"When New York falls in love with you, you’re doing something right," says Luigi Romaniello, the managing director of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. "There’s an emotional attachment between New Yorkers and the Plaza. It’s not just about the history of the hotel, but it’s significance to New York City. The Plaza grew up with the city; it’s been here since 1907 and since it’s a castle on Central Park, people here have taken a lot of ownership over it through the years. Almost everyone has a story about the Plaza."
He's not kidding. The storied hotel has been the setting for countless real-life celebrations and has been immortalized in cultural touchstones from The Great Gatsby to North By Northwest and even Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. But the 282-room hotel isn't just part of the landscape, it's still among the city's most glamorous and in-demand places to stay.
Here, Romaniello shares the details about his own favorite room and the deceptively simple activity he'd recommend to royals and regular guests alike.
What do you consider to be the best room at the property and why?
If I had to ask guests, there would be so many answers! There’s the Eloise Suite and the Fitzgerald Suite, which feels like being back in the Jazz Age, and all of these suites with such personality. For me personally, though, it would have to be the Grand Penthouse Two Bedroom Terrace Suite. It’s on the top floor of the hotel, right underneath that famous roof, and is set between two levels connected by a beautiful staircase. There’s a gorgeous terrace that overlooks the skyline, and there are views of Central Park as well, and it gives you a sense of being entirely alone at the top of New York City.
How much does it cost per night?
The starting rate for the Grand Penthouse Two Bedroom Terrace Suite is $35,000 per night.
How would you describe the guests and the vibe at the hotel?
The hotel fuels the type of clientele and vice versa. So much of the energy of the hotel comes from the interesting guests who come our way; they’re fabulous and inspiring. When you’re here, you notice everyone feels a bit elevated—there’s a sense of importance that being within these walls gives you—so the guests are all happy to be here. And they’re very friendly, because you never know who it is you’re talking to—it’s always going to be someone fascinating.
What feeling about New York City do you hope to impart to guests?
We like to stay genuine and have a real sense of place for our guests. Just like New York City itself, there’s a legacy and tradition here, but we’re also very creative and are always looking to do the unexpected. That can seem like a paradox, but it’s quite powerful. Recently, we were celebrating the US Open and you saw it everywhere: there were beautiful dancing tennis balls in the flowers, the afternoon tea was influenced, there were honeydew balls in the cocktails at night. We always try to make New York City proud.
What’s a local attraction that you always recommend?
Of course, we’re steps away from amazing restaurants, shopping, and museums. We have a concierge team that can help you with anything you might want to do. But the best thing to do in my opinion is appreciate the beauty and the simplicity of the area around the Plaza and have a picnic in Central Park. You’re there in an oasis in the middle of the city, and as normal as it might seem, once you’re there you get the sense of being somewhere truly special—especially when we have a butler go over to help out.
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