Call it supreme confidence, arrogance or pure ambition, but years before Donald Trump had been elected as 45th President of the United States, he had guaranteed to make his mark on Washington DC. Trump International Hotel– part of the 13-strong Trump Hotels stable that also includes the Turnberry Resort in Ayrshire – opened five blocks from the White House on 12 September 2016, just shy of two months prior to the election.
A reservation during the opening period of the former Post Office Pavilion would have set you back $700 (£500) per night. It has since become a popular meeting place for prominent Republicans and various members of the Trump family, including the President himself.
A year after Trump was elected to office, the sheen could be rubbing off his glittering hotel collection. Research by travel currency provider Fair FX has revealed that average room rates at Trump Hotels have fallen by 20 per cent since his inauguration. Deluxe rooms in Washington DC were selling for the equivalent of £1,245 per night in January this year but are available this month for £601, a 52 per cent drop.
That can be partly attributed to the fact that demand for hotel rooms in the capital would have soared for the January inauguration, pushing up prices. However, nine more Trump Hotels have seen room rates fall, the biggest drops in Las Vegas and Vancouver. A room at Trump Las Vegas could be yours for £232 this weekend, compared to £637 in January. Only in New York, Chicago and Doonbeg, Ireland, have rates risen since Trump’s inauguration.
More broadly, there are fears of a post-Trump slump in tourism arrivals in the US, a direct result of his policies. New York, the country’s most visited city, revised its 2017 forecast earlier this year, expecting a potential fall of as many as 300,000 of its 60m annual tourist arrivals.
This week, it was announced that an anti-Trump hotel “for liberals” would open in Washington DC in the late spring next year. Eaton Workshop is the brainchild of Katherine Lo, whose father has pedigree in the world of hospitality as founder of Langham Hotels. The cornerstones of the hotel will be conscious consumerism, engagement, activism and creativity. Guests might attend liberal lectures on the rooftop, or open their minibar to find an activist toolkit with instructions for how to contact their member of congress. While the room rates will be more palatable than at the neighbouring Trump Hotel, they will still nudge the upper end of the $200s.