New York is a city full of contrasts: you have chic streetwear next to 5th Avenue’s brand name flagship stores, dollar pizza slices across the street from multi-course fine dining degustations, and hip boutique hotels fighting for tourist dollars with ritzy international hotel chains. When it comes to the cream of the crop in the latter category, however, one name comes to mind: the Baccarat Hotel New York — undoubtedly one of Manhattan’s most prestigious hotel addresses.
The French brand may be more known for its lustrous crystals and tableware, but doesn’t mean they’re playing catch-up in their first foray into the luxury hotel space; funnel all of the over-the-top opulence of Baccarat’s brand and craftsmanship into hospitality and you have what’s undoubtedly one of New York’s most regal hotels — one that we were lucky enough to spend an evening exploring on a recent trip to the Big Apple.
With the Baccarat Hotel located conveniently smack dab in Midtown, it can be almost jarring to step off the busy streets of New York and into the shimmering oasis of opulence, the surreptitious entrance located on West 53rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue. The location is steps away from attractions such as the Museum of Modern Art, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, and famous restaurants such as Le Bernardin; while subway access includes the E, M, B and D trains. Despite its central location, once inside you feel instantly removed from the bustle of downtown — a respite at the end of the day that’s priceless in a dense city such as New York where you’re often trading convenience for comfort.
Of course, with Baccarat’s reputation, you can expect the rooms and facilities to be virtually dripping in opulence, decked out in exquisite crystal chandeliers, tableware and objets d’art adorning every corner of the hotel. Each of the 114 rooms embraces a chic 18th-century Parisian aesthetic, conceived by designers Dorothée Boissier and Patrick Gilles.
Awash in a palette of cream and white, spacious rooms are fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows draped with sheer curtains, with a lone accent of vivid red roses adding a pop of colour to the space. Luxury touches include a Baccarat-branded cashmere throw draped across the four-poster bed, a red lacquered mini bar topped with Baccarat tumblers, and cushy white armchairs. Dripping in marble, bathrooms feature large rainfall showerheads, a full suite of amenities from Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris, and plush Italian bathrobes that you may very well be tempted to live in all weekend.
Spa & Facilities
You can bet that Baccarat has thought out every detail of creating exclusive guest experiences, including creating the world’s first-ever Spa de La Mer. Fans of the cult beauty brand will want to head to one of the four sumptuous spa rooms to be lavished with La Mer products, with signature treatments ranging from the La Mer Miracle Broth Facial to the Baccarat Facial featuring a cooling Ice Crystal Star technique.
Afterwards, take a private dip in the indoor heated pool, featuring a checkered floor peeking through the pure, aquamarine water. The pool is surrounded by plush white day beds and cabanas inspired by the Côte d’Azur — ideal for a mid-afternoon read hidden away from sight.
Food & Drink
When thirst strikes, your first stop should be at the chandelier-clad bar (adjacent to an open-air patio deck), where classic cocktails are shaken and stirred to precise calibrations — served up in Baccarat crystal glasses, no less. Any one of the libations off the menu are sure to appease even the most well-travelled cocktail aficionados; or peruse the French-focused wine list instead to sip a fine Burgundy or Bordeaux.
The pièce de résistance of Baccarat is undoubtedly the Grand Salon, where Jouffre silk-covered walls, parquet floors, and plush banquettes all work to complement the focal point: a 64-arm Baccarat chandelier. It’s here underneath the sparkling crystal where guests can partake in a lovely Parisian-themed breakfast filled with fruit and pastries; a light lunch featuring seasonal produce, and afternoon tea starring a special partnership with Mariage Frères’ boutique blends. At night, indulge in Alsatian-inspired dishes from famed Culinary Director Gabriel Kreuther, paired with sumptuous craft cocktails while soaking in every detail beneath the soaring 22-foot-high ceiling.
Polished perfection at every turn, Baccarat gives you the feeling of being transported to the Palace of Versailles from right in the middle of Midtown, Manhattan. The grandiose, over-the-top luxury perhaps may not be entirely suited for those seeking more down-to-earth accommodation, but for well-heeled travellers who want nothing less than to be pampered in the ultimate lap of luxury on their holidays, you’ll want to pay this Parisian hideout a visit on your next trip to the Big Apple.