In the concrete jungle that is New York City, a glass tower rises in the heart of midtown Manhattan across the street from the MoMA and walking distance from the Fifth Avenue shopping district, Radio City Music Hall, and Rockefeller Centre. This is the Baccarat Hotel & Residences.
Along with the guestrooms, the establishment offers 60 of some of the most lavish private residences in the city. Those who make the Baccarat their home also has exclusive access to all of the hotel’s amenities, including a bar with an outdoor terrace overlooking the museum, an indoor pool, a fitness centre and the first Spa de La Mer in the US.
Recalling the radiance of the legendary Baccarat crystal, the property’s prismatic glass façade most impressively reflects and refracts light across its 50 storeys. The lower levels of the property are also veiled by a corrugated crystal-like curtain, which is the first thing I noticed when I stepped out of my Uber one Friday afternoon to check-in to the luxury hotel.
“Recalling the radiance of the legendary Baccarat crystal, the property’s prismatic glass façade most impressively reflects and refracts light across its 50 storeys.”
I tried not to appear awed by the property’s exterior but after it made its grand first impression, one thing after another continued to impress upon me. The next was a dual-sided fireplace at the ground floor entrance which, in the summer, seemed redundant. Or so I thought. Later on I learnt that the feature was meant to pay homage to Baccarat’s furnaces, which are stoked 24-hours a day to produce the crystal.
At reception, I got my first look of the hotel’s beautiful interior. Marrying the classic, subtle elegance of a Parisian hôtel particulier with a modern sensibility, it was all dark wood tables, woven rugs, mirror and marble wall treatments and parquet wood flooring.
One of my favourite spaces to spend time at during my stay was also one of the grandest I’d ever been in — the Grand Salon. Adjacent to the reception area, it was where guests enjoyed flutes of welcome bubbly, high tea and breakfast. Featuring high ceilings, a platinum and champagne palette, Jouffre silk-covered walls, crystal chandeliers and high-backed banquettes, the setting was both luxurious and inviting.
I stayed in the Grand Classic King room, one of 114 rooms and suites that are all designed to feel like pieds-à-terre, starting with a white marble foyer featuring my room number in Roman numerals etched on the floor.
The room itself was dominated by an ivory, platinum, stainless steel, chocolate brown and red colour scheme, thanks to a gorgeous four-poster bed, custom jacquard linens, Baccarat crystal sconces, plush furnishings and a one-of-a-kind flat-screen TV concealed within smoked mirrors.
“Marrying the classic, subtle elegance of a Parisian hôtel particulier with a modern sensibility, it was all dark wood tables, woven rugs, mirror and marble wall treatments and parquet wood flooring.”
As a space I always pay equal attention to, the bathroom was just as magnificent. Concealed from the sleeping area by hand-painted French doors, the all-white marble bathroom — which applied to the floor, walls and furnishings — offered evocative lighting and presented custom amenities created by Parisian perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, an oversized showerhead and even Baccarat crystal tumblers.
All in all, every detail clearly spared no expense. And though I’m the first to admit that I personally opt for less grandiose accommodations during my travels, the ambiance and aesthetics housed within the crystal skyscraper was just the right amount of sensual, functional and comfortable.
Where: Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York (a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Legend Collection)
28 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019, USA
Phone: +1 212-790-8800
Note – The critic was invited by Baccarat Hotel, New York. But all the opinions expressed herewith are her own.