by Lissa Poirot
My son knows The Plaza as the place Kevin McAllister was “Home Alone: Lost in New York.” My daughter knows it as the home of Eloise, the little girl who lives in a hotel, and whom my daughter mimics. (The character was created by Kay Thompson in 1949.) The Plaza is known for its opulence, as well as it’s location at the head of Central Park, where it has reigned supreme since 1907. To undergo a massive, $450-million renovation, The Plaza shut its doors for a spell but has reopened to even more “oohs” and “aahs.”
The hotel’s 282 guestrooms include 102 suites boasting more square footage than any other luxury hotel in the city of Manhattan. Those who book suites also receive 24-hour butler service, truly adding an Old World charm to a family’s stay. In keeping with its luxurious reputation, rooms are outfitted with iPads, in which guests may order from room service, chat with Concierge, print boarding passes and more. And for those Eloise-loving families, a one-of-a-kind Eloise Suite, designed by whimsical fashion designer/icon Betsey Johnson, is awash in pink and black, including zebra-print carpeting.
For families staying at The Plaza, a Children’s Concierge is available, as well as childcare. Small cats and dogs, weighing up to 20 pounds, are welcome, too. With the hotel’s renovation cane The Plaza Food Hall, featuring gourmet meals created by celebrity chef Todd English. The hotel’s famous Oak Room and Oak Bar remain, and families can also enjoy the Palm Court and the FC Chocolate Bar, while adults getting some time to themselves will want to slip into the Rose Club or the Champagne Bar. A number of shops are located on the Grand Concourse Level, as well, but your daughters will want to visit Eloise at the Plaza, which feature a dress-up fashion room, a reading room, and a tea room for afternoon teas and celebrations.
Our Editor Loves
- Great location at the head of Central Park
- Rooms are outfitted with iPads
- Concierge and childcare
My sister arranged to have an intimate high tea at the Plaza hotel in honor of my upcoming nuptials and it was so perfectly arranged that I could not be more happy. They made a special meat-free arrangement of the high tea tiers we had ordered and gave us the best seating in the house. The Plaza staff took such wonderful care of us - especially our server Mr. Muhibul. He went to extra lengths to make sure we were enjoying and everything was perfect. They even gave me a special dessert surprise in honor of my wedding and packed the leftovers with so much love and care. I really would love to come back again soon and enjoy it all over again. Full recommendations for the afternoon high tea at the Plaza Hotel with Mr. Muhibul!
No one does Afternoon Tea like the Brits and having experienced Afternoon Tea on Tuesday at the Plaza my point was proven.
The hotel might be "luxury" but the Palm Court and the Afternoon Tea is far from luxury or 5* that I expect when paying $100pp.
We arrived at 11:50, not so much as a hello from the girl on the desk but a "come back at 12 when we open" with that she looked back down at her computer. RUDE.
We came back at 12, same girl on the desk told us and another couple the staff were having a meeting and they would open in 5 minutes. If you have a reservation at a 5* hotel you don't expect to wait especially when it was clear we were the first bookings of the day.
We got shown to our table at about 12:05 and handed a menu which had pen marks on the front. Again, not what you expect. The staff are not polished to perfection like you would expect. There's no high end class and its very clear to see.
When the Afternoon Tea came it was put on the table, waiter said "enjoy" and walked off. Where was the explanation as to what we were about to eat. That is common amongst all Afternoon Tea's in London. The sugar was sachets in a silver pot, almost looked like sachets you pick up in Starbucks. Again, not what I expected.
The whole experience was far from luxury, elegance or offered that WOW factor. If you go to London for Afternoon Tea in a 5* hotel you are treated like royalty. The staff are groomed and polished. Plaza afternoon tea was very flat. Your offering a premium price however they was couples who looked like they had come in straight from the gym, some really dressed up posh and others wearing trainers. No rules clearly on dress wear and what is accepted.
Disappointing I have to say. No one does afternoon tea like us Brits.