New York’s historic Plaza Hotel has hosted everyone from Russian royalty to The Beatles and F Scott Fitzgerald – and it’s now on the market.
Owners Sahara Group have put the Fifth Avenue hotel – one of the Big Apple’s landmark buildings – up for sale with broker JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group, with the Wall Street Journal suggesting its final price tag could reach more than $500m.
The building, which was designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh and Thomas Hastings, opened in 1907, and at 19-storeys high was tall enough to be called a skyscraper at the time. Its lavish French chateau-style interiors included no less than 1,650 crystal chandeliers, although its earliest guests paid just $2.50 a night for a room.
Since then the Plaza has appeared in dozens of films, and hosted everything from women’s protests and balls thrown by writer Truman Capote, to a menagerie of animals owned by Russian royalty, including alligators, a bear cub, and a lion.
Miles Davis recorded an album in the hotel, and it was frequented by F Scott Fitzgerald in the 1920s, who based scenes from The Great Gatsby on its rooms. It turned over a whole wing to The Beatles in 1964, who stayed at the hotel on their first visit to the United States.
In 2005 the building underwent a $450m refurbishment and reopened just in time to celebrate its 100th birthday.
Forbes speculates that interested buyers include a co-founder of The Fugees, a Shanghai investment fund, and a Qatari sovereign-wealth fund.