With a stunning location overlooking the river and the low-rise diplomatic district of the city, Bvlgari Hotel Beijing perfectly blends art and nature, making it the ideal urban resort. It is probably the most ideal location in the bustling city for both leisure and business travellers. Floor to ceiling windows add to the spectacular experience, ensuring a serenity that is so rare in Beijing. The hotel boasts its very own beautifully manicured gardens and a lavish outdoor terrace which is already a hot spot for Beijing’s elite, as so is the Il Bar and Il Ristorante.
Designed by Antonio Citterio who also designed the other Bvlgari Hotels, there is an incredible consistency using the highest quality of materials, most of them imported from Italy, and the highest quality of finishes. Technology is at its highest standards, with sophisticated centralised controls for temperature, DND, lighting and curtains.
The interior design is sleek, yet predominantly understated with a timeless contemporary style that oozes comfort and functionality. Rooms are among the largest in Beijing with big marble bathrooms which feature heated floors and a separate shower and bathroom. There are also large walk-in closets. Strategically, the hotel has a very high ratio of suites. Beds are exceptionally comfortable making one’s wake up a challenge in the morning.
In less than 6 months from opening I was surprised how busy the hotel’s F&B venues were, especially Il Bar, with a predominantly fashionable and sophisticated local crowd, which I was told, included cinema and music celebrities as well as fashionistas. The Il Bar is the centre-piece of the ”hotel action’, with all day offerings from sophisticated cocktails, light meals to a genuine Afternoon Tea.
Many of the Chinese would also opt for staycations. And despite the affluence, service throughout the entire hotel was top notch, with staff being very attentive, intuitive and courteous. There is also a sense of pride of the staff for working for such a prestigious brand which was evident at all my encounters. They are friendly and warm yet they retain a sense of formality – a blend, which, by now, defines the Bvlgari Hotels service DNA.
Like the other property, Bvlgari Hotel Beijing is inherently Italian from the interior design, furnishings, a partnership with Maserati, to the dining outlets. Niko Romito, one of the world’s most celebrated chefs who runs the three-star Michelin restaurant Reale in Abruzzo, Italy is heading Il Ristorante, the main restaurant of the hotel. Chef Romito is personally selecting the cuisine for the Bulgari Hotels & Resorts of Beijing, Shanghai and Dubai.
Romito has designed an exclusive new cuisine concept for the Bulgari Hotels & Resorts. It is in line with Reale’s philosophy, which has made the restaurant famous all over the world. The concept integrates simplicity, an organic combination of ingredients, and an endless pursuit of original and quintessential flavors with Romito’s inspirations and ideas. The goal is to establish an original contemporary Italian menu that expresses the culture, elegance and vitality of ‘Made in Italy’ to the maximum.
Chef Romito trains the chefs in keeping with the core standards and concepts of Reale restaurant, which pay attention to the delicacy and style of food presentation, cooking skills and the pursuit of robust flavours, balance and pleasure.
The menu uses refined Italian raw materials. An ultra-pure broth, an original antipasto that encapsulates a grand tour of all the regions of Italy, accompanied by reinterpreted versions of lasagna, tagliatelle with ragù, veal Milanese, broken pasta with octopus and potato, preserved tuna, and tiramisù. Bread is always the protagonist at the center of the table, a key element of Chef Romito’s cuisine philosophy and the mainstay of the Italian food culture. The finest Italian olive oil is supplied by a factory run by a Bvlgari family member.
The Spa is yet another highlight of the hotel, with a majestic 25 meter heated indoor pool lined-up with Balinese style beds as well as a gold-tiled jacuzzi which provide a genuine thermal experience. There is also a state of the art fitness centre which boasts the WORKSHOP GYMNASIUM signature training which is also available at other Bvlgari properties. Each program creates a bespoke plan for every client that includes fitness, nutrition and more. The WORKSHOP GYMNASIUM, is implemented by expert instructors including some local trainers.
The Spa treatment rooms are located on a different floor, providing the ultimate in privacy and serenity. Treatments blend Chinese techniques with Western Ones. The main cosmetics brand featured at the Spa is La Mer. During my stay, I had a flawless treatment, a Chinese signature massage – with a perfectly trained therapist, a comfortable treatment room and an overall exceptional customer service.
With Beijing, Bvlgari Hotels has once again demonstrated exceptional consistency and coherence both in terms of the product and service, establishing the property among the top luxury in the respective city. I look forward to discovering the new Bvlgari Resort Dubai.
Oliver Petcu in Beijing
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