To say the infamous Trump family was involved in the $250 million re-creation of Trump National Doral Resort would be an understatement. The way the insiders tell it, Donald flew in overnight from the Emirates just to position the portraits of legendary golfers that hang throughout the public spaces.
Then off he flew, but not without making sure the lobby was also graced with a few photos of himself in the typical “You’re Fired!” stance.
According to managing director David Feder, who addressed the audience from the Incentive Research Foundation during its recent Invitational held there, the Trumps were in constant contact during construction. When there were disagreements about decor, Ivanka usually won out, and her decidedly opulent touch is evident in the rich finishes—all marble, gold leaf, and crystal.
Donald’s hand was felt on the golf courses. There, a signature Trump fountain was installed almost immediately, this one having been built for the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. He worked tirelessly with golf course architect Gil Hanse to re-sculpt every hole on the legendary Blue Monster, as well as the resort’s three other courses: The Red Tiger, The Golden Palm, and the Silver Fox.
The 643-room resort’s eight villas are named and themed after golf’s greatest legends, such as Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus (who personally cut the ribbon at the opening of his namesake villa).
The result is nothing short of a golf lover’s dream come true. Trump was repeatedly quoted as saying his goal was to create, “the finest golf resort, easily, anywhere in the United States.” Just weeks after its two-week opening celebration in late January of last year, Doral hosted the 2014 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, a major PGA Tour event featuring the 75 best players in the world.
Not enough golf? Guests can enroll in the Jim McLean Golf School or even get their clubs fitted at the TaylorMade Performance Lab.
So how does all of this sit with the non-golfer? Just fine. During the IRF’s event, guests experienced first-class service, a genuinely warm and friendly staff and creative food and beverage. A poolside reception was nothing short of perfect, with cozy cabanas lining the pool deck and elegant passed hors d’oeuvres. A final evening dinner showcased the resort’s ability to take sit-down functions to the highest level. And the highlight among the meeting spaces was unquestionably the 7200-sf Crystal Ballroom, used for the group’s breakfasts, named for its hand-cut crystal chandeliers. With its fabulous views of the golf course from wraparound windows and an expansive (8039-sf) outdoor terrace, this is the property’s must-use event space. Renovations are underway to the 48,000-sf spa, which will have 33 treatment rooms—the icing on the Trump’s Doral cake (and eat it, too).