JustLuxe is an Ovation Magazine content partner
The name of Bulgari brings to mind fine jewels, high style, and Italian beauty. To the delight of discerning travelers, this iconic jewellery house has extended its brand DNA into the hospitality industry with their fine hotel experiences in select locations around the world. China’s seat of power is the dynamic cosmopolitan city of Beijing and is also where you’ll find the Bulgari Hotel Beijing.
The Bulgari Hotel Beijing is really an urban oasis as much as it is a hotel with only 119 spacious rooms as well as one of the top spa’s in Beijing, a fine Italian restaurant and one of the city’s swankiest bars. The hotel is located adjacent to two glittering modern business towers, a new contemporary art museum, and sits along the picturesque Liangma River.
The hotel has become an instant iconic landmark, made of limestone exteriors in a sharp geometric pattern that soars to an apex with the Bvlgari nameplate emblazed across the top. Upon arrival you’ll see hotel guests alight from the latest model Maserati cars provided to whisk the hotel’s guests around the city with compliments of the hotel. Upon entering, the gravitas of the hotel begins to manifest itself with a larger than life oil painting of Bvlgari’s founder, Sotrio Bulgari, by famed Chinese artist Yan Pei. The hallway leads past the gilded Bulgari logo and iconic Bulgari eight-point star motif engraved in the black granite floor. The Bulgari brand is tastefully integrated in the hotel’s décor with displays of Bulgari’s haute jewelry collections, celebrity photographs, and vintage jewellery sketches.
The hotel has been created to impress the most jaded of travelers with its size, grandeur and decadent interiors of three-story ceilings and wide-open spaces. The hotel’s lobby is expansive with plush leather couches and sitting areas centered around a fireplace. Adorning the mantle are oversized prints of a collection of Bvlgari vintage photographs of celebrities, models and baubles. There you’ll find Beijing’s elite who mix and mingle with the hotel’s jet set guests throughout lobby lounge and the adjacent bar.
Beijing is the center of power and wealth for one of the most commanding superpowers in the world. Unless you’ve been to Beijing in the past 5 years, you’ll want to forget what you may think you know and reassess your opinion. Heavy pollution, overpopulated areas, and a closed-off and rigid society are now a thing of the past. The city has implemented a set of reforms and bold moves to reduce pollution by closing down polluting factories, reducing the population by sending non-Beijing residents back to their provinces, and also reducing the amount of traffic. Today, Beijing is completely cosmopolitan with cleaner air, large western style malls, and green landscapes, yet has preserved its rich heritage, iconic landmarks, and culture. In addition, Beijing ranks in the top 10 cities with the most billionaires and millionaires so on the street you’ll see the newest McLaren’s, Rolls Royce’s galore as well as an endless offering of luxury brand shops just as you would on Rodeo Drive or High Street. The people are friendly and welcome foreigners as they want to learn from us as well.
The Bulgari brand is synonymous with the fine colored jewels and Italian artisanship. This brand identity is reincarnated as chic Italian oasis inside the heart of Beijing constructed with haute Italian design, contemporary architecture and made with the finest materials and craftsmanship. The design reflects the quintessential definition of classy, elegant, and sophisticated without being showy, gaudy or ‘blinged out’. One of the hotels most iconic features is its spiral staircase that is as much art as it is function, in at the staircase’s center is a Murano glass chandeliers with hundreds of blow glass lights creating a surreal design masterpiece.
The design masterworks continue throughout the hotel with another amazing creation in the Il Bar where Beijing’s upper crust and hotels guests gather as the sun goes down. The space is flooded with natural light through three story high windows with a view of the hotel’s landscaped gardens as well as the teak deck filled with tables under canvas umbrellas. The center piece of the Il Bar is the massive hand-hammered bronze oval bar surrounded with bespoke highchairs, bottles of top shelf spirits and topped with four-foot-tall colourful fresh-cut flower arrangements. This oval bar feature is a signature of Bulgari hotels and inspired by the hull of the boat in the Fontana della Barcaccia fountain in Rome which is steps away from the Bvlgari headquarters. Although the location is Beijing, you’ll always be reminded that the soul of the Bulgari Hotel in the home of the brand, Rome.
Out of doors is spectacular as well with lush, sculptured Italian gardens of indigenous plants, pine trees, and bamboo with large wood pergola allowing a hidden space to relax in a natural oasis in the manic city. Hotel guests enjoy the private park environment of the hotel grounds as well as a tree-lined boardwalk along the river.
The 119 accommodations are as chic and contemporary with Italian designer furnishings, polished wood floors, intricate herringbone headboards and chairs, Cashmere blankets and the lavish leather walled vanity niche. The bathrooms are exquisite as well with heated floors, Palazzo marble finishes, black granite baths, separate travertine showers and those lovely Bulgari bath amenities. The complimentary services and perks continue to impress with drinks in the mini bar as well as garment pressing and Berluti shoeshine. All the rooms are spacious, among the largest in the city, with high ceilings, flooded with light from the floor to ceiling widows and offer exceptional views of the Liangma River or the Beijing skyline.
Although the property exudes class without being ostentatious, that refrained ‘bling’ terminates at its lavish Bulgari Suite. There is nothing subtle about this palatial suite which is one of the largest in the city at over 4000 square feet with its own private spa treatment room, and sauna. The interior design is gorgeous with a large living room replete with bespoke designer furnishings, elevated ceilings with floor to ceiling windows, and twin circular chandeliers with glittering crystal rods adding sparkles against its black granite floors. The bathroom is made for luxuriating with white travertine surfaces, a beautiful green onyx stone walled rain shower for two and a plunge pool size Brera Jacuzzi.
Italy is known for its gastronomic prowess, so rest assured the dining experience at the Bulgari Hotel Beijing is as exceptional as the accommodations. The hotel has partnered with one of the top chefs in the world, Niko Romito who helms the three-star Michelin restaurant Reale in Italy. Chef Niko works closely with the restaurant staff to select the cuisines and oversees the operation, ingredients, and each dish served.
Il Ristorante Niko Romito is an intimate dining experience with less than 40 tables serving some of the most exquisite haute Italian cuisine in the city. Before the amuse bouche is served, the interiors begin to wet the appetite with window side tables offering outdoor views of the gardens or the oval shaped dark brown leather high back banquets made for getting cosy with your loved one. Descending from the two-story high ceilings are hundreds of blown glass Murano lights that dapple the room in subtle illumination to resemble stars in the midnight sky.
Each culinary pleasure is created with premium Italian and international ingredients and served with a gorgeous presentation. The degustation menu with wine pairing is an exquisite dining experience with dish as after dish offering a delicious taste and flair such as the Marinated sea bream, oscietra caviar, sour cream and extra-virgin olive oil or the 72-hours marinated New Zealand lamb chop with black truffle, or decadent chocolate desert. All of which are paired with fabulous wines from their wine cellar of 500 labels such as the Tuscan wines produced by the Bulgari family.
Before or after dinner, guests will want to bend the elbow at Il Bar. This is the watering hole for Beijing’s in crowd, local celebrities and tastemakers. The bar scene is sophisticated and chic and during the week, friends gather after work for Aperitivo hour at the close out the workday with a glass of wine, Aperol Spritz and canapes. On weekends, Il Bar is the Beijing hot spot with a DJ playing sexy up-tempo lounge music while with patrons gathering around the bar or outdoor on the deck. Il Bar is Beijing’s leader of cocktail culture, staffed by talented hipster mixologist as well as frequent regional celebrity bartenders who drop in to whip up fantastic signature cocktails to the delight of their patrons.
The 160,00 square foot Bulgari Hotel Beijing Spa is impressive, offering a select menu of Chinese and Western treatments using La Mer skin care products. The Spa features 11 treatment rooms as well as a relaxation area and men’s and women’s facilities with steam and sauna facilities. The therapists are extremely well trained and knowledgeably about the healing arts such as their massages go deep into sore and knotted muscles releasing tension and leaving worn bodies relaxed and rejuvenated.
The hotel features a gorgeous 80-foot indoor heated pool adorned with roman pillars, mosaic walls and offers the ambiance of a Roman bath. Guest will enjoy the personal cabanas shrouded with white linen for a bit of privacy and ideal for a snooze in between dips. The pools most alluring feature is the gurgling vitality pool with beautiful green and orange mosaic and water fall under the stone etched Bulgari name plate.
For a great work out on the road Bulgari partnered with London’s Workshop Gymnasium which was founded by renown personal trainer for British royalty and A-list clients, Lee Mullins. Bespoke workouts are led by an expert physical trainer using weights and cardio allowing guests to reach their fitness goals be it weight loss, strengthening or toning. The gym experience is set in the hotel’s work our facility which is open to all guests and features state of the art Technogym and Kinesis equipment.
Beyond the endless list of wows from the décor, setting, accommodations meal and spa, the Bulgari Hotel Beijing continues to distinguish itself by having an extremely well trained and caring staff. Each interaction is pleasant attentive, discreet and professional.
It is rare to find perfection; in a jewel or anything else. Bvlgari is one of the most respected Italian jewellery houses and for it to extend its brand into hospitality, they assuredly expect to the same pursuit of perfection as they built into their brand for over 100 years. Exceptional accommodations, fine Italian dining, a fabulous spa, ensconced in a lavish setting, inside and out, is what guests will remember most about their stay. This urban resort, created for the Beijing elite and jet-setters and is a fine testament to the brand’s founder, Sotrio Bulgari, who would surely be proud of his legacy and the Bulgari Hotel Beijing.