While in New York, you should always seek out classic Italian fare. As a hotel guest, you won’t need Zagat to find it or a cab to get there. Beneath you, on the ground floor, resides Quattro, a famed restaurant hailing from Miami helmed by Fabrizio Carro. As with any good chef the menu always changes, but you’ll find his dishes specifically reference his native region, Piedmont. The ravioli made daily, the delicate Branzino, and anything from their dessert menu are worth getting a reservation for. The bi-level venue is always packed. I won’t content your meal will be on par with Il Mulino, Babbo, or Del Posto, but your bill won’t be mind-blowing either.
THE CHERRY ON TOP
A true landmark in Manhattan wouldn’t be complete without a bar and pool scene. Located on the 7th floor, Bar d’Eau and the small, but posh pool are hidden away for only those in the know to enjoy. Although docile now, the buzz around town is that the scene will make the roof deck at the SoHo House look like the crowd at the YMCA.
After hours, Kastel, the downstairs lounge that features mixologists with limitless imaginations, keeps the lights off and the music on high until the wee hours of the morning.
TAKE A BITE
Living the Trump lifestyle never comes cheap, but I assure you the hotel, restaurant, pool, and spa are comparable, and in some cases more affordable, than their uptown counterparts. If you’re not ready to sign on the dotted line, opt for the experiences a la carte and enjoy one luxury at a time. Consider flying Jet Blue instead of Continental and you’ve saved enough to buy dinner at Quattro or a day at the spa.
Experiencing the Hotel now will be a historical moment in the future. It’s controversial opening marks the beginning of the facial renovation of the neighborhood itself. While not welcomed by the locals for aesthetic reasons, The Trump SoHo Hotel is proving to be a breath of fresh, sophisticated air and will soon become a cornerstone for downtown Manhattan.
(My article was first published in The Houston Chronicle.)