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

Stay Connected

You may also like.

The New Six Senses Norway Will Be The World’s First Energy-Positive Hotel

The 94-room hotel, which is set to open in 2024, will be completely off-grid and carbon neutral.

By Rachel Cormack

27/04/2022

The 8 Best European Summer Destinations For 2022

The sun is high, the beaches are warm, the weather is balmy, the wine is chilled—what’s not to love about summer in Europe?

By Natasha Dragun

05/04/2022

The Tiny West African Tropical Getaway You’ve Never Heard Of

The island nation of São Tomé e Príncipe is aiming to become the fashionable getaway of choice for the worldly, eco-conscious traveller.

By Mark Ellwood

16/04/2022

PONANT Returns To The Kimberley

The French adventurer announces it’s back in Australia with new departure dates.

By Terry Christodoulou

12/04/2022

These Solar-Powered 5-Star Pods Cruise The Sea

The sleek abode is entirely emissions-free, too.

By Rachel Cormack

12/04/2022

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected