Midtown East, Manhattan, New York City
When it comes to luxury hotels, they sure don't make them like they used to. We're not saying we don't love some of today's modern luxury properties (we do), but for truly grand luxury, you have to look to the past, when gold leaf, an excess of marble, and crystal chandeliers were de rigeur. If you're looking for the sort of ornate, old-world luxury that inspires hushed reverie, look no further: Take a photo tour of Oyster's grandest gilded icons. The century-old, 282-room Plaza is a New York landmark. A $400 million overhaul in 2008 gave the huge rooms gold-plated bathroom fixtures, but it also converted most rooms overlooking Central Park into privately owned residences. Still, the beautifully restored Oak Room, exceptional spa, and 24-hour butler service make it worth the splurge.