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New York's Famed Plaza Hotel Reopens

By Janet Walker

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The famed New York Plaza Hotel recently reopened in an elegant and yet understated ribbon cutting ceremony that marked the end of a three-year, 400 million dollar, renovation project restoring this local treasure to its former grand style.

The Plaza Hotel repoens with a ribbon cutting ceremony. AP

Included in the opening ceremony, held on the Plaza’s front steps, were approximately four hundred well-wishers, tourists, and media. After the ribbon cutting ceremony, these guests were given the grand tour of the new and improved Plaza Hotel.

Tourists, well-wishers and media welcome the reopening of The Plaza. AP

The renovations gutted the inside of the 100 year-old landmark and over the next three years the overhaul resulted in the restoration of both the interior and the exterior to incorporate an historic charm and elegance with all the modern conveniences and luxuriousness one would expect from the Plaza.

The Plaza renovations included changes to the exterior.

The 400 million dollar renovation investment resulted in the removal of 500 rooms from the original design and incorporated suites and residences overlooking an equally famous New York City landmark, Central Park.

New York's Famed Plaza Hotel.

The last time the public had seen the inside of the Plaza hotel was during the famous Plaza Garage Sale that allowed New York City residents, some who waited in line for hours, a chance to own their very own piece of the Plaza. The sale that ran for about a week and sold everything right down to the moldings off the wall.

The changes to the Plaza hotel include full restoration of the famed Palm Court where afternoon tea will still be served complete with white glove service. The Oak Room and Oak Bar traditions will open in spring 2008. The Plaza is continuing the renovations with a late spring 2008 opening of The Champagne Bar and The Rose Club.

The Palm Court's grand entrance where afternoon tea will still be served. AP

The Plaza's Grand Ballroom, the setting for more than one famous wedding and reception including the late President Nixon's daughter, Julie, Peter Lawford and Patricia Kennedy and the famous Black and White Ball hosted by Truman Capote, received a complete make-over restoring the Ballroom to its original detailing and lavish splendor.

The late Katherine Graham, publisher of The Washington Post, and writer Truman Capote attend the famous Black and White Ball.

The Plaza hotel will offer 282 distinctive guestrooms, including 152 residences, each offering full service amenities; 24/7 room service, health and wellness facilities and a staff who are trained in the art of exquisite care. The attentions to detail by a world renowned team of service experts guarantee that each guest has more than just a stay at the Plaza. They guarantee each guest will experience the Plaza. 

White Glove turn down service. AP

The century old landmark has evolved to become a world renowned address known only by its name, The Plaza. Situated on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 59th Street the Plaza is one corner away from Manhattan’s famous four corners, at 57th and Fifth Avenue, the home to Tiffany’s, Harry Winston, Bergdorf’s and Van Cleef & Arpel’s.  It is a US Historic Landmark built in 1907 by Henry Hardenbergh and Thomas Hastings.  

The Plaza has been the setting of choice by Hollywood on numerous occasions with a few of its more famous films being Home Alone 2:Lost in New York, It Could Happen to You, Big Business, They Way We Were and the Alfred Hitchcock thriller, North By NorthWest. The Plaza was once owned by another famous New York icon, famed New York real estate developer, Donald Trump.

The Plaza is open and tours are available. For information on The Plaza:http://www.fairmont.com/thePlaza

Photos where indicated courtsey of Diane Bondareff, The Associated Press.

Published on Apr 02, 2011

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