When it comes to iconic hotels, The Plaza might often come to mind. When it opened over a hundred years ago in 1907, it was described as the greatest hotel in the world. And while a lot has changed since then, The Plaza’s reputation for excellence, luxury, and comfort hasn’t.
Throughout its long and fascinating history, this hotel has been the set for many films including North By Northwest, Sleepless in Seattle, and The Great Gatsby. It has also seen many celebrities pass through its doors, including the Beatles, Truman Capote, and Marilyn Monroe.
Now, in a move that has many Plaza fans thrilled, guests might even be able to bring a piece of that history home with them. Read on to find out what this means for the hotel management industry, and how it might be part of a larger trend.
Why the Plaza is Selling its Iconic Chandeliers
Not too long ago, 24 Baccarat-crystal chandeliers decorated The Plaza. These beautiful chandeliers were each worth between $2,500 USD to $4,000 USD each, and were a signature part of the hotel’s décor for many years. During renovations in 2005, though, those chandeliers were packed away and placed in storage, and have remained there ever since. As The Plaza’s executive vice president of retail Kristin Franzese remembers, “They were boxed and literally sitting in storage… I didn’t know what to do with them.”
That’s when an out-of-the-box idea sprung up: why not sell the chandeliers, but with a twist? Instead of simply selling the 24 chandeliers as they were, The Plaza contacted a local New York jewelry designer to see if they could be turned into beautiful pendants, earrings, and necklaces.
Heather Morra, the jewelry designer contracted for the project, was immediately captivated by the historic crystals:
“There is some age to [them] that make [them] really fun [and] beautiful,” she noted.
The Collection that Students in Hospitality Schools are Excited to See
The first collection of Plaza chandelier jewelry, known as the Legacy Collection, is set to go on sale soon at the hotel’s gift shop. Many students in hospitality schools are excited to see how customers respond to them. Will they be thrilled to bring a piece of the hotel home with them? Or put off by the jewelry’s $150 USD price tag? The answer could open up new opportunities for industry professionals to connect with customers, generate additional revenue, and create more buzz about a hotel’s brand.
Many hotel industry pros think that guests will quickly snap up The Plaza’s pioneering jewelry collection. That’s why The Plaza already has a bridal collection planned for release this fall. And because only six chandeliers have been used so far, Kristin Franzese says that “We could probably make jewelry for the next 10 years.”
Is The Plaza’s Collection Part of a Larger Hotel Management Industry Trend?
Giving guests the option to bring a piece of their hotel back home with them isn’t exactly a new phenomenon for the hotel management industry. In fact, hotel chains like the Marriot and Sheraton both let guests purchase items like linens, bathrobes, and soaps. Other hotels have also begun showcasing the work of local artists and allowing guests the option of purchasing pieces they like.
This new trend could help guests bring part of their hotel experience home with them. And if The Plaza succeeds with its new jewelry collection, perhaps current hotel management students might soon find other new and innovative products for guests to purchase during their hotel stays.
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