Unbridled luxury in Midtown Manhattan
Famed crystal company Baccarat dazzled even the most jaded traveler when it opened its first hotel in New York City in 2015. With its unflinchingly glamorous public spaces, subtly luxurious guest rooms, splashy bars and an ultra-luxe spa, Baccarat Hotel and Residences is nothing short of pure opulence.
Located across the street from the Museum of Modern Art on East 53rd Street, the French-inspired hotel is flooded with millions of dollars of prismatic Baccarat crystals. Even the typically benign street-level entry lobby was transformed into a darkly glam place, infused with massive Baccarat crystal chandeliers. Inside, there’s much more splendor to behold — within the various sitting salons you’ll see a sparkling mica-covered vaulted ceiling, silver-leafed wood paneling, gleaming parquet oak floors and pleated silk walls all seem stolen straight out of a money-is-no-object playbook.
Within the 114 light-filled rooms, you are given a break from the over-the-top visual eye candy of the public spaces. That doesn’t mean these spaces are boring — they are anything but. Outside every doorway is a unique piece of curated art, which can make you feel a bit like you are sleeping in a posh museum rather than a New York City hotel. The walls and linens are soft white, tinted mirrors hide flat-screen TVs, white marble bathrooms have plush robes — it all feels very serene.
Luxurious extras abound. Bed linens are bought new and personally ironed for each guest. Each room is stocked with signature Baccarat crystal accents. There’s a “champagne” call button on the phones. Suites have La Mer bath products, making the Baccarat the first to offer hundreds of dollars’ worth of bath amenities per stay.
Acclaimed skincare brand La Mer opened its first and only North American spa inside the Baccarat. Spa de La Mer has is located below the ground level and has four treatment rooms, a 55-foot-long marble-tiled pool, and poolside daybeds. The treatment menu is heavenly, with custom facials performed with — of course — La Mer products, which emphasize healing ingredients from the sea.
The Food and Drinks
Chevalier is the street-level restaurant at the luxury hotel, and it serves up French classics by chef Shea Gallante in a refined, sophisticated space filled with rich-but-subtle neutrals and plush banquettes. Expect well-made menu items such as diver scallops with heirloom tomatoes, pan-seared foie gras, black sea bass filet and wild berry cassonade for dessert.
Upstairs, The Bar has show-stopping interiors that are black, red and white all over (with cascading Baccarat crystal chandeliers, too). Here, you can linger for hours over vino and cocktails. Red walls, black-and-white checkered floors and an outdoor garden terrace reminiscent of affairs gone awry at the Jardin de Tuileries in the First Arrondissement of Paris provide a compelling backdrop for the bespoke cocktails.