We travel to NY a lot, and like to splurge on hotels, but as a family had never had the "Plaza" experience, so we booked a suite last week. The public rooms, and our suite, post renovation, were gorgeous. The service was overall terrible (housekeeping excepted). Our diagnosis -- understaffed and undertrained to compete with the best level of hotel service. Examples: we booked a fairly expensive suite -- it wasn't ready though we arrived well after the check in time. I had a real problem -- a scheduled business conference call and when I asked the (very young) front desk staff to find me a place -- any corner -- to take they callfor an hour they said there was nothing they could do. Their best offer? The "business center" which is a tiny windowless hallway with several desks in the open, no privacy, poor cell service, no staff.
I asked my assistant to get on the phone and figure this all out while I took the call. She was frustrated also -- when she asked for a manager she was routed to Housekeeping! finally, she got us into a room probably even nicer than the one we booked, and it was quite beautiful. BUT then cam the elevators.
The first evening, we waited 10 minutes for an elevator (not exaggerating, before walking down 11 floors) to get out for dinner. coming in at night, not quite so bad, but always five minutes or so, with crowds piling up and getting frustrated. Concierge service, friendly but overwhelmed: I neede something printed, and the concierge did it for me but sympathized about the time involved to get it to me -- yes the elevators were slow and crowded so it would take the bellman a long time to get it to me; if I came to get it myself, the line to get the concierge would be long. Her solution - stand in the line, but wave to her and she would come find me! Everyone was nice; they just weren't inclined or equipped to go that extra mile that you expect from a fine, expensive hotel. and the famous butlers -- we tried twice to reach him and got patched through to the front desk and never got calls back.
Finally, while the renovation has brought some good things, it has created some negatives as well. All the park view rooms have (understandably) been reserved for private residences, along wit the historic lobby, so Eloise fans miss that part. The Palm Court is dead -- cordoned off and looks like a sad hilton meeting room after the party is over. There are several other fine hotels on the park that offer park views for comparable $$ and much better service. Also, they have over-branded themselves as the Eloise Hotel, and so there is lots of Eloise commerce and a retail mall that sets a tone that Eloise would have been delighted to disrupt. We wish she had.
Overall, if you can get in a beautiful room for the price of a Hilton, do it. But not if you have to pay more, and not if you are in a hurry for anything.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Striking the balance between its storied past and limitless future, The Plaza is the ultimate New York City luxury lifestyle destination - an iconic urban resort with a new and contemporary spirit. While traditions remain, such as the opulent grandeur of the Beaux Arts decor and the iconic Afternoon Tea in The Palm Court, exciting new offerings at this legendary hotel include the elegant Champagne Bar, the stylish Rose Club, and The Plaza Food Hall. The Plaza Hotel offers 282 distinctive guestrooms, including 102 luxurious suites, which boast the largest square footage of any luxury hotel in New York City. From the sumptuous decor to the impeccable white glove service, The Plaza is an extraordinary hotel that offers every indulgence. For our suite guests, The Plaza is pleased to offer Butler Service 24 hours a day. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Plaza New York City
- Plaza Hotel New York City