It always feels like a celebration at the Baccarat Hotel New York. As befits its role as the legendary French crystal company’s flagship property, the hotel glitters from its prismatic glass façade to its interiors, which are adorned with elaborate chandeliers, silk and mica-infused wall coverings, bespoke Baccarat pieces and splashes of rich jewel tones, including the signature red. So when my regular winter travel plans were put on hold this year, the midtown Manhattan hotel seemed like the perfect spot for a festive staycation—particularly as it’s offering new packages and experiences to help guests get into the holiday spirit.
One of just a handful of luxury New York City hotels currently accepting bookings, the Baccarat re-opened in October with new safety protocols in place; it was also the first New York hotel to earn the Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED® seal of approval, after meeting over 360 global health security standards. Among the changes is the new requirement that guests reserve a time to use the pool and gym—which, given the hotel’s reduced capacity, actually ensures that, more often than not, you’ll have the spaces to yourself. I took advantage of being at one of the few hotels in the city with a full-length pool and booked a slot for a swim in the marble-tiled sanctuary, followed by some downtime in one of the cozy cabanas and a massage in the adjacent Spa de La Mer, which uses La Mer products in its treatments. (Masks are currently required for both therapists and clients during services.)
While the popular Grand Salon lounge and restaurant is currently closed, the hotel is offering in-room dining until 2:30pm daily, as well as a beautiful new holiday brunch that comes with a three-tiered tower of sweet and savory bites, a choice of entrée, coffee or tea, a bottle of Champagne and a mini, all-white Christmas tree to spruce up the tablescape. (The brunch must be ordered at least a day in advance and booked for a specific delivery time.) In a smart safety-related measure, the hotel has removed the mini-bar items from the rooms (though the beautiful Baccarat glasses remain), and instead, a “mobile” mini-bar, stocked with gourmet snacks and fine liquors, wines and Champagnes, will come by upon your request.
With indoor restaurant dining again on hold in the city, the concierge can offer suggestions for area spots that are open for takeout and delivery. But for those missing the signature Alsatian fare of the hotel’s culinary director, Chef Gabriel Kreuther, I’d recommend ordering from his eponymous two-Michelin-starred restaurant (available via the Caviar app). My dinner of such dishes as an autumn mixed green salad, Alsatian onion quiche, grilled broccoli rabe and perfect macarons was brought up to my suite by the hotel staff, along with fine cutlery and tableware—and crystal glassware, of course—that really elevated the takeout experience.
In addition to the decadent holiday brunch service, new offerings for this season include the option to book the entire 12th floor—with 11 guest rooms and suites accessed by a private elevator—for a travel “bubble” experience. The Maison Privé for the Holidays package also includes the services of a dedicated guest experience manager, one 60-minute spa treatment per accommodation, daily breakfast, one holiday brunch per guest and a welcome amenity featuring a bottle of Louis de Sacy bubbly and a Baccarat crystal gift. Just launched this week, the Saks Fifth Avenue Holiday Shopping Experience package includes a room or suite, $100 in-room dining credit per day and a day at the iconic department store for two people, with a private tour of the famed holiday windows, a personal shopping session in a private suite (complete with appetizers and drinks) and a $500 Saks gift card. To further meet your gift-shopping needs, the hotel can also arrange a VIP experience at the Baccarat Boutique on Madison Avenue, complete with a glass of Champagne, a personal shopping consultant and complimentary shipping of any purchases throughout the US. Room rates start at $745; contact the hotel for rates for the holiday packages.