Hotel Baccarat – A symbol of New York Luxury
Located in Midtown Manhattan, Hôtel Baccarat stands out as a fantastic example among the many posh resorts at the playground of the rich and the glamorous
Named after the storied French crystal manufacturer (the same people who made vodka glasses for the Czar of Russia, among other fineries), Hôtel Baccarat is positively festooned with the most exquisite glassware of any hotel in New York or possibly anywhere. From the 64-point chandelier in the entryway to the crystal lamps beside the beds, it’s nearly impossible to look anywhere and not spot one of the 50,000 pieces of handcrafted glass that is practically a piece of art. The hotel has dedicated itself to upholding the legacy of the Baccarat Crystal Company by pledging to be, “artisans of service,” and so far they are certainly living up to reputation.
The hotel’s design has a fine lineage. The building was designed by the architects at Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill LLP, the same firm that designed Park Hyatt Hyderabad and One World Trade Center (the building built on the former site of the Twin Towers destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attack). The interior of the hotel has been done by the esteemed Parisian firm Gilles & Boissier, notable for their work on the Moncler Stores in New York, Milan, and Paris.
Hôtel Baccarat has been a veritable American palace for visitors to New York since it opened in 2016, and none other than the modern monarch of American royalty –Kim Kardashian has been among Baccarat’s guests.
As a modern luxury hotel nestled in the heart of midtown Manhattan, it is an excellent choice for a visitor to the city who is determined to see all the glorious sights.
The ornate, gothic, and historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a mere 200 meters down the street. Plenty of other sites like Carnegie Hall, Tiffany’s, Central Park, and Times Square are within easy walking distance. For getting about by car, the hotel always keeps a bank of taxi cabs outside the front door for the use of guests. A to-and-fro shuttle van is also available for an additional fee.
Another attraction is the Citroën DS. It was the executive saloon of choice for many industry magnates and heads of state, most notably French president and General Charles de Gaulle-who survived an assassination attempt thanks to the car’s unique handling! If one is dressed in finery to go to a musical performance at Carnegie Hall, one shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to head there in this classic luxury car.
Once you retire to the hotel after a long night, the rooms on offer will ensure you sleep like royalty. The hotel has a variety of rooms serving the needs of its guests. It has anything from a single room and bed to expansive suites for long-term stays, including residences for those who wish to indulge in the epitome of luxury-the hotel is crowned with a 60-million dollar penthouse on the top floor!
A business traveller who has just arrived from the airport and needs a quick freshening up would be wise to pick Hôtel Baccarat. One can relax in the Hotel’s spa followed by a massage and a hot shower-the perfect way to kill time while waiting for one’s suit to come back from the dry cleaners. Likewise, a couple on a romantic weekend or honeymoon would be well spent in one of Hôtel Baccarat’s lavish suites.
It is rarely the case that a hotel is a draw for people when visiting another city. But the rooms at Baccarat certainly warrant an exception! Featuring “curated original works of art from the Baccarat collection and crystal sconces glowing on the walls” the rooms have “a subtle palette of champagne, ivory, platinum, stainless steel and chocolate brown”.
Some of the larger suites have living rooms with custom furniture. In the bedroom are four-poster beds flanked by marble-topped nightstands. The sheets are Mascioni jacquard linen topped with a cashmere throw. Not to be overlooked is the red lacquer mini-bar and the treasures contained within! Baccarat crystal stemware, Ruinart champagne and delicacies from Maison Ladurée ensure one’s midnight snack cravings are amply satiated.
An absolute must while staying at Baccarat is its high tea. It is open from 1 to 4 in the afternoon, Wednesday through Sunday, and requires a reservation of at least 24 hours in advance.
It’s a not-to-be-missed experience and a great opportunity to recharge one’s batteries before an elegant evening after a long day of shopping or touring museums.
High tea isn’t quite a meal or a ceremony, but it is more than just a quick cup of tea. Tea at Baccarat comes with a variety of options on the menu. The set menu offers four variations of the tea service, French, English, Turkish, and Russian – each reflecting the centuries of tradition in their respective cultures and each as rich as it is intriguing. The English option includes scones and Devonshire cream (a thickened sweet cream that pairs marvellously with strawberry preserves, and a hot cup of black tea with milk) while the Russian includes caviar.
On the à la carte menu are tea cocktails, champagne, mocktails (for non-alcohol drinkers) as well as a variety of teas. The teas are sourced from the renowned French tea-emporium Frères Mariage, which has been in continuous operation since 1854, and is still owned by family Mariage. The hotel also employs a full-time tea sommelier who crafts unique tea blends for guests.
As such there is no shortage of choice for the discerning tea connoisseur. Black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong, Assam, and a range of other blends, from Chamomile to Earl Grey are all available. The teas mostly hail from India, with some China teas and one from South Africa; no tea lover could possibly let go of this chance to sample Baccarat’s teas or try a new tea every day!
All in all, a stay at Hôtel Baccarat is nothing short of a symbol of luxury representing New York’s exquisite history and taste.