Bulgari goes big in Shanghai

The iconic Italian jewellery house has opened an extravagant new hotel in China’s futuristic financial capital.

By Amy Louise Bailey 08/07/2018

It’s a balmy day in Shanghai and the Pudong skyline is glittering in the distance like a scene from a futuristic film. Directly opposite, divided by the Huangpu River, lies a scene from a bygone era: The Bund, a strip of European architecture that echoes the city’s opulent pre-war years.

The dramatic juxtaposition of the past and present defines the aesthetic of China’s most dynamic metropolis – and there is no better place to take in the view than atop the newly unveiled Bulgari Hotel.

“Shanghai is one of the most vivacious cities in the world,” says Bulgari’s CEO, Jean-Christophe Babin, from the hotel’s palatial 47th-floor restaurant. “It’s a must-see destination in terms of energy, history, and culture, and those are the cities where we find our gems.” Babin lovingly refers to Bulgari’s expanding hotel portfolio as a “collection of gems,” in tune with its jewellery-making origins.


Il Bar. PHOTO: COURTESY BULGARI/TOMMY PICONE

“The theme for this gem is contemporary glamour,” he explains, amidst the monochromatic backdrop that distinguishes Bulgari Hotels around the world. It’s a fitting concept for the hotel that comprises a sleek 48-story monolith towering over the neoclassical Chamber of Commerce—a relic from 1916 that has been delicately restored to its former glory.

“The building is one of the few remaining historical landmarks of the 20th century,” explains Babin, who is enthusiastic about fusing Bulgari’s brilliance with Shanghai’s storied heritage.

Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel was responsible for renovating the iconic building (the firm was also behind Bulgari’s hotels in Beijing and Dubai), imbuing the hotel with a unique vision of la dolce vita with polished public spaces that are enlivened with archive photographs and flashes of starlets in dazzling jewels.


La Terrazza. PHOTO: COURTESY BULGARI/TOMMY PICONE

Understated elegance flows into the 82 rooms and suites, the sprawling spa and indoor pool, the artisan chocolate boutique, and the soaring dining options, which include the Il Ristorante by Michelin chef Niko Romito (whose Il Reale restaurant in Castel di Sangro, Italy, was voted 36th on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for 2018). As with all of Bulgari’s hospitality endeavors, the hotel is destined to become a vibrant part of the city’s social fabric, where sophisticated locals mix with well-heeled travellers.

As Bulgari moves its local presence beyond product and into experience, it’s clear that a new era of glamour has arrived in Shanghai. The city’s rapid pace of change is indicative of China’s rising global influence—but the commercial capital is also gaining status as a cultural mecca that is becoming more enchanting and cosmopolitan, one skyscraper at a time.

ADVERTISE WITH US

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Robb Report AU - Newsletter Robb Report AU - Motors Newsletter Robb Report AU - Property Newsletter Robb Report AU - Lifestyle Newsletter Robb Report AU - Style Newsletter Robb Report AU - Business Newsletter Robb Report AU - Travel Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

VistaJet Launches New Service To Keep You Travelling

Private jets may be the solution to keeping your travel dreams alive.

By Sandra Ramani

28/05/2020

W Melbourne To Open For Christmas

The brand’s second Australian property to debut this December.

By Terry Christodoulou

21/05/2020

Rent Lang Walker’s Entire Kokomo Private Island Once Quarantine Lifts

When it’s safe to travel, it’s all yours.

By Rachel Cormack

13/05/2020

17 Ways To Do Europe After Lockdown

It’s a way off yet – but you can still dream and plan with our ultimate luxury guide to avoiding cliches and crowds.

By Natasha Dragun & Richard Clune

07/05/2020

This South African Hotel Was Built In A Train Station Atop A Bridge

Maybe not the best for those scared of heights.

By Martin Lerma

04/05/2020

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected