A few months ago, I was scouting some apartments in the Plaza Hotel when my guide asked if I wanted to see the Plaza’s courtyard.
Now here’s the thing: not only did I have absolutely no idea the Plaza had a courtyard, I couldn’t even figure out where a courtyard would fit. But, after winding our way through a maze of hallways, we finally came to a door…
…and stepped out into the Plaza Hotel’s hidden courtyard.
Though you’d never know it from the street, the Plaza Hotel is actually U-shaped, to afford windows and airflow for its inner rooms.
The courtyard stretches the entire length of the inner area, and features manicured gardens and several pools, beginning with this large one at the widest part of the building…
Then, a series of tiered pools continue out to the west (water flows from pool to pool)…
…finally ending in a large fountain…
…and a garden beyond:
Here are some pictures of the fountains in action during the warmer months from Delta Fountains, the architects/manufacturers responsible for the space.
The pools feature a series of underwater lights, which must look beautiful at night when shimmering up at the towers surrounding them.
I tried to turn up some of the courtyard’s history, but for some reason, there’s next to nothing to be found.
One neat perk is that most of the courtyard level rooms feature personal balcony spaces, a pretty good consolation if you can’t get a street view:
I’m a big fan of hidden urban oases, and I love how the Plaza’s courtyard offers a private and tranquil sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the city, yet never lets you forget you’re in the heart of Manhattan.
I’m sure there are a number of readers out there who have seen this while staying at the hotel; in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if this one of the few spaces in New York better known by tourists than locals. Definitely going to have to try to go back now that the gardens are in bloom.
I’m also going to make it a point to really appreciate the remaining 73 days of summer, because man was this past winter brutal.
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