If you are an Aussie traveling to New York for the first time in a long time and lucky enough to stay at this historic and elegant hotel Plaza Hotelyou have one of two options.
You can either close your eyes as you sink into the luxurious linens of your king-sized bed, or do like the weathered Mick ‘Crocodile’ Dundee who, in 1986, inexplicably ended up in the same grand hotel and installed makeshift loot. next to his mattress.
Last month, I chose the high life.
More than a century after its opening, The Plaza Hotel remains one of New York’s most lavish stays.
For a first-time visitor to New York or an old friend returning, the hotel’s prestigious address on Fifth Avenue at the southeast corner of Central Park is magical.
You can’t do better than being steps away from one of the world’s most luxurious shopping streets or the iconic Pulitzer Fountain just across the street. And is there anything more New York than a stroll through idyllic Central Park?
Enter for even more magic.
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First opened in 1907 at a cost of $12 million ($17.5 million) and quickly labeled “the greatest hotel in the world”, The Plaza has undergone a $450 million ($659 million) restoration ) in 2008.
The French Renaissance-inspired chateau-style building has been New York’s most iconic hotel for over 100 years and has been a temporary residence for kings, presidents, celebrities and socialites. It is also the framework of Kay Thompsonit is Eloise series of children’s books, first published in 1955, about a little girl who lives in the Plaza. (A portrait of Eloise hangs in the lobby of the Plaza.)
It’s also the setting for this iconic photo of Marilyn Monroe.
The actress was at a press conference held at the hotel in February 1956, in front of 150 photographers and reporters. She leaned forward, while wearing a black velvet John Moore dress, when one of her straps snapped. It made headlines across the country.
from north to northwest by Alfred Hitchcock was filmed at the Plaza in 1959, marking the first time the hotel featured prominently in a film. What followed was a flurry of films, including The way we were, The front, home alone 2 and Insomnia in Seattlemaking it New York’s most popular movie site in the year 2000.
Walking through The Plaza is quite spectacular. The Fifth Avenue foyer features gold trim, marble columns, and mosaic flooring.
(Fun fact: the mosaic tiles in the lobby of the residence hall were hidden under carpeting, and weren’t discovered until 1992 during the filming of Alone at home 2. The carpet was removed to let Macaulay Culkin slide across the floor and into the elevator.)
A crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling above the floral decoration.
It remains the only hotel in New York to be named a National Historic Landmark.
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The Plaza offers 282 rooms, including 102 luxury suites, including unique rooms and suites like the Eloise Suite – all pink and playfully decorated with everything Eloise (including a welcome letter from Eloise herself ) by fashion designer Betsey Johnson.
I stayed in the luxurious Carnegie Park Suite, with magnificent partial views of Central Park, a king bed, a spacious living room and a powder room. It was stunning.
A highlight was the bathroom, fitted with mosaic floors, 24k gold plated fittings and the most inviting bathtub you’ve ever seen.
Inspired by the lush greenery of Central Park, The Palm Court is still the city’s iconic destination for afternoon tea. It’s a beautiful space – timeless, elegant and luxurious. The high ceilings and stained glass dome are mesmerizing.
The Palm Court is open for breakfast, afternoon tea, cocktails and evening light fare. Dress smart and casual.
Afternoon tea includes sandwiches and savory dishes, as well as scones, pastries and sweets. The Manhattan Tea starts at $110 per person, while the Plaza Signature Tea, complete with a glass of Champagne, is $124 per person. For the little ones, there is also the Tisane Eloïse des Enfants.
The Champagne Bar, overlooking Fifth Avenue and the Pulitzer Fountain, is open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. for breakfast, coffee, cocktails, and light gourmet fare, but only for hotel guests.
Despite Kevin’s cannonballs in home alone 2there’s no pool, but for wellness, guests can visit the Guerlain Spa, Warren-Tricomi Salon, and Plaza Fitness Center.
The Plaza is one of those hotels so stunning and filled with incredible history that you’ll want to spend your entire trip inside.
This writer was the guest of The Plaza Hotel.
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