Fashion Forward: Betsey & Eloise


The Plaza’s most famous resident just had her suite redone by Betsey Johnson. Born in 1949 from the imagination of Kay Thompson and brought to life with Hilary Knight’s iconic illustrations, the hotel-dwelling Eloise is prone to throwing tantrums. But the perpetual six-year-old won’t fuss when she sees she now has a gorgeous room fit for, well, a precocious little girl who loves pink. Known for her flamboyant feminine style, Johnson was the perfect choice to design the over-the-top décor.

“I just thought of it all together because it’s so natural for me,” said Johnson, who held her spring 2010 fashion show in The Plaza’s Palm Court, complete with a model who looked like Eloise. “It’s kind of the ultimate of my brand – the pink and the flowers and the animals. I saw it as a whole idea, there wasn’t a favorite corner or area.”

By the way, the animals to which she’s referring are Skipperdee, the turtle and Weiner, the dog. They’re represented in stuffed form as well as on appliqué on the bathroom towels. But there’s also the wild rug she added that sets the tone of the room. “I think the major energy starts with the floor – the zebra floor,” Johnson said.

Johnson played within the hotel’s furniture parameters, reupholstering the chairs with her signature rose prints and slipping herdecals under the glass-topped nightstands. The result is a blend between The Plaza’s elegant Edwardian look and Johnson’s girly tastes. It also bears a resemblance to the Betsey Johnson stores, especially the neon pink Eloise sign that hangs above the bed (whose duvet she also designed – her first foray into bedding).

Despite the pint-sized pink tulle frocks available for dress-up and the children’s videos for viewing on the flat-screen, the room has a decidedly grown-up price of $995 per night. The cost includes a monogrammed Eloise bathrobe, a $100 gift card to the hotel’s Eloise shop in the belowground mall, an Eloise disposable camera, a framed photo of the guest inside the suite and an Eloise book. Parents can book the adjoining one-bedroom suite (with no pink in sight), bringing to the total to $2,045 a night.

Liz Borod Wright blogs at Travelogged and you can follow her on Twitter. And that’s the author in the Plaza’s Eloise suite.