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Navigating New York City: A Customized Experience

Thrumming with energy, New York City offers endless activities and stunning autumn colours. If you’re exploring the Big Apple for just a few days, it’s impossible to see it all, even if you adhere to the city’s theme and “never sleep.” So do as the Vanderbilts, F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald and their fellow glitterati did: make The Plaza, a Fairmont Managed Hotel, home for your stay, and shape your city exploration around this centrally-located spot. From palatial splendor to impeccable white-glove service, this historic hotel satisfies every indulgence. The Plaza’s knowledgeable concierge staff can help you choose how to best use your time and make arrangements to ensure a memorable experience.

Opened in 1913, Grand Central Terminal is an architectural marvel

Lunch Time: The Todd English Food Hall
No visit to New York is complete without a meal at The Todd English Food Hall, a European inspired specialty food hall found at The Plaza. From cheese and charcuterie, to noodles and dumplings, the offerings at their nine unique food stations are sure to please even the pickiest eater. After your meal, make sure to wander through The Plaza Food Hall. At 32,000 square feet, this space is home to some of the finest food vendors in the city. Whether you still have room for a quick treat, or simply want to look around, it’s a spot not to be missed!  

Tea Time: Scones and Savories
With the appointment of The Plaza’s new Culinary Director, Geoffrey Zakarian, comes the relaunch of the hotel’s famed Afternoon Tea. Afternoon Tea at The Plaza is a quintessential New York experience. If you happen to be the mood for Asian-inspired tea, Radiance Tea House & Books provides a calm retreat from the city’s bustle. Browse the shop’s more than 100 loose-leaf tea varieties, including rare Pu’er tea. The Plaza’s concierge can arrange a private Chinese Tea Ceremony for you. Pair your tea with handmade steamed dumplings, soba noodles and rice balls. Or opt for a specialty dessert, such as jasmine tea-scented walnut cookies with vanilla ice cream.

Afternoon tea treats 

Tour Time: By Foot
Gain a new perspective on America’s most celebrated park during a private “Seeing Central Park” tour with Sara Cedar Miller, Central Park Conservancy’s premier historian and photographer. Whether it’s gardens, wildlife, architecture or another subject, Miller will customize the experience based on your interests. If you book The Plaza’s Seeing Central Park Package, you’ll also receive an autographed copy of one of Miller’s books.  Members of Fairmont President’s Club will receive a complimentary cocktail at The Rose Club or The Champagne Bar.

Belvedere Castle provides wonderful views of Central Park

Treat Time: Cupcakes and Macarons
Sweet Revenge is likely the country’s only cupcake, beer and wine bar. Intermingling art and science, owner Marlo Scott pairs imported wine and beer with gourmet cupcakes to create winning combinations. Try the Crimson & Cream cupcake with a Raspberry Bellini or the signature Sweet Revenge cupcake with a glass of Callia Malbec.

On West Broadway, in trendy SoHo, a stop at Ladurée is a must. This jewel box of a shop reminds visitors of a Parisian patisserie, with its rainbow-colored confections, antique furnishings and vintage-style wallpaper. Select a box of fresh airy macarons, flown in daily from Paris. The array of decadent flavors includes pistachio, rose petal, salted caramel and New York-exclusive cinnamon raisin. If you’re out with the kids, stop at Sugar & Plumm for hand-made chocolate, cupcakes, ice cream and everything in between.   

Ladurée macarons: exquisite harmony of beauty and taste

Cocktail Time: Champagne, Caviar and Jazz
The Champagne Bar at The Plaza overlooks the famed Pulitzer Fountain of F. Scott Fitzgerald's exploits, and is the perfect spot to sample caviar while sipping the world’s finest Champagne. Guests savor classic cocktails and live jazz on Wednesday and Thursday evenings in The Rose Club, which once hosted Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Liza Minnelli in its previous incarnation as the legendary Persian Room.

From creation to presentation, Apotheke, in Chinatown, has turned the cocktail into an art. Inspired by European apothecaries and absinthe dens, the elegant space is furnished with antique sofas and small tables. Hundreds of Old-World medicine bottles line shelves behind the 30-foot Carrara marble bar where Apotheke’s mixologists create their exotic libations. Each cocktail on their “Prescription List” is crafted from local and organic ingredients, including herbs grown in their rooftop garden. Each cocktail is presented in a unique Austrian crystal glass.

Shopping Time: Vintage Treasures
There are many fantastic designer boutiques near The Plaza, but New York shopping offers so much more. For a change in pace, visit Collier West in Brooklyn, with its array of unusual home décor and gift items designed by artisans from around the world. Explore the curated selection of antique and vintage furniture, fine art, and just about anything else you can imagine and desire. Don’t miss a chance to wander through Bauman Rare Books on Madison Avenue. David and Natalie Bauman’s antiquarian book firm has been in business more than 40 years. The continually changing inventory encompasses more than 4,000 rare books, maps and prints. And Greenwich Letterpress offers a charming alternative to email and text messages. Located in the West Village on Christopher Street, this delightful shop offers a unique line of letterpress greeting cards.

To arrange your own customized experience, contact The Plaza’s concierge in advance at

Holly Bowne is a freelance writer based in Michigan. She specializes in travel, parenting, health & wellness topics. Her work has appeared in regional, national and online publications.

Where Fiction Meets Reality: London & New York 


Photo Credits
Grand Central Terminal Exterior 100_5650.JPG by Charles Smith

Tea Time Treats in the Palm Court by Courtney "Coco" Mault 

new york city :: belvedere castle by hjjanisch 

Laduree Macarons by iris 



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