Donald Trump’s tumultuous time in the White House was marked not only by his policies, his trademark rallies, and his personal and professional scandals, but also by the lavish lifestyle that he maintained as president. Donald and his wife, Melania Trump, came to Washington, D.C. after leading extremely opulent lives, and proved very quickly that they would be keeping up with expectations. After all, life in the penthouse at Trump Tower and a vacation spot at the Mar-a-Lago beach club in Palm Beach, Florida are two spots that seem hard to give up.
Despite the hustle and bustle of D.C., Donald and Melania took many quick getaways to Mar-a-Lago during his administration, their lavish Florida estate. And by the pictures, it’s no secret as to why: the grounds are beautiful, the pools look amazing, and since it’s situated in Florida, it’s literally coated in sunshine. The former president spent so much time there during his time in office that the estate was dubbed “the winter White House.”
So now that Donald and Melania are at Mar-a-Lago on a permanent basis, what does their life look like there? Strap in, because here’s the truth about Donald and Melanie’s life at Mar-a-Lago.
Donald and Melania Trump may throw lavish parties at Mar-a-Lago
Every extravagant party needs an extravagant venue, and that’s a memo that Donald and Melania Trump have certainly gotten. Their lives at Mar-a-Lago have consisted of lavish events and celebrations, and it looks like that won’t stop any time soon. As noted by the The Palm Beach Post, a large group of people gathered at Mar-a-Lago on New Year’s Eve to ring in 2021. Despite the threats of the coronavirus pandemic and transmission risk between guests, people still congregated on the estate’s lavish grounds to ring in the new year.
Additionally, videos were posted to social media showing Mar-a-Lago party goers “mostly maskless and without social distancing,” so it’s safe to say that Donald and Melania’s lives will continue to see lavish parties without any kind of precautions. According to The New York Times, the party attendees included Donald Trump Jr., his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Rudolph Giuliani, “who was shown in online footage ballroom-dancing with a female partner to a rendition of New York, New York.” Time will tell just how crazy the Mar-a-Lago parties will be.
Donald and Melania Trump likely won't leave Mar-a-Lago often
A lot of us got used to staying at home in 2020 and 2021; we became accustomed to sweatpants and day-old pizza, the television on 24/7, and UberEats suggestions popping up on our phones around 6:30 every evening. However, unlike Donald and Melania Trump, we don’t have a Florida estate and the Palm Beach area to wander around. But according to The New York Times, Donald has been known not to venture outside of Mar-a-Lago’s property in the past, and given that his post-presidency has been plagued with impeachment and scandal, we can’t imagine he’ll be leaving the grounds any time soon.
The Times also noted that Melania “tends to keep a low profile” while at Mar-a-Lago, not dissimilar to her low-key approach to being first lady; so while the couple will most definitely indulge guests, the locals of Palm Beach will most likely not see them outside very often. As The Times put it, “in the Mar-a-Lago cocoon, the president is in his most comfortable mode, friends and allies say: playing the jocular host in front of an adoring crowd.” Sounds like quite the lifestyle.
Donald Trump will likely play golf often at Mar-a-Lago
While in office, Donald Trump was known to often indulge in one of his favorite pastimes: golf. Despite criticism, he hit the green on many weekends, and even conducted some political business over golf games. And it looks like he’ll be able to keep up his habits at Mar-a-Lago, because his new primary Palm Beach residence is just 15 minutes away from the Trump International Golf Club, as noted by The New York Times.
But the former president’s favorite activity might be clouded by drama. As noted by Golf Week, a Palm Beach County official began the process of reviewing the county’s contract with the Trump Organization, hoping to terminate the Trump International Golf Club lease. The chief assistant county attorney, Howard Falcon, told The Palm Beach Post that he “was asked by an unnamed county commissioner about whether the lease with Trump International Golf Club could be canceled,” but maintains that he thinks the county cannot end its lease with Donald, “who pays $88,338 a month in rent for the property.” So we’ll see what happens.
Palm Beach is getting involved in Donald and Melania Trump's future at Mar-a-Lago
Donald Trump’s future at Mar-a-Lago in his post-presidency was met with drama right away, and to be honest, we’re not entirely shocked. As noted by The Washington Post, Donald signed an agreement in the ’90s that changed the Mar-a-Lago estate from a primary residence into a private, membership based club. But doing so, it stopped Donald from being able to claim Mar-a-Lago as his primary residence (and he spent most of his time in New York, anyway). But after he lost the White House, Donald and his wife, Melania Trump, made it known that their sights were set on making Mar-a-Lago home — and the town of Palm Beach, Florida had some concerns.
Specifically, Palm Beach’s attorney recommended to the town council that they allow the Trumps to reside at Mar-a-Lago, all but forcing the council to come to an on-the-books conclusion. According to reports, “the legal opinion is the latest step in a year-long dispute that could force a decision by town officials who have been reluctant to take a formal position.” Will the Trumps be allowed to stay permanently? Time will tell.
Mar-a-Lago is technically a downgrade from Donald and Melania Trump's former primary residence
By looking at the photos of the Mar-a-Lago estate, you can see that it’s lavish, gorgeous, and over-the-top. The main building is stunning, the grounds look beautiful, there are pools and gardens, and the property literally sits on the water — what else could you ask for? Well, as noted by the The Palm Beach Post, staying at Mar-a-Lago permanently might be a tad disappointing for Donald and Melania Trump, as it’s technically a downgrade from the Manhattan digs that they used to call home. Yes, a downgrade.
Despite the renovations that have been done on Mar-a-Lago’s private residence, it’s “far smaller” than the penthouse floors that the Trumps used to live in at Trump Tower, their primary residence before moving to the White House. So why don’t they just go back to Trump Tower? Let’s just say that the city of New York and the Trumps don’t exactly get along anymore. Looks like they’ll just have to abandon the golden cherubs and the Central Park views from Trump Tower for the really shabby waterfront property they now live in. This is a time for sacrifice in their lives.
Donald and Melania Trump are longer granted this special circumstance at Mar-a-Lago
Here’s a tidbit that many people might not know: air traffic can be diverted away from wherever the president of the United States is for security purposes — planes aren’t even allowed in Washington D.C. airspace, and when they do, everyone goes into a panic.
When he was president, Donald Trump often ventured down to Mar-a-Lago, and because of his role and in interest of security, planes were not allowed to fly over the estate — which is a big deal. According to the The Palm Beach Post, Mar-a-Lago is “directly under the main flight path of Palm Beach International Airport,” so the air traffic is pretty substantial. But now that Donald no longer enjoys the privileges of being president, it looks like he’s going to have to put up with the sound of planes landing in what can only be described as his backyard. And this isn’t going to go over well — Donald once sued Palm Beach International Airport over the noise of the planes, but as the Post reported, “planes are expected to once again fly directly over the club.” Someone go buy Donald some earplugs.
Donald and Melania Trump will likely throw Super Bowl parties at Mar-a-Lago
The Super Bowl is a big deal. Typically, the festive Sunday in February is accompanied by pigs in a blanket, a lot of chips and dips, wings and mozzarella sticks, cookies, drinks — oh, and football. And according to The New York Times, Donald and MelaniaTrump will most likely keep up the tradition of hosting an annual Super Bowl party at Mar-a-Lago in Donald’s post-presidency. And while our Super Bowl Sundays consist of bulk foods that we got at Costco, his are made up of steak and lobster buffets — completely different worlds, really.
Of course, this doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s paid attention to Donald and his messaging around football. He owned the New Jersey Generals in the ’80s, invested his energy into the short-lived United States Football League, and reportedly tried to convince his daughter, Ivanka Trump, to marry star quarterback Tom Brady. According to The New York Times, Donald has often joked that he “could have had Tom Brady” as a son-in-law. “Instead, I got Jared Kushner,” he has reportedly said. Ouch.
Donald and Melania Trump haven't experienced a warm welcome at Mar-a-Lago
It’s always a gallant effort to try to get along with your neighbors, but making nice with the neighbors doesn’t seem to be on Donald and Melania Trump’s to-do list. According to The Washington Post, the surrounding neighbors of Mar-a-Lago do not want the former president and first lady in their corner. In a letter sent to the town of Palm Beach, Florida, the immediate neighbors of the Mar-a-Lago property asserted that the Trumps “lost [their] legal right to live at Mar-a-Lago” because of Donald’s agreement to not make the club his primary residence in the ’90s.
The lawyer for the Mar-a-Lago neighbors wrote in the letter that the Trumps should be notified that they cannot live on the property permanently, and should “avoid an embarrassing situation” before moving in. So why are the neighbors so adamant? Busy traffic, blocked streets, and the Trumps’ history of not complying with county rules (there’s a riveting story about a flagpole) are just a couple of the reasons. But given that Donald has ignored the requests of neighbors in the past, chances are he won’t listen to their complaints.
Some members of Mar-a-Lago might leave the club
Mar-a-Lago serves as a membership club as well as the Donald and Melania Trump’s residence. It boasts beautiful grounds, pools, dining experiences, and more, and many prominent people in the Palm Beach area have memberships. But in the days of his post-presidency, Donald might see some membership decline. According to the Palm Beach Daily News, the membership fee skyrocketed to $200,000 after the 2016 election. Members also have to pay an additional yearly membership fee and have to meet a $2,000 minimum dining requirement.
Here’s an example of a membership gone wrong that illustrates the point. Jeff Greene, who ran for Florida’s governorship, became a member in 2010 but quit in 2019. “I never loved going there,” he told The New York Times. Unlike other businesses that don’t seem to care if you come or go, Greene explained that Donald took it personally. “He went right at me, saying, ‘I can’t believe you quit the club.’ He’s figuring someone with plenty of money, why would they care about paying dues for a club?”
No one’s petty drama is worth putting up with, especially if it comes with a $200,000 price tag.
Donald and Melania Trump might not see each other often at Mar-a-Lago
During their time in the White House, Donald and Melania Trump kept their distance from each other. According to Business Insider, Donald and Melania not only had separate bedrooms, but also lived on an entirely different floors; Melania will be able to keep that up, if she so chooses to, at Mar-a-Lago. As noted by Town & Country, the mansion features 128 rooms, so if they want to live apart, it seems like nothing is in Donald and Melania’s way.
Additionally, Mar-a-Lago isn’t just made up by its lavish designs and hundreds of rooms. It sits on 20 acres of land, sandwiched between the intracoastal waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. According to Town & Country, Donald purchased the estate in 1985 for $5 million, which is about $12 million in 2021. “I have 24 acres in Palm Beach and nobody has anything like that,” Trump said in 2014. “A big house is on one acre. I have 24. It’s the great estate of Palm Beach.” While he’s technically wrong about that (Mar-a-Lago sits on 20 acres), the space will allow for him and Melania to keep their distance.
Donald and Melania Trump will have some Secret Service agents at Mar-a-Lago
Former presidents are granted Secret Service protection for life, so that will be a part of Donald and Melania’s lives at Mar-a-Lago. As noted by The Palm Beach Post, a “much smaller Secret Service detail” will watch over Donald and Melania. Additionally, their services may extend to Mar-a-Lago’s 500 members, as well as events held on the estate grounds.
But the scaled-back protection that Donald and Melania will receive at Mar-a-Lago might not be enough for the former president. As noted by The Washington Post, Donald “instructed that his family get the best security available in the world” for the six months following his departure from office “at no cost.” According to people who were briefed on Donald’s wishes, the former president “issued a directive to extend post-presidency Secret Service protection to his four adult children and two of their spouses, who were not automatically entitled to receive it.”
You know when your parents told you when you were a kid that “you’ll take what you get and you’ll like it” (usually referring to the vegetables we didn’t want to eat)? Donald might want to implore such a mindset.
Donald and Melania Trump will be surrounded by Mar-a-Lago's opulent decorations
Donald and Melania Trump have become synonymous with a couple of different things — wealth, power, opulence, drama, expensive outfits, gold-plated everything — and it looks like their lavish reputations will follow them to Mar-a-Lago. In their new primary residence, the Trumps will get to enjoy some of the most opulent and outrageous decor, probably not to anyone’s surprise.
As noted by Town & Country, Donald paid an extra $3 million when he purchased Mar-a-Lago so he could acquire the property’s antiques and furniture pieces (it was owned by heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, and heiresses always have good taste, it seems). Here are some other details that will blow your mind: the estate has a 20,000 square foot ballroom that features $7 million worth of gold detailing. Donald also spent $100,000 just so he could have four Mar-a-Lago sinks plated in gold.
If the estate is anything like the Trumps’ penthouse in Trump Tower, there will be gold and lush fabrics and over the top everything everywhere.
Mar-a-Lago will bring in income for Donald and Melania Trump
Ethics concerns came into question when Donald Trump became president, in part because of the Trump Organization and his business dealings. He handed over the reins to his sons, Don Jr. and Eric Trump, but Donald still received a huge sum of money from Mar-a-Lago while he was in office; it looks like the estate will continue to generate revenue for him.
As noted by Town & Country, Donald made $15.6 million from Mar-a-Lago in 2014 and $25.1 million from the estate during his first year as president. The Hill reported that Mar-a-Lago made Donald $21.4 million in 2019 — a slight drop from the two previous years — and was accompanied by the income Donald received from other Trump properties.
Of course, Mar-a-Lago and several other Trump properties were closed in March of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but according to NBC News, the club partially reopened to its members just two months later. Maybe Donald will experience a bit of a revenue drop due to the pandemic, but it looks like the club will be a huge source of his income in his post-presidency life.
Supporters of Donald and Melania Trump will hold vigils there
If Trump supporters are known for anything, it’s their dedication to Donald Trump. His rallies were often shown on the news and in photographs as wildly enthusiastic events, with supporters wearing Trump gear, waving Trump flags, holding Trump signs, and going to all kinds of lengths to show their dedication. And according to The Palm Beach Post, it looks like some of that dedication will follow Donald and Melania Trump to Mar-a-Lago.
Many of Donald’s supporters lined the streets of Palm Beach when he arrived after departing from Washington, D.C. the day of President Joe Biden’s inauguration. Some of those supporters told the Post that they vowed to “continue their vigils” outside of Mar-a-Lago — that’s a whole different level of dedication if we’ve ever witnessed it.
Of course, it will be a little bit more difficult for Trumpers to get a glimpse of their beloved former president. Donald’s motorcade in his post-presidency life at Mar-a-Lago will be a lot smaller, and his schedule will no longer be public. So they’ll really have to stand outside and hope for the best.
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