Featured in films, books and many thousands of travel bucket lists, New York‘s iconic Plaza Hotel has an almost mythical presence in one of the world’s favourite destinations. And, now, it’s looking for a new owner.
According to Bloomberg, current owner Sahara India Pariwar is seeking a buyer for the 18-storey hotel and adjoining condominium building, which overlooks Central Park from Fifth Avenue at its southern end.
While representatives for Pariwar declined to confirm the asking price, analysts at Bloomberg reckon it’ll be around $707 million ($560 million USD), making it one of the most expensive hotel sales ever on a per-room basis.
The legendary accommodations have changed hands several times over the past few decades, with everyone from Conrad Hilton to Donald Trump taking control of the property at one point or another.
The Plaza served as the location of Trump’s wedding to second wife Marla Maples, while fictional Disney character Eloise famously took up residence there in 1955 (today, the hotel has a bubblegum-pink suite dedicated to her).
Legendary author F. Scott Fitzgerald and wife Zelda were regular Jazz Age patrons (they, too, have their own suite) – he famously set one of The Great Gatsby‘s most tense scenes at the hotel — while a frenzy broke out on the hotel’s front steps after it was discovered the Beatles were staying there on their first trip to New York in 1964.
Fannie Lowenstein, known to staff working at the Plaza in the late ’80s and early ’90s as “the Eloise from hell”, famously lived in a rent-controlled apartment at the iconic property for just $630 ($500USD) per month for decades, and reportedly did her best to make their lives a misery. While she finally moved out shortly before her death in 1992, some long-serving staff would likely attest her ghost will hang around long after the Plaza changes hands.
(Lead image: The Plaza)[qantas_widget code=JFK]Check out Qantas flights to New York.[/qantas_widget]
Kristen Amiet is a previous AWOL editor, bona fide travel addict, sometimes whisky drinker and full-time breakfast food enthusiast.