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Marlowe At The Plaza

Eva Amurri poses with her daughter Marlowe on marble steps with pink and white balloons at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

A week ago, I took Marlowe on our very first Mother Daughter trip. To say that I had been dreaming of that moment from the very day I found out I was pregnant with a girl baby is a gross understatement.  I was pretty much dreaming of it since I was a little girl myself! Marlowe has been such an amazing Big Sister recently, and had just finished up her preschool year, so I wanted to organize a big treat for her.  She and I have always been really close, but recently as she’s grown up a bit I’ve really been having so much fun spending long periods of time hanging out just the two of us.  I have lots of work coming up this Summer, and so I thought it would be great for us to spend some quality girl time and enjoy a little semi-staycation in NYC before I get too busy!

Eva Amurri poses with her daughter Marlowe on marble steps with pink and white balloons at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino poses on a gilded bench at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe carries pink and white balloons while walking through the iconic Plaza Hotel

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe carries pink and white balloons while walking through the iconic Plaza Hotel

And there was nowhere for us to spend it BUT the Plaza. When I was a little girl, I was obsessed with the “Eloise” books.  I just adored her spunky attitude, the glamour of her life at the Plaza, and the hilarity of her fierce independence and  adult-like adventures.  When I was in 4th grade, we did a pen pal program at my school.  We could pick any “known” person and write them a letter, and our teachers and principal figured out how to mail it to them.  I chose Kay Thompson, the author of “Eloise”.  I wrote to her, and she actually wrote me back! We ended up exchanging a couple of letters, which I WISH I still had.  My Mom probably does still have them someplace, knowing her. LOL.  When I knew I was having a daughter, “Eloise” was one of the first books I bought for her bookshelf! I was so excited to introduce Marlowe to the Plaza Hotel, and to the world of old school New York City glamour. 

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe carries pink and white balloons while walking through the iconic Plaza Hotel with a friend

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe carries pink and white balloons while walking through the iconic Plaza Hotel with a friend

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe walks through the lobby of the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino treats her daughter Marlowe to high tea at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

First up was pamper time! I took Marlowe to the Rita Hazan salon for a trim and a blowout.  I go there to get my own hair done, and everyone was so excited to meet my mini! It was really sweet.  Marlowe got a blowout and a beautiful headband braid in her hair.  Then, we got our nails done! I told Lowie she could pick out the color, and we would both get the same one.  She was sooooo excited by that, and picked a really pretty hot pink! She knows my favorite color is pink, and I thought it was so sweet that she purposefully chose a color that she knew I would like. 

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe enjoys high tea at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe enjoys high tea at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino treats her daughter Marlowe to high tea at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe enjoys high tea at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe enjoys high tea at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

After our pamper time, it was time to check in to our room at the Plaza! I had called ahead of time and organized a little surprise for my girl…when we walked in to our room, there was huge bouquet of white and pink balloons waiting for her! She actually gasped. It was the cutest thing ever.  And the rooms were even more beautiful than I could have hoped.  The bed was so luxe and beautiful and very old world glamour.  Our room had very high ceilings and a little balcony.  And the bathroom was stunning! Marlowe exclaimed that it was the fanciest bathroom she had ever seen– all white marble and gold accents with a very pretty soaking tub.  We unpacked a bit together.  Then, we went exploring! The Plaza has an awesome food court in the bottom of the building– if you can even call it a food court.  It’s composed of amazing, chic restaurants and cafés, and even places you can sit down for a cocktail.  I bought Lowie a classic Black & White New York cookie, and we headed to the Eloise gift shop.  I had heard the Eloise gift shop was great, but I didn’t realize HOW great.  I was blown away.  If you love Eloise, visiting this shop is an attraction in itself.  There are the cutest (like, actually cute) Eloise branded clothes and accessories, dolls, books, and toys for purchase.  There’s even a room with comfy chairs in the back where kids can sit and watch the Eloise TV show.  I treated Lowie to an Eloise tee shirt and hair bow, and a stuffed animal of “Weenie”, the pet dog from the story.

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe enjoys high tea at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe enjoys high tea at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe enjoys high tea with a friend at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe enjoys high tea with a friend at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe enjoys high tea with a friend at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Next up, we went upstairs to have Tea at the Palm Court! The Palm Court restaurant and tea room is about as grand and gorgeous as it gets.  There are actual palm trees inside! I booked a traditional tea for me, and a special “Eloise Tea” for Marlowe.  It was so adorable– the Eloise Tea came with either hot tea or lemonade, and a selection of sandwiches and sweets.  There was even cotton candy! The presented her with a very gorgeous tea cup that had Eloise printed on it to drink her tea from.  I couldn’t even believe how detailed the entire experience was.  Once of Marlowe’s best friends met us for tea, and Marlowe told me later that having Eloise tea with her friend was her “Peak” of the whole trip! I definitely want to go back for a champagne tea experienced with a slightly older companion at some point. LOL. 

Eva Amurri Martino treats her daughter Marlowe to high tea at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino treats her daughter Marlowe to high tea at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino tickles her daughter Marlowe while they dine at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino tickles her daughter Marlowe while they dine at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino gets a sweet kiss from her daughter Marlowe at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino smiles holding the Eloise tea cup at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe looks at the menu at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino and her daughter Marlowe mull over the menu at the iconic Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe mulls over the menu at the iconic Plaza Hotel in New York City

Afterwards, we went back up to the room to rest for a while before heading out to dinner! I told Marlowe she was allowed to pick anywhere she wanted for dinner.  Her answer: “Sushi, of course!” I almost died laughing.  Benihana was right near the Plaza, so I asked her if she felt like hibachi for dinner, and we could get sushi with it if she wanted.  She was PUMPED.  We have a hibachi restaurant in Westport, but it really is nothing compared to Benihana, so I was excited for her to experience the real deal.  The whole day, it had felt so cool to simply hang out with my daughter.  To talk, ask each other questions, and enjoy a unique experience together.  It was actually our very first time ever doing that, and she is definitely at the right age now to soak it all in.  That mood continued in to dinner.  We had the absolutely greatest time.  I leaned over at one point and whispered in her ear “Hey, should we pretend it’s your birthday so we get a candle in your dessert??”  Her eyes went so wide and she looked so excited.  She leaned in and whispered back “YES!” A half an hour later, our hibachi chef asked if there were any special occasions and I told him it was Marlowe’s birthday.  She started giggling and put her hands over her mouth.  When dessert came, they had a candle for her and everything, and the whole table sang.  She thought it was hilarious, and we were both laughing so hard and having so much fun sharing in the secret.  When we left she said “Mom that was SO funny when they sang me happy birthday when it wasn’t even my birthday! You’re crazy!” LOLOLOL. 

Eva Amurri Martino stands with four year old daughter Marlowe in the lobby of the plaza hotel in new york city

Eva Amurri Martino and her daughter Marlowe wear matching dresses at Plaza Hotel

Like anyone else, I’m a regular Mom who gets frustrated and spread thin, and can get overwhelmed by my kids and then feel guilty once they’re asleep.  I can’t tell you how great it felt to have a whole day with my daughter where we just took it one step at a time and had FUN.  There was no stress, no rushing off to do a million things, it was just an easy breezy pace and a lot of laughs.  It felt like such a milestone for me as a Mom, and I really hope that she enjoyed that time together as much as I did.  We took our time walking home from dinner, and near the hotel, we passed a store with hundreds of glass and crystal tchotchkes in the window.  We stopped and looked at all of them for a while they walked on in silence.  After a minute Marlowe said: “You know, Mom, I think that Fragile Store is my favorite one in the whole city!” Haaaaaa.  Oh man, what a riot this kid is.  I’m definitely writing down the term “fragile store” so I can repeat it to her when she’s a grownup.

Eva Amurri Martino looks at the window of her room at the Plaza Hotel with her daughter Marlowe

Eva Amurri Martino looks at the window of her room at the Plaza Hotel with her daughter Marlowe

When we got back to the Plaza, they had left a piece of chocolate cake and a bottle of champagne in our room! I was so surprised and actually called Kyle thinking he had organized it– But he didn’t! (In retrospect, he definitely should have taken credit…) I thought that was so thoughtful and sweet of them, and Marlowe got a second dessert.  Then she definitely had the energy to take a nice long bubble bath in “the fanciest bathroom ever”.  I read her Eloise while she soaked.  We climbed in bed together, in matching jammies (hello, have we met?) and ordered a movie.  We were both exhausted from a full day and it wasn’t long before she was asleep!

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe jumps on the bed at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe jumps on the bed at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino jumps on the bed at the Plaza Hotel in New York City with her daughter Marlowe

Eva Amurri Martino jumps on the bed at the Plaza Hotel in New York City with her daughter Marlowe

Eva Amurri Martino jumps on the bed at the Plaza Hotel in New York City with her daughter Marlowe

Eva Amurri Martino reads Eloise to her daughter Marlowe on a bed at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino reads Eloise to her daughter Marlowe on a bed at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

Eva Amurri Martino reads Eloise to her daughter Marlowe on a bed at the Plaza Hotel in New York City

The next morning, we ordered room service, and I let her make the phone call.  It was SO Eloise-esque and so hilarious. I wish I had filmed it.  After a great morning, we headed home.  The trip was quick (barely 24 hours) but it was just the GREATEST.  After always admiring the Plaza, but never having stayed there, I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t live up to the fantasy I had of it in my mind.  BUT IT DID.  The whole experience was exactly as I had hoped.  The building is beautiful, classic, and amazingly preserved.  It was as luxe as I had envisioned it, and the staff and environment was so friendly and welcoming.  You can tell that they absolutely adore all the little Eloise-loving girls who visit there and really take pride in making their experience special. 

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe orders room service at the Plaza Hotel

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe orders room service at the Plaza Hotel

Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe laughs after ordering roomservice at the Plaza Hotel

By the way, this entire thing wasn’t sponsored in any way (I wish) but it was a bucket list moment that was worth every penny spent and I am SO Happy we did it! I had so many requests while we were there to write a post detailing the whole trip so that others could recreate it with their little girls, and I hope I’ve done a good job of that for you! If you’re thinking about creating a special memory with your little one, I hope you have the most amazing visit ever!


I’m really hoping to make it an annual trip with Marlowe as she gets older, so please let me know if there are any Plaza must do’s or special experiences to test out!

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Photographs by Carter Fish.

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15 Comments

  1. Ashley Powell says:

    I always go to Eloise store at The Plaza, the tea there is so fun. Love your matching PJs 👯

    06.25.18Reply
    • It’s such a cute place for a birthday party for little girls!

      06.25.18Reply
  2. Sue says:

    Eva,
    You never cease to amaze me in how you have the ability to create and share your life, motherhood, peaks and pits with us.

    I felt like I was a witness to the whole glorious experience. I’m thrilled you’ve fostered a great mother/daughter tradition.

    I’d love to see Kyle’s documentary of his time with Major!

    Love to all the Martino’s!
    Sue

    06.25.18Reply
  3. Kelly says:

    So sweet!!!!! I love Eloise — this looks like a dream to recreate!

    06.25.18Reply
  4. Irina Visan says:

    I am dying!!! OMG!! This is the cutest, most adorable post ever! You are such a thoughtful mother and that’s where Marlowe gets it from – YOU! And she… she is nothing short of perfect! You can just tell in the photos how much fun she had with her mommy and how her wheels were turning probably cooking something funny and clever. I am saving this idea for my (hopefully) future daughter someday ❤ Thank you for sharing this!

    06.25.18Reply
    • Awww you are so sweet! Thank you for these kind words! 🙂

      06.25.18Reply
      • Irina Visan says:

        All true!! 😘☺

        07.08.18Reply
  5. Hayley says:

    I actually teared up reading this, what a beautiful relationship you have Marlowe have.
    It’s the kind of relationship I wish I had with my mother, we have a very up and down relationship, when I was 7 my parents divorced ( I was a daddy’s girl, he was the most incredible man ) and I lived with my mum then when I was 12 she told me that my behaviour was so bad she didn’t want me living with her anymore ( FYI my behaviour wasn’t bad… typical 12yr old backchatting) I am 34 yrs old and I can remember that day as if it was yday, my dad was in Portugal at the time and I phoned him to inform him, he jumped on first plane back and I moved in with him, I did not speak to my mum for 4 years after that . Then lots of counselling sessions we seemed to get our relationship back on track… then in 2012 my dad passed away vv suddenly, and I moved to Manchester to buy a home with my partner Nathan. And since that I have come to realisation my mum and myself can not have a relationship currently as she makes me feel really bad about myself, from the way I look, to drive, how I do stuff.

    I hope if I’m lucky enough to have children one day, I have the bond with them and relationship like yours.
    I am sorry for rambling.
    What amazing memories you and Marlowe have to look back on in years to come.
    And just remember when she’s older and backchatty and stroppy that’s just teenage girls 🙂 xx

    06.25.18Reply
    • Hayley,
      Your comment really moved me. I’m so sorry that you didn’t get what you deserve from your Mom. I can tell you that having children is such a beautiful opportunity to heal from those types of disappointments, and to be the parent you wish you had. I know you will be an amazing Mom one day!

      xoxo

      06.25.18Reply
  6. Stephanie Allen says:

    Oh my gosh….this was just too precious!! I’m pregnant with our first and it’s a girl….this post just made me look forward to being able to do something like this with my daughter.
    Such a simple thing to have a stay-cation and go to a hotel but it’ll honestly be one of the top memories Lowie has growing up and be something she looks forward too for the rest of her life.
    Ps. She looks like a teenager in these pics already!!! Time….slowwww down! Hahaha

    06.25.18Reply
    • Awww yay!!! The Mother daughter bond is very intense but so so special. xoxo

      06.27.18Reply
  7. Mel G says:

    What a fabulous treat! When you mentioned all the goodies in the Fragile Store, I thought you were next going to reveal what tchotchke you’d treated Marlowe to as a reminder of your first grown-up girls’ trip together – if you’re making this an annual event, maybe you could do that next (each?) time?

    My mum and I have an annual weekend in Sydney where we go to the ballet matinee, eat, drink, laugh, shop, catch a theatre show in the evening… it’s a wonderful way to spend time with the most important woman in my life, away from our daily distractions!

    Highly recommend 🙂

    06.26.18Reply
    • Your grown up Mom weekends of fun sound so lovely ! I can’t wait until Lowie is a little older and we can start doing some cultural things in the city on our annual trip!

      06.27.18Reply