Trump International Hotel and Tower, New York

LOCATION: A tall, dark monolith, the Trump stands proudly on the south west corner of Central Park.

LOCATION: A tall, dark monolith, the Trump stands proudly on the south west corner of Central Park. Next door is the Time Warner Centre, with its luxury shopping and mammoth Whole Foods, and Fifth Avenue is a ten minute stroll away.FIRST IMPRESSION: “You might as well think big,” is one of Donald Trump’s favourite slogans, and the original Trump International is certainly proof of that. Inside, it’s bold, it’s bling, it’s over the top – even the bottled water has Trump’s face on it – but it’s hard not to love it. The lobby is pure Trump - all crystal chandeliers and gold leaf mirrors - but the rooms have a surprisingly sophisticated and residential feel. The facts: The Trump International is the tycoon’s original hotel in Manhattan, and now an older sister to the young trendy Trump Soho. All 176 suites have full kitchens and floor to ceiling windows. Our corner suite, decorated in gorgeous shades of plum and grey, had a view of Central Park and round-the-clock butler service. Breakfast in Nougatine by Jean-Georges – one of five three-Michelin starred chefs in New York - is a joy. For a more formal lunch or dinner, the hotel’s signature Jean Georges restaurant serves up beautifully understated dishes – try the parmesan crusted organic chicken with basil and lemon butter. Luxury clients will love the Trump Attaché service. Butlers record guests’ preferences so they can deliver them without request on their next visit. Want them to fill your fridge from Whole Foods before you arrive or organise some personal shopping at Bloomingdale’s? You’ve got it.WOW: Fresh from an $8 million renovation, the spa, gym and pool are top class. The sleek, marble-clad spa now has three treatment rooms, including one for couples, and a manicure-pedicure room. Don’t miss the Moroccan Ritual, inspired by traditional Hamams, combining a full-body exfoliation with a hot stone massage and body buff – you’ll feel ready to scale the Empire State Building. The hotel gym is one of the largest I’ve seen, a far cry from the two treadmill efforts in many luxury hotels, and on my visit was full of city types burning off their breakfast waffles.A GOOD BASE FOR: Strolling through Central Park on a Sunday is the best way to feel like a real-life New Yorker. It’s heaven for people-watchers, with kids playing softball, joggers of all shapes and sizes, and dogs dressed to impress.HOW MUCH: From $495 per