At the Plaza Hotel, all that glitters really is gold: Bathrooms in each guest room and suite feature 24-carat gold-plated fixtures, and so many other details—from chair legs to mirror frames—are gilded, providing an aesthetic of classy opulence that draws back to another time, another world. Which makes sense, considering that the midtown hotel has offered first-rate lodging since 1907. Throughout the years and many renovations, the iconic National Historic Landmark has hosted many famous guests (the Beatles, Christian Dior) and has been featured in many cultural works (The Great Gatsby, Eloise).
As soon as you walk through the doors, the fresh scent of gardenias makes you forget your proximity to Central Park South’s horse-drawn carriages. Friendly, knowledgeable staff members greet you in the main lobby, under a magnificent crystal chandelier, and help you find your intended destination. Head south for check-in, and pass the stairs that ascend to the moody Rose Club lounge where you can enjoy a complexly crafted cocktail, like the King Basil ($24)—which combines the herb with cucumber, gin, lillet and orange bitters—on a burgundy tufted-velvet couch. Stay on the ground floor for the lobby-adjacent Champagne Bar, where you can sip the bubbles and delight in caviar while taking in the regal, chandelier-laden atmosphere. Also on the main floor, Palm Court is well known for it’s high-tea service, but it cheekily undersells the evening-fare food menu by placing the petite three pages of offerings in the very back of an extensive drinks menu. But don’t be fooled: The eats are exceptional. The “simply grilled” ahi tuna ($38) will melt in your mouth as you look up and admire the ceiling’s expansive stained-glass dome. For more variety, descend to the basement’s Todd English Food Hall and sample a variety of gourmet-food stalls or sit down at the eponymous restaurant to try world-ranging types of cuisine.
Back to the lobby, take the elevators—with mirrored, gold-columned interior walls—to your floor and discover that even the hallways are decorated impeccably (a velvet bench next to an antique-looking rotary phone, illuminated details within the crown molding). Inside your chandelier-adorned room, find soft white linens hugging your as-comfortable-as-it looks bed, a terry-cloth robe and slippers to match. Use an iPad to set the room’s temperature to your exact desire, then dock your phone on the iHome and play some relaxing tunes as you soak in the tub, or use the Le Labo bath products in the separate gold-headed shower. Before calling it a night, order milk and cookies from the concierge—for the “Eloise treatment”—and watch a film set in the Plaza, like Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, in bed.
It’s no surprise that the Plaza offers immaculate accommodations, but it strays from its luxury comrades by also offering an immaculate complete experience. You could never set foot outside the Plaza premises during your stay but still feel like you had a quintessential New York getaway, complete with culture, history and glitz.
Time Out tip: Though there is plenty to keep you busy within the Plaza's confines, cross 59th Street to find another New York landmark: Central Park. Explore the grounds (just like Kevin McCallister did in Home Alone 2), especially the most proximal attractions of Wollman Rink for some ice-skating and the Central Park Zoo.
|Venue name:||The Plaza||Contact:|
768 Fifth Ave
|Cross street:||at Central Park South|
|Transport:||Subway: Subway N, Q, R to Fifth Ave–59th St|
|Price:||$825–$1,425 double. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|
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