Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday opened his Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., weeks before the United States presidential elections in November.
The 263-room luxury hotel is the result of a $212 million redevelopment of the capital’s landmark Old Post Office, which Trump leased for 60 years after winning the contract in 2012. While this is being called a “soft opening,” the grand opening will reportedly take place closer to the elections.
“We have really positioned this hotel to not only be the finest hotel in D.C. but in the country,” Ivanka Trump, who helped negotiate the deal with the U.S. government, told Reuters in a telephonic interview.
According to the New York Times, the cheapest room in the hotel costs $700 a night, whereas the “Trump Townhouse” suite that comes with a massive dining room will set you back by $18,750.
The hotel’s opening comes with its share of controversies. About 40 protesters stood outside during the launch, criticizing the presidential candidate's position on a number of issues, ranging from racism to his proposal to build a wall at the Mexican border to prevent undocumented immigrants from entering the United States.
Reuters reported the protest’s organizer Andrew Castro of Baltimore as saying, “We’re out here building a wall against racism.”
“This luxury hotel is not welcome in this city where we have 40,000 people on the wait list to get affordable housing,” Martha Neuman of the women’s peace group CODEPINK told Agence France-Presse. “This hotel represents the oppression of the working class.”
Trump’s comments also led to celebrity chefs Jose Andres and Geoffrey Zakarian pulling out of a deal to launch their restaurants in the Washington hotel. The candidate has sued both men.
The hotel stands just six blocks from the White House — which would be the real estate mogul’s official residence if he emerges victorious in the November elections — and is on the street that leads to the Capitol building.