At one year old, the Trump SoHo is still rockin

It pains us to see one of the best properties in the world not profiled in the Gadling database, so taking advantage of a recent assignment with The Trunk Club and a planned team happy hour we stopped in to take a look.

The Trump Soho is just finishing up it’s first year of operation in the posh corner of Manhattan known as SoHo. It’s a great part of town, were 9 out of 10 tourists head like pilgrims during the Hajj and where all of the finest restaurants and boutiques jostle for store space. With such a prestigious quarters, the Trump had to have a presence in some respect.

At it’s current level of operation, the property is just starting to fire on all cylinders. Aspects of each room have been fine tuned (such as the location of the ice buckets — not trivial!) after some of the initial guest feedback, and all of the employees and operations are starting to look and feel comfortable. The staff, though they’re trained to be attentive and pinpoint now have an air of gravity to them, like they’ve experienced every situation and are capable of handling anything else. There’s a light patina on the metalwork, a hum to the automated room curtains and a tint to the bright blue glass on the exterior walls — something makes this place feel like more of a home than the rigid hotel that it used to be.

All of this is juxtaposed against the normal amenities that make a Trump hotel really outstanding. The Bellino sheets are crisp and inviting, like no luxury sheet we’ve ever experienced, and the room technology system flawlessly controls the living environment seamlessly woven with the classic wood finishes and casual luxury appointments. Looking down the backbone of 6th Avenue from our bedroom window, it’s easy to see how one could never want to leave this place.

In celebration of their one year anniversary, the Trump Soho is offering special upgrades for any April booking made on Saturday, April 9th. Using the code APRIL9, guests booking regular rooms will get to experience the one bedroom suites, a real treat for any thrifty budget traveler. Get ye to the booking engine before the code expires.


Daily Pampering: Betrothal Butlers at Woodlands Inn help you pop the question

Planning to pop the question? Woodlands Inn, a five-star, five-diamond Salamander Hospitality property in Summerville, South Carolina (just a short drive from Charleston) has enlisted a team of Betrothal Butlers to be at your beck and call as you plan your perfect proposal.

This special service is launching for Valentine’s Day, but will be available throughout 2011, so if you’re considering an “engagement-cation” this year, but overwhelmed by the planning it requires, this may be exactly what you need! Here’s just some of what the Betrothal Butlers can do to help in this gorgeously traditional setting:

  • Provide expert advice with all aspects of proposal planning. People propose at hotels all the time. These guys know what’s up and what works best.
  • Special delivery of the ring. Hiding the ring can be hugely stressful when all you’ve got is a suitcase. Let the Betrothal Butlers help you out — they can even deliver the ring in a glass of champagne, movie-style.
  • Creative dinner menu choices. Obviously, you want your beloved to have pretty much the best dinner ever. Inject extra romance with personalized selections.
  • Capture the moment on camera. So many of us wish the moment of our engagement could have been captured on camera! The Betrothal Butlers are totally on this. And they’re discreet.

The Betrothal Butler service is complimentary for dining and overnight guests of Woodlands Inn — and we love its formalization as a “service;” sometimes you feel like you’re driving a hotel crazy or like you’re the first person who’s ever requested help with a proposal when asking for help. This is one of those few situations where you do deserve special treatment, and so does your intended!

If you are intending to head to Woodlands Inn for Valentine’s Day, they have a Romance Package for Febraury 11-14, which includes overnight accommodations, champagne and chocolate upon arrival, a three-course dinner for two with wine, and breakfast for two the next morning (in the room or the resturant) starting at $599. Not too shabby. Call (800) 774-9999 to book the package.

Daily Pampering: Trump International Hotel New York offers royal wedding package

Dying to attend the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton? Sorry, you probably can’t. But you can have the next best thing – a reservation at Trump International New York‘s private showing of the royal weding on oversized monitors while being served a special breakfast at Jean Georges the morning of Friday, April 29.

Since the royal wedding begins early (the event begins at 5 AM), you’ll also enjoy an overnight stay in a newly renovated guest room designed by Ivanka Trump. Nosh on a special tasting menu fit for a prince or princess with options like scrambled eggs with caviar, mini-French toast, and pains au chocolat. Naturally, a toast will be served as well – sparkling mimosas.

The breakfast will conclude by 9 a.m., at which time you can choose to hit the town or return to your rooms for a nap … and don’t worry about oversleeping. A 4 PM late checkout is guaranteed.

As a memento of the occasion, guests will also receive a piece of official Royal Wedding china commissioned by The Royal Collection.

How much will it cost you? Significantly less than a royal wedding. The package is $1,425 per couple and includes executive Park View suite accommodations.

Get more luxury travel ideas from daily pampering.

Daily Pampering: Get away like a Real Housewife at Keswick Hall

Make like your favorite Real Housewife at one of Virginia’s most elegant resorts, Keswick Hall.

Set just minutes from Jefferson’s Monticello, this intimate 48-room boutique inn and resort at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is offering a special two-night retreat perfect for a girlfriend getaway or a romantic weekend away.

To detox and unwind after a season filled with intense moments (and plenty of Virginia wines), Keswick Hall provides the perfect getaway experience with their “Housewives of DC & Beyond” package.

In true housewife fashion, don the glitz and glam to sit down for a five-course gourmet meal at the Signature Table in a private setting, complete with wine pairings featuring top-quality Virginia wines. Continue the pampering with a trip to Keswick’s spa for a luxe seasonal Organic Brown Sugar Pumpkin Scrub treatment (for two), or for the golf-loving housewife, a spa treatment can be swapped out for one round of golf on the Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course. This two-night package is available November 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011 for $1,020* based on double occupancy.

*Rates do not include taxes or gratuities and are based on double occupancy. Offers are subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other packages. Blackout dates apply. Dinner in the Fossett’s excludes beverages and the treatment and the Spa at Keswick Hall are limited to the value of $120 each, or one spa treatment and one round of golf, per stay and must be used during your stay.

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Daily Pampering: new San Francisco restaurant debuts $390 truffle dinner

It’s truffle season again. In the Perigord, grizzled Frenchmen scour the forests using specially-trained female pigs or dogs to sniff out the rare black fungi growing from the roots of various tree species. In Piedmont, Italy, a similar hunt is under way for the even more esteemed white truffle. According to The Daily Beast, these little buggers can fetch an average of $3,500 a pound in a good economy (in ’09, the price for white truffles dropped to $1,800 to $2,500 a pound), making them one of the most expensive ingredients on earth.

In celebration of all this fungal goodness, Alexander’s Steakhouse in San Francisco is offering a nine-course truffle dinner for $390, through early 2011. Inside Scoop SF also tells us that for another $110, the restaurant will pair the wines for you. The Japanese-inflected meat temple opened last month in the buzzing SoMa neighborhood, but the sister location in the Silicon Valley is offering the same special.

Why are people willing to spend so much cash on a glorified foraged mushroom that smells like male pig pheromones? Gourmands will tell you the essence of the homely truffle elevates everything from scrambled eggs to pasta to euphoric levels. And truffles are supposedly an aphrodisiac (the scent of swine sex hormones, and all). Fortunately, a little of the pungent fungi goes a long way, and Alexander’s uses a total of 15 grams (roughly half-an-ounce) of black and white truffles on its special menu.

Dishes include elegant offerings like bonito sashimi with salsify, garlic chips, celery, curry foam, and black truffle; binchotan-roasted bone marrow, black garlic panko, citrus jam, and white truffle, and Japanese a5 Kagoshima ribeye cap [in plain English: expensive cut of top-grade imported Wagyu beef] with parsnip puree, butternut squash, chestnuts, and white truffle. Are you feeling randy yet, baby?

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[Photo credit: Flickr user cyclingshepherd]