Raphael Pallais

Chef Concierge

Raphael Pallais is the Chief Concierge at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. Born in Nicaragua to a French-Nicaraguan father and French mother who was the stepdaughter to famed poster artist Cassandre, Pallais’ family moved to Paris when he was 5 and settled in the 8th Arrondissement, now seat to all that is high fashion and hospitality in Paris. He has been a concierge since 1988. Prior to that, Pallais dabbled in everything from poetry to carpentry, editing magazines, and managing an antiques dealership business in New Orleans. He lives in Manhattan with his American wife, son and daughter.

  • On June 11, 2012
    Raphael Pallais answered the question: Raphael Pallais

    What cool in-room technology does The Plaza Hotel have?

    The Plaza Hotel has the honor of being the first hotel in the world to offer in-room iPads that guests can use to control the room environment (temperature and lighting) as well as access an array of guest services. At the touch of a screen, guests can order in-room dining, communicate directly with the concierge, request a wake-up call, schedule turndown service and much more.
  • On June 11, 2012
    Raphael Pallais answered the question: Raphael Pallais

    How many guest rooms and suites does The Plaza Hotel have?

    The Plaza Hotel has 282 guestrooms, 150 of which are suites with the largest overall square footage of any luxury property in New York City. The rooms were all renovated in 2007 during the building renovation and restoration. Our specialty suites are The Royal Terrace Suite and The Royal Plaza Suite. The Royal Terrace Suite is a 2,200-square-foot two-bedroom duplex suite on the top floor with stunning views of Central Park and an original fireplace. It also boasts a 400-square-foot terrace with magnificent city views. The Royal Plaza Suite is our version of a presidential suite, a 4,400-square-foot spread on the fourth floor of the building. This three-bedroom suite overlooks Fifth Avenue and the Pulitzer Fountain. The suite has 13-foot ceilings, a 12-person dining room, a great room with grand piano, a fitness room, a chef's kitchen and a library.
  • On June 11, 2012
    Raphael Pallais answered the question: Raphael Pallais

    Does The Plaza Hotel have a guest loyalty program?

    Since The Plaza Hotel is managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, guests may participate in The Fairmont President’s Club loyalty program. Benefits include: complimentary Internet access, complimentary local calls, complimentary shoe shine, daily room delivery of a local or national newspaper, Fairmont Fit (in-room delivery of adidas shoes and apparel), a private reception desk offering express check-in and checkout, and a personal preferences profile.
  • On June 11, 2012
    Raphael Pallais answered the question: Raphael Pallais

    When was the last room renovation completed at The Plaza Hotel?

    The Plaza Hotel went through a $450 million renovation and restoration from 2005 to 2008.  During this time, the hotel was closed and the entire building went through a basement-to-roof reconstruction. The Plaza is a U-shaped building — part of it (the 59th Street and Fifth Avenue sides) was converted into private residences, while the 58th Street side remained a hotel. The entire infrastructure of the 100-year-old building was brought to the most up-to-date standards while all of the landmarked spaces were meticulously restored.
  • On June 11, 2012
    Raphael Pallais answered the question: Raphael Pallais

    What do we love most about The Plaza Hotel?

    Five things we love most about The Plaza Hotel are:

    1. All things Eloise. The Eloise Suite, designed by celebrated fashion designer Betsey Johnson is our tribute to our favorite (and most precocious) resident, Eloise. Resplendently decorated in an Eloise-approved palette of pink and black, it includes a signature Plaza chandelier fitted with pink-tipped lights, candy-striped walls, a white zebra print carpet, a king-sized bed with a sparkly pink headboard and custom-designed Eloise linens, and Eloise’s name scrawled in neon lights affixed to the wall above. The suite is equipped with a disposable Eloise camera so guests may snap photos of their stay, Eloise DVDs and books, an Eloise tea set, and Eloise robes and towels.

    2. Afternoon tea at The Palm Court. A famous tradition at The Plaza, the afternoon tea blends an innovative menu with a formal tea to provide guests with a balance of service and flavorful cuisine.

    3. Our Central Park backyard. It has miles of running and walking paths, fields for picnics, a carousel, a marionette playhouse and one of the few places in New York where you can see the change of seasons.

    4. The Plaza’s rich history with movies and pop culture. Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest was the launch of The Plaza’s movie career in 1958. Since then, The Plaza has become one of New York City’s most popular movie locations and the set for films such as Barefoot in the Park, Plaza Suite, The Way We Were, The Great Gatsby, Arthur, Sex and the City, Home Alone 2, Sleepless in Seattle, Crocodile Dundee and Bride Wars. The Plaza has also played host to many memorable moments in history: the Beatles’ first U.S. press conference and first trip to America, Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball, and the debut of modern jazz with performances in the Persian Room by Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday.

    5. The Plaza family. The Plaza is a special place for visitors to New York, but is also just as special to the people who work here. We have scores of colleagues who have made The Plaza their home away from home for many years. Our longest-standing colleague, a server in The Palm Court, has been a loyal employee for 41 years.
  • On June 5, 2012
    Raphael Pallais answered the question: Raphael Pallais

    What are some locations for weddings at The Plaza Hotel?

    The Grand Ballroom and The Terrace Room are the two main locations for weddings and receptions. These rooms are two of the most storied wedding locations in New York City that have seen the likes of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Julie Nixon and David Eisenhower, and Donald Trump and Marla Maples tie the knot.
  • On June 5, 2012
    Raphael Pallais answered the question: Raphael Pallais

    What amenities are provided for business travelers at The Plaza Hotel?

    For over a century, The Plaza has been the ideal location for the who’s who of CEOs, politicians and dignitaries. Offering an all-encompassing business travel experience, The Plaza provides every necessary luxury desired by travelers, including world-class amenities, sumptuous décor, impeccable white-glove service, and the latest in in-room technology and comforts. Each guestroom and suite at The Plaza also functions as an individual in-room business center that includes wireless Internet, laptop-compatible flat-screen televisions, iPads that provide touch-screen access to personal butler and concierge assistance, and a wide range of hotel and travel services. Additional business travel features include: complimentary 24-hour business center access, 24-hour white-glove butler service for suite guests, 24-hour in-room dining, power breakfast at The Palm Court includes complimentary use of iPads and daily periodicals, coffeemakers upon request, The Palm Court Chef’s Table for business lunches, Rolls-Royce Ghost courtesy car (based on availability, 10-block radius), complimentary Internet access and local telephone calls (with Fairmont President's Club membership), Fairmont Fit provides adidas workout apparel and shoes (with Fairmont President's Club membership), suit pressing and shoe shine upon request, fitness center La Palestra, and a Clef's d'Or Concierge team to assist with restaurant reservations, tickets for events and more.

    If you have time to spare, enjoy the best that The Plaza and our surrounding area has to offer. After you close the deal, treat yourself to a treatment at the Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa with Caudalie Under an Hour. Central Park is our backyard. Join front desk agents Hugo and Bill for Running with the Guest, an early-morning run in Central Park every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 6:30 a.m. Take a walk up Madison Avenue or down Fifth Avenue for world-renowned shopping.
  • On May 24, 2012
    Raphael Pallais answered the question: Raphael Pallais

    What are the best places to stay in New York City?

    ©alexlopez The best places to stay in New York City are:

    1. The Plaza Hotel (768 Fifth Ave., 212-759-3000). It’s New York’s favorite hotel for the social and cultural elite, and it’s a bastion of luxury, charm and old-fashioned splendor in the city. Check out its ultra-modern gym, La Palestra.

    2. Four Seasons Hotel New York (57 E. 57th St., 212-758-5700). A grand and solemnly built hotel, its rooms are among the favorites for visitors. The hotel’s swanky modern, subterranean lair specializes in scientific-sounding treatments.

    3. Mandarin Oriental, New York (80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street, 212-805-8800). Tranquility is the predominant concern here, with breathtaking 35th-floor views of Manhattan and Eastern-inspired visuals and services.

    4. The Peninsula New York (700 Fifth Ave. at 55th Street, 212-956-2888). Asian-flavored décor in the room, a great spa offering $500 daylong packages, priceless skyline views and a fawning staff are made to order at this sun-drenched retreat. 5. The Ritz-Carlton, New York, Central Park (50 Central Park S. at Sixth Avenue, 212-308-9100). This is a jewel on Central Park with breathtaking views of the park and a unique Swiss spa, La Prairie.
  • On May 24, 2012
    Raphael Pallais answered the question: Raphael Pallais

    What are the best places to stay in New York City?

    ©alexlopez The best places to stay in New York City are:

    1. The Plaza Hotel (768 Fifth Ave., 212-759-3000). It’s New York’s favorite hotel for the social and cultural elite, and it’s a bastion of luxury, charm and old-fashioned splendor in the city. Check out its ultra-modern gym, La Palestra.

    2. Four Seasons Hotel New York (57 E. 57th St., 212-758-5700). A grand and solemnly built hotel, its rooms are among the favorites for visitors. The hotel’s swanky modern, subterranean lair specializes in scientific-sounding treatments.

    3. Mandarin Oriental, New York (80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street, 212-805-8800). Tranquility is the predominant concern here, with breathtaking 35th-floor views of Manhattan and Eastern-inspired visuals and services.

    4. The Peninsula New York (700 Fifth Ave. at 55th Street, 212-956-2888). Asian-flavored décor in the room, a great spa offering $500 daylong packages, priceless skyline views and a fawning staff are made to order at this sun-drenched retreat. 5. The Ritz-Carlton, New York, Central Park (50 Central Park S. at Sixth Avenue, 212-308-9100). This is a jewel on Central Park with breathtaking views of the park and a unique Swiss spa, La Prairie.
  • On May 24, 2012
    Raphael Pallais answered the question: Raphael Pallais

    What are the best kid-friendly restaurants in New York City?

    The best kid-friendly restaurants in New York City are:

    1. Mars 2112 (1633 Broadway at 51st Street). This Times Square spot is an over-the-top version of the red planet, where the surroundings are out of this world even if the food isn’t necessarily stellar. The menu zigzags all over the universe, serving everything from Mariner pizza and smoked-duck quesadillas to sushi. If the kids can’t sit still, send them into the interactive game room. Be careful: There are aliens walking about looking to have their pictures taken with your kids.

    2. Two Boots (201 W. 11th St.). Two boots is a great place for both children and adults who would like to revisit their own childhoods. Who can argue with two boots — one in New Orleans and the other in Italy? That’s where the name comes from. It serves a great variety of pizzas, like the Earth Mother, the plain slice and the mild margarita. For the meat lovers, there are lots of other options, but children are more than welcome and are served in break-proof plastic ware.

    3. Jekyll & Hyde (91 Seventh Ave. S.). Jekyll & Hyde is a fun and unique place. It’s filled with a wild collection of strange artifacts as well as special effects and all sorts of scary things that come to life and talk to you. There are also great characters walking around and visiting with you, creating on-the-spot shows for all to enjoy. There are four different floors, all with different entertainment. The food is decent and the portions large. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

    4. Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (Fulton Ferry Landing at Old Fulton Street, 718-246-3963). The eight flavors served in this classic ice-cream parlor may seem as old-school as its 1920s fireboat house location, but the scoops ($4 for a single) are made from fresh, high-quality ingredients, such as Bensdorp cocoa. Postcard views of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge are within sauntering distance; it’s a dream come true.
  • On May 24, 2012
    Raphael Pallais answered the question: Raphael Pallais

    Where is the best New York City shopping?

    For the best New York City shopping, visit the big department stores, where you will find it all:

    1. Bergdorf Goodman (754 Fifth Ave. at 58th Street, 212-753-7300). This upscale department store carries an incomparable range of top luxury designers. It also has the restaurant BG for a sophisticated lunch, an exquisite fine jewelry selection, a bridal department, a fur salon, an antiques gallery, a gourmet food section and an excellent beauty salon, John Barrett Salon.

    2. Bloomingdale’s (1000 Third Ave. at 59th Street, 212-705-2000). Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship store is 924,000 square feet on 10 levels. It has an extremely wide selection of several key items: clothing, makeup, fragrances, furniture, home furnishings, bedding, glassware, furs, lingerie, shoes, chocolates and much more.

    3. Barneys New York (660 Madison Ave. at 61st Street, 212-826-8900). Barneys is one of the best department stores in New York City for fashionable clothing. Most of the major designers can be found here. The window displays are among most fun and creative of all of the stores.

    4. Prada (724 Fifth Ave. between 56th and 57th streets, 212-664-0010). One of Muccia Prada’s first boutiques in New York, the Fifth Avenue store carries all of the latest clothing, bags, shoes and accessories.

    5. Saks Fifth Avenue (611 Fifth Ave. between 49th and 50th streets, 212-753-4000). Saks lives up to its pristine reputation for carrying the best-quality merchandise and selection. It has excellent jewelry and leather goods departments. The women’s departments are sensational, with floors and floors of fashions. The men’s department is especially good for finding Italian designers.
  • On May 22, 2012
    Raphael Pallais answered the question: Raphael Pallais

    What are the best places to stay in New York City?

    The best places to stay in New York City are:

    1. The Plaza Hotel (768 Fifth Ave., 212-759-3000). It’s New York’s favorite hotel for the social and cultural elite, and it’s a bastion of luxury, charm and old-fashioned splendor in the city. Check out its ultra-modern gym, La Palestra.

    2. Four Seasons Hotel New York (57 E. 57th St., 212-758-5700). A grand and solemnly built hotel, its rooms are among the favorites for visitors. The hotel’s swanky modern, subterranean lair specializes in scientific-sounding treatments.

    3. Mandarin Oriental, New York (80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street, 212-805-8800). Tranquility is the predominant concern here, with breathtaking 35th-floor views of Manhattan and Eastern-inspired visuals and services.

    4. The Peninsula New York (700 Fifth Ave. at 55th Street, 212-956-2888). Asian-flavored décor in the room, a great spa offering $500 daylong packages, priceless skyline views and a fawning staff are made to order at this sun-drenched retreat. 5. The Ritz-Carlton, New York, Central Park (50 Central Park S. at Sixth Avenue, 212-308-9100). This is a jewel on Central Park with breathtaking views of the park and a unique Swiss spa, La Prairie.
  • On May 17, 2012
    Raphael Pallais answered the question: Raphael Pallais

    What are the best things to do with kids in New York City?

    The five best things to do with kids in New York City are:

    1. Hop on a horse at Central Park's carousel.

    2. Rent a model sailboat at Conservatory Water, afterward check in with Alice and her friends, of Wonderland fame, at the pool's northern end.

    3. Catch the marionette show at the Swedish Cottage for old-fashioned children's theater entertainment.

    4. Stare down Tyrannosaurus rex and the rest of the dinosaurs in the amazing Fossil Hall at the American Museum of Natural History. Can you find the mummified dinosaur eggs?

    5. Look back at one of the greatest views of Manhattan by walking back into it from the Brooklyn end of the Brooklyn Bridge (don't forget to have some pizza first at Grimaldi's).
  • On May 11, 2012
    Raphael Pallais answered the question: Raphael Pallais

    When is the best time to visit New York City?

    The best time for New York City is the high season, which includes the cultural season, beginning with the Opera at the Metropolitan Opera House toward the last week of September. Every new show is in full swing, the new restaurants are all open, the clubs are packed and the fun is alive throughout the city.