“You will not find another hotel room like this one in the world. You get to live like one of the most celebrated authors, Fitzgerald, while residing in the suite with vintage photos, books and other Hollywood staples surrounding you,” explained George Cozonis, Managing Director of The Plaza, a New York icon and designated National Historic Landmark. In an interview, we discussed the origins of the Fitzgerald Suite, intricacies of the design, furnishings and chosen accessories in the room, how best to continue the Great Gatsby experience throughout the hotel, and much more.
What was the original relationship between the Great Gatsby and the Plaza Hotel, and how did the idea of a uniquely designed suite come about?
The Plaza’s history is intrinsically tied to Fitzgerald’s timeless American novel and to the author himself, who, with his wife Zelda, was a devoted patron of The Plaza. When filmmaker Baz Luhrmann was releasing his visionary cinematic interpretation of the book, it was a natural partnership for the iconic hotel to work with the film’s costume designer, production designer and co-producer, Catherine Martin, on creating a specialty suite that honors the hotel’s presence in the story.
To the last detail, the suite honors F. Scott Fitzgerald, the 1920s and the Great Gatsby movie, but what are some of the most interesting items on hand, and how does the design of the suite reflect that particular era?
Every detail of the suite relates to Fitzgerald’s life and his time at The Plaza as well as Baz Luhrmann’s film. Dome ceilings surrounded by antique mirrors feature 1920’s Odeon Glass Fringe Chandeliers. The bedspread and towels are custom embroidered with the Jay Gatsby and Daisy-inspired monogram, seen frequently throughout the film. The walls are adorned with portraits of the 2013 film cast captured by legendary Hollywood photographer Douglas Kirkland, images of Fitzgerald and his wife, and 1920s photos from Vogue and Vanity Fair. Bookshelves are filled with the author’s complete works and books that inspired the filmmakers throughout production, as well as classic RH accessories. Guests will also find entertainment in RH’s vintage board games, including Monopoly, which originated during the era, iconic Gramophone-shaped iPhone and iPad speakers, custom Tiffany & Co. playing cards, and coffee table books that invoke languorous summers on the Gold Coast or the vibrant New York of the Roaring `20s.
As part of the Great Gatsby experience, what else can guests expect when booking the room, and what are some of your recommendations on how to continue the experience during their stay? Perhaps through the dining options of the hotel.
Guests of the Fitzgerald Suite are treated to a dramatic design experience featuring an art deco aesthetic that truly channels the Jazz Age using authentic, period-inspired pieces from luxury home furnishings brand RH, Restoration Hardware. The suite was redesigned from the ground up with new oak floors, wall coverings from Catherine Martin Home, custom built-in shelves, with living space pieces such as the elegant Madsen Leather Sofa and RH’s Mayfair Steamer Desk, a focal point that draws inspiration from antique steamer trunks.
To complete the experience, guests are welcomed to the suite with the Moët Imperial Gatsby, a special champagne cocktail crafted exclusively for The Plaza Hotel by mixologist Jim Meehan. An exclusive behind-the-scenes video is available to guests allowing them to see the intricacies to how Martin, with the help of the hotel, was able to recreate an authentic suite inspired by The Plaza’s history. This can be viewed on the suite’s Samsung 3D TV.
Besides the amazing design of the room, the hotel offers elegant and refined dining experiences with various culinary landmarks. The Palm Court is the city’s most iconic destination for afternoon tea and the elegant Champagne Bar and Rose Club embrace the past, present and future of The Plaza and offer experiences that are truly unforgettable. Additionally, guests have the option of visiting The Todd English Food Hall and The Plaza Food Hall, a popular European-inspired specialty Food Hall offering an eclectic 40,000 square-foot culinary experience. The Shops at The Plaza offer an expertly-curated array of some of the world’s most luxurious boutiques, featuring a variety of premiere goods including accessories & fine jewelry, men’s and women’s apparel, specialty gifts, beauty, and exquisite food purveyors. The ultimate luxury-lifestyle destination, akin to an urban resort, The Plaza’s vast dining and retail selections offer something to satisfy all discerning tastes.
What do you believe is the most memorable part of experiencing the Fitzgerald Suite?
Designed by Academy Award winner Catherine Martin, costume designer, production designer and co-producer of Baz Luhrmann’s feature, The Great Gatsby, the Fitzgerald Suite is truly one of a kind. You will not find another hotel room like this one in the world. You get to live like one of the most celebrated authors, Fitzgerald, while residing in the suite with vintage photos, books and other Hollywood staples surrounding you. Not to mention the impeccable service and amenities The Plaza has to offer!