Bulgari Hotel, Milan’s iconic garden urban resort

Situated on a private street, steps from Via Montenapoleone and Academia di Brera, within a former 18th-century Milanese palazzo, Bulgari Hotel Milano is a rare luxury urban resort in a busy city such as Milan. The hotel’s very own 4,000 sqm private garden, a natural extension of the nearby Botanical Garden, features tress as tall as the hotel itself. This transforms the arrival experience into a glamorous affair – whether checking-in, walking back from a luxury shopping spree in the nearby ‘Quadrilatero’ (Milan’s luxury shopping hub) or dining at the hotel.

Despite the pretentious and show-off expectations that the Bulgari brand might create, the Bulgari Hotel Milano could not be more understated, warm and friendly. The DNA of the Bulgari brand is re-created through very subtle design elements: silver (paying homage to Bulgari’s silversmith  heritage), exquisit materials such as black marble from Zimbabwe, stone from Vicenza and Afyon, teak and oak; innovative aesthetics - the austere facade contrasts the lavish interiors in a pursuit of a weightless elegance.

Beyond the furnishings and architectural details, Bulgari Hotel Milan boasts fulfils the expectations of a luxurious hotel, with the highest standard of service, comfort and outstanding quality of dining. Almost ten years ago, Francesco Trapani, at the time CEO of Bulgari and Silvio Ursini, a Director (currently SVP of Bulgari Hotels) did recognize the potential of the brand to expand its lifestyle aura into a hotel, yet, the development took its time and there was no ’forced’ pursuit.

The success of the hotel has also been linked to the consistency in terms of service. Rarely have I seen such a bonded team, so friendly and close to guests as they are to each other. The pride of working for the hotel has been so evident throughout my entire stay, with zero ‘attitude’, a service issue that sometimes arises in luxury hotels, especially in Italy or France. The Bulgari team boast pride, however, they do so, through making guests feel special, striving to provide even the smallest element of pleasant surprise in everything they do.

Famed Italian interior designer Antonio Citterio was instrumental to the success of the Bulgari Hotel concept, especially the way he re-created a lifestyle which has always been associated with the Bulgari brand. When creating the Milan project, he not only considered the very particular location of the hotel and its unique garden but also the understated style of the Milanese, intentionally respecting and not creating a project that would generate controversy, like other similar project have, in the recent years.

My suite, a Deluxe category (video preview), like all other rooms and suites was bright, not only from the abundant daylight coming through the floor to ceiling windows but also from the cream / beige colour scheme of the furnishings, with a focus on light wood, think soft wool carpets on wooden floors, soft cotton upholstery on the oversized living room couch, bedroom and bathroom armchairs. In contrast, the dining / business desk table was all black, with black leather chairs.

Beautiful details included: business cards printed with your name which are carefully placed in your room on arrival, dark purple and white calla flower arrangement, heavy oak hangers in the lavish walk-in closet, herbal tea served in a thermos at turndown and the Green Tea Bulgari bathroom amenities which included bath aromatherapy tea sachet, candles and men’s grooming (besides the shower & bath set)…the bathroom in itself resembling a mini-SPA (video preview)

Oliver Petcu in Milan