The lift seems to take forever as I wait impatiently to return to my suite at New York’s Trump International Hotel And Tower. The doors open and I rush in, my head down and eyes averted from the mirrors – not even a peep.
I burst into my suite, which has the most amazing views over Central Park and Manhattan’s skyline, then rush into the marble bathroom and strip – well, almost.
It’s not my usual post-spa treatment ritual, but this is different: a liquid gold body wrap treatment that promises to leave you shimmering.
Everyone’s “doing” it, according to my well-heeled New York friend, who frequents the spa when she needs to glow for a special function.
“All you have to do then is add the bling and your Manolo Blahniks,” she says, referring to her shoes of choice.
The signature treatment, created by New York operator of luxury spas Plus One Health Management, will go down as one of my most memorable – with visible results.
“You will love it,” my spa therapist, Sarah, says as she collects me.
Dressed in a fluffy white robe and slippers with the “T” emblem, I follow her to an elegant room. My dry skin is exfoliated by a soft scrub, followed by a rub with warm towels. Then comes a liquid gold concoction, which smells and feels so good as it is smoothed over my body to soften and hydrate. Then I’m neatly wrapped up and left to rest.
I’m told the $200 treatment is a delicate blend of gold minerals and Egyptian chamomile but the rest is a well-guarded secret.
After 15 minutes the wrap is removed and warm towels again whisk away any gold residue.
Nourishing oil with gold particles is gently massaged into my skin and then, for the final touch, my body is dusted ever so lightly with a gold powder. “Don’t look until you get back to your suite,” Sarah says as I leave.
My day of indulgence continues with retail therapy during the sales at Saks Fifth Avenue and I return to the hotel feeling pleased.
But as I step from the lift I’m greeted by a “minder” of one of the rap stars staying at Trump for the MTV Video Music Awards.
Flashing diamonds and loads of gold around his neck, he frantically asks if I have “the” dress – obviously I have several – but not the one he is waiting on and he goes into a spin.
Mistaken for a courier despite my glow, I head to the lobby for a little star gazing. What follows is a parade of A-list rappers, dressed to the nines, complete with miniature pooches peeping from designer handbags. I think I spot a tiny monkey with a jewelled collar in a Louis Vuitton – and a second glance confirms it.
I start to feel quite at home at Trump Hotel, which oozes luxury and has breathtaking views. I admit, I expected it to be flashy; instead it is all about understated elegance and impeccable service. And I never spotted Donald Trump once.
The suites, with floor-to-ceiling windows, have extras such as a telescope, fresh flowers and fruit, your own business cards and stationery and a laptop.
You can whip up a meal in the fully equipped European-style kitchen, which can be stocked ahead of your arrival, or you can order from the five-star restaurant. Better still, head downstairs for an amazing dinner created by master chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who is renowned for his fusion of French and American flavours.
The restaurant attracts New York’s most discerning clientele; on the night I dined I’m sure I spotted Danny DeVito. You never know who you might see while enjoying a feast of delicacies such as lobster tartine, lemongrass and fenugreek broth and pea shoots followed by broiled squab, onion compote and corn pancake with foie gras.
I must say, I felt pretty good with my golden glow – 55 minutes of guiltless decadence puts you in a great mood. The only things missing were the bling and those Manolos.
The hotel has 167 rooms and suites with views of Central Park, which is across the road, and the Manhattan skyline. There’s a large fitness centre with pool, spa, personal trainers and a variety of exercise programs. Central Park is perfect for walking and jogging.
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