Heiress/model/reality-show judge Ivanka Trump can now add “hotelier” to her résumé. The multitasking Donald has handed the reins for the recent Las Vegas and Chicago openings of the Trump Hotel Collection) to Ivanka and her brothers Donald Jr. and Eric. Between scouting the world for future locations, consulting on spa treatments, and designing staff uniforms, the heir-apparent stopped to talk shop with T+L.
What’s the mark of a great hotel?
A gorgeous bathroom is important—the type of stone, the quality of the products, the loofah, the softness of the towels. But a mattress is also key. I personally tested 11 different types of mattresses once in Trump Tower. They were lining the hallways and scattered all over the conference rooms. My brothers and I went around jumping on them.
What’s your best recent innovation?
The other day I told my general manager [at the property near Central Park] that it would be fun to buy several bikes and outfit them with baskets so guests can have picnic lunches in the park.
If you had to choose another favorite hotel company, what would it be?
One & Only does a really nice job. I think we’re increasingly going to a similar resort model in places like the Dominican Republic, where we’ll be opening in 2010.
Do you have any pet peeves?
When it takes more than three rings for the concierge to answer the phone. I’m constantly testing my hotels to see how long it takes for them to pick up.
They must live in fear of the phone ringing.
They don’t live in fear, but they know I’m serious.