7 Interesting Facts About Sahara-Owned The Plaza
Sahara Group-owned The Plaza in New York is likely to be sold soon. According to media reports, New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel is likely to be bought by Katara Holdings, a Qatar-based organisation, for $600 million. Sahara India, which has been under financial debts and has been trying to sell its share in the hotel. It holds 75 per cent stake in the property.
Last year in August, the Subroto Roy-led group had hired Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Hotels and Hospitality Group to find a buyer for the luxury property for a reported valuation of $500 million.
MakaaniQ lists seven interesting facts about this iconic structure:
- A tall order: The 20-storey hotel opened its doors to guests on October 1, 1907. It was described as the world's greatest hotels by the media at that time. Perched on the most iconic locations of the city, at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, it 282 hotel rooms and 152 private condo hotel units.
- Mermerising design: Designed in a French Renaissance château-style by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, it was constructed at a cost of $12.5 million. In 2008, the hotel underwent a $450-million restoration. It has been accorded a landmark status by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1969 and was designated a National Historic Landmark (NHL) in 1986.
- Indulge in luxury: Being a guest at The Plaza Hotel would let you indulge in services, including a butler on every floor, baby-sitting, and concierges. You could also enjoy a shopping mall, the Palm Court, the Champagne Bar at the hotel lobby with views of Grand Army Plaza, the Edwardian Room, the Terrace Room, the Rose Club, the Grand Ball Room, the Plaza Food Hall by Todd English, as well as meeting rooms and conference rooms.
- Serving the best, cited in the best: It has served the who's who of the world including kings, presidents, prime ministers, business tycoons and even actors and musicians including John Lennon, Jackie Onassis, Donald Trump, Yoko Ono, and even, Frank Lloyd Wright. It has also been a part of some of the most well-known Hollywood movies including North By Northwest (1959), Home Alone 2 (1992), Sleepless In Seattle (1993), Bride Wars (2009), and even the iconic The Great Gatsby (2013). In literature, the hotel has been cited among various books including Kay Thompson's series of Eloise children's books published in the 1950s, the novel Anonymous Rex, F Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel The Great Gatsby, The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot, and Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series (2009).
- For a price: A room at the hotel when it was opened was only $2.50 per night (equivalent to $63 of today). Today, you will have to shell out a minimum of $573 and a maximum of $1,975 for a night.
- The change of owners: The Plaza Hotel was taken over by Conrad Hilton for $7.4 million in 1943 and spent $6 million refurbishing it followed by The Childs Company that bought the hotel in 1955 for $6.2 million in stock. The company later sold it to Western International Hotels, now known as Westin Hotels, in 1975 for $25 million. It was in 1988 that business tycoon and now a runner for president in the USA, Donald Trump bought this property for a whopping $405 million in which CDL Hotels International and Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal purchased a controlling stake valued at $325 million. In 2004, again the hotel was sold for $675 million to El Ad Properties. Later in July 2012, Sahara India Pariwar agreed to buy a 75 per cent controlling stake in the hotel for $570 million from El Ad Properties.
- In the news: The iconic, century-old hotel made news early this year as it was to go under the hammer in March 2016 following the owners, Sahara Group, defaulting on the loan agreements. But the auction was later called off. In 2014, he was seeking a buyer for his company's majority stake in the Plaza.