Pros

  • Historic luxury property with stellar Fifth Avenue location
  • Steps from Fifth Avenue shopping and Central Park
  • Spa with varied treatment menu and top-notch hair salon
  • Enormous rooms with plush bedding, swish bathrooms, and iPads
  • 24-hour on-call butler and room service
  • Iconic Palm Court serving breakfast and afternoon tea
  • Food Hall offering an array of counter-style dining options
  • Champagne Bar and Rose Club with weekly live jazz
  • 3 blocks from 7 subway lines
  • Fun, vibrant Eloise Suite and Eloise-themed afternoon tea
  • Free Wi-Fi for Fairmont President's Club members (free to join)
See More Pros

Cons

  • Few rooms with Central Park or Fifth Avenue views
  • Limited seating in the lobby
See More Cons

Bottom Line

The century-old, 282-room Plaza is a New York landmark. A $400 million overhaul in 2008 gave the huge rooms gold-plated bathrooms with showers and tubs, but it also converted most rooms overlooking Central Park into privately owned residences. Still, the exceptional spa, 24-hour butler service, and history make it worth the splurge. Additionally, excellent dining and drinking options include the iconic Palm Court with Eloise-themed tea time, a Food Hall with array of counter-style eats, and a Champagne Bar. For a similar experience that’s less expensive, consider The Pierre, A Taj Hotel.

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Things You Should Know About The Plaza

Also Known As

  • Plaza Hotel New York City
  • Plaza New York City

Room Types

  • Deluxe Courtyard Room
  • Deluxe Room
  • Deluxe Rose Suite
  • Edwardian Fifth Avenue Suite
  • Edwardian Park Suite
  • Edwardian Suite
  • Plaza Room
  • Plaza Suite
  • Rose Suite
  • Royal Plaza Suite
  • Royal Terrace Suite
  • Signature Room
  • Terrace Suite

Address

Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, New York City, New York 10019, United States

Phone

(212) 759-3000

Website

Oyster Hotel Review

The Plaza

What Are the Scene and Design Like at The Plaza Hotel?

This historic, renovated luxury property has classically elegant decor, residences and hotel rooms, and Eloise-themed events. 

It could be said that no other New York hotel is as synonymous with luxury as the century-old Plaza, or has carved out such a place in 20th-century culture. Truman Capote threw his famous Black and White Ball here; in North by Northwest, Cary Grant was captured by spies in the hotel's famous Oak Room; F. Scott Fitzgerald staged part of The Great Gatsby here; on their first visit to the States, The Beatles took up an entire wing on the 15th floor. And last but not least, Crocodile Dundee pitched a tent on those 400-thread-count bed sheets.

It's also a favorite for lovers of the book Eloise, as the namesake character lived at the hotel. Today, Eloise acts as the mascot for the hotel, with cute Eloise-themed afternoon tea parties, room-service menus, and a fun, pink-and-black suite with lots of Eloise decor.

The hotel closed temporarily in 2005 to complete a $400 million renovation. The 282-room Plaza reopened its doors in May 2008. But whether the renovation was an improvement is open for debate. Post-renovation, none of the guest rooms and only some of the suites look out onto Central Park or Fifth Avenue -- most of those views have been claimed by the 181 private Plaza condos. Separated by a private entrance and lobby, the $2.5 million-and-up apartments are a return to the Plaza's original function as a residence for the extremely wealthy.

But because of its fame, the century-old Plaza is not just a hideaway for the in-hiding celebrity or loaded maharaja. Families spill out of the seven-person gilded elevators, weighted down with Coach shopping bags. The Plaza's Grand Ballroom, host to Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas' wedding, continues to welcome some of the city's most extravagant nuptials. And Fifth Avenue tourists run in to snap a few photos of Palm Court's stained-glass ceiling and the lobby's opulent marble stairs -- before getting shooed away by the omnipresent security, of course.

See More What Are the Scene and Design Like at The Plaza Hotel?

Where Is The Plaza Located in New York City?

Right on Fifth Avenue across from Central Park -- steps from luxury boutiques and Bergdorf Goodman. 

Located across from Central Park on Fifth Avenue, the Plaza is on the border of Midtown West and Midtown East. It's an excellent base for exploring the shopping along Fifth Avenue -- from the famous Tiffany & Co. to high-end flagships like Gucci and Versace. To the right on Fifth Avenue lies luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman, and across the avenue, past the famous Pulitzer Fountain, sits the splashy Midtown Apple flagship. (Tip: this is a great place to check your email for free.) Plenty of delis and Starbucks cafes feed the cubicle occupants -- Midtown East is where many New Yorkers come to work. Nightlife is scarce, but excellent, and typically pricy cuisine is always within walking distance.

The area lacks the residential quaintness of the Upper West Side, and most insider haunts are found farther downtown. But subway access is ample, making it easy to venture anywhere in the city. All major subway lines -- N, Q, R, W, F, 1, 2, A, C, and D -- are all within a one- to eight-minute walk away. It's also a fairly safe neighborhood, although it empties out at night.

See More Where Is The Plaza Located in New York City?

What Airports Are Near The Plaza?

The three area airports are within a 30- to 90-minute drive from the hotel. 

New York has three nearby airports: JFK International Airport, LaGuardia, Airport and Newark Airport (in New Jersey). Getting to town from JFK or LaGuardia is usually more convenient than getting there from Newark, but travel times are heavily dependent on the time of day and traffic conditions. From JFK, a taxi to anywhere in Manhattan costs a flat rate and takes around an hour in average conditions. From LaGuardia, a metered cab ride to midtown Manhattan can take 30 minutes if traffic is light, three times that if it's bad. Rides from Newark can take more than 90 minutes. It's customary to tip your driver 15 to 25 percent.

Those looking to save some cash can use the privately run shuttle buses that are available. For more information on the shuttles, go to Super Shuttle or New York Airport Service. Public transit is also available for as little as $7.75 per person, but travel can take up to two hours and involve a lot of lugging bags up and down stairways.

See More What Airports Are Near The Plaza?

What Are the Rooms Like at The Plaza?

Big, Louis XIV-style rooms were all renovated in 2008 with luxurious Italian bedding, 37-inch HD plasma TVs, and iPads, but views are mediocre as very few overlook Central Park. The gigantic bathrooms come with fixtures plated in 24-carat gold, bathtubs, and typically separate showers. 

Unlike the St. Regis with its powder-blue-accented rooms, the Four Seasons with its office-away-from-home appeal, or the Mandarin Oriental with its streamlined Asian-influenced design, the Plaza's rooms embrace the gilded, extravagant style of Louis XIV. At 475 square feet, the standard Plaza Rooms are some of the largest of all the luxury options in the city. The Plaza's Deluxe rooms move up to 550 square feet; the equal-sized Signature Room features a private terrace; and the nine different suites offer both additional space (625 to 4,400 square feet) and extra features like powder rooms.

Sadly, since the hotel's 2008 renovation, none of the guest rooms and only some of the suites look out onto Central Park or Fifth Avenue -- most of the views have been claimed by the 181 new private Plaza residences. Guest rooms all overlook either the landscaped inner courtyard or 58th Street's office buildings.

Huge bathrooms are the highlight here, with separate showers and tubs in most, and fixtures plated in 24-carat gold.

  • Butler service available upon request
  • Pillow-topped Stearns and Foster mattress and swathed in 400-thread-count Italian Mascioni sheets
  • Guests can request pillows that include a double-down surround, buckwheat, lavender buckwheat, hypoallergenic, or Tempur-Pedic.
  • 37-inch LG plasma TV with cable and free movie channels like HD Net Movies and HBO HD
  • Bathrooms are large and have 24-carat-gold-plated sinks and a partitioned-off toilet
  • A full-size soaking tub and shower boasted intricate stone-mosaic walls
  • Thick cotton towels and robes (available in both adult and children's sizes)
  • Full array of swish toiletries
  • iPads that control the room and allow guests to request services
  • Hairdryers
  • Electronic safes
See More What Are the Rooms Like at The Plaza?

What Restaurants and Bars Are at The Plaza?

Pricey but top-notch food and drink options, plus 24-hour room-service menu. The iconic Palm Court serves afternoon tea and Todd English's Food Hall has a European market feel. 

  • Champagne Bar serves breakfast, Champagne, caviar, and pastries
  • The Rose Club, opens in the early afternoon and hosts live jazz weekly
  • Palm Court is a gorgeous space with indoor palms, a stained-glass dome, and a menu for breakfast, brunch, and afternoon tea
  • Todd English's Food Hall, a glorified food court, offers a more low-key atmosphere where patrons can opt for sushi, dumplings, flatbread pizza (English's specialty), tapas and wine, charcuterie, bakery, or a grill
  • 24-hour room-service menu with a strong French influence and some Eloise-themed items
See More What Restaurants and Bars Are at The Plaza?

What Are Other Features at The Plaza?

A stellar spa, modern gym, a celebrity-stylist hair salon, and multiple shops. 

The on-site Guerlain Spa is lovely and elegant, situated on the fourth floor. A variety of massage and beauty treatments, as well as packages, are available. Hairstyling needs are handled by the Warren-Tricomi Salon, the 6,100-square-foot flagship of celebrity hairstylist Edward Tricomi. A modern, windowless gym is open 24/7 and stocked with a variety of cardio and strength-training machines, yoga mats, and free weights. Guests can also sign up for the Fairmont Fit program, which includes Reebok apparel and footwear, an MP3 player, and a yoga mat with a stretch band.

Shops at the Plaza include high-end jewelry, clothing, specialty foods, and health and beauty.

 

Is The Plaza Pet-Friendly?

Small (less than 25 pounds) pets are allowed for a price.

The Plaza accepts small pets and service dogs. A hefty charge is added to the room rate, and owners must sign a waiver accepting financial responsibility for any damage their pet incurs. The hotel's proximity to Central Park is a definite plus, and amenities like treats and water bowls can be requested prior to arrival.

 

Is The Plaza Suitable for Families?

An Eloise-themed kids’ menu, huge, 475-square-foot standard rooms, and central location make this is stellar pick for vacationing families.

Fairly sizable standard rooms (475 feet with a king-size bed) and proximity to Central Park make the Plaza a good choice for families, but don't count on any free Wiis or PlayStations like at the Gansevoort or Four Seasons. Deluxe rooms come with two double beds, and the Edwardian Suite has a separate living room. Cribs and playpens are free, and rollaways can be requested for a nightly fee.

Eloise -- the character from Kay Thompson's books who lived at the hotel -- is the mascot for kids at the Plaza. Cute Eloise room-service menus are available. Eloise-themed afternoon tea at The Palm Court and a pink-and-black Eloise Suite is fun, flamboyant, and done in lots of Eloise decorations. Babysitters can be arranged through the concierge for an additional charge.

Midtown East is by and large a pretty safe area. The Plaza is very well-lit at night, with doormen right outside the door.

 

Is The Plaza a Good Wedding Venue?

For a black-tie function, or an equally expensive event, few hotels rival this Beaux-Arts masterpiece.

The inspiration for the movie Bride Wars, the Plaza has long been one of the most desirable wedding venues in NYC. But it's not necessarily the best wedding destination in Manhattan. For example, some people consider the Pierre to be even more beautiful, and the more affordable New York Palace offers a similarly historic, ornate space. And, of course, the Plaza's grand, gilded opulence isn't for everyone. You can get a bit more stylistic flexibility without giving up the Central Park views at the Mandarin Oriental.

The beautiful Grand Ballroom and Terrace Room are most popular for weddings and events, plus there are other suites and meeting spaces available for smaller gatherings. CPS Events at the Plaza attends to every detail of the wedding. This makes planning a little easier, but it also means that you're stuck paying a premium for just about everything. Of course, the Plaza is not ideal for couples who need to keep a careful eye on their budget.

See More What Are Other Features at The Plaza?

Best Rates

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner

  • Airport Transportation

  • Babysitting Services

  • Balcony / Terrace / Patio

  • Basic Television

  • Beauty / Hair Salon

  • Business Center

  • Cable

  • Concierge

  • Cribs

  • Dry Cleaning

  • Fitness Center

  • Internet

  • Kids Allowed

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Mini Bar (with liquor)

  • Pets Allowed

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Smoking Rooms Available

  • Spa

  • Supervised Kids Activities

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.