I recently participated in the ILTM Shanghai conference and exhibition on luxury hospitality. Conferences are not only an excellent way to discover the latest trends and discourses in the luxury hotel sphere; they are also an exciting chance to encounter new brands from across the globe in a short matter of time.
One hotel brand that left me eager to learn more was Baccarat Hotels and Residences. We all know the famous Baccarat crystal, which lies as a testament to the French art of glass-making. Never shy of blowing us away with their intricate vision, the minds between Baccarat decided to translate this vision from the world of glass craftsmanship to the world of hospitality by opening a lifestyle hotel in New York that earned legendary status immediately upon its opening.
I was eager to learn more about this unique group and the brand values that inspire them. I invite you to discover below my interview with Hermann Elger, COO of Baccarat Hotels.
How do you define the art of welcoming at Baccarat Hotels and Resorts?
When we welcome guests at Baccarat Hotels and Resorts, we understand that they are looking forward to experiencing something special. The welcome to Baccarat New York is a very personalized experience. Your room is prepared for you as if it were your residence. You’re welcomed to your own apartment in New York City. We take our guest services very seriously, but we also believe that the clients who stay at Baccarat Hotels tend to be very well-traveled clients who are very familiar with staying in beautiful hotels. For that purpose, we try to offer a service that is discreet, refined and available whenever the guest should need it—but it is not overbearing. It’s not the kind of hotel when you’re going to need to surpass many levels of service just to get to the elevator or the room. We prefer to have a discreet, in-the-shadows kind of service that is available at the highest level for the guests.
How do you motivate your staff to give the best of themselves?
There is a core philosophy that drives the employees and the type of service that they deliver. At Baccarat New York and more generally at Baccarat Hotels and Resorts, we understand that we are an extension of 250 years of artisanal dedication to creating the finest crystal in the world. As a result, we see the service delivery that we execute in the hotel as an extension of that. We are very fortunate to be able to deliver our service through the Baccarat crystal, whether it be in the décor, the tabletop, or the beautiful Champagne glasses in which you are served. We understand that we also have a tradition to uphold and that we are carrying out the work of master craftsmen and delivering that in a lifestyle experience. We certainly spend a lot of time everyday preparing that for each and every guest. We are a small hotel that is able to offer a very personalized service, but only if we are completely aligned and completely prepared for when the guest arrives to deliver the service beyond what they are expecting.
How do you imagine the luxury hotel of tomorrow?
For Baccarat Hotels and Resorts, we are very fortunate to be able to offer a hotel that is based in a brand that guests can touch, feel, and experience throughout their stay. It’s a brand that truly stands for something, one that has existed for over 250 years. When a client is staying in the hotel, they’re really able to experience something that is real, something that they can touch and feel. Over the years, Baccarat has been commissioned by rulers all over the world, and they have taken their interpretation of how they would like Baccarat crystal to be made and styled and have taken it to their palaces and their places of ruling throughout the world. Baccarat Hotels and Resorts will be that type of development. You’ll of course see the beautiful crystal, but it will be interpreted to that destination, and it will be made to feel special and relevant for wherever these hotels are located. These hotels should be meaningful, they should be relevant, but they should always be grounded in the basis of the artisanal history which is over 250 years of master craftsmanship.
Known for his international expertise on luxury hotels through his magazine, Laurent Delporte shares his vision and experiences in the world of hotels on his site DELPORTE Hospitality. He decodes the behind-the-scenes action in the sector: from food and beverage facilities, accommodations, architecture, to the quality of services. He offers interviews, advice, and articles as pragmatic resources that industry professionals and private individuals can refer to in their search for information.