We pulled up to the hotel and immediately, a bellman took our bags more like he insisted on taking our bags into the lobby to the check-in desk. We last stayed at the Plaza pre-renovations in September of 2000 and as soon as we stepped inside we looked to the right for the front desk. It wasn't there anymore. Instead, it's a private entry for the residences. Sad.
Nevertheless, we were shown to the new front desk on the left, passing our way through an old ballroom which is now the lobby and a place for tea. Above us was the Rose Club which has a grand staircase and overlooks the lobby.
Check-in was a breeze and the front desk agent was extremely helpful. We turned around to grab our bag to head into the elevator but a different bellmen had already grabbed it for us and was holding an elevator door open. This is great service but at the same time, unwanted. We are perfectly capable of rolling our little carry-on bag to the elevator!
Our room, 1637, seemed small especially since we were apparently upgraded to a deluxe room. The room snugly fit a king bed (with an oversized elegant headboard), two small chairs, an ottoman and a small writing desk. However, it was lovely and not just because of the chandelier. It was also surprisingly high-tech. The room has a touch-screen tablet that controls the temperature and the lights as well as gives you the weather and info about the location.
The bathroom was stunning as nearly every inch was covered in mosaics. The fixtures are 24k gold-plated Sherle Wagner, the vanities are solid white marble and the toiletry bottles sport little bowties. There was no bathtub but the shower also featured a hand-held shower nozzle and the toilet had a phone on the wall with a data port. Just letting you know.
Also, our room overlooked an office building on 58th and we could see people working in their offices. We're guessing they could see us too.
The Plaza really delivers on the in-room amenities. There was a flat-screen TV, an iPod docking station/alarm clock, a safe that can store and charge your laptop, a little bin for your laundry, a microwave, Dean & DeLuca mini-bar items, bathrobes, a hairdryer and more.
We hopped on the wireless network easy enough. We were brought to a message that asked us to agree to the terms and service and then fill in our last name and room number. There was no fee listed and so we assumed that The Plaza just gave free WiFi to its guests as an added service. Oh no. When we checked out there was a $14.95 fee for WiFi. Ugh. What also annoys us is that it was not listed when we signed in nor is it listed in the hotel's communication guide which gives you instructions on how to work the phones and sign into the internet. Ugh again.
Location, Location, Location
This is The Plaza on 57th and 5th, near Central Park. It's prime tourist location and a fashionista's dream address since the major department stores and designer flagships shops are next door (The retail shops in The Plaza are not as exciting.) It's busy, crowded and smelly, thanks to the queue of horses and their carriages. Thankfully, you can take respite inside The Plaza.
We scored an amazing rate here of $239 a night, thanks to a friends and family promotion from Fairmont that we heard about. Typically, rooms are about $495 a night. Are they worth it? Well, we would never pay that much a night for a hotel room but the rooms are pretty to look at and pretty comfortable too.
For more photos of the amenity madness at the Plaza, cruise on over to our Flickr set