Bulgari Hotel BeijingJennifer Young • December 12, 2017
For luxury Italian brand Bulgari, each of its hotels offer a distinct, lavish experience that complements the ageless glamour synonymous with its name. It’s a way to “showcase the design identity of a brand and to project a lifestyle that goes beyond products,” says Silvio Ursini, executive vice president in charge of Bulgari Hotels. The Beijing property (five are already open, including the recently launched Dubai location), designed by the brand’s longtime collaborator Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners with architecture by New York-based KPF, is just that with a “canal where you can swim with willows and fishermen in Beijing,” says firm founder and principal Antonio Citterio.
Located within the Genesis Beijing, a new social and community-driven project centered around art and nature, the urban resort is a mixture of modern Italian design and touches of Chinese tradition with an aesthetic that reflects the “creation of a high-end Bulgari jewel,” he says. A simple, luxe aesthetic blends dark and light, evoking “rigor and hospitality, elegance and privacy, a residential style but with a monumental presence,” explains Citterio. Quadruple-the-height bronze windows are paired with bright limestone, while bronze details contrast Italian marble. And in the lobby, black granite juxtaposes white travertine and a neutral color palette.
For the 119 guestrooms, the firm looked to fuse “Italian flair with exceptional guest comfort, convenience, and services,” he says. All are outfitted with warm woods, charcoal black walls and sliding doors, and soft champagne furnishings, along with rich materials and furnishings from Italian companies. In the Bulgari Suite, floor-to-ceiling windows and a Jacuzzi overlook dramatic views of the Landmark River.
The centerpiece of the shimmering and dream-like BVLGARI spa is the 82-foot-long indoor pool, which is surrounded by Vicenza stone and cabanas for lounging with columns that mimic “the feel of an ancient Roman bath,” notes Citterio. The adjacent vitality pool is dressed in green marble that mingles with gold and green mosaic tiles, while an ice fountain in the front is a welcoming vision of diamonds spilling from the sky with “its constant flow of sparkling ice tumbling down from the ceiling,” he says.
“A masterpiece of symmetry and material combinations,” a custom Murano glass chandelier by glassmaker Barovier & Toso is “like a dangling Bulgari jewel,” he says, and suspends over the gold-leafed spiral-shaped sculptural staircase that leads to the ballroom. Meanwhile, the bar—shaped like the famed Fontana della Barcaccia near Bulgari’s flagship boutique in Rome—is made from hammered, formed, and polished stainless steel and bronze. As a complement, the backbar offers a Chinese shadow effect created from a mesh screen covered by a silk fabric. Lastly, dramatic Venetian chandeliers define the space at chef Niko Romito’s Il Ristorante, encapsulating the intricate elegance of the hotel’s story into eye-catching pieces.