The first Bulgari hotel was opened in Milan in Via Privata Fratelli Gabba, 7b on May 18th 2004. The opening marked the entry of the Bulgari Group – one of the major players in the luxury business – into hospitality. 10 years later, the hotel celebrated its anniversary with the unveiling of freshly renovated rooms and public spaces, a new spa collaboration, and culinary treats.
The heart of the original classical yet contemporary design by the renowned architects Antonio Citterio, Patricia Viel and Partners has been refreshed with cream coloured linen wallpaper, new furniture from Antonio Citterio’s Flexform Collection and Maxalto, drapes by Enzo degli Angiuoni, B&B module libraries, and plush carpets by Altai. Framed sketches of iconic Bulgari jewels have been added to all the rooms, while the suites feature a new collection of arts and design books.
In the public spaces, archival sketches from the 1950s of Bulgari’s famed ‘spille Giardinetto’ – or garden brooches – hang in all the elevator landings, alongside images in the lobby of celebrities long associated with Bulgari such as Monica Vitti, Sophia Loren and Anita Ekberg.
The hotel comprises just 58 rooms and suites, most with garden views. Impeccable standards of service are tailored for each guest, and delivered by more than 100 employees under the direction of General Manager Attilio Marro. The restaurant, the bar with terrace and lounge in the garden, private dining room, cigar room and the spa have also been planned with the local Milanese residents in mind and have become a local, social destination. Two boardrooms seating up to 35 guests and a private dining room are available for meetings or private gatherings.
At the heart of the Bulgari Hotel Milan is a delicate balance between rigorous design of the space and the richness of atmospheres, achieved through the use of heavy, solid materials such as black marble from Zimbabwe and bronze. Situated in Via Gabba, the building dates from the 1950s. The design sensibilities of that era, combined with the smart design of the street built up over the past thirty years, all serve to highlight the hotel’s graphical composition. The white marble façade creates a refined and light mood that contrasts with the massive design of the neighbouring stone buildings. The windows – framed by eaves in black granite and outlined in dyed oak – stand out form a visual counterpoint to the restored 18th- century part of the façade.
Situated at the end of the garden, the restaurant area surprises for its unusual association with a lenticular ceiling suspended over a large oval balcony in black resin that gives onto the terrace and the garden. In the Spa are golden stone from Vicenza, laid in irregular patterns, green glass- panes and, not least, the breathtaking tub with gold and emerald mosaic. The result is a contemporary and rigorous design that suggests an atmosphere of oriental indolence that’s completely appropriate for an area that’s dedicated to well-being.
Located on the hotel’s top floor, the Bulgari suite is a quiet haven – expansive, yet private. An almost three-meter deep gallery protects a completely transparent façade and creates an open space on the garden with a spectacular view of the town. The idea of an urban villa is strengthened by the use of teak flooring which, continuing in the gallery, blends the interiors and the al fresco spaces. The sitting room is dominated by a monumental Brera stone fireplace, while the bathroom, with its bathtub cut from a single block of Turkish Bihara stone, recalls the open bathrooms in oriental resorts.
Careful design has been applied to every single detail of the Bulgari Hotel Milan. It is an example of complete, immersive design, in which every single element has been expressly studied and implemented: from the door handles to the whole façade, from every single piece of furniture to desk accessories, from the architecture to glasses and fabrics. The result is an extraordinarily consistent design that makes this environment precise and coherent. All that you can see or touch is part of a unified concept that is based on absolutely precise technical details, so that the form and substance of the service perfectly integrates into a more general attitude of absolute, integral and uncompromising quality.
The project for redeveloping the garden of the Bulgari Hotel offered an opportunity to rediscover one of the few historical gardens in Milan. The garden used to be the vegetable garden of a monastery. Over the years, it was divided into small plots, before it became a welcoming and worldly garden sitting room in the 19th century, a period which was followed by its inexorable decline into botanical wildness.
During the restoration project, the Milanese-Lombardy character of the garden and its setting were underlined. The goal was to evoke, in a contemporary way, the great number of gardens of historical villas that have strongly contributed to the design of the local landscape. Hence, the choice of trees and shrubs which are typical of such historical parks and gardens – some of which were already present in the Bulgari Hotel’s garden. The journey through the garden ends at the private Dom Perignon Bar, itself surrounded by a tall red beech hedge.
The search for excellence that characterizes the Bulgari Hotel Milan is the inspirational motive for the cuisine created by the chef Roberto Di Pinto. He finds the luxurious but informal environment of the restaurant an ideal stage for his work where the basic elements of superior quality, refined techniques and creativity, coupled with the freshest and most seasonal produce, are the fundamental ingredients of his cuisine. Born and raised in Naples, Roberto’s intuitive cooking reflects the historical connections of his city with Mediterranean cuisine. His menu is the point of convergence between a strong, Neapolitan culinary identity and the desire to project family recipes and traditional flavours into the future.
Italian tradition, based on strong flavours and on the consistency of the dishes, inspires the Bulgari Hotel Restaurant to offer a contemporary twist to classics dishes. The menu is characterized by a dichotomy of harmonious yet contrasting elements and by a constant aesthetic search for colours and volumes. Different tastes, linked to the different moments of the day, to the climate and to the season, are articulated in fresh, light, promptly served lunches, while dinners provide opportunities for more elaborate dishes. Meals are available either at the tables set with handmade dishes and Bulgari flatware, or more casually at the Bar – both of which overlook the beautiful garden.
The choice of wine, many of which come by the glass, are chosen from Italian regions, many of which include small but very interesting wineries. A cultivated selection of champagne and sparkling wines and fine spirits from some elite labels like rum from Saint James from Antilles, dated 1885 completes the offerings.
The newly renovated Spa at the Bulgari Hotel has been conceived as an urban shelter for the mind and the soul. The new spaces include a private couples suite with mosaic steam shower, a marble steam room and Swedish sauna scented with eucalyptus essence, and an external Jacuzzi. There are three exclusive product lines: La Mer with its legendary Miracle Broth, Amala 100% NATRUE certified, and the Sothy’s gentlemen’s studio.
With the explicit goal of slowing down the hectic rhythm of the city, and to create pleasant moments of wellbeing and relaxation, the Bulgari Spa’s specialists have created exclusive treatments and products with pure and completely natural ingredients such as essential oils and plant extracts.
Among the highlights are La Mer’s exclusive new and luxurious treatment, the Crème de la Crème Facial. A bespoke facial created by esthetician to the stars, Joanna Czech, this treatment transforms the face and décolletage by softening and preparing the skin with a pure concentration of the Miracle Broth – the priceless extract coveted around the world and offered exclusively in this spa experience. Customised techniques target vulnerable areas to help restore skin’s energy to emerge resilient, restored and visibly renewed.