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TravelBaccarat Hotel New York review

Baccarat Hotel New York review

“The limit does not exist,” Cady Heron of the North Shore Mathletes famously said in the 2004 smash hit movie “Mean Girls.”

In that scene, Lindsay Lohan’s character might have been solving a complex math problem — but the answer also seems to apply to New York City’s luxury hotel scene, where the buildings keep getting taller, the rates more expensive, the amenities more opulent, the guests more chic. The limit does not exist.

My role as a senior hotel reporter at TPG often has me testing those limits during stays at some of the most luxe hotels in town, from the Aman New York (frequently the most expensive hotel in Manhattan) to the swanky new Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad, which is redefining what luxury looks like these days (hint: it doesn’t involve gold-clad anything).

This leads me (and you!) to my recent one-night stay at the Baccarat New York, a hotel in the heart of midtown Manhattan that’s at once a beautiful escape from the gritty streets, a showroom of expensive French crystal and a place to see or be seen.

If you’re intrigued to see what a hotel built by a French luxury brand looks like — and if you’re considering booking a stay at this crystal-filled property yourself — here’s everything you need to know about the Baccarat Hotel New York.


What is the Baccarat Hotel New York?

The first property in Baccarat’s venture into hospitality, the Baccarat Hotel New York is a luxury hotel in midtown Manhattan that opened its doors in 2015. Located in a prime spot across the street from the Museum of Modern Art, one could argue that the 50-story Skidmore Owings & Merrill-designed building is a museum in its own right thanks to its seemingly countless pieces of Baccarat crystal, ranging from exquisite chandeliers to the building’s prismlike glass facade. The hotel and its 114 guestrooms were designed by French firm Gilles & Boissier and are completed by a spa from the luxury brand La Mer, an indoor swimming pool, a gym, a Baccarat boutique and food and beverage options including The Bar, the Grand Salon, Le Jardin and in-room dining.

Right now, the New York outpost is the only Baccarat Hotel open, but the brand will soon be expanding to the Maldives, Rome and Florence in Italy, Dubai, Miami (residences), and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

The hotel is also pet-friendly (despite all the crystal everywhere), and my small corgi, Splenda, joined me for the stay.

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How to book the Baccarat Hotel New York

Like fine Baccarat crystal, rooms at the Baccarat New York come with a significant price tag, typically starting around $900 per night and substantially more during the busy summer and holiday travel seasons. Since the hotel is not part of a traditional loyalty program, you should consider booking through channels like American Express’ Fine Hotels + Resorts (available to people who carry cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express) for elitelike perks including guaranteed 4 p.m. checkout, potential 12 p.m. check-in, a $150 spa credit, free breakfast for two and room upgrades (when available).

Rooms are chic and spacious


For my one-night stay, we were placed in a Harcourt Grand King Room, a stunning and comfortable room that measured around 470 square feet — spacious by New York standards — and was filled with soft gray, cream and rich brown tones, accented with pops of Baccarat’s signature red.

There was a dramatic four-poster bed in the center of the room while a couch sat in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking MoMA (and its line of people waiting to enter). The bed, dressed in Somma 1867 linens and a Baccarat throw, was cloudlike, easy to fall into and so hard to get out of the next morning.


Opposite the bed, a long desk was the base for an enormous wall mirror — which I later realized doubled as the TV (with streaming capabilities) — a refined and chic way to hide what can often be a bit of an eyesore in any bedroom. I also loved the bulletin board leaning against the wall that playfully displayed Baccarat stationery.

In the entry hallway, a moody, bright red armoire doubled as a minibar and contained a sleek red Baccarat box with crystal stemware and top-shelf bottles of liquor like Remy Martin cognac and Clase Azul tequila. There was also a refrigerator drawer with other standards like Champagne, Evian, beer, cocktail mixers and sodas.


The hallway also had a row of closets, including one with drawer space and another with two terry cloth robes embroidered with Baccarat branding.


But the real star of the show was the gleaming marble bathroom, complete with a massive rainfall shower and a soaking tub that I was delighted to discover hidden behind the bathroom vanity wall and just past the shower. As seen in the photo below, the shower has a huge window opening out into the room, a feature some may love and others may despise.


But don’t fret, the window can be covered with the folding panels built into the wall.


Throughout the bathroom were Baccarat-branded amenities with the 540 Bis scent, a special scent for the hotel inspired by Rouge 540, which celebrated the company’s 250th anniversary.


And, of course, there was more crystal in the bathroom because, even in the loo, the limit does not exist.


If you happen to be traveling with your furry friends, two dogs up to 20 pounds are allowed to stay for a fee of $250 each, which includes having bowls and pet beds placed in the room. I’d say the service went further than other pet-friendly hotels I’ve stayed at over the years, as Splenda simply refused to go on a walk in some light rain (or probably out of fear of having to return to Brooklyn) and a kind doorman offered to take her so that I wouldn’t have to get wet. (He tried. She refused. I guess sometimes the limit does exist.)

Dining out at Baccarat


At Baccarat, you’ll want to take time to stop for food and drinks at the Grand Salon, an absolutely stunning space that’ll make you feel like you’re in Versailles, not Midtown. From the beautiful rugs on the floor to 35-foot ceilings with Champagne-colored drapes, the Grand Salon is filled with Baccarat chandeliers, low armchairs, mirrors and reflective glass accents. Your eyes won’t get bored, to say the least.

Neither will your stomach. Sitting next to the beautiful windows, my fiance and I shared a few dishes, including a dozen East Coast oysters that were plump and deliciously briny ($72), a good-enough spicy lobster roll with Old Bay mayo and dill pickle chips ($42) and a mouthwatering Baccarat Burger, made with wagyu beef, remoulade, Gruyere, beefsteak tomato, watercress and housemade pickles ($42).

Though I thoroughly enjoyed all of the food, don’t expect this to be an easy or affordable spot to grab a quick bite — the Grand Salon is a scene of sorts, from afternoon tea to late-night cocktails. Here, the best items are off the menu: the juicy conversations you’ll overhear and the top-notch people watching (folks from near and far come dressed in head-to-toe designer clothes to snap pictures with their elaborate cocktails).


Speaking of cocktails, at dinner in the Grand Salon, we enjoyed a few different kinds, including the dramatic Baccarat Rouge ($54 — yes, for a cocktail) that was made up of Cincoro Blanco tequila, passionfruit, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Cardamaro, lime, Baccarat Blend tea and a hibiscus ice cube. And though the clear cocktail looks like a glass of wine, it was actually the Supernova ($36), a tequila cocktail that sold me with “chile and cilantro oils.”


After dinner, we moved over to The Bar, a compact but stunning space with a long row of tables and a long wooden bar, as well as more grand Baccarat chandeliers, paintings and drawings of important people, and a late-Friday-night energy that can only be described as invigorating. The menu at The Bar carries over from the Grand Salon, so it gave us an opportunity to try a few more cocktails, including the Baccarat Old Fashioned ($55) with Maker’s Mark Master Blend, angostura cotton candy and orange bitters, plus a Monkey 47 gin martini (extra dirty, $37).

Sure, it’s expensive, but The Bar and the Grand Salon both conjure images of the “Sex and the City” New York you see on TV, a fun contradiction to the dive bars I usually find myself haunting in Brooklyn. I have before and I will again stop by for a drink to celebrate something or just as a pricey reminder that New York really does feel like the center of the universe.

The spa, the pool and … the subway?


Hotel swimming pools are the epitome of luxury in New York City, and the nicest hotels on the market tend to have smaller indoor pools (or lap pools) with daybeds or indoor cabanas. At the Baccarat, the indoor heated pool is a stunner, with black and white marble tiles sitting under turquoise water highlighted by the white, natural tones surrounding it. At the end of the pool (which includes a pool lift for guests who require one), there’s a small hot tub guests can enjoy, which my partner took advantage of while I got a massage at the La Mer Spa.


The Spa de La Mer is small and tucked away at the end of a basement-level hallway past the pool and gym. I arrived for an early-morning massage a few minutes before my treatment, quickly filled out the required paperwork and was whisked down a short hallway to the men’s locker room to change before being taken to one of the daybeds at the pool to wait for my therapist, who arrived right on time to escort me to the treatment room for my 60-minute Swedish massage ($275).

The massage was fantastic (if too short!), and I was delighted to be slathered in expensive La Mer products for an hour to work out some of the daily stresses that come with life in New York City. But the thing about this city is that its limits also don’t exist — and in my subterranean treatment room, the sounds of what I assume to be a passing subway were quite frequent. While it didn’t bother me in the slightest, it could be an unwelcome distraction for people looking to find peace and harmony.


Located close to the pool and spa area, a large, airy gym is open for guests and contains free weights, treadmills, ellipticals and pretty much anything else one could need for a solid workout.

Inside the Baccarat boutique

No trip is complete without a souvenir, so it’s worth pointing out that the hotel is also home to Baccarat’s 53rd Street Boutique, where anyone can pop in for a piece of Baccarat crystal to take home. On this particular stay, we avoided the store as my gut told me that Splenda, the corgi, would enact a bankruptcy-inducing “you break it, you buy it” situation. But on previous trips to the Grand Salon, I’ve stopped in to admire all of the beautiful Baccarat pieces for sale, including an adorable crystal Pikachu ($590) from the Pokemon x Baccarat collection that I still think about regularly.



Based on my experience at the Baccarat Hotel New York, the hotel has plenty of accessibility features to offer, including accessible rooms and suites with features like grab bars in bathrooms, lowered hooks and lights, automatic room doors, visual sensors, and even bed shakers (on request). The pool has a chair lift, everything is accessible via Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant elevators, and the friendly staff seemed more than willing to assist.

The Baccarat Hotel website says the following when booking an accessible room: “To ensure we provide the perfect room for you, please inform us of your needs in the ‘Special Requests’ field when booking on our website, or call us at 866-957-5139.” As always, we recommend speaking to someone on the phone about specific needs and confirming your room, both before booking and before arrival.


Checking out

My less than 24 hours at the Baccarat Hotel felt like a luxurious fever dream full of crystal, fancy cocktails, intriguing people, friendly service and a beautiful room that I won’t soon forget. The reality is that it’s an expensive hotel but on par with its high-end cohort of properties dotting the side streets along Fifth Avenue near Central Park. If you want a luxe stay in a one-of-a-kind setting, you’ll certainly be happy at Baccarat. But if you’re trying to stick to a budget, you might feel like Cady Heron and her fellow mathletes when it’s time to review the itemized bill.

If you’re one of the lucky ones who can sign and say, “The limit does not exist” (or are just willing to splurge for something special), a night at Baccarat is one to write home about.


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