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Our score: 4.6/5.0

Baccarat New York

New York

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Exclusive Benefits

Daily breakfast for two
Continental breakfast served in the Grand Salon
Room upgrade upon arrival
Subject to availability
Spa credit
US$100 credit for treatments at the spa
Early check-in / Late check-out
Subject to availability
Complimentary Wi-Fi

Exclusive benefits may vary by hotel or hotel group. Exclusive benefits apply when booking the Best Available Rate and are not combinable with any hotel offers or special packages unless stated.

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Baring All
  • Discrete and stunning, it sparkles like a jewellery box. Who can resist?
  • No question, the most fabbo rooms in the city
  • Toodle around town in their vintage CitroënDS if you’re not going far
  • A ‘French’ property in a locale without ‘le attitude’
Arrival experience

NYC traffic is never kind and so after navigating a number of closed-off streets, we finally arrived at what I thought was the entrance to the hotel. In fact, it was the entrance to the Baccarat Residences and clearly the doorman here did not consider assisting hotel guests to be part of his job description. However, with the help of my taxi driver, I made it to the hotel entrance and was then rescued by another doorman, the pleasant and helpful sort.

The entrance is sleek and highly discrete. So much so that you can easily miss it. Located on the second floor, the lobby is reached by elevator where I was greeted and shown to the reception area. Colourings are quite dark but are highlighted by the use of wonderful metallic panelling and, of course, Baccarat crystal chandeliers.

But the real design excitement is reserved for both the Petit and Grand Salons, showpieces of exceptional design skills: opulent and yet contemporary. They are showcases for every type of stunning Baccarat chandelier, pieces the likes of which you will not see outside a European or Middle Eastern palace.

But on a more human scale, there are beautiful vintage pieces of Baccarat crystal that the hotel owners acquired from around the world. And whilst all this may sound a little like a crystal-encrusted modern take on Paris’ Palace of Versailles, here at the Baccarat interior design that could have gone so terribly wrong in fact went so fabulously right.

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Rooms and suites

I stayed in a Grand Classic Two Doubles room that is perfect for two friends travelling together or those needing a little more space. By New York City standards, these rooms are a very good size with plenty of space for suitcases and moving about. With a wall of floor-to-ceiling glass windows, the room is flooded with daylight that makes it literally sparkle.

There is no question, these are the most exquisite and glamorous rooms in the city. Unlike the public areas of the hotel, the guests rooms are a combination of white, silver, champagne and ivory with furniture such as the long desk and the TV mirror frame in beautiful, chocolate brown. Bedside tables are topped with white and grey marble and along with mirrors and the every present Baccarat crystal fittings, the rooms resemble a sleek, glittering jewel box.

Go exploring and you will unearth all sorts of treasures, especially the minibar. The standout is not the fact that is it is stocked with beverages galore and sweet treats from the likes of Laduree (although that is all very welcome), but rather the beautiful red-lacquered cabinet that holds the glassware; not surprisingly, all Baccarat. I must admit, I did find myself being overly careful every time I picked up a glass.

In-room technology is state-of-the-art with a single touch pad control that manages all room functions such as lighting, curtains and the TV. You can also use it to summon pretty much anything else you might need. Whilst I accept we live in a technology-driven world, I do wonder how older guests (or those somewhat un-techy) might cope with all the poking and prodding of a small screen that this technology demands.

The television, a large 46” HD TV, is set into a wall mirror so you can be excused for at first wondering where the television is! However, once found it provides an array of entertainment options.

Internet speeds within both guest rooms and public areas are fast and access is complimentary.

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The bathroom

Bathrooms, whilst not huge, are nothing short of sumptuous; all white marble featuring a central single basin vanity with a huge walk-in ‘wet area’ housing the shower and tub. A separate WC is located opposite the shower and bathtub.

Given the location of the bathtub, I do wonder how practical it is for older or less mobile guests, as one would literally have to step into what is a rather deep tub from the end. Beautiful as all this is, it is rather a case of form over function and, frankly, not suitable for one and all.

Toiletries are especially created for the hotel by the French apothecary, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, in Paris.

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Dining

My schedule was jam-packed during my stay at The Baccarat and because I had previously planned engagements, I knew I would not have the chance to experience the hotel’s signature Chevalier restaurant, which, without a doubt, is a ‘must dine’ on my next visit to New York.

So I happily settled for a quick lunch in the Grand Salon which I thoroughly enjoyed. A good range of lighter dishes were on offer and I went for a roast chicken Caesar salad. It was perfect and service was extremely pleasant and very efficient. It was clear that a number of guests were on tight schedules that day but at no time did the service feel rushed or impersonal.

The same, however, could not be said for the service later on in the evening when I hosted friends to cocktails in the Grand Salon. Clearly the hotel is one of the hot-spots for the ‘in the know’ crowd and was thus a-bustle. The problem lay in that there were simply not enough staff members on hand and whilst the service was delightful when it came, it was embarrassingly slow. I did feel for the staff, however, as clearly staffing levels was a major management oversight and, frankly, was unacceptable in a hotel of this stature.

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Spa and wellness

The Baccarat features the world’s first Spa de la Mer, featuring the famous and extravagant Crème de la Mer range of products. Be warned though, prices here are probably some of the highest in New York City, which takes some doing I must say.

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Pool and beach

A hotel pool in central Manhattan is an extravagance afforded the very few. The hotel’s luxurious indoor pool is surrounded by the same white marble found in the guest room bathrooms and features beautiful tile-work on the pool floor. Discrete pool cabanas and lounge chairs are dotted around the pool and give the place a rather ‘South of France’ feel.

Of concern however were the chemical levels in the jacuzzi. Obviously, there was an issue as my swimming trunks were devoid of most of their colour upon getting out of the Jacuzzi and I later suffered a rather nasty skin rash: there’s a problem here.

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Staff and service

For the most part service is, as you would expect, very good but there were surprising lapses. For instance, the somewhat aloof doormen who were a little slow off the mark with assistance on occasion. And the security staff, overseeing entry into the hotel’s very popular bar were what I deemed a little aggressive. It’s a luxury hotel boys, not Studio 54, and so a little less attitude might be appropriate…

I felt at times that service was a little hesitant; not bad but just unsure. The hotel had been open for nine months when I visited, so it should have settled into its groove. The Baccarat is positioning itself at the very top of the New York luxury hotel pile so there is little room for error. Guests expect (and are paying for) perfection.

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Guest profile

Primarily very well-heeled Americans, Brits and a few Europeans, all of whom appeared to have just stepped out of the boutiques of 5th Avenue; elegant in the extreme; a rather ‘new money’ crowd.

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Departure experience

A memorable departure but perhaps for the wrong reasons. I hark back to my comments in regard to hesitant service. The staff member handling my checkout was pleasant enough but didn’t appear confident. Worse still, not a single staff member asked if I had enjoyed my stay or bid me farewell. Again, unacceptable in a hotel of this stature.

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General information

  • icon-briefcase
    How to get here

    50 minutes by road from JFK Airport

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    Accommodation

    114 Rooms & Suites

Amenities

  • Wi-fi

    Wi-fi

  • Swimming pool

    Swimming pool

  • Spa

    Spa

  • Gym

    Gym

  • Restaurants

    Restaurants

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