August 16, 2012
Baccarat To Launch a 5-Star Hotel in NYC in 2014
By Nancy Staab
Venerable crystal house Baccarat expands its brand with the first in a series of iconic hotels set for NYC and then China, Dubai, Marrakech.
Heritage brand Baccarat was created by decree of King Louis XV in 1766 and since then the crystal purveyor has created magnificent crystal objects for various maharajahs, kings and czars. Contemporary design genius Philippe Starck has lent his luster to glamorous Baccarat boutiques and their signature black crystal chandeliers, and even fashion wizard Jean Paul Gaultier has designed special edition Baccarat bottles. At the Baccarat factory, such a high standard of perfection is demanded that 60% of all crystal ends up in the recycle heap due to the smallest of flaws. This same exacting standard of perfection and luxury will carry over to the new, $403 million Baccarat hotel to launch 2014 in NYC, just in time for the crystal house’s 250th anniversary.
The five-star New York city property will be located just across from the Modern Museum of Art at 20 W. 53rd street and according to early renderings, the 46-story building will resemble a vertical, thin, well, black AmEx card made of glittering dark glass. Venerable architecture firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill has been charged with the design along with interior design Gilles et Boissier. The hotel is the brainchild of Barry Sternlicht, the Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group and the brains behind the uber-successful launch of Starwood Hotel’s W hotel chain as well as the expansion of the St Regis hotel empire beginning with just one signature property.
So what to expect of this gleaming new crystal palace which enters the luxury hotel market at its most exclusive level? Think: lots of glistening crystal chandeliers, sconces, vases and goblets; light-filled interiors and reflective surfaces to emulate crystal; a curated rotating collection of museum-quality crystal objects in the lobby; a world class spa, pool and fitness center; a unique B Bar ensconced in a crystal pavilion and wrapped by a garden terrace; a distinctive restaurant; and posh hotel rooms (priced at $800 or more a night) and permanent residences that represent the ultimate level of discreet luxury. The hotel’s mantra: “Glamour, Seduction and Celebration.” When the economy bottomed out in 2008, Sternlicht had to drop plans for prior Baccarat Luxury Hotels and Resorts in Atlanta, Hawaii and Anguilla, but it’s only fitting and fateful that Baccarat’s first property should be based in the glittering cultural capital of NYC and debut at Baccarat’s 250th anniversary. Future properties are planned for China, Dubai, Marrakech and other locations in Asia and the Middle East.
There are no released images yet of the proposed NYC property other than the exterior shot of the tower, above, but see the slideshow below of planned spaces for the future Baccarat Dubai hotel and residences in the iconic Pearl highrise ( images by CK Designworks). Baccarat’s shining future as a high-end hotel seems crystal-clear.