Arrival/Check-In: “Welcome to The Plaza.” It’s a greeting I savor no matter how many times I hear it. There’s something heartwarming about pulling up to the curb in front of the iconic New York City hotel and knowing you’re checking in for the evening. Although a $450 million renovation and restoration (2005–2008) resulted in a new lobby configuration that is, perhaps, a bit less dramatic than its original layout, the upside is the Champagne Bar, a welcoming bistro-like setting where guests and visitors alike congregate to sip Champagne and specialty drinks, warm up with a cappuccino, snack on light bites or indulge in dessert. Passing through on the way to the front desk, it’s difficult to resist the urge to linger awhile.
Guest Quarters: As I stepped into my two-room suite, done in tones of cream, beige and gold, I was immediately embraced by the Louis XV-inspired décor. The sitting room featured two armchairs and a sofa (convertible to a queen-sized bed) centered on an oval coffee table. A spacious desk positioned in front of double windows provided a comfortable place to work with a view of the cityscape below. An expansive wall-mounted flat-screen television presided over the room. There was a powder room near the entrance. A marble bar top was set with silver service including an ice bucket and tray, and a butler’s pantry was equipped with a microwave oven, a wet bar and an under-counter refrigerator.
Two doorways flanking the wall holding the television opened to a delightful king-sized bedroom with a cubby hole-like seating area, adorable and inviting with a comfortable reading chair and ottoman. Side tables flanked the bed, which stood opposite a long bureau and another wall-mounted television. A dressing room opened on one side to a large closet and on the other side to a magnificent bathroom with a deep soaking tub and, the pièce de résistance, 24-karat gold-plated fixtures gracing white marble vanities. The bath was stocked with Caudalíe amenities, the same brand featured in the on-site spa.
Services/Amenities: Finding the on-site fitness center can be tricky, but it’s worth the effort. Equipment includes several ellipticals and treadmills; recumbent, upright and e-Spin bikes; and free weights and Cybex machines. The on-site Caudalíe Vinothérapie Spa is an oasis of relaxation. In addition to the Champagne Bar, dining options include The Palm Court, known for its Afternoon Tea. Be sure to make time for a visit to The Rose Club, a short flight of stairs up from the lobby; it’s the perfect spot for people-watching while sipping a cocktail or joining in conversation around the bar. While the legendary Oak Bar was not open during my visit, I understand plans are in place to re-open the hotel’s signature watering hole. While they didn’t make the GT Checklist, a few amenities, including an in-room coffeemaker, are offered upon request. Complimentary in-room WiFi is offered to Fairmont President’s Club members (membership is free), and guests receive one complimentary bottle of water upon check-in.
The Experience: Welcome to The Plaza. Need I say more?
[item check=yes]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item]
[item check=yes]Separate tub and shower[/item]
[item check=yes]Large vanity[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality towels[/item]
[item check=yes]Powerful, unattached hair dryer[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality bed linens[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, flat-screen television[/item]
[item check=yes]Large desk with convenient outlets[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, complimentary laptop safe[/item]
[item]Complimentary in-room WiFi[/item]
[item]Complimentary bottled water[/item]
[item check=yes]Stocked minibar[/item]
[item check=yes]Ample lighting[/item]
[item check=yes]Iron and ironing board[/item]
[item check=yes]On-site restaurant[/item]
[item check=yes]24-hour room service[/item]
[item check=yes]24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center[/item]
[item check=yes]Turn-down service[/item]
The Plaza Hotel New York
Fifth Avenue at Central Park South
New York, NY 10019
tel 212 759 3000
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 24 key metrics to determine the best destinations for an upcoming Oktoberfest celebration. The brand’s study found the estimated cost for an American to attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, is $5,000. Munich boasts a $1.43 billion annual economic impact on Munich. During Oktoberfest, nearly 2 million gallons of beer are consumed and more than 510,000 whole roast chickens eaten.
Qantas will start using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its Sydney–Santiago route starting in late June 2020.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
On Location Experiences makes it easy for travelers to head to London or Mexico City for upcoming NFL games. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hosts the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders Oct. 6, and the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Oct. 13; Wembley Stadium hosts the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams Oct. 27, and the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars Nov. 3; and Estadio Azteca hosts the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers Nov. 18.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Hotel brands all over the world have pushed for sustainability. For many, it began with reducing single-use plastics, like straws. InterContinental recently announced the end of in-room miniature toiletries.