The Plaza Hotel

Location: 768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019

A cultural oasis amid a bustling metropolis, The Plaza Hotel New York continues the tradition of defining luxury through unmatched five-star service, with a contemporary spirit.

The Plaza Hotel is nearly as famous for its fictional residents as its real guests. A portrait of Eloise, the children’s book heroine brought to life by Persian Room lounge singer Kay Thompson, occupies a prime spot outside The Palm Court, while photos of the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe get space in the back. After the completion of a $450 million restoration in 2009 by El-Ad Properties, the hotel that hosted both Truman Capote’s “Party of the Century” and Donald Trump and Marla Maples’ wedding is again open to the public.

Even if an overnight stay is not in the cards, you can still feel like a million bucks in The Plaza’s public spaces, whether you’re having a glass of champagne in the lobby or a steak in The Oak Room—where countless notables, including Walt Disney, have lunched. The following tour of The Plaza NYC leaves no doubt as to why it has earned the acclaimed status of national historic landmark—the only hotel in the City to have achieved such a distinction.

Hotel Lobby and The Champagne Bar

The most noticeable part of the renovation involves a completely new lobby. Its cream-colored walls, golden curtains and gleaming chandeliers serve as a luxurious complement to the check-in desk and concierge area. A small champagne bar pays homage to the Champagne Porch that occupied the same spot when the hotel opened in 1907.

The Palm Court

The Palm Court boasts the most immediately gratifying part of The Plaza’s restoration: the re-creation and installation of its stained-glass laylight (Conrad Hilton, who bought the hotel in 1943, had the original removed to install central air-conditioning). Famous for its afternoon tea, The Palm Court serves breakfast, lunch and brunch.

The Terrace Room

Designed by Warren & Wetmore, the architects of Grand Central Terminal, The Terrace Room was added to The Plaza in 1921 and the chandeliers, designed by Charles Winston (brother Harry was the famed Fifth Avenue jeweler), were modeled on chandeliers from the Palace of Versailles.

The Oak Room and The Oak Bar

The Oak Room’s interiors evoke a hilltop Rhineland castle, where frescoes decorate a wall like picture windows. (Legend says these paintings inspired Walt Disney to build his own castle.) The Oak Bar, which was added to the hotel after Conrad Hilton bought The Plaza and then made famous in the opening scene of Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, retains its reputation as one of the most romantic meeting spots in the City.

The Grand Ballroom

Has been renewed at a cost of $14 million by itself. It is the most luxurious interpretation of the 1920’s Great Gatsby aesthetic. The space that Truman Capote called “the most beautiful room in the City” was the site of his famed Black and White Ball in 1966, and, 27 years later, the setting of then Plaza owner Donald Trump’s wedding to Marla Maples.

Want to visit the Plaza Hotel NYC? Take our Uptown and Harlem tour and hop off at Stop #28, Central Park South.

 

This page was edited by Steven Thomas