Words by Bonnie Davidson
Photography by John Russo
Model Kaki West; Hair by Abby S; Makeup by Evelyn Ramirez
Legendary French crystal maker Baccarat’s elegant aesthetic is reflected in every facet of Baccarat Hotel & Residences. The noble brand, founded in 1724 by royal warrant of King Louis XV, debuted its first hotel and global flagship located footsteps from the Museum of Modern Art and shopping along Fifth Avenue in Midtown, Manhattan three years ago. The 50-story tower with shimmering façade of prismatic glass is rich in amenities and comforts, steeped in sensuality and dripping in opulence. Here, we highlight an array of noteworthy nuggets.
Fire and Light: A four-foot-tall, dual-sided fireplace perpetually blazes in the lobby, symbolizing the always-stoked furnaces at the manufacturing facilities in Baccarat, France. Nearby, a 20-by-25-foot wall is adorned with more than 2,000 custom-sized Harcourt glasses, the brand’s most iconic crystal vessel, laid horizontally and lit by an LED light to produce a 24-hour light show.
Artful Touches: Curated by French husband-and-wife team Stéphanie and Frédéric Chambre, the hotel’s museum-worthy art collection includes works by Robert Longo, Ellen von Unsworth, Joaquin Ferrer, Slim Aarons, Jean-Philippe Aubanel, Segui, Nan Goldin and Eduardo Arroyo, as well as more than 100 commissioned original pieces displayed throughout the hallways and public areas.
Nest Easy: Designed like private pieds-à-terre, all 114 tablet-controlled high-tech rooms feature custom desks, sconces and table lamps by Baccarat; custom jacquard linens by Mascioni; and hand-painted French doors that separate sleeping areas from white marble bathrooms, where pampering amenities are crafted by Parisian perfumer Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
Nuits Romantiques: Time for a tryst? A custom-designed Baccarat-red enamel mini-bar holds Maison Ladurée delicacies, while bubbly in Baccarat fluted glasses can be ordered by touching a button designated “Champagne” on the telephone handset.
Raising the Bar: Inspired by the stables of Versailles, The Bar at Baccarat, just off the lavish Grand Salon, showcases barrel-vaulted ceilings, a 60-foot bar and the most spectacular of all 17 custom chandeliers that hang throughout the property. In this rarified setting, the ultimate splurge is “100 Years of the Dalmore,” an exquisite flight featuring three drams of the distillery’s most precious expressions—25-year, 35-year and 40-year single malt scotch whisky—for $1,200.
Spa of the Sea: Each treatment room at the sublime, subterranean Spa de la Mer has as its backdrop a mural of sea kelp handpainted by New York artists Lynda White and Jeff Wood. Custom Baccarat crystal sconces line the space, casting a warm glow reminiscent of sunlight flickering on the ocean floor.
Lap of Luxury: Evoking images of the Côte d’Azur, canopied daybeds are arranged along the perimeter of the 50-foot heated swimming pool. After taking the plunge, swimmers dry off with towels wafting the scent of Rouge 540, Baccarat’s olfactory signature from Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
Automobile Privée: For taking jaunts within 15 blocks of the hotel (roughly from Lord & Taylor to the Central Park Zoo), guests have complimentary use of the house car, a vintage Citroen. Et un chauffeur, bien sûr.