THE PLAZA; A GLAMOROUS HOTEL WITH WORLDWIDE FAME

ENTRANCE OF THE PLAZA HOTEL NEW YORK

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The Plaza is a 110-year-old hotel in New York which was named a National Historic Landmark. The building stands 19 stories tall and has an unparalleled charm and glamor. Here are a few fun facts about The Plaza.

ORIGINAL RENT AND TAXI FARE

When the Plaza opened, its rent for a single night was $2.50. As a comparison, rooms can cost from $800 to $30,000 per night now. $30,000 is the price for the Royal Plaza Suite which boasts three bedrooms with amazing decor, a kitchen and dining room, a library and most interesting of all it has a secret door in the master bedroom that heads outside. Exciting, isn’t it?

First motorized cabs in New York that replaced horse driven carriages were present at The Plaza when it opened, to transport guests from one point to another. A ride cost 30 cents for a half mile and then 10 cents for each quarter mile.

SEVERAL MOVIES WERE SHOT HERE

The first ever movie filmed at The Plaza was North by Northwest by Hitchcock in 1959. Almost Famous, Sleepless in Seattle and The Great Gatsby are some of the most famous movies that were shot here over the years. However, the movie leaving a lasting impression was Home Alone 2. There was a scene in the movie in which the character played by Macaulay Culkin had to slide across the floor into the elevator. As the floor was carpeted, this was not possible. So, for this scene, the carpet was removed. What it revealed was a mosaic tile floor that was so artistic and beautiful; the carpet was permanently removed from the floor.

ELOISE; THE INSPIRATION FOR THE HOTEL’S DESIGN

Eloise was a fictional resident of the hotel, created by Kay Thompson for a children’s book. She was an inspiration for some of the hotel’s design and was thus honored by hanging her portrait (created by the book artist) opposite the Palm Court. Other mentions to Eloise are made by having a kid’s menu named after her, her own gift shop and an Eloise suite. There’s also a tricycle garage decorated in Eloise style red and white stripes, which offers free tricycles to guests.

PET-FRIENDLY HOTEL, EVEN LIONS ARE WELCOME!

In 1908, Hungarian princess Elisabeth Vilma Lwoff-Parlaghy moved to America along with her several rather exotic pets. These included alligators, guinea pig, an owl and even a bear. Where most hotels would have politely refused to house her, The Plaza welcomed her and her animal entourage. The Princess got a lion cub during her stay at the hotel. The hotel staff, instead of complaining, gave the cub its own room, making The Plaza even more famous than it already was.

CELEBRITIES AND THEIR PARTIES

The Plaza had a men’s only bar named The Oak Room. People as famous as Bill Clinton and actor George M. Cohan would come here. Cohan came to the bar every day from 4 PM to 7 PM to have cocktails before the theater show. He was honored after his death by fixing a bronze plaque above the booth he usually occupied.

Countless parties and weddings, including celebrity weddings, have been held at The Plaza. In 1966, a huge party was thrown by Truman Capote on the release of his book, In Cold Blood. It was a masked ball that saw some 540 guests and cost around $16,000 at the time.

HOTEL OWNERSHIP

The Plaza has been owned by Conrad Hilton and then by Donald Trump, who bought it for $390 million. Today, it is owned by both Sahara Group and the Saudi Arabia-based Kingdom Holdings.

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