Shanghai is the city of the moment: dynamic, eclectic, cosmopolitan, economically polarised, architecturally futuristic and culturally fascinating. The Queen or Pearl of the Orient is all about style, intelligence and energy, a sophisticated blend of Europe and China that astounds visitors with its unrelentingly ostentatious luxury and sheer voluptuousness. It is the perfect destination for the many luxury brands that compete to open showrooms, galleries and hotels set to be the hot spots in this new Eldorado, for a while at least.
It is hardly surprising, therefore, that Bulgari entrusted Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel with one of the city’s most recent and fascinating hotels. Built in Renaissance Neo-Classical style, it is a perfect balance of nature, contemporary design and architecture that reflects the city’s historical heritage. The Bulgari Hotel Shanghai occupies a 48-storey tower, with stunning views over the Bund, across to the skyscrapers of the Pudong financial district and the imposing confluence of the Huangpu river and the Suzhou Creek. The hotel complex also includes the magnificently restored former 1916 Chamber of Commerce building, and several lush gardens that surround the whole area.
As in other Bulgari properties, the Italian architecture studio Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel curated the interior design, producing a glamorous contemporary masterpiece that melds the brand’s unmistakable Italian elegance with Shanghai’s rich tradition. The 82 hotel rooms, including the 19 suites perched on the top eight floors of the tower, feature all mod cons and cutting edge technology, not to mention customised furnishing featuring unique design pieces from brands such as B&B, Maxalto, Flos and Flexform.
Catering to every possible palate, Bulgari has six different culinary options. Niko Romito, run by the famous Italian chef, is on the 47th floor, specialising in contemporary high cuisine. On the same floor, the latest cool cocktails can be sampled at the Bar, while La Terrazza on the 48th floor offers a more casual dining experience. Summer cocktails and Italian ice cream can be enjoyed in the garden, while tea and aperitifs are served in the lobby lounge. Bulgari has also opened its first ever chocolate boutique in the hotel. There is also a Spa, wellness centre and a heated indoor pool.
The historic Chamber of Commerce next to the hotel tower contains the fascinating Bulgari Ballroom. The 500 square metre ballroom, which has triple-height ceilings, contains the Bao Li Xuan Chinese haute cuisine restaurant and the Whisky Bar.