Event: Preview of Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York at 20 West 53rd Street
In the house: Interior designer Tony Ingrao, Barry Sternlicht of Starwood Capital, the development team from Tribeca Associates, lots of PR people, and brokers
Menu: Fancy tiny bites, plus champagne, rosé, and a custom cocktail.
Observed: Martha Stewart checking out the refrigerator and Kim Cattrall eating mushroom risotto.
Overheard: A woman telling the man who was responsible for the rosé that it was "lifeless."
When we visited the Baccarat Hotel & Residences in October, the 47th floor was a construction site. It is now complete and on the market for $27 million. To fête the building once moreand to preview the soon-to-open hotelinterior designer Tony Ingrao hosted a champagne reception in the space. The apartment had no furniture in it aside from a few cocktail tables for the party.
The 46th and 47th floors each hold a four-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom home with 14-foot ceilings and multiple Baccarat crystal chandeliers. They measure 4,557 square feet and are both asking $27 million (though #46 is not listing on StreetEasy). The kitchen features the same equipment as those on the lower floors, including a wine refrigerator, espresso maker, and double oven - though this kitchen is larger. The master bathroom features frosted glass-walled three stalls: one with a toilet, one with a toilet and bidet, and one with a shower. Separately, there are two sinks and a bathtub.
The party was supposed to be held in the penthouse, billed as a "grand chateau in the sky," but that is still a construction site. People were brought up to take a look at it, but only photos from the terrace were allowed. The five-bedroom, 5.5-bath, 7,381-square-foot unit is listed at $60 million.
The evening also featured a sneak peek at the hotel, which occupies the first 17 floors of the 50-story building and is set to open March 9, though no photographs were allowed. We were shown the check-in desk, salon, and bar on the second floor. There is a variety of custom furniture and blank white books, one for each of the 251 years of Baccarat's existence. Guests will be encouraged to leave notes in them. The bar features art, also from the span of Baccarat's existence, plus three chandeliers, one of them with red accents.
There are 114 rooms starting at $899 a night. Each hotel room features a custom art piece outside the door, and the room number is engraved on the floor. We saw one room with a single bed and Samsung TV in the mirror. In the bedroom, you can open a door that lets you look through a pane of glass at your companion while he or she showers. Finally, the minibar is built around the glassware, which is as fancy as you'd expect.
Currently, the hotel's website accepts reservations starting on March 9.
—Evan Bindelglass is a local freelance journalist, photographer, cinephile, and foodie. You can e-mail him, follow him on Twitter @evabin, or check out his personal blog.
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