Sternlicht expands on his Baccarat plans

The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday got Barry Sternlicht on the record talking about his Starwood Capital Group’s plans for the luxury Baccarat Hotels and Resorts brand and the development of a flagship US$403 million, 115-room hotel with 64 residences across from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

The New York City hotel will feature Baccarat chandeliers and crystal museum pieces in the lobby, as well as a boutique store selling very expensive crystal.

“We’re going to marry Louis XV with the modern era,” Sternlicht told the Journal, adding that Starwood will put up US$161 million in equity to develop the hotel that as of yet has no scheduled groundbreaking.

The first Baccarat is expected to open in Rabat, Morocco, in 2014, and Starwood has deals to license or operate Baccarat hotels under development at several sites in China, one in Dubai and a few in Japan.

Sternlict added that much of the brand’s growth will take place in Asia with just a few other locations projected for the United States.