Legendary Italian jeweller Bulgari opened an exclusive boutique hotel in London on the site of the former Normandie Hotel in Knightsbridge, overlooking Knightsbridge Green, the city’s most prestigious neighbourhood. Following the same – very stylish – lines as the original Bulgari hotel in Milan, the 78-room London hotel which will be run by Ritz-Carlton, promises to be a luxury affair, complete with private holistic spa, swimming pool and hydrotherapy steam rooms.
Legendary designer Antonio Citterio, responsible for the Milan hotel, has come up with the interior design for the guest rooms at the Knightsbridge hotel, while architects Squire and Partners are responsible for delivery of the project. Silver is a central theme of the design, drawing on Bulgari’s history with silversmiths and jewellery, and the theme influences the design of all the public spaces and bedrooms.
It is a perfect expression of the Bulgari aesthetic of timeless glamour. Innovative artistry and a lavish use of precious marble and silver blend harmoniously, exuding an understated elegance. The quality of the service, magnificent elements such as the spa, pool and private screening room, and the distinguished location beside Harrods and Hyde Park all contribute to an uncompromising sense of excellence. The hotel also includes six luxury apartments, a restaurant at lower ground level with a sweeping staircase supported by a silver lit balustrade, a lounge, bar and spirit room. If that wasn’t enough there’s also a ballroom, private members club, business centre and meeting rooms – including a 50-seat screening room.
The first new luxury hotel to be created in London for 40 years, every element is an authentic expression of the Bulgari aesthetic. The architectural and design studio of Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners created the sleek architecture and refined interiors for a fluent, congruent appearance, together with a selection of rich furnishings and textiles made exclusively for the hotel.
The contemporary design concept concurs with Bulgari’s silversmith origins and Britain’s noble manufacturing traditions: silver forms the unifying theme. Details include custom-made silk curtains that feature silver patterns derived from an 1800s silver brooch by Sotirio Bulgari, and the spectacular handcrafted solid silver chandeliers, which dominate the Ballroom and are set to become the most impressive pair of silverware pieces made this century. The design is complemented by state of the art technology and many sustainable features.
The Bulgari joins a growing number of designer brands expanding into lifestyle hotels – Versace, Ferragamo, Christian Lacroix, Giorgio Armani, Moschino and Missoni to name a few – but Bulgari is the first to open in London, and it promises to be a jewel.