Politics aside, we’re not touching that topic with a hundred foot pole, we stayed at the Trump Tower during our recent visit to Las Vegas and thought we’d share our thoughts about the hotel. Because of our timeshare, we’ve stayed here a few times now and really enjoy it. It feels really opulent, but at the same time is extremely comfortable and relaxing. It has all of the amenities that you would want and all of the little touches that makes you feel as though you’re being pampered and treated like you’re rich, which we are definitely not.
One of the nicest things about the hotel is that it doesn’t have a casino on the property. The staff is extremely friendly and willing to take care of any needs that we might have had. The rooms are spacious and very well decorated. The restaurant and bar have excellent food and a wonderful atmosphere. Because they have the restaurant on site, there are many options for room service dining, which is also very good as well. On one of our trips, Trump visited the hotel and instead of dining in the formal dining room, he actually ate in the lounge area, which is also where they serve breakfast in the morning.
The suites have huge bathrooms with deep jetted tubs that are large enough to accommodate two people. It might sound silly, but the television embedded in the mirror of the bathroom was really nice, allowing us to catch up on the news while we got ready in the morning. There is also a full kitchen with large refrigerators, dishes, glassware, etc., so that you could cook your own meals and save on money if you prefer.
There is a spa with a variety of services as well, although we did not take advantage of the spa on this trip. In addition to the spa, there is a large pool and deck area as well as a fitness center. If you didn’t want to go to any casinos, you could stay at the hotel and relax in comfort. If you do want to go to the casinos, the hotel offers shuttles to the Wynn Casino and Hotel and Caesar’s Palace that run about every 15 minutes until midnight.
If your travel plans take you to Las Vegas, we’d highly recommend staying at the Trump Tower. It is associated with the Hilton Hotel brand, which one of our favorite hotel brands to utilize when we travel. Regardless of what you think of the man, his hotels are very elegant, comfortable, and friendly.
First of all, we know that timeshares aren’t for everyone. The year that our youngest daughter went off to college, one of our parents gave us one of their timeshare weeks because they weren’t going to have time to use it that year. So two weeks after dropping our daughter off at her dorm, we were off to Cabo San Lucas. When we arrived at the resort, which was gorgeous, we were asked about scheduling a tour of the property and listening to their timeshare pitch. We decided to go ahead and schedule the tour, only because of the discounts, free drinks, and other offers. The morning of the tour, we both woke up repeating the mantra, “just say no”. We were determined that we weren’t going to be duped into buying a timeshare and we wouldn’t give them more than the sixty minutes that they said the tour would take us. We looked at the rooms, ate breakfast with the salesperson at a table overlooking the private beach, and eventually made our way to the sales office. Our room was spectacular, the beach was gorgeous, and we were feeling relaxed, perhaps too relaxed. Our resolve had wavered, we were no long able to “just say no”, but we were now firmly embedded into the “maybe” camp. We called our parents who had given us the timeshare week and asked their opinion, after all, they had several timeshare weeks with different companies and traveled constantly. Their response, “if you had to go there every year and you couldn’t trade it, would we go?”. We looked out at the resort, the ocean, the beautiful blue skies. Yes, we could do this every year, happily, so in the end, it was “just say yes” and we had purchased our first timeshare. There are a lot of questions that you need to ask yourself before you decide to purchase a timeshare, but we actually are big fans of timeshares after having had a couple of them for several years now.
The most obvious and important question is can you afford it? Timeshares aren’t cheap and you need to understand all of the expenses that are involved. First, unless you’re in the position to purchase outright, you will have a monthly installment payment as well as interest charges. If you decide to exchange your week (we’ll talk about that later) there is a cost for each week that you trade. If you’re not able to use your week, most timeshares allow you to “bank it” or “rescue it”, which allows you to move your week to the following year and gives you longer to use your week, but again there is a cost to do that. The biggest additional expense is for your maintenance fees, which is what they charge for cleaning and general maintenance of the property. It is a big investment, so you need to think about it carefully. One potential benefit, depending on the timeshare that you’ve bought is that it is buying property and you can write off the interest on your taxes and when you’ve paid it off, it is yours and you can will it to a child or relative.
The next question to ask yourself is how often can you travel? If you travel consistently, one week every year or at least every other year, then perhaps it might be a good choice for you. The way that we look at it is that we’re “pre-paying” for our hotel or resort in advance, which is usually the most expensive part of the trip anyway. For us, we know that we will travel at least a couple of weeks a year, with at least one of those trips being out of the country. We find that it reduces our stress when we start planning a trip, knowing that we don’t have to think about the cost of our room and our only expenses will be for food, activities, and airfare.
If you’re leaning towards purchasing a timeshare, the next question is probably which one is right for you. There are lots of them out there, Marriott, Hilton, Disney, and a variety of other hotel groups. We’re not going to make a recommendation, although we have two different timeshares at the moment and are happy with both. Find out if they are affiliated with a timeshare exchange company. One of our timeshares is associated with RCI and the other is associated with Interval International. These companies allow you to deposit your timeshare week with them and exchange it for any available timeshare property in their catalog, which provides properties all over the world, making your timeshare a passport to travelling the world. A couple of years ago, we spent two weeks in Estapona Spain simply by trading weeks that we had in our current timeshares. Also, check to see if you can convert your timeshare for points in a regular hotel rewards program, that way if you can’t travel, you can at least convert your timeshare into hotel rooms that can be used anywhere the hotel chain has a presence.
In our opinion, the younger that you are when you decide to purchase a timeshare, the better it will work out for you because it is that much longer that you will own it after it has been paid off. If you do decide to go on a timeshare tour or accept an offer for a cheap hotel room if you’re willing to listen to their pitch, be prepared for a pushy sales experience. Unfortunately they are sales people and that is what they do. Only buy a timeshare if you feel that it is the right decision for you, which it may or may not be. If you do decide to buy a timeshare, hopefully our advise will help you find the one that is right for you.
We have a couple of timeshares and last year we had a week that we had to use or we would lose it, so we decided to avoid the normal family drama of the holidays and go to Vegas. We had never really considered going to Las Vegas over the holidays, so we weren’t sure of what to expect. We had a full seven nights, which is really too many nights for Vegas, but we were staying at the Trump Tower, which doesn’t have a casino, so at least we had a place to go to get away from the noise. Our youngest daughter was joining us for three nights in the middle of our stay, so we had two nights before she joined us and two nights after she left. We would definitely need the nights towards the end to try and recover from spending three nights with a twenty-five year old, way to much eating and drinking for the two of us who had both turned fifty that year.
First thing about Christmas in Las Vegas is that the casinos don’t really do much to celebrate Christmas, so the strip is just like the strip at any other time of the year. New Year’s Eve was definitely their focus and there were bill boards and advertisements for all of the special concerts and parties that were coming to town. There were a few hotels that did some displays, such as the Bellagio, the Venetian, and Caesar’s Palace. Other than that, it was business as usual for the casinos.
We’ve been to Vegas several times, so we were pleased that there were far fewer crowds in town for the week, which was nice. Most of the people that were there seemed to travel from overseas and were likely going to be there for a couple of weeks. The days of the cheap buffets and steak dinners are definitely a thing of the past and now Las Vegas and the strip is home to restaurants touting celebrity chef names in every corner of the casinos. Dinner on the strip can cost you more than an evening of gambling, but the food is definitely excellent.
We always take in a show when we’re in Vegas and have done several of the Cirque Du Soleil shows, but we decided to go and see Penn and Teller. We wanted our daughter to see their show, which is a lot of fun, and the two of them take time after the show to talk and take pictures with everyone from the audience. Afterwards, by attending their show, you’re able to get into the Voodoo Lounge at the Rio, which is the nightclub that they own and is on the roof of the Rio. You get some amazing views of the strip as well as some tasty cocktails.
We actually flew home the day after Christmas, exhausted, but Christmas Day was probably the strangest day of the trip. Apparently there are extremely cheap flights from California to Las Vegas if you’re willing to fly on Christmas Day, and people were apparently very willing. Lines to check into hotels were a mile long and if you wanted to get a bite to eat at one of the restaurants, you had better be willing to wait. It was a sudden, and unwelcome, change to what had been a somewhat quiet week, at least in terms of Vegas. It is unlikely that we’ll ever do Christmas at Las Vegas again, but in the end we had a lot of fun and made some interesting memories.