The Baccarat Hotel New York is a dazzling showcase for the brand’s beautiful crystal, says Denis Fahy
Situated steps away from Fifth’s Avenue’s legendary shopping, the global flagship hotel for the Baccarat crystal brand literally glows on the inside and out, with the lower levels of the property veiled by a 125foot wide corrugated crystal-like curtain. Arrival at the sleek 50-storey building in which the hotel is housed is unusual in the sense that you know you’re about to check in somewhere special but the signage is rather discreet, with only an immaculately dressed gentleman in attendance at the door to signal your arrival. Upon entering a modern somewhat understated Gothic styled entrance, I’m guided up two
levels to a tranquil reception area, where check in is smooth and impressively swift. As you’d expect, there is Baccarat crystal shimmering under the lights at every turn, with a dazzling display of Baccarat chandeliers, mirrors and lights placed in every corner of the hotel. One of the most outstanding pieces is a mesmerising 20-by-25 foot wall adorned with more than 2,000 Baccarat glasses in lobby, each of which is illuminated by an LED light to create a 24-hour light show. There is also a strong design aesthetic at work, with furniture that’s not only great looking but also amazingly comfortable in the lobby and other public
Clockwise from opposite page: the Petit Salon; the Grand Salon; Grand Classic King room; the bar
areas. As you’d expect at a Baccarrat hotel, the decor and style is opulent and very high end, with Baccarat fine crystal lighting in use throughout the entire hotel as well as in each room, with custom desks, sconces and table lamps by Bacarrat. I check into a classic king room, which, like all room types is decked out in calming shades of white. The white marble bathrooms feature glass-enclosed showers, while through handpainted French doors the bedroom features an amazingly comfortable four poster with custom jacquard linens by Mascioni. While New York is undoubtedly an amazing place to visit, I always enjoyed getting back to the hotel and the room, and even the most discerning of guests would be impressed with the attention to detail in the design of the rooms.
For our first evening at the Baccarat, we headed to the bar, a grand space with vaulted ceilings and an outdoor terrace overlooking the Museum of Modern Art for cocktails. I ordered up a Manhattan and took it on the terrace to take in the views. While I sipped at my drink, I got the
impression there were arty types closing deals for exclusive pieces of art work as they worked their way through the bar’s cocktail menu – unsurprising, perhaps, given the hotel is located directly opposite MoMA.
Breakfast in the main dining area is a welcome steer away from factory-style buffets and instead offers the chance to order a la carte and enjoy highly personalised service. With a simple “1” dial push to order, room service was similarly impressive. I felt that the chef had taken my order seriously and paid attention to how I wanted the dishes prepared and served. The huge pancakes were thick and crispy, and were paired with super fresh organic bacon and a superb coffee that could arguably contend as one of the best brews in New York.
Another standout dining experience at Baccarat for me was the afternoon tea. Taking inspiration from tea services enjoyed in palaces at royal households, the Prince of Wales set is a mouthwatering mix of modern and traditional influences with highly decorated pastries, home-made scones and really wellmade tea, which is rare in New York, thanks to the presence of the hotel’s designated tea sommelier, Gabrielle Jammal.
Should you want to continue your exercise routine, you can head down to a very spacious, immaculate gym in the basement, where there is a personal trainer on hand for anyone that requires guidance. A 55-foot long indoor heated pool is set in the opulent Baccarat style, and the hotel is also home to La Mer’s first full-service spa in the world. Even the spa isn’t immune to Baccarat’s influences, as the La Mer Bacarrat Facial includes a diamond powder exfoliation and Icy Crystal Star technique that incorporates crystal into the therapy. Post-treatment, you can only hope that your skin will be as flawless and translucent as the sparkling crystal on display. baccarathotels.com