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
Travelers interested in the trend of forest bathing have a new resource at their disposal. Forest Bathing Finder is an all-in-one website that connects forest bathing walkers with trained guides. Forest bathing guides list qualifications and venues, routes, walks and payment requirements for browsing forest bathers to then peruse.
oneworld is an alliance of 13 world-leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and connecting you to more than 1,100 destinations around the world.
At FXExpress Publications, Inc., we can’t wait to #ComeBacktoTravel, and we can’t wait for the travel industry and others to #ComeBacktoGT. Take a visual journey through Japan with us.
THERE’S NO DOUBT 2020 HAS BEEN AN UNPRECEDENTED year for the travel industry. As borders begin to reopen and destinations, hotels and airlines around the world prepare to welcome travelers once again, we’re celebrating travel and looking to the future as we congratulate the winners of our eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards. This annual survey honors the best in the world of leisure and lifestyle travel, awarding goods, services, destinations, hotels, airlines and cruises.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
Best Western Hotels & Resorts opened its third Aiden by Best Western. The Aiden brand is designed to give travelers boutique, modern, stylish and locally inspired stay experiences. The new property is situated in Warm Springs, Georgia, adjacent to the Warm Springs Hotel and Event Center.
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Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
Through Sept. 7, guests at M Resort Spa Casino in Las Vegas can enjoy the No Resort Fee Summer promotion. The resort will waive daily resort fees on all reservations, and guests can also take advantage of summer rates beginning as low as $75 per night. Book online or by calling 877 673 7678.