Photo by Mark Weinberg
Photo by Mark Weinberg
The suite includes not just one, but two, toy train sets.
From now until January 5, the iconic NYC company is partnerning with a hotel for an overnight experience—“Big” piano included.
Your Home Alone 2 and Big-style childhood fantasies may actually play out this winter: AFAR has exclusively learned that iconic toy company FAO Schwarz in New York City partnered with the newly opened Conrad New York Midtown to create a special hotel suite filled—very literally filled—with oversized toys, baskets full of candy, and enough whimsy to make adults smile as well.
The one-of-a-kind FAO Schwarz Holiday Suite, which is bookable for stays from November 18, 2019, to January 5, 2020, marks the first time a hotel has ever collaborated on a suite with the famed toy brand. FAO Schwarz’s original location—a multi-story toy wonderland that became a top NYC destination and practically doubled as a film set—closed in 2015 after 153 years in business. Thankfully, it reopened with a new, smaller flagship in Rockefeller Center in December 2018.
“We’ve always wanted to do something like this with a hotel. To imagine the joy and wonder that will captivate guests from the minute they open the door—it’s magical,” says David Niggli, chief merchandising officer of FAO Schwarz.
The 1,800-square-foot suite overflows with FAO Schwarz classics and newcomers: Think a toy gourmet kitchen; multiple detailed and functioning train sets; the dance-on piano made famous by Tom Hanks in Big; working DJ turntables with a selection of music; hobby horses; 8- to 10-foot-tall stuffed animals, including the iconic giraffes, as well as unicorns, bears, gorillas, and orangutans; a playable toddler-sized “baby” grand piano (giving a whole new meaning to baby grand); larger-than-life nutcracker soldiers; vintage Barbie dolls; and musical instruments, including guitars, drums, and a Bluetooth microphone.
There will also be a holiday-themed library and a welcome basket filled with FAO Schweetz candy. But watch out, parents: Everything in the room is shoppable (no judgment if you don’t tell your kids that). Whatever guests purchase will be shipped directly to their home. There is no age limit for guests, but if a toy is damaged they will be charged for it.
For those guests not staying in the suite, the hotel will offer everyone the opportunity to order gifts on demand via an in-room toy menu that serves up playthings from dolls to drones, delivered to a guest’s suite or sent directly to their home.
The all-suite hotel hopes to make families feel like they’re in the comfort of their own home—with a special holiday twist. “Our suites have an inherently residential feel and we wanted to create a space where families can really feel at home for the holidays,” says Robert Rechtermann, the general manager of Conrad New York Midtown. Formerly the London NYC, the new all-suite hotel opened on October 1, 2019, after a complete renovation and redesign by Stonehill Taylor that had it rebranded as a Conrad, a Hilton luxury brand aimed at millennial travelers.
It may be tempting to spend your entire stay in the spacious one-bedroom Holiday Suite. While your kids play with all the toys, you can relax in the Carrera marble soaking tub or order in a meal to serve in the suite’s own dining room. Guests who book the package will also get to spend a $100 gift card at a private shopping spree and tour of the nearby store with an FAO Schwarz toy soldier prior to store opening. Afterwards, head to breakfast at Dabble, Conrad New York Midtown’s signature restaurant, which is also included in the package.
The FAO Schwarz Holiday Suite package starts at $3,000 per night. To book, email NYCCN.Sales@ConradHotels.com.
Sign up for the Daily Wander newsletter for expert travel inspiration and tips
Please enter a valid email address.
more from afar
We Reviewed the CDC-Approved COVID Home Tests for International Travel—Here’s What to Know
COVID + Travel