New Yorkers and travelers to the Big Apple are in the mood to celebrate, as the city reopens with all the flair and verve Gotham is world-famous for. Iconic attractions are reawakening with gusto, and new attractions are equally eager to welcome and delight visitors.
Champagne is flowing again at The Plaza Hotel’s celebrated Palm Court as guests toast the city’s rebirth and reblooming. Elegant, spacious rooms and specialty suites with Beaux Arts décor await guests with posh features that include sparkling chandeliers, oversized linens, plush robes, toiletries by Guerlain, 24-carat gold-plated faucets, and daily room service.
Amazing Museum Exhibits
New York City’s legendary museums have reopened with spectacular exhibitions to spark awe and inspire, and the city’s gardens are getting in on the fun too. The colorful, often floral-inspired monumental sculptures of Japanese modern artist Yayoi Kusama’s “Cosmic Nature” exhibition are wowing visitors at the New York Botanical Garden this summer.
Meanwhile, The American Museum of Natural History has unveiled a makeover of its Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals that dazzles. It’s hard not to marvel at the museum’s more than 5,000 pieces, such as the 632-carat Patricia emerald, the 563-carat Star of India sapphire and the Tarugo, a massive cranberry-colored elbaite tourmaline. One of the largest mineral crystals ever discovered intact, the Tarugo is also of remarkably high quality.
This summer calls for a family outing to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and its vast treasure trove of art and artifacts. Don’t miss the Cantor Roof Garden’s whimsical piece, “As Long as the Sun Lasts,” by Alex Da Corte, a large blue Alexander Calder-esque sculpture of Big Bird of “Sesame Street” fame clutching an orange ladder and perched on a yellow crescent moon.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
There’s no better base than The Plaza for the perfect summer weekend in New York City. The hotel’s Celebrations Return experience is designed to celebrate the milestones put on hold during the past year and a half, from honeymoons to family reunions. With the Celebrations Return experience, The Plaza makes the moments you’ve missed extra special with an upgrade at check-in and a welcome amenity geared to the occasion you’ve been dreaming of celebrating.
Champagne flutes are chiming once again in celebration as The Plaza’s The Champagne Bar reopens exclusively for hotel guests. From 6 am to 6 pm, you can nosh and sip while enjoying The Champagne Bar’s delightfully elegant ambience and superb Fifth Avenue views. During the day, you can tuck into freshly baked pastries and light gourmet fare and refuel with rich specialty coffees. At night, you can indulge in top-notch Champagnes and wines or nibble exquisite caviars.
When you tailor your Plaza experience to your preferences, you’ll revel in an exclusive, intimate setting created just for you and your family and/or guests. Select from experiences like an Eloise in-suite birthday tea party, and in-suite private dining soirées. Or celebrate an engagement, decking the setting with gorgeous florals to make your love swoon.
You’ll give the ultimate birthday party when you book the Plaza’s Home Alone 2 Experience. Both children and grown-ups get to indulge in childhood dreams and live like the movie’s Kevin McCallister, enjoying a private four-hour limo ride around the city.
Our littlest guests about to enjoy a limo ride to tour New York City à la Home-Alone-2-style
The Home Alone 2 limo trip comes complete with a large, hot and tasty cheese pizza to nosh on while you take in all the major landmarks like the Empire State Building, Central Park and Radio City Music Hall. Then you’ll be whisked back to The Plaza to dig into a decadent sundae piled high with 16 scoops of ice cream and divine toppings like whipped cream and brownie bits.
Ice Cream Sundae from Home Alone 2 Experience
Instant Classic NYC Outings
Downtown beckons near Madison Square Park, as the new Harry Potter flagship store casts a spell over fans visiting from around the world. In addition to much-coveted Harry Potter clothing, collectibles and accessories, the store features virtual reality experiences, a Butterbeer bar and a wand shop, with more than 50 wands and an interactive wand table.
Afterward, why not spend the afternoon celebrating nature at the new Little Island floating park and botanic garden at Pier 55 on the Hudson River? Little Island, designed to resemble a leaf floating on water, offers eye-catching appeal and Instagrammable features. This lush getaway’s white tulip-shaped pods perched on multi-level columns create a mesmerizing wavy effect.
You can take in Little Island’s abundant flora while exploring its pathways and views and enjoy live music, dance and plays in the amphitheater. The little ones haven’t been forgotten. Let them get creative with the arts activities, a scramble up kid-sized boulders or by checking out the Little Library. Garden-inspired cocktails offer refreshment for the grown-ups, and everyone can nibble on an array of treats from avocado toast and salads to hot dogs and Reuben sandwiches.
Relax and Recharge
A new generation is discovering The Plaza’s Palm Court tea service, a hot ticket for the smart set since 1907. They’re dressing up for tea with friends, relishing the Palm Court’s exquisite tiers of homemade scones, tea sandwiches and decadent desserts, all elevated with a New York twist. The Palm Court, which is also famous for its martinis, has reopened for all-day service including breakfast in the morning, as well as in the evenings for classic and specialty cocktails and, of course, sparkling conversation.
The Palm Court
The ability to relax and recharge again is an excellent reason to celebrate, so it’s the perfect time to indulge in some much-needed pampering. Embrace a tranquil spa experience at The Plaza’s Guerlain Spa, choosing from luxurious treatments like the Black Orchid facial or the Impériale relaxing massage.
For outdoor relaxation, hop onto the ferry at the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan to enjoy a spa afternoon at the new QCNY Spa on Governors Island. On a sunny day, what better way to unwind than with a soothing soak in one of the spa’s outdoor thermal pools surrounded by sweeping views of New York City and the harbor?
There’s much more to explore on Governors Island this summer, including the New York Virtual Volcano Observatory and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts exhibition. Both are in the island’s Nolan Park. Parties of five or more can also feast on a three-course picnic dinner with wine by booking a reservation with MP Summer Dinners on Governors Island.
Whether you’re traveling from the metro area or farther afield, The Plaza has crafted a seamless celebratory experience for you. Grand style awaits you, whether you select a classic King room or one of the Legacy Suites, such as the Carnegie partial park view one-bedroom suite or the Grand Penthouse two-bedroom terrace suite.
A Memorable Experience Awaits
The Plaza is an eternally popular stop for West Coasters on their way to Europe. So, as sunny getaways like Greece and Croatia are reopening, The Plaza is offering guests in-suite COVID PCR testing to help make your trip as seamless and carefree as possible.
The Plaza looks forward to reopening more of its storied venues and bringing the arts and live entertainment back to the hotel over the coming months. Through it all, the comfort, convenience and safety of guests remain first and foremost in importance. The Plaza is dedicated to ensuring guests’ long-anticipated celebrations are worth the wait and among their most cherished memories.
Eva Leonard is a New York City-based freelance journalist who writes about travel, food, and design and has traveled to more than 45 countries. The best trip she has ever taken was to see her family after she and they received their COVID-19 vaccinations after being separated for more than a year and a half.