Republican nominee Donald Trump was back in the nation's capital Wednesday to celebrate the official opening of Trump International Hotel Washington D.C.
“With the notable exception of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, this is the most coveted piece of real estate in Washington DC. The best location,” Trump touted to a crowd of about 500 invited guests and an additional 450 members of the media in the hotel’s presidential ballroom and lobby.
Located in the 117-year-old Romanesque revival of the Old Post Office building-- about halfway between the Capitol and the White House-- the 263-room luxury hotel held its soft opening with little fanfare on Sept. 12.
Originally set to open in 2018, Trump's DC hotel is open early and under budget-- a theme that has been reinforced throughout the campaign and at the ceremony, both in comments and signage.
“Today is a celebration not just of meeting, but exceeding those goals,” said Ivanka Trump, who was the only other member of the Trump family to address the crowd at the ribbon cutting. But the hotel's financial sustainability has been called into question, with room rates having dropped by around 50 percent since the soft open.
Both Trump and his daughter spearheaded the $200 million restoration, working with architects Beyer Blinder Belle (who previously restored the lobby of the Empire State Building) and interior-design consultants Hirsch Bender Associates.
With the election just 13 days away, most of Trump’s remarks Wednesday centered on his campaign. Many references to the hotel property were tied back to his candidacy.
“Today's a metaphor for what we can accomplish in this country,” Trump said. The presidential hopeful did not acknowledge the few protestors that gathered in the early morning hours (the AFL–CIO led a protest in front of the hotel’s Pennsylvania Avenue entrance, which was audible in spurts from the ribbon cutting in the atrium) and they'd largely dissipated before he left the hotel after conducting a few interviews.
Also absent from Trump's remarks, any commentary regarding the hotel’s problems finding a flagship restaurant after two celebrity chefs set to open eateries dumped the Trump over the candidate’s controversial anti-immigrant comments. The early word though on BLT Prime by David Burke, which is the hotel’s sole restaurant other than the lobby bar and a Starbucks, has been fairly positive. A second restaurant has not been announced.
A spokeswoman confirmed to FoxNews.com that all of the hotel rooms have since been complete but parts of the property still remain under construction.
The Spa by Ivanka Trump, set to be the debut of her spa line that will rollout at other Trump properties, is still being finished. Hotel officials would not confirm an official opening date.
What's open for sure? The hotel's inaugural weekend package: $500,000 for a stint in the 6,300-square-foot Trump Townhouse (which is bigger than the presidential suite) and includes dinner for 24 in the duplex suite’s dining room, car service and two round-trip first-class tickets from anywhere in the great United States.