Here's Why You Can't Book a Room at the Plaza Hotel This Week
Can't get a room at the Plaza Hotel in New York City? Don't worry, it's not personal.
The 20-story, five-star landmark hotel and residence is closed to the public until Saturday because it's been taken over entirely by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and his huge entourage. The future monarch of Saudi Arabia is making the Plaza his home for the New York portion of his three-week goodwill tour of the US. (Overflow members of his group are staying at the nearby St. Regis and Four Seasons.)
Coincidentally, one of the part owners of the Plaza Hotel is Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who was imprisoned in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton in what was widely seen as a consolidation of power by the new crown prince.
In a phone call, an employee at the front desk said hotel rooms, bars, restaurants and public areas would be inaccessible until the weekend. The Saudi flag is flying outside the hotel next to the Stars and Stripes. A spokeswoman for the hotel didn't immediately return a call for comment.
The prince could hardly have chosen a more storied residence. The Plaza has been a home or stage to everyone from Josephine Baker to the Beatles, Frank Lloyd Wright to Christian Dior, John F. Kennedy to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. It was the setting of the children's book Eloise and has rooms named both after the book's eponymous heroine and real-life Plaza habitué F. Scott Fitzgerald. In 1993, Donald Trump married his second wife, Marla Maples, in the grand ballroom. (It's also where the future president made a cameo appearance in the movie "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.")
Photo by @alliecandice via Twenty20