768 5th Ave., at Central Park, New York, New York 10019, USA
On the corner of Central Park, the Plaza is one of New York’s most storied hotels, hosting all manner of dignitaries, moneymakers, and royalty. This landmark property emphasizes service, with white-glove butlers for each guest room and suite, and in-room portable touch screens for contacting the concierge--or turning down the lights, whichever you prefer.
Striking a balance between classic and modern, rooms have contemporary technology but the design is old school with gold-leaf fixtures, faux-fur throws, and big, Beaux Arts-style headboards.
Eloise fans may be interested in the Eloise Suite, an all-pink suite designed by Betsey Johnson.
Taking a cue from the opulent rooms, bathrooms have gold-plated fixtures, walls with gilded patterns, and mosaic floors. Many rooms feature a separate soaking tub and stall shower.
Since 1907, the glamorous lobby with big chandeliers has welcomed celebrities, film crews, politicians, and the occasional traveler, too. This space gives a sense of the building’s history, in details from the coffered ceilings to the intricate elevators.
This hotel has several iconic dining spaces. Perhaps the most famous is the Palm Court, a bright space full of foliage that is quite popular for afternoon tea (or cocktails in the evening!). The Todd English Food Hall is a big, open market with several food stalls including an oyster bar, sushi bar, taqueria, patisserie, and more.
The dining spaces here are also popular with New Yorkers and can be very busy; reservations in advance are a good idea if you wish to sit down for afternoon tea at a specific time in the Palm Court.
In addition to the aforementioned Palm Court, you can raise a glass at either the Champagne Bar or the Oak Room and Bar. Jazzcats may want to hit the Rose Club, where everyone from Duke Ellington to Miles Davis have played.
Located on the corner of 5th Avenue and 59th Street, this landmark hotel is across the street from Central Park. The sights of Midtown and the theater district are within walking distance, as is shopping along 5th Avenue. Subway access is a bit limited with the N, R, and W trains nearby (and other options over a 10-minute walk away). Taxis and Uber are widely available, but this part of Manhattan can experience traffic congestion so give yourself extra time to travel by car.
Tucked away behind a curtain in the lobby of Le Parker Meridien hotel is Burger Joint (7-minute walk) an unfussy counter for burgers, fries, and milkshakes. With an old world sensibility and comfy leather banquettes, The Polo Bar (5-minute walk) from designer Ralph Lauren is a cozy place to linger over refined American fare. Italian comfort food is served at Il Gattopardo (7-minute walk), a restaurant with white tablecloths and quality service.
A long wood bar welcomes thirsty visitors to the Bar Room (8-minute walk), a low-lit watering hole with a tasty list of classic and signature cocktails. For a quiet beer in a classic Irish bar setting, pull up a stool at P.J. Carney’s Pub (7-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Listen, it's the Plaza--it's famous, it's expensive, and it's fancy. And we love it. It offers a glimpse into New York's past and reminds us that the past isn't so far away--it continues to live, even thrive, right here at the corner Central Park.
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