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Last Sunday, what was left of Hurricane Ike blew through Louisville, bringing with it 70-mph winds that took down 3,000 power lines, countless trees, and left over 340,000 with no electricity. As Matt watched a tree fall on and destroy our shed and saw the lights go out in our house, I was checking into the Trump International Tower and Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.

Yes, Trump. This was a difficult pill for me to swallow. I hate, in no particular order, The Donald’s public attitude, his politics, his TV show, and his hair. He is, from what I can see, a petty, loathsome individual. But credit where it’s due: He knows how to build and run a fine, fine hotel.

First, kudos to him for building a smoke-free, non-gaming hotel right off the strip. When I travel to Vegas for work, I typically leave every bit as exhausted from the noise and smoke as I do by the long days. This trip, I was relieved to not have the usual sore throat, burning eyes, and frayed nerves at the end of my stay.

Second, kudos for building a beautiful hotel. The Trump isn’t a theme park that over stimulates the senses. It is a beautiful, modern hotel that promotes relaxation and calm with elongated glass chandeliers, lots of marble, and a soothing Mediterranean blue and taupe color scheme. The rooms had beds, couches, and chairs that were all comfortable. The booksheves in the room had actual books on them. And the bathroom-my God the bathroom-had a sunken whirlpool tub, a glassed off loo, a glassed-off shower, loads of counter and cabinet space, and a tv built into the bathroom mirror. That’s right: You could watch the morning news while putting on your make-up. Given the stock market’s performance on Monday, that maybe wasn’t so relaxing, but I can’t blame it on The Donald.

Third, Trump understands and clearly values superb customer service. When I needed cash and the ATMs across the street were down, the front desk staff helpfully explained that they could offer me a cash advance on my room for no extra fee. When I walked in to use the elevators, I was always greeted by someone standing by them. When I called down to the front desk, the person who answered always did so by addressing me first. “Good afternoon, Ms. Goldstein, how may I help you?” When I ordered a wake-up call, a live human being called the room: “Good morning Ms. Goldstein. This is your 5:00 a.m. wake-up call. May I send up a valet or breakfast for you this morning?”

I have a feeling that this level of service once was common. But today it isn’t, and in my experience most Vegas workers look tired and jaded in a way I can understand and sympathize with. The Trump crew, it must be said, all looked relaxed and very happy to be where they were. I ate all this up. For someone who’s mocked the guy for decades, I have to confess that I wore the Trump robe, ate the Trump chocolates, used the Trump hair dryer, put on the Trump slippers, and even skimmed through the catalog for the Ivanka Trump jewelry collection while having a glass of wine in the Trump bar and having a pedicure at the Trump Spa. What’s more, I loved every minute of it.

And the final selling point? The hotel is directly across Fashion Show Avenue from Nordstrom, thereby allowing me to stock up on some fall essentials between business meetings. What more could you want? If I can swing it, you can bet I’ll stay here again on my next trip to Vegas. Especially if the power is out at home.

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