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“looks like a 5 star -- acts like a HIlton. And Eloise is a nuisance, after all” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Plaza Hotel

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The Plaza Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, New York City, NY 10019 (Midtown)   |  
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Ranked #165 of 464 Hotels in New York City
Certificate of Excellence 2014
columbus, ohio
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“looks like a 5 star -- acts like a HIlton. And Eloise is a nuisance, after all”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2010

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.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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chicago
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2009

Excellent location, good service and warm atmosphere! The staff was delightful and very friendly. I look forward to come back one day. Overall pleasant and romantic experience!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Phoenix
Top Contributor
195 reviews 195 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
129 helpful votes 129 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2009

I've always wanted to stay at The Plaza so this was a "must do" on my list. However there are mixed emotions about our stay. We spent three nights here to celebrate our 36th anniversary. When we arrived we were told we had been upgraded from a 5th Avenue Suite to a Terrace Suite for the same price. That was nice. The suite reminded me of a spacious townhouse since it is on two floors. There are wooden floors, wooden stairs and railings, luxurious furnishings and decorations, 2 large flat screen tvs, gold plated faucets, a heated masterbath floor, etc. just to mention a few! There were a few stains on the area carpet in the bedroom that appeared to be from the mini bar in the bedroom - drippings to the bed. There was a butler for our use on our floor and I believe there is one on every floor to serve your every need. The walls are a little thin and there was a problem with the people next door making a lot of noise (stomping and running ) on the wooden floors and steps. Security came to our rescue and allowed us some peace and quiet after that. We were on the penthouse level (20th floor) and so it took a while at time for the elevator to reach us and to then reach the lobby with all the floors in between. We were not told of the breakfast offered by the lobby so we relied on room service. Room service is very expensive with a charge for each order plus a tip added on with a line for you to add an additional tip. For example, an order of eggs benedict and a hamburger gave us a total of $100. room service food was just ok - nothing to rave about and once it was delivered cold. We were disappointed that they no longer offer Sunday brunch. We did have an elegant dinner one evening in the Oak Room - excellent - and it cost us $300 with tip. There is a Rolls Royce owned by the hotel that guests can use free with no advance reservations - first come first served. We never seemed to be first that first evening and then it snowed and the car disappeared (not that I blame them for taking it off the road in that weather). The hotel does have a magnificent location right there by Central Park and 5th Avenue, but it didn't live up to our expectations. The staff was nice enough and very accommodating, but there is something lacking. I doubt that we'll stay here again.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2009

I stayed for 6 nights when I visited NYC for business and this is not a bad hotel. My room was very comfortable but the carpet in my room had lots of stains which I don't think is acceptable in this price range. My first morning in the hotel I went to the gym which was absolutely appalling! There was nobody there and the gym was tiny and had almost no equipment at all. Luckily I was alone since it was early in the morning but the gym was really a joke a and the residential builiding where I live has a far superior gym for the tenants.

The location is perfect, next to central park and close enough to walk to most places in mid-town. In the morning as I left the gym the hotel provided free fruits and water which was a nice touch. Breakfast in the lobby was a small but lovely brunch with lots of nice berries and I really enjoyed my breakfasts. Staff were very professional and efficient but not friendly (but I guess that's NY).

Overall by no means a bad experience but not perfect either (especially considering the price tag) and I will probably try my luck somewhere else next time I go to New York.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Washington, DC
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2009

After reading some of the more current reviews, I have to question if their standards are not a bit too exacting (and trust me, I am critical). My stay during the late summer was a fantastic experience. The service was excellent, exquisite room with no flaws, the butler would check periodically on his own volition to see if I needed anything. I will agree that the breakfast in the lobby is a bit unusual, but with the large open lobby, I thought it was pleasant. Rooms do not have the best views, as those have been given to the condominium units, but at the end of the day, it is still the Plaza. More beautiful than ever with the renovation and a true luxury retreat.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Boston
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2009

After a long conversation on the phone with a reservations assistant, and after carefully reviewing the descriptions on the internet, I selected an Edwardian Suite with 1000 square feet, a living room with a sofa, and pocket doors between the living area and the bedroom. Well, they put us in a room that they insisted was in fact an Edwardian Suite, but it matched identically the description of the next lower tier suite that was several hundred dollars less--no pocket doors, about 700 sq feet, no room for a sofa. They moved us after one night (were sold out the first night), but did not refund the difference in price. The first night was uncomfortable as we had no privacy from the children and the rollaway beds barely fit in the room, and they were saggy. The next night, the REAL Edwardian suite was lovely. But we had to go to the trouble of moving and really didn't get to enjoy it. There were some other problems: no chicken fingers for the kids (ran out for two days!) though eventually they cooked some from scratch for us (shouldn't have been that hard!) And, after eating ONLY hotel food the whole day, I got a mild case of food poisoning in the middle of the second night, which kept me up for several hours. Luckily I was ok again the next day. I think it must have been the salad I ordered.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The World
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2009

After a five-day, four-night Thanksgiving weekend at the Plaza, a re-reading of previous reviews reveals both the good and the not-so-good both have it pretty right. Yes, a gorgeous, Beau-Arts hotel in an absolutely fabulous and matchless location. And yes, after only a couple of years following the ground-to-roof renovation, the carpets in the rooms are not pristine. But the culprit here is not housekeeping but the (in-hindsight) choice of the vanilla creme color of the carpet. Our junior suite definitely had some "shadows" showing in the short but plush pile. I wouldn't call them stains, but disappointing none the less. However, the room verged on being spectacular in the aforementioned creme, and white and gold. The marble bathroom was large and the towels large and soft. What the Plaza offers with the incredible location, wonderful service that was, in our case, very consistent, and luxury surroundings simply cannot be matched anywhere else in NYC. I downrate by one star only for the poor choice in carpet color and the need to pull these up and replace with a more forgiving tone. The in-hotel associated but not owned Oak Room restaurant is a bit problematical; a separate review was submitted on a holiday dinner of mixed results.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Plaza Hotel

Address: Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, New York City, NY 10019
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Midtown , Manhattan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#25 Spa Hotel in New York City
#104 Romantic Hotel in New York City
#107 Business Hotel in New York City
#112 Luxury Hotel in New York City
#168 Family Hotel in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Plaza Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 282
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

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