Hotel Baccarat

"Shaken, not stirred" is a catchphrase attributed to 007, the British Secret Service agent James Bond, who used it when ordering a martini. The phrase would appear in many of the Bond films, but was not spoken by Bond himself, as played by Sean Connery, until Goldfinger (1964). According to my source, Wikipedia, the drink was wrongly described as "stirred, not shaken” in the film You Only Live Twice (1967). The martini being a favorite cocktail, I’ve used that phrase to greater (and lesser) effect, depending upon the waiter's knowledge of James Bond films.

Should you be tempted to do as James Bond did and order yours "shaken, not stirred," be sure you're in elegant surroundings, digs befitting the fastidious Mister Bond. Like what? Like the new Hotel Baccarat on West 53rd Street, across the street from MoMA. After an enviable 250 years in business, the French crystal firm is synonymous with an elegant lifestyle.

After an exhausting day of sightseeing or long hours spent shopping at Saks or Bergdorf’s, should you find yourself in mid-town Manhattan, there’s no better place to kick back and relax than at the Hotel Baccarat. And that's just not my humble opinion.  Baccarat Hotel New York has been named the Grand Award winner for 'Best New Hotel 2015' category by none other than Andrew Harper's Hideaway, the luxury travel experts whose newsletters had been my favorite bedtime reading for years. What's more, Chevalier, the in-house restaurant, has been named 'Best Hotel Restaurant 2015' and Baccarat's bar garnered the award for 'Best Bar 2015'. It's a trifecta that I had to see for myself. And now you've seen it too!

All that Glitters

Upon entering the hotel—the doorman couldn't have been nicer—I realized in an instant that all that glitters is not gold, not when you're at the Baccarat. Waiting for an elevator to whisk me to reception on the second floor, I felt as if I had stumbled into an anteroom at Versailles.

Sharing the elevator with a couple who were in from out-of-town, I asked about the rooms: "Fabulous," they said. "With gorgeous linens and an extremely comfortable bed." When I mentioned the stunning Baccarat chandelier overhead, they said there was Baccarat crystal throughout the hotel, not only in the lobby, but on all the floors and in all the rooms. Stepping into a salon where a few guests were finishing late breakfast brought more surprises. Note the sophisticated lounge. And at the far end was 'Best Bar 2015'.  Setting "shaken, not stirred" aside for another time, I settled for taking a photograph, if promising myself a return visit.


So, what's your drink of choice? White wine? red wine? a Negroni? a Sloe Gin Fizz? Cheers! Hope to see you next week, when I'll have the coffee ready. Thanks for stopping by and until we meet again, may life be good to you.