By Kim Taylor
Parents aren’t the only ones who will savor tea at the Plaza, as the hotel offers a charming children’s menu, portraits of its most famous child resident Eloise, and the opportunity to see a real ballroom. With the economy in a downturn, city parents would do well to explore locally – and the autumn leaves of Central Park are just steps away from The Plaza. Whether you crave afternoon tea, or a weekend getaway, this is one of the city’s crown jewel offerings, and after a three-year, $400 million, lobby-to-roof renovation and restoration, it’s ready for your visit.
Once ensconced in an oversized, comfortable blue velvet chair in the Plaza’s airy Palm Court, children can choose a pot of tea (decaf or not) or rich hot chocolate, which is delivered with an eye-popping, tiered tray of fresh scones and butter, tiny finger sandwiches (decrusted, of course), and miniature desserts. Parents will appreciate the fine china, fresh pastries, and artfulness of the sandwiches and desserts. A harpist strums nearby to round out the experience, and the splendor of the setting is complete.
If you want to make a night of it or indulge in an extended weekend stay, the Plaza’s 282 elegant rooms have been renovated and include fine linens, white marble, 24-K gold touches, and a James Bond-esque, wall-mounted portable screen. This touch-screen device can be taken down and carried around to control temperature, lighting, media — and to call for a butler, chef or concierge. If you’re a mover and a shaker, consider this your tool. Recent renovations have rendered the rooms larger at the Plaza, including 10-plus suites, so tell the kids to pack their toys and board games. For more information, visit www.theplaza.com.