If Melania Trump wanted so badly for people to “focus on what I do, not what I wear,” well then, perhaps she should have just come right out and told everyone what she did: that was, spend nearly $100,000 during a single day’s stay at the Semiramis Intercontinental Cairo hotel. It makes French president Emmanuel Macron’s reported €26,000 cosmetics tab, spread out over three months, look positively lean by comparison.
According to a government spending record that was first unearthed by Quartz,, the first lady spent $95,050 during her stay at the five-star, 726-room hotel. The report doesn’t include line items or any kind of breakdown of her spending; it’s simply labeled, in all caps, “Flotus Visit Hotel Rooms.” It’s possible that the cost was dispersed across the first lady’s own quarters as well as those of her staff members—security and the like—but with standard rooms going for less than $200 and the most luxurious room, the presidential suite, available for somewhere between $600 and $900, depending on dates, based on a recent search of the hotel’s Web site, there’s still a long way to go to get to $95,000. The tab was paid before the first lady’s arrival—so this probably doesn’t even include her theoretical room service or minibar tab.
As a spokesperson for the White House told Quartz, she didn’t actually spend the night at the hotel—she was in Cairo for just six hours. “A previous version of this story suggested that Melania Trump stayed overnight at the hotel in Cairo. A spokeswoman clarified that the first lady did not spend the night in the hotel,” reads a correction appended to the Quartz story. No journalist wants to find out they’ve misreported a detail in a story, but does this addendum help the first lady’s case at all? Of course, even if you don’t spend the night at a hotel, you’ve still got to book a room to gain entry, but it’s curious that one might feel compelled to splurge on a stay of a couple of hours. We hope she made the most of that rooftop pool.