Inside the White House from a chocolate shop and naked pool parties to 'a sunbed where Trump tops up his orange tan'

THE White House is one of the most famous – and sprawling – homes in the world, with 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms and 412 doors spread over six floors.

But US President Donald Trump's official residence also houses an array of secret features – from a bowling alley and a 'chocolate shop' to an underground 'Doomsday mega-bunker'.

The third part is the Executive Residence, where the Trump family live, royals and other visitors are accommodated, and special events like ceremonies and state dinners are held.

As a new book – A Year at the Circus – uncovers the history of the rooms within The White House, we reveal the astonishing features hidden inside…


A 'chocolate shop'… and a bowling alley

Location: Residence, ground floor

If Trump wants to get some flowers for Melania or go bowling with pals, he doesn't even have to leave the White House – because its basement is essentially a shopping centre.

But unlike most centres, this one offers goods just for the White House.

The Residence boasts a flower shop and a carpenter's shop on its ground floor, alongside a so-called "chocolate shop", where chefs whip up enormous, tasty centrepieces for official functions.

It's unlikely Trump can buy a Mars bar or a Kit Kat from this room, but if he's looking for a hand-crafted, 40-pound Easter egg as large as his body, he might be in luck…



The ground floor also houses a one-lane bowling alley with plush sofas and customised bowling balls printed with an image of the White House.

The first White House bowling alley was built for 33rd president Harry Truman in the West Wing in 1947, but this was later revamped by the Nixons.

Then-president Richard Nixon and his wife Pat, both keen bowlers, moved the alley to below the entrance to the North Portico in 1969, according to the White House Museum.

In January 2017, the Trump family were filmed enthusiastically testing out the bowling lane as 500,000 people protested against the new POTUS on their doorstep.





Trump's 'tanning bed'

Location: Residence, third floor

Trump's tan has been the subject of much speculation since his election – with the White House administration insisting it's the result of "good genes".

But according to Trump's former aide, Omarosa Manigault Newman, it actually comes from a sunbed the 73-year-old President had added to the Residence's third floor.

Newman claims in her book 'Unhinged' that Trump fought with then-Chief Usher Angella Reid over the bed's installation after requesting one be put in so he can top up his tan.

However, other aides say they haven't seen a tanning bed in the White House.


The White House in numbers

132 rooms including the Oval Office, the President's private living quarters and the Queens' Bedroom

35 bathrooms

412 doors

147 windows

140 guests can be served dinner by the White House kitchen

1,000 guests can be served hors d’oeuvres by the kitchen

28 fireplaces

Eight staircases

Three lifts

570 gallons of paint are required to cover the White House's exterior

First Family's own gym

Location: Residence, third floor

If the First Family want to stay in shape they don't even have to leave their own home – because the Clintons transformed a sitting room on the Residence's third floor into a home gym.

The so-called "workout room" allows Trump and his relatives to exercise at any time of the day.

It was well-utilised by former first lady Michelle Obama, who was filmed working out inside the gym as part of her "Let's Move" campaign to tackle childhood obesity.


A room for music lovers

Location: Residence, third floor

Any member of the First Family who decides to hit the gym might be disturbed – or entertained – by the music blaring out next door.

The room sits right next to the music room – which Hillary Clinton reportedly created as a birthday present for husband Bill in the 1990s so he could play the saxophone.

This wasn't the first music room, however – the Green Room, which lies on the Residence's first  floor, was the White House music room for years in the 19th century.

Naked pool parties

Location: Next to the West Wing

Believe it or not, the White House used to play host to naked pool parties.

Former president John F Kennedy reportedly regularly went skinny-dipping with assistants Priscilla Wear and Jill Cowen, nicknamed Fiddle and Faddle, in the early 1960s.

The trio would allegedly strip off before taking a dip together in the indoor pool, built in the west gallery between the Residence and the West Wing.

And the two assistants weren't the only women to get naked in the water.

In Spring 1963, a 27-year-old German prostitute was among those attending nude parties at The White House pool, the New York Post reported.

However, after Nixon became president, the decision was made to build a press briefing room above the pool amid rising demand for TV broadcasts.

Today, the pool lies, covered, under the floor of the room.



A bedroom for the Queen

Location: Residence, second floor

When the Queen visits Washington DC, there's really only one place for her to stay – the suitably-named Queens' Bedroom, on the Residence's second floor.

The grand-sounding room, which boasts a four-poster bed, is part of a suite of rooms, also including the Queens' Sitting Room and the Queens' Bath.

Queen Elizabeth first stayed in the expansive suite when she visited President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957 – but has resided there a number of times since then.

But it's not solely for Her Majesty.

The BBC's North America Correspondent Jon Sopel writes in A Year At The Circus: Inside Trump's White House, that "any number of European royals have spent the night" in the room.

These reportedly include monarchs from the Netherlands, Greece and Norway.



The suite sits near the Lincoln Bedroom – which is next door to the Treaty Room (the President's study) and the old workplace of former president Abraham Lincoln.

The room's décor is described as having "a mid-19th century, chintzy"  feel to it, with heavy furniture and a nearly eight-foot-by-six-foot bed with a giant rosewood headboard.

It can be offered as a "reward" to Trump's friends and political supporters.

"They will be entertained in the Yellow Oval Room, a grand drawing room that has been used down the ages for the visits of presidents and kings and queens," Sopel writes in his book.


Home cinema

Location: East Wing, first floor

The East Wing is known for serving as the First Lady's office space – but it's also home to a family theatre, where Trump and his relatives can relax in front of the big screen.

Unlike members of the public, the First Family can watch whatever movie they want, whenever they want – including Hollywood hits that have yet to be released.

The theatre boasts around 40 well-upholstered seats, The Guardian reports.

However, Trump himself can lie back on a huge armchair – one of four armchairs, all kitted out with foot stools, that sit at the front of the theatre for the President and his family.

Talk about a First-class view…



A gingerbread White House



A game room and a £40,000 golf simulator

Location: Residence, third floor

After a stressful day in the Oval Office or Situation Room, Trump can wander over from the West Wing to the Residence and wind down with a game of pool.

The third floor boasts a game room with a huge pool table.

But this apparently wasn't enough to satisfy the current President's love for games – he has also had a £40,000 golf simulator installed at the White House.

The virtual simulator, which allows users to play 18 holes without going outside, is said to be "room-sized" and located somewhere within Trump's personal quarters.

The golfing fan had the system set up earlier this year to replace an "older, less sophisticated" simulator installed by then-president Barack Obama, sources told the Washington Post.

Trump reportedly paid for it out of his own pocket.

But he's not the only Commander in Chief to have indulged in luxury items to enjoy in their leisure time – during his time in office, Clinton had a seven-seater hot tub installed.


Medical room where doctors have lied about presidents' health

Location: Residence, ground floor

For one person in the White House, the main job at hand is to keep Trump healthy – and alive.

The Physician to the President – at present, Commander Sean Conley  – is constantly in the US leader's shadow, whether he is at home, overseas or on a campaign trial.

The doctor has a "mini urgent care centre" and examination rooms inside the White House, all based on the Residence's ground floor, just a short walk away from the Oval Office (there is another examination room at the nearby Eisenhower Executive Office Building).



Often selected personally by the President, White House physicians typically have a military background and report to their service superiors, not the Chief of Staff.

Over the years, they have been known to keep the extent of presidents' poor health a secret.

When then-president Thomas Woodrow Wilson fell ill in late 1919, his doctor released a statement saying he was suffering from "exhaustion", Sopel recalls in his book.

But in reality, Wilson had been paralysed from a serious stroke.

Similarly, Franklin D. Roosevelt's doctor assured the public that the president was in fine health after he was re-elected in 1944 – when he actually had congestive heart failure.

Roosevelt's condition deteriorated and he died the following April.

The 63-year-old had suffered from poor health during previous terms in office, too, when he would allegedly wear leg callipers (braces) to make it look like he could walk.

Melania's own boudoir

Location: Residence, second floor

Having a private dressing room is a dream for many.

And Melania has just that – thanks to the White House boudoir.

The dressing room, on the Residence's second floor, has been enjoyed by many First Ladies over the years, including Nancy Reagan, Betty Ford, Tricia Nixon and Jackie Kennedy.

It sits next to Trump and Melania's Master Bedroom.



We previously reported how there's a special Secret Service code if the Trumps want to get intimate in their private quarters without a White House staffer walking in on them.

Agents reportedly refer to serving Presidents as “Renegade”, and First Ladies as “Renaissance”.

The code for having sex is "discussing the Bosnian problem"- as in "Renegade can’t be disturbed right now. He and Renaissance are discussing the Bosnian problem".

The First Family can decorate their living quarters however they like – including repainting the walls, choosing their own furniture and putting up decorations.

They are provided with a $100,000 (£81,000) redecorating budget by Congress when they move into the residence, according to the New York Daily News.

Trump and Melania are reported to have splashed out a much higher $1.75 million (£1.4 million) on furniture for the White House and linked offices.

'Doomsday mega-bunker'

Location: Under the North Lawn

Many of us have heard of the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, a secure bunker that lies beneath the East Wing and can be used by Trump in the case of emergencies.

But reports claim a new, secret 'mega-bunker' has been built under the North Lawn.

The underground shelter was constructed during Obama's administration, according to former Washington Post reporter and author of The Trump White House, Ronald Kessler.

It is said to be big enough to fit the President, the First Family and the entire White House staff inside it – for as long as they need to be – in the event of a 'Doomsday' scenario.

“Secret tunnels allow the President to exit lots of places in the event of an emergency such as the Treasury building,” said Kessler.

Inside the White House, there are other features to ensure Trump's safety – with the Oval Office reportedly packed with James Bond-like gadgets and sensors.

“Dotted around the Oval Office are various trinkets and ornaments bearing the presidential seal,” the American author added.

“They are in places like the coffee table and on the President’s desk. What few know is that if the President turns one over it activates an alarm which will bring the Secret Service running.”

Of course, all of the secret features and rooms in the White House come at a price, whether they're for security, entertainment or health purposes.


At the end of each month, the billionaire President receives a bill for his and his family’s personal food and expenses including dry cleaning, toothpaste, and toiletries.

Because he apparently donates his $400,000 (£320,000) annual salary to agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, it's likely he pays for this out of his own pocket.

But with an estimated net worth of $3.1 billion (£2.5 billion) and a massive home filled with everything he could possibly need, Trump likely doesn't bat an eyelid.

  • A Year At The Circus: Inside Trump's White House by Jon Sopel (BBC Books, £20) is now available

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