Italians do it better
'Des res’ is what Italians coin a desirable residence so it’s hardly surprising that luxury goods company Bulgari has created just this with its London hotel, which opened not even 18 months ago. Following on from properties in Milan and Bali, the Knightsbridge bolt-hole boasts a clandestine kind of luxury where less is more and excesses are toned-down with sleek design. With just 85 bedrooms and upstairs residences, there’s an intimacy in spite of indulgent features as designed by Antonio Citterio such as the ballroom’s twin chandeliers made of ten silver arms (the company started as Italian silversmiths), granite floors and glossy mahogany that somehow manage to look austere.
The hotel is famously discreet about their clientele and who makes the basement entrance but some time spent in the lobby on the B&B Italia lounges and snacking at the help-yourself candy bar proves it’s a place for fashion types and discerning travellers that expect only the best. For example, a private cinema and cigar ‘sampling’ room if that’s your thing.
The rooms have the world at your finger tips: the softest beds from a ninth-century Bulgari brooch design and giant minibars that look like steamer trunks but it’s the spa and 25-metre swimming pool, thermal and steam rooms that set the hotel firmly apart. It’s from here that James Duigan runs Bodyism – his long, lean and healthy body business – which attracts the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Elle Macpherson. Guests can engage the Bodyism trainers during their stay but also can make Bodyism choices while they are in the hotel, with Duigan indicating all items on menus, including room service, that are the right choice. Although in the hub of London’s busiest shopping mecca just a short walk to Harvey Nichols and restaurants such as Mr Chow, it’s the place to go for a rejuvenating weekend or a great place for travellers to stay to keep healthy habits in place. When it comes to comfort with style, it’s been said many times before but Italians do it better.