Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

A Love Letter to New York City + the Plaza Hotel

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Dear New York,

You and I, we have a history. I was just 15 when we first met, a mere child in retrospect, and yet I knew I would one day call you my own.

Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

That day came when I was 22 years old. A job in Knoxville fell through, and I found myself unemployed, a newly minted graduate with a communications degree, which are a dime a dozen, and directionless. You seemed like a worthy, first post-college summer fling.

And what a summer we had! We burned the midnight oil in Greenwich Village, attended concerts on Randalls Island, napped off hangovers in Central Park, took weekend jaunts to Coney Island and soaked up every minute of our time together. And then summer was over, and we parted ways amicably, the mature way all short-lived flings should draw to a close.

Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

But that was hardly the end of you and me.

I came crawling back, as women are wont to do, a year later. This time, I did so with a signed letter of employment at Time Inc. and we had another 18 months together.

Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

And nearly a decade after leaving you for good, New York, you’re still my favorite friend with benefits.

This past month, we had such a tryst, but this time it was with my husband in tow—the one I left you for so long ago. He and I had a history with you, as well; after all, it was that same Easter weekend a decade prior that he asked me to move to California to live with him. I remember that dinner so clearly; we were at one of my favorite spots—Union Square Café, in case you were wondering—and I was equal parts scared, excited and gobsmacked. In the end, I went because I knew you and I were not meant to be long-term, that this was a relationship better left as good friends.

Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

And in all the times he and I have enjoyed your beauty together, we’ve done so from the comfort of friends’ couches. We’d never actually gotten to enjoy you to your fullest, and that’s by making our base in one of your iconic landmarks like the Plaza Hotel.

Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

But there’s a first time for everything, and if we were going to do the Plaza Hotel, by George, we were going to do it right—straight to the very top, in fact, in a suite on the 19th floor.

Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Our ears popped as we ascended all those floors on that opulent elevator, and we stepped onto the floor to find it peacefully quiet, a novelty for a hotel situated right in the epicenter of all the action in Manhattan. We opened the door to our palatial suite to find that it just kept going and going—and going some more.

Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

It must have been double the square footage of my last humble abode in Hell’s Kitchen that I shared with two others. New York, had I lived in an apartment like this during my two years as a resident of yours, you and I might have lasted longer than we did (though, ultimately, I would have likely left you for the glitz and glamour of the Plaza).

Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

The Plaza, she is a seductress. She lures you in with her gilded touches and gorgeous natural light and entices you to stay for a while. Unfortunately, we only had but a night, so bathe in her glory we did; despite her prime location right on the southern rim of Central Park, we didn’t leave for 20 hours after we checked in.

Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City
Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City
Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

I’d been to the Plaza before, but this was my first time there as her guest, a brief but excited tenant doing my best to pretend that I, too, belonged there. I knew her glorious Plaza Food Hall on the level below the lobby was an epicure’s dream destination—in fact, I’d been there on multiple occasions to snack on macarons and gelato—and that her jazz in the Rose Club was a throwback to the times of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda. Those two lovers—not unlike you and me, New York—even stayed here, too, perhaps even in the very suite that SVV and I inhabited.

Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

For those hoping to imitate our own fleeting fling with NYC—or even that of the revered writers—the Fitzgeralds have their own “Love Letter from The Plaza” package that includes a pair of plush robes, the Plaza’s signature champagne flutes, bath salts, a book of love letters between F. Scott and Zelda, a bottle of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, a $100 food and beverage credit, and a dozen roses in room.

Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

“You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest, and most beautiful person I have ever known, and even that is an understatement,” said F. Scott to Zelda.

The same could be said for the Plaza. It’s easy to see why she’s become such a statement piece, such a style icon among the hundreds of other hotels that claim Manhattan zip codes.
Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

And I loved every minute of my peek into the bygone era of my first lover, New York, via the Plaza Hotel, the Roaring Twenties vibe its lounges like the Rose Club embody and the myriad architectural details dating back to the Age of Enlightenment. But all good affairs must come to an end, so after but a night, part ways we did, somewhat sorrowfully.

Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Until next time, Plaza Hotel. And as for you, New York, you know I’ll be back for more … eventually.

Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

xo,

Kristin

This trip was in partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts on behalf of Travel Mindset.

 

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Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City
Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City
Staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York City
COMMENTS
  • May 23, 2017

    Hey, I just got this post in random. Newyork is one of my favorite places. I visited it during my schooling summer holidays. Its been a long time and this post remembered me of those days.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • May 23, 2017
    Elli Esher

    I’m transferring to a college in New York this fall. Can’t wait to explore this place once I get there! Thanks for pointing it out, and for using one of my favorite Fitzgerald quotes. 😉

    • May 26, 2017

      Oh, that’s so exciting, Elli! Where are you going? Where will you live?

  • May 23, 2017

    I need to plan a NY trip soon! Looks like a great place to stay!

    • May 26, 2017

      It’s one of those is-this-real-life? type of hotel experiences!

  • May 23, 2017

    What a lovely way to describe your love for New York! It’s a gorgeous city!

    • May 26, 2017

      Thanks, Dominique! I assume you’ve been there then?

      • May 26, 2017

        New York City is actually the only place I have been in the US. Seven years ago, I watched the ball drop and I explored the city for a few days 🙂

  • May 25, 2017

    Good post . Nice to see the amazing hotel . the pictures was great . loved it .
    http://rodeoconcierge.com/a-typical-day-in-rodeo-drive/

  • May 25, 2017

    Nice City & Nice Hotel.
    Very comfort if could visit NY someday

  • May 27, 2017

    What a beautiful post.. you actually make me miss New York – even though I never really lived there! I really like your photography style too – it perfectly matches the charm and classic elegance of the Plaza. I hope you had a wonderful trip back to New York and here’s to many more! Thanks for sharing your experience, Ellie

    • May 28, 2017

      That’s the ultimate compliment, Ellie! It’s definitely a tough city to live in and I prefer it as a tourist, I think 😉

  • May 28, 2017

    I love the way you’ve written this! It’s always fun to think about our relationships with various cities that we visit or live in for a short period of time. I’m assuming you prefer the sunshine of California now?

    • May 28, 2017

      I’ve actually been back in Tennessee for going on six years and prefer the greenery and wide open spaces over both NY and California 😉

  • May 28, 2017

    I love the letter style of this post! It brings you right into your head and the experience you’re sharing with us. Well done! And what a pretty little place to stay – Fairmont always does it up right!

    Best,
    Rebecca

  • May 28, 2017

    I love this. It’s such a creative way of writing a blog post…genius, in fact. I feel exactly the same way about NYC as you do. The first time I visited, the city left a profound mark on me and I always dream of going back there for more.

  • May 28, 2017

    I have never quite fallen for New York like I have other cities, but I think a stay at the Plaza could change that super quick!

  • May 28, 2017

    I love this!! I lived in New York for a little while too, and there’s no dentin going it has something special about it that makes it like nowhere else in the world!

  • May 29, 2017

    I love the way this is written! Awesome humour 🙂

  • May 30, 2017

    Such a lovely post, it looks like you had such a great time in NYC! And that hotel just looks SO romantic!

  • May 30, 2017

    I love this!!!! We always stay at whatever priceline deal we can get in New York, but I have such romanticized visions of The Plaza. In fact, my parents stayed there on their wedding night back in 1974 🙂

  • August 18, 2017

    Thanks for sharing, I came across your article by accident. I’m planning a honeymoon with my girl soon and I always wanted to go to NYC, after your article I’m sold!. Is nice to find articles that are so personal, most of the stuff I find about NYC out there was just SEO driven content.

  • September 8, 2017

    I absolutely adore this post!

    I’ve been to the USA of course, but I’ve not yet been to New York!

    I’m one of those people that if I do things for the very first time, I’m absolutely going to do it right, and Manhattan signifies New York to me, more than anywhere else!

    I’ve got a significant birthday coming up next year and this might just be it!

    • September 11, 2017

      Well, NYC is not going anywhere so you have plenty of time! By significant birthday, I take it you mean 30, right? 😉

  • October 20, 2017

    Wow! This hotel seems so charming, lovely and cozy! I would love to stay there at least one night. Thanks for the sincere review!

    • October 21, 2017

      Thanks for stopping by, Agness! It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime hotel experiences that I can’t believe I actually got to experience for myself. I totally felt like Kevin McAllister in Home Alone 2 😉

  • October 25, 2018
    Leslie

    Hello Kristin – My name is Leslie – from Charlotte, NC
    I just discovered your post, OMG this is every feeling I have over my undying love of NYC and The Plaza put into words. I have dined and roamed that glorious hotel and hope, like you to one day be a guest. This is the city and hotel of my dreams, so randomly finding your story was heaven for me. I have encountered others with a love of NYC like me however I have never heard of anyone that could possibly love The Plaza the way I do….I have always taken an annual trip -for the past 15 years my mom and took that annual “Mother/Daughter trip to NYC complete with fine dining/shopping and a broadway show – however last year I lost her suddenly and I now only have memories to sustain me….I love NYC she loved NYC and one day I want that pleasure of being a guest of The Plaza to fulfill my dream/bucket list…In my dreams I am there at Christmas time, just like Kevin in Home Alone 2 …

    Leslie

    • October 26, 2018

      Awww, Leslie, what a sweet story and I’m so sorry about your mom. I hope your memories live on forever and that you’re able to revisit the Plaza with warm, fuzzy feelings of all the times you guys were there together.

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