A NYC Icon: The Plaza Hotel
I was beyond excited to plan my trip to New York. Strangely enough, it's not a place that I frequently visit, even though it's a trendsetting city for the US. I knew I would have absolutely NO trouble choosing which restaurants visit, but I struggled on where to stay.
Manhattan has over 400 hotel options and is the most densely populated borough in New York City. Literally pouring over page of hotels, I decided I needed to narrow my list as I could spend hours deciding. I knew that I wanted to stay somewhere classic that epitomized the charm and character New York had to offer. And then it then dawned on me.. The Plaza. Honestly, I don't know why it didn't occur to me sooner. I stayed there during my very first visit to New York City, before the $450 million dollar renovation in 2008. I couldn't wait to see how the hotel had transformed.
The Plaza is rich with history. While I won't go into every single detail (if you're a history buff, click here and read all about it), it's important for you to have the "Cliffs Notes" version. Construction began in 1883 with the first Plaza Hotel opening on October 1, 1892 only to have it demolished in 1905 to build a larger hotel. Two years later, The Plaza hotel opened its doors on October 1, 1907. I was blown away at the cost of a room per night. Does anyone want to take a guess? The Plaza only charged $2.50/night which is a far cry from what they are currently charging. From F. Scott Fitzgerald, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Beatles, The Plaza has become a cultural icon. In 1978, the hotel was added to The National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of Interior and ten years later Donald Trump acquired it for $390 million dollar. Closing it's doors in 2005 to complete an extensive renovation,$450 million to be exact, the hotel was restored to its original glory and reopened in 2008.
What a story, right? Even though I was busy roaming the city streets, I managed to squeeze in some time at the hotel and am still in awe. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite details. Between the ceiling fixtures and the mosaic floors, I was astonished.
Below, I have listed a few of the highlights that I very much enjoyed during my trip. Keep in mind, there are many more options than what I have listed below. Curious? You can check out the dining options here and the shopping options here.
The Palm Court
Just steps from the hotel entrance is the iconic Palm Court which is THE destination for Afternoon Tea. Seeing as The Plaza has kept this tradition alive for over 100 years, I knew I should give it a try. I promise to share all of the delectable details in an upcoming blog post, but let's just say this was one of my favorite parts of my trip.
The Champagne Bar
Adjacent to The Plaza's Fifth Avenue lobby is the Champagne Bar. It was originally introduced at the Champagne Porch when the hotel opened in 1907. Today, the Champagne Bar serves some of the world's finest wines, champagnes and caviar. With hours ranging from 7:00AM-11:00PM, you can grab breakfast and gaze out on the Pulitzer Fountain or simply grab a glass and relax after a day of shopping and sightseeing. It's a stunner, I promise you that.
Known for their opulent coffee table books on art, fashion, wine, and travel, Assouline has styled a darling spot on the second level of the hotel showcasing their luxury reads. In addition to their amazing books, there are also specialty gifts and leather goods available for purchase.
The Plaza Beauty Shop
As I made my way through the hotel entrance, I was hit with the most delightful fragrance. It was familiar yet it took me several minutes to place what it was. And then it hit me... Gardenia, one of my favorite scents. The Plaza carefully curated this signature fragrance and had it dispersed throughout certain areas of the hotel. I thought, if I could only have my house smell like this. And what do you know.. you can! Candles, lotions and many more products are available for purchase in the Plaza Beauty Shop. If you are a product junkie like me, it worth stopping by, even if you just want to wander through.
Even though I am back in Nashville, my bags are unpacked and I am enjoying the comforts of home, I still daydream about my time at The Plaza. Stay tuned for my upcoming New York City adventures, they won't disappoint! Until next time...