New York City’s Plaza Hotel has been one of the world’s most iconic accommodations since its opening in 1907.
Situated at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, its prime location is only one factor contributing to the hotel’s rise as a premiere destination for celebrities, writers, and leaders.
Some of history’s wildest parties and most memorable events have taken place inside, and today it remains as opulent as ever.
We’ve put together a collection of photos that showcase how the hotel became so legendary, as well as what guests can expect to find at the breathtaking space today.
The Plaza Hotel was the dream of financier Bernhard Reinecke, hotelier Fred Sterry, and Harry S. Black. The three purchased a 15-year-old hotel of the same name on the site (the original Plaza hotel that ran from 1890 to around 1905) and replaced it with the hotel we know today.
It officially opened its doors to the public on October 1, 1907 and quickly caught attention thanks to its location at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, which was one of New York's most fashionable residential areas at the time.
Construction of the 19-story hotel took two years and cost $12 million, which was an unprecedented sum in those days.
No cost was spared in making it a place of sheer luxury. The largest single order in history for gold-encrusted china was placed with L. Straus & Sons for The Plaza, and around 1,650 crystal chandeliers were purchased for use throughout the hotel.
F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda occasionally used the hotel as their home and social playground. Fitzgerald's love of the hotel was so well-known, it is said that Hemingway once advised him to 'give his liver to Princeton and his heart to the Plaza.' Pictured here is the Fitzgerald Suite, which was constructed in 2013 and is available at $2,295 per night.
The suite was unveiled after the release of 'The Great Gatsby' film and was designed in a dramatic art-deco style by costume designer and co-producer Catherine Martin. It features a cosy writer's nook, wall coverings from Martin's home, and a front door that mimics the film's logo.
Though it had previously made appearances in movies, the hotel's film debut was in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 classic, 'North by Northwest.' According to the hotel's history archives, this was the first time a crew, director, and cast assembled on-site at The Plaza to make a movie instead of filming it at a Hollywood soundstage off-site.
The Palm Court, which serves breakfast, tea, bar bites, and evening cocktails, served as the setting for many popular novels and films, most notably Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby.'
Its stunning Grand Ballroom soon set the scene for some of entertainment's most famous events and wildest parties.
It was where Truman Capote hosted his legendary Black and White Ball in 1966. All guests were required to wear masks, as he felt this would let them do what they liked. At midnight, the disguises would be removed and the party would continue on.
The hotel also featured what was once known as the Persian Room -- a legendary nightclub that played host to guests like Bob Hope and Liza Minnelli. Today it has been transformed into The Rose Club, which features plush velvet seating, live music, cocktails, and an epicurean menu.
The Champagne Bar overlooks Fifth Avenue and the Pulitzer Fountain and is reminiscent of the hotel's Champagne Porch, which stood in the same location and was once the most exclusive of The Plaza's dining venues. Legendary figures who have eaten there include the Prince of Wales and Diamond Jim Brady.
Today, the hotel continues to impress with its grandeur. There are a variety of suites for guests to choose from, including the Plaza Terrace Suites -- one-bedroom duplexes with private outdoor terraces and a marble master bathroom. The suites start at $2,945 a night.
The Royal Plaza Suite offers 4,490 square feet of space and starts at $25,000 per night. Highlights include a grand piano, formal dining room, private elevator access, and a library stocked with hand-selected books by publisher Prosper Assouline.
The hotel also recently added new Legacy Suites. One of them is the Hardenbergh Terrace Suite, which features 2,100 square feet of space, extraordinary views of Central Park, and a private terrace for guests to enjoy at a starting rate of $15,000 per night.
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