There is something particularly posh about a private road and a private park, particularly when it is within touching distance of the centre of town and the fashion district. The Bulgari really does offer the best of all worlds, cut off from the hubbub, surrounded by greenery, but very near Via Montenapoleone, right on the edge of the Quadrilatero d’Oro and the Botanical Gardens.
The 52 rooms tend to be fairly small but all look out either onto the gardens or a private courtyard, offering a degree of quiet privacy. The colours used within the rooms continue the same range of browns, blacks and white used in the public areas with materials such as teak and oak and lighting systems that can be adapted to the mood – which can take some working out. The rooms are incredibly comfortable and are well-thought out, with Bulgari own-range cosmetics, useful touches such as a full range of international adapters built in, and luxuries such as fresh flowers and candles.
Designed by Antonio Citterio, the hotel is decked out in a sophisticated masculine palette of browns, black and white, using Burmese teak and black Zimbabwean granite to dramatic effect. The lounge is thoroughly welcoming with plenty of books and magazines in an assortment of languages to encourage you to linger.
In summer, there’s a wonderful garden, complete with a meditation area and an outdoor garden restaurant, while the oval-shaped bar is hugely popular with the aperitivo crowd. There are events most evenings, but they don’t impact on hotel guests too much.
Eating and drinking
The bar, a soaring black oval pod of a spaceship in design, is one of the places to be seen during Milan’s evening aperitivo, with people flowing out into the garden as well. You can nibble on canapés, or the whole restaurant menu is also available here, in a more informal setting.
The Restaurant, under the watchful hand of Chef Ello Sironi, is modern Italian chocolate box – all browns and woods – with signature dishes such as tomato spaghetti with lemon peel and goat’s cheese, although there are a few international dishes such as a raw tuna niçoise. Everything is very light – presumably to cater for the fashion crowd. In season, it is possible to eat in the garden.
The garden is a wonderful place to wind down after a hard day’s shopping – or perhaps to wind up for the evening after a trip to the hotel’s spa which is small, but intimate and very luxurious. The tiny pool is shimmering gold and green mosaic while the hammam is of Turkish emerald green Afyon stone. They are worth a look, even if you don’t indulge.
The service is very charming and helpful – you can have help with everything including unpacking your suitcase and the hotel even has a personal shopper on hand. They believe in making a great fuss of you if there’s a celebration in the offing. On the flipside, service can be slow, particularly in the restaurant.
Who stays there
The rich and fashionable. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal; jeans are OK as long as they have the right (designer) label.
The hotel is very expensive, there are lots of extras and tipping levels are high. If you can’t afford it, don’t go – or pop by for cocktails.
- Business travellers
- Celebrity spotting
- People watching
Pros & Cons
- A garden and greenery in the centre of town
- Fashionable style with charm
- High prices