The fictitious Great Gatsby frequently drank champagne there, President Donald Trump once got married there and soon, a Saudi prince might seek to recapture the grandeur of its glory days.
Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal is collaborating with Ben Ashkenazy and Michael Alpert of Ashkenazy Acquisition to force a buyout of the property, The Plaza New York in New York City, reports The New York Post. The deal is contingent on cooperation from government officials in India.
An India-based business group, headed by Subrata Roy, purchased controlling interest in the hotel several years ago. In 2014, Roy was thrown in jail by Indian officials after being accused of bilking billions of dollars out of investors. Roy’s creditors now want to sell their interest in The Plaza to Prince Al-Waleed and his partners, according to The New York Post.
Built in 1907, the 20-story landmark hotel has seen many owners—including Trump. If the deal goes through, professional meeting planners could find the best of everything at The Plaza. In addition to its rich history, the location can’t be beat. (Its Fifth Avenue entrance faces the south end of Grand Army Plaza.)
Once owned by Conrad Hilton and now managed by Fairmont, the luxury hotel offers 282 guest rooms. Located on floors five to 19, each guest room has a separate bath and shower, with inlaid mosaics and 24-carat, gold-plated faucets.
Event Planners Get ‘Almost Famous’
The Plaza features 21,000 total sq. ft. of functional meeting and corporate event space. The grand ballroom, where Trump married Marla Maples in 1993, is designed in neo-classical decor and provides 4,800 sq. ft. of space.
Famous entertainers who’ve played in the grand ballroom include Josephine Baker, Liza Minnelli, Marlene Dietrich, Ethel Merman and Peggy Lee. Trumpet legend Miles Davis once recorded an album there, and dozens of movies—from The Way We Were to Almost Famous—have been filmed at or around The Plaza.
Meeting planners who wish to rent the grand ballroom can choose from various seating plans, including classroom style, which accommodates up to 275 participants. In addition, the 4,680-square-foot Terrace Room offers configurations that accommodate 160 to 400 guests.
The Plaza also offers 4,000 sq. ft. of convertible meeting space on the fourth floor. Seven meeting rooms are equipped with wireless communications equipment, including boardrooms featuring power names such as Xavier, Pulitzer, and Gatsby.
If the deal with Prince Al-Waleed and his partners goes through, the infamous Oak Room is expected to be refurbished. Originally opened as a men’s club, then closed during Prohibition and reopened in 1934, the fabled, lively Oak Room reportedly is still available for private functions. Under new ownership, the iconic hotel could lead to New York City’s resurgence as a great meetings haven.
As for Trump, who purchased The Plaza in 1988 for a reported $407.5 million, the hotel remains a “masterpiece.”
“I can never justify the price I paid,” Trump wrote nearly three decades ago in The New York Times.
“[It’s]the Mona Lisa,” Trump said at the time.