Hands down, hotel design is exponentially more creative than residential design. With laser-like focus, sensory details are designed to seduce guests into the vortex of the experience being offered, satisfy imaginations, and whet appetites for a return visit or recommendation. Hospitality design pushes the usual boundaries of design in ways that can make the strange seem familiar, and the familiar seem strange.
The 1st and only Baccarat Hotel, in Midtown New York, reimagines the elegance and perfection of the legendary French crystal maker into a luxury hospitality brand. The beauty is in the details of shimmery neutrals accented by the rich baccarat red.
Baccarat product is everywhere, from archival to new pieces: stem wear, vases and lighting. The Baccarat brand’s over 200 years in business sets the baseline for the span of art included in the hotel’s décor.
The walk-up impression of this hotel begins with the glistening crystalline exterior of 125 foot wide corrugated crystal-like curtain on the tower levels of the 50 story building. The first 12 floors of the building feature 114 rooms/suites, with 60 private residences on floors above, accessible through a separate entrance.
Every design detail carries meaning. This two-sided, four-foot high fireplace burns 24-7 to represent the furnaces at the Baccarat manufacturing facilities in France.
Guests enter the lobby to a 25×25 foot LED-display wall to the right, completely programmable to emulate the rhythm of music, falling snowflakes, a wall-sized Baccarat “B”, and other customizable light shows.
To zoom in on the details of this wall… it is composed of over 2,000 of their most iconic Harcourt glasses- horizontally mounted and backlit with LED lights.
The Grand Salon, which serves as the lobby, is located upstairs. This long, vast room is decorated in a symphony of whites and champagnes, accented with fresh red roses in Baccarat vases (of course) and the occasional pop of Baccarat red. Magnificent chandeliers hang throughout, as glamour and sparkle abound. Multiple cozy seating areas create an intimate atmosphere for afternoon tea, cocktails, or light bites. The Grand Salon is flanked by the bar at one end and the Petit Salon at the other, both anchoring the lightness of the Grand Salon with a more masculine vibe.
On display throughout the Grand Salon are items curated from the brand’s archival collection. The walls are covered in hand-pleated silk, and the ceilings are stainless-ribbed. The color palette aligns with the brand, sparkling neutrals with accents of red. Furnishings include commissioned never-before-seen works from the Baccarat factories. Seventeen custom chandeliers hang throughout the hotel.
The library, adjacent to the Grand Salon, offers a perfect small space for small private gatherings. The 253 books represent each year of Baccarat’s existence.
The current year’s book is cleverly bound in red.
Baccarat Fact: King Louis XV founded the company in 1764
The Bar at Baccarat was inspired by the stables of Versailles. Barrel-vaulted ceilings represent the shape of a wine barrel.
At one end of the room a gold leaf wall reflects the magnificent chandeliers that line the 60’ bar. At the opposite end of the bar a seasonal terrace overlooks the Modern Museum of Art (MOMA), which is directly across the street.
A carefully curated art collection lines the deep red walls, assembled by lauded French curators Stephanie and Frederic Chambre. The collection, which spans the years since Baccarat’s founding, includes works by Robert Longo (see above photo, bottom right), Ellen von Unsworth, Joaquin Ferrer, Slim Aarons, Jean-Phillippe Aubanel, Segui, Nan Golden and Eduardo Arroyo.
Hand-crafted cocktails, aperitifs, fine wines and light bites are offered in the bar and salons. Drinks are served in the assortment of over 15,000 mixed and matched pieces of Baccarat stemware.
A touch of design irony finds a wooden chandelier in the bar area, fashioned after one of their crystal ones.
In 1936, Baccarat’s signature became applied systematically to every product. The old paper label technique was replaced by an acid-etched trademark. In 1990, a laser was used to apply the logo. Now, all Baccarat signatures are sand engraved. After 1936, jewelry became marked with a single logo and starting in 1997, all chandeliers featured a red crystal pampille, which many consider the key identifier of the brand.
The Petit Salon punctuates the other end of the Grand Salon, offering a more private and tranquil environment- or a gathering space for smaller groups.
By turns stately and contemplative, this smaller room exhibits a more gentlemanly vibe- with smoked (not stained) oak walls, more of the deep red jewel tones, oversized contemporary art and plush seating.
Three grand chandeliers hang, seemingly casually spaced, suspended by rough cord rope. The color scheme almost goes into reverse of the Grand Salon’s as cozy dark tones receive the pop of white and the sparkle of a hand-applied mica-finished ceiling.
More than 100 custom designed works of art are displayed throughout the hallways and public areas of the hotel. In the vitrine shown above is one of 11 commissioned statuettes by various artists using Baccarat’s iconic Harcourt glass.
The rooms are designed with state of the art technology allowing temperature, lighting and room service to be controlled by a tablet. Guests who prefer to use the phone will find a button allocated for “Champagne” to order a bottle of their favorite vintage to their rooms, accompanied by signature Baccarat glasses.
à votre santé!
Each of the 114 rooms and suites feels like a pied-a-terre, with floor to ceiling windows, custom jacquard linens, hand painted french doors, marble baths and amenities created exclusively for the hotel by a Parisian perfumer.
The Baccarat Suite
The hotel’s interiors were conceived by French design duo Giles & Bossier to combine the classic elegance of a Parisian hotel particulier with the contemporary aesthetic of its midtown New York City location.
The interiors of the in-room bar are lacquered in the signature red, equipped with the signature stemware, and filled with gourmet snacks from Laduree. Between this and the champagne button on the phone, would you ever leave the room?
The 55 foot long indoor marble tiled pool suggests a sunken ballroom.
Poolside alcoves are equipped with daybeds for pre or post spa treatment relaxation. The spa and the fitness facility are steps away from the pool.
The Baccarat Hotel is a modern lifestyle hotel masterpiece that merges
The refined aesthetic of 18th century France is merged with the innovations of a private and welcoming 20th century home in The Baccarat Hotel. This Midtown gem offers a unique mix of features that inspire travelers to check “real-life” at the door for a unique travel experience.
Baccarat Hotel New York
28 West 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019
Hotel Reservations: 866-957-5139
Grand Salon Reservations: 212-790-8867
Spa de La Mer: 212-790-8910
©Courtney Price, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Courtney Price and CourtneyPrice.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Photos taken by Courtney Price or used with permission of Baccarat Hotel.