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Waikiki lays claim to some exceptional visitor accommodations but, according to managing director Scott Ingwers, there’s one thing Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk has that no other property can match: the Trump mystique.
The accommodations at Trump Waikiki feel like high-end residences. // © 2010 Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk
Ingwers’ comment was well-timed. We were relaxing over specialty drinks in the hotel’s oceanview, open-air Waiolu Lounge, experiencing Trump Waikiki’s Liquid Artistry of Waiolu program. As I sipped my exotic concoction of dragonfruit rum, Trump orange vodka, black pepper syrup, lemon juice, mint, strawberries and clementine, I could sense the influence of the big-city hotelier on our surroundings. At the same time, however, I could tell that Trump Waikiki is sensitive to its exotic destination.
“We chose to open in Waikiki because it’s famous around the world,” said Ingwers. “It combines the natural beauty of a neighbor island resort with the excitement of a vibrant city.”
In years past, a New York-style product might have seemed out of place in the islands, but today the 38-story Trump is a fine match for Waikiki’s west end, especially given the recent upgrades in the neighborhood. One reason it works is its staff. From the moment I stepped out of my car in the porte cochere, the employees exuded the friendliness of Hawaii. The secret, said Ingwers, is to hire people first and foremost for their genuineness.
“Aloha spirit is something you can’t teach,” he said. “Our employees really pay attention to our guests because it’s part of who they are.”
Open since November 2009, the hotel honors its setting in subtle and significant fashion. Artworks reflect life in Old Hawaii while the Spa at Trump offers island healing techniques and botanicals. During weekly Cultural Embrace programs, the staff helps guests dig deeper into Hawaii’s past; for instance, they don’t just string leis, they also talk about each flower’s source and symbolism.
The hotel’s 462 guest accommodations — ranging from 355 to 2,050 square feet — reflect the islands by incorporating Hawaiian/Asian touches in the decor. Set up as residences, they come with kitchens, washer/dryers, high-tech entertainment and floor-to-ceiling windows. One-bedroom units with dens are great for families, while luxurious two-story signature suites are ideal for VIPs.
During my stay, I kept discovering how Trump Waikiki anticipates each guest’s wants. Its Beach Attache program customizes a day by the sea — just steps away — with personalized refreshments and on-call assistance. Signature attache programs assist families traveling with babies, as well as clients looking to tailor their spa visit in advance. The new Trump Memory Maker initiative provides a menu of activities and experiences to help clients honor specific milestones during their stay — from couples celebrating anniversaries to families fashioning a reunion. It’s all part of what Ingwers called “personal touch points” for clients.
“Our goal is to second-guess what our guests desire and provide it before they ask,” he said.
That’s part of the Trump mystique, after all.
Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk 877-683-7401www.trumpwaikikihotel.comRates: Studios from $425; one bedrooms from $875; two bedrooms from $1,675; three bedrooms from $2,375; and penthouses from $5,000. Commission: 10 percent