Glimmer and Gleam
Through a glassed-in fireplace entrance evoking its famous French furnace, the Baccarat Hotel is a study in the history and enduring allure of the house’s classic métier. This midtown gem is a special place and the architect and designers behind its creation really pulled out all the stops as every surface from floor to ceiling is done up with an attention to detail that is all-encompassing in its thematic construction.
With its charred walls symbolizing the workhouses where the crystal is made, the street level is bathed in hushed tones and a wall of spectacular lighting ingeniously rendered with 1,800 classic Baccarat Harcourt glasses (a model which has never been taken out of production) lit by LEDs from behind.
The lobby and salon located on the second floor provides a real sense of escaping the cacophony of the city and arriving in a quiet, but lively, world where gracious staff await you. It feels like a private oasis. Even the check-in desk is as unobtrusive as possible to keep the mundane transactional aspect of a hotel at a minimum. Though beautifully done it is an area that is meant not to distract but blend in so that the focus is kept on what’s important.
And that is the rest of the lobby. Split into several areas, there is a beautifully decadent gift shop featuring unique luxury items. The second area is the main salon where I had lunch and it was really special. There are a variety of seating possibilities, from lush couches and club chairs to a more traditional table with spectacularly fun faux fur-covered wing back chairs that definitely are a favorite among the guests.
The third area was closed during my visit but includes a beautiful bar area and a restaurant for formal dining with an outdoor terrace.
The most appealing aspect of the lobby areas are the floor-to-ceiling faceted windows which act as a prism, sending hundreds of rainbows out across the room at just the right time in the afternoon (providing the sun is out!).
In keeping with the integrity of design all glass and serveware is Baccarat along with all the décor, including enormous, magnificent chandeliers hanging intermittently throughout the spaces. Large dramatic globes of red roses round out the look, creating a very chic vibe as only the French can do.
This place has certainly earned its Forbes 2018 five-star rating and it’s no wonder Conde Nast has named it one of the best hotels in the world.
Now that’s a raison de célébrer!