Bored with traditional Monopoly? Spice it up a little. (Photo: The Plaza)
Game night is a tradition for many families and friends, but if you have worn out your old Monopoly board and wanted to give your game night the VIP treatment, you may want to head to the iconic Plaza Hotel soon to pick up Plaza-opoly! In one box, you can pretend to be a real estate mogul, build condos, and rub elbows with the top 1 percent at Plaza events past and present. With one dice roll, you may end up in the Oak Bar with the Beatles.
Who wouldn’t want to do that?
I have a confession to make. I am a real-life, adult Eloise, living in the Plaza Residences. I am honored that Yahoo Travel asked me to review this to see if it did the hotel and the original Monopoly justice.
Sadly, the adorable stuffed doorman does not come with the game. (Photo: Renee Cafaro)
Much like the original game, it is an impossibly long exercise in greed, bankruptcy, going to jail, and seeing your loved ones’ true colors.
Two of our six players were Monopoly novices, so I was worried that Plaza-opoly would prove to be more confusing than it was worth. Aside from the hot-pink and red properties looking like the same color, it was actually pretty easy to get the hang of. Quite possibly my favorite elements to the game were the Now & Then cards. Occasionally the actions were a little unclear, but that didn’t counteract how fun it was to see where in Plaza history an action would land you. If you have a strong attachment to the Plaza and are familiar with a lot of the lore, this game will be very entertaining for you!
For adults, wine and cheese are necessities for any game night, especially at the Plaza. (Photo: Renee Cafaro)
Sadly, if you are like one of my friends who had never read the Eloise books, a lot of references might be lost on you. In fact, two of the adorable game pieces are Eloise’s pets, her dog and her little turtle, Skipperdee. The men in the room, unsure why those were there, opted for the limousine and something we think is a Plaza-branded bottle. A teapot, in reference to high tea at the Palm Court, and a Big Apple rounded out the choices folks have for what will represent them — something that is important to many players.
Much like when playing the classic version, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the shoe representing my place in the world of board games and would often try to trade for something cooler, like the coveted top hat. Since any form of “–opoly” can turn your beloved boyfriend or BFF into a greedy tycoon, these kinds of trades or small property deals are much harder than they should be!
Be careful who you let be the banker. (Photo: Renee Cafaro)
Plaza-opoly made for a fun game night, colored by our own additions to the Plaza “Now” idea. Yes, it never got old to make the “You’ve been caught with Charlie Sheen, go directly to jail” joke; we felt that the lack of some sort of Sheen-trashing-the-Plaza reference was truly amiss. Also, we would have loved to have seen a reference to the annual Tonys bash or at least some custom cards where you can add in your own actions to reflect your personal experience with the Plaza.
If you are buying this game, you most certainly have had some unforgettable moment involving the hotel. With my living here, clearly we have had many, so there were plenty of game digressions to make jokes about the hilariously low cost of the “Condos” and some shenanigans that went down at one of my New Year’s parties that were patterned after Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball held here in the Grand Ballroom.
This is a great gift for couples who have married here, family members who remember staying here in its original formation, older “Eloise” fans, or anyone who has fallen in love with the Plaza through visits and movies. With several cards asking you to pay a bar tab, this may not be the best gift for a child, but it will be a perfect one for a New Yorker who is a child at heart.
Plaza-opoly is available for purchase at the Plaza Boutique in the Plaza and retails for $60.