Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in South Florida on Thursday for his first meeting with US counterpart Donald Trump. The meeting between the heads of the world’s top two economies is taking place at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in the wealthy island town of Palm Beach.
The Spanish-style club in Palm Beach is a property that has been used by the US government for diplomatic and presidential retreats since 1973. It was acquired by Trump in 1985 for around US$10 million, and turned into an exclusive club with a membership fee of US$200,000.
The resort is spread over 20 acres of land, stretching from the ocean to Lake Worth, with a 128-room, 110,000-square-foot house hosting the Mar-a-Lago Club. The retreat boasts of 58 bedrooms, a 90-foot castle tower, beach club, large pool area, a theater, and a nine-hole golf course.
The club earned the Six Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences in 2008. Its features include a 20,000-square-foot ballroom, with walls inlaid with US$7 million worth of gold leaf, and gold-plated basins in every Ladies toilet.
The Tsars had their Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, while Louis XIV had the Versailles. After taking office, President Trump announced that Mar-a-Lago would be his ‘Winter White House’.
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