The recently renovated and still considerably glam Plaza Hotel seemed like the perfect place for a special sleepover with my very own little Eloise. No one loves our children like we do, but The Plaza certainly tries.
Top 5 reasons I love The Plaza with kids:
It’s conveniently located across from Central Park and only one block from FAO Schwartz.
They don’t just “allow” children, they welcome them, and dogs too (as long as they are under 25 pounds.) Eloise’s pug Weenie famously lived at the hotel, I’m not sure if they would allow visiting turtles like Skiperdee, but I have a suspicion they might.
They rooms are big, clean, comfortable and have tubs that allow for easy bathing of messy little ones. There’s nothing worse than landing a room at a swank hotel with only a shower and a toddler who’s freaked out by water cascading over their tiny screaming head.
The house car, a Rolls Royce Phantom will transport you and your brood anywhere within 10 blocks of the hotel. I could become Miss Daisy in a New York minute with a ride like that.
The concierge staff is one of the best I’ve encountered, they will help you to make your stay both at the hotel and in New York one to remember. You can even arrange a babysitter if you choose to leave the wee ones and enjoy a hot night out on the city. At $17/hour it’s truly the best priced babysitting I’ve found in a luxury hotel.
While there was no Mr. Salamone to check us in, the staff was very attentive insisting we not tow our own bags upstairs, a lovely way to start any adventure. Sadly, our first room smelled horribly of cigarette smoke, despite the no smoking rule. Thankfully we were relocated quickly even though the hotel was sold out for the evening. Our 550 square foot deluxe room was a dream of sumptuous linens, cozy robes and the most stunning bathroom I’ve ever seen. Not only are the fixtures truly gold plated but the huge tub took over 30 minutes to fill, had I brought the little boys they certainly would have tried to swim in it.
We booked our room using my American Express platinum card: this gave us an upgrade, $100 food credit, free breakfast and 4:00pm check out. We planned to make great use of every amenity. We checked in around 5:00pm and immediately changed into our robes and ordered up room service. The menu has an adorable offering of Eloise inspired meals that are actually reasonably priced. In true Eloise style however my little princess ordered the steak. Sadly all of the Eloise movies were unavailable for us to view, so we crawled in bed, watched “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?” (I am not) on the plasma TV and dined in style. While the food was excellent the service was slow, they sent up fancy mustard but no ketchup for fries….blasphemy! We had to call twice before we finally got ketchup to go with the cold fries, the staff made a quick apology in the way of a brownie sundae and all was forgiven. The Plaza’s signature bed is so comfortable we stayed in it from the moment we checked in until we woke at the very late hour of 10:00am thanks to the black out shades and sublimely quiet rooms. Much to my surprise the free breakfast that comes with the Platinum package was quite hearty, eggs, bacon, sausage, coffee and juice, all delivered while we snuggled in our cozy robes.
Knowing that we didn’t have to check out until 4pm gave us the entire day to enjoy the hotel and the fabulous stores nearby. We went to the concierge to ask about taking the house car, a Rolls Royce Phantom for our shopping excursion. Hilariously the concierge spoke English as a second language and when I told her we wanted the car to go to Bloomingdales’s she gave me a “card”. Who knew they had discount cards just for the asking? With our bonus 15% off all purchases for the day card we headed out to the front door to see if we could score a sweet ride in the Rolls. The house car is available to all guests on a first come first served basis. The driver couldn’t have been more patient, photographing us endlessly in front of it, near it, in it. We felt like royalty being dropped off at the front of Bloomies, despite the rain we were bone dry. We tipped him $20 for the ride. The driver told us that most people tip, a few don’t’ seem to know they should and occasionally he gets handed a hundie.
It wouldn’t be a trip to New York without a star sighting. While shopping in the children’s department at Bloomingdale’s we ran in to Tori Spelling who was promoting her new line of kid’s clothes and her book. Though my daughter has never seen 90210 she knew who Tori was and was excited to impress her friends with her photo when she went back to school.
After a day of shopping we enjoyed tea for two in the champagne bar, the famous Palm Court is still under renovation. The atmosphere was a little odd being seated in the middle of the lobby, the tea was excellent and when I complained that my daughter stole all of the chocolate covered strawberries a very attentive waiter brought me a whole plate of my very own.
We wandered through the shops and spent some time in the brand new Pink Room store selling all things Eloise, it’s a little hard to find as it’s downstairs but once you’re there a little girl could spend hours playing tea party and sending letters to Eloise in the oversized mailbox.
For a fabulous luxury experience where you can feel completely comfortable bringing children along I highly recommend The Plaza. I was disappointed that they hadn’t capitalized more on the Eloise theme, but I suppose my daughter spilling hot fudge all over the cream carpet in our room and riding around town in a Rolls Royce was the real deal.