The bicoastal real estate mogul, reality television star, and on-the-go hotelier makes a case for Los Angeles. T+L takes its turn as apprentice.
“Outside of New York, L.A. is the place I spend the most time. We shot a whole season of The Apprentice there a few years ago, which was a lot of fun for all of us. Between the success of the show, my business ventures, and the Trump National Golf Club on the beach in Palos Verdes, I’m pretty connected to the city. While it’s vastly different from New York—in L.A., if you wear a tie, it’s like you’re from another world—I still find that many of the same people go back and forth between the two coasts. By the way, I do often wear a tie there—though sometimes I relax and go without.
“I have a house in Beverly Hills, but if I’m just going for a quick hop, I check in to the Beverly Hills Hotel. It’s easier because the hotel has everything I could possibly need and the staff really knows how to take care of a guest. They always make sure to have a room available for me, even if I’m arriving on the night of the Academy Awards.
“I mostly travel in my own plane—I will fly commercial on occasion—and when I’m heading from New York to L.A. and back, I can turn off the phones, because no matter what Wi-Fi system you have, it isn’t very good in the air. That kind of quiet is so rare for me; I get to read financial statements and do paperwork while making the cross-country trip between two cities I love.”
Donald’s Trump’s newest hotel is the 391-room Trump SoHo, New York (doubles from $399). For details about his other projects—including the renovated Trump International Hotel & Tower New York and upcoming properties in Panama and Toronto—go to trump.com.
Home Away from Home
“I request a suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel (9641 Sunset Blvd.; 310/276-2251; beverlyhillshotel.com; doubles from $585). The steak at the Polo Lounge is great, too.”
“In Palos Verdes, south of downtown L.A., the attitude is laid-back and there’s that fresh, clean ocean air. I always try to play a round at Trump National Golf Course (310/265-5000; trumpnationallosangeles.com).”
Beyond the Business Suit
“Head to Rodeo Drive—everybody’s there. My favorite shop is Gucci.”
West Coast Dining
“At the Ivy (113 N. Robertson Blvd.; 310/274-8303; dinner for two $100) there’s a beautiful outdoor terrace, though I usually sit inside. Order the prime rib.”
Enjoy the New American cuisine—spicy Louisiana crab cakes, homemade butterscotch sundaes—in the intimate, folksy dining room of this Los Angeles institution, or in its walled outdoor patio covered with climbing roses. However, you’ll probably be too distracted by the celebrity at the table next to you to pay attention to your food. Past sightings include Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lopez, and Ben Affleck. The actress Bai Ling recommends the tarte tatine and the mint tea made with fresh mint leaves, while Donald Trump is partial to the prime rib.
Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows
Also known as the “Pink Palace,” this landmark hotel is housed in a pale-pink stucco building surrounded by tropical gardens. Originally built in 1912, the property is a gathering spot for the Hollywood elite, with former patrons ranging from Elizabeth Taylor to Paris Hilton. The hotel has 185 guest rooms—many with fireplaces and views of Beverly Hills—as well as 23 garden bungalows with extra amenities like outdoor lounges and plunge pools. The property also contains a cocktail bar and three dining options: the star-studded Polo Lounge, a poolside café, and a coffee shop with a vintage soda fountain.