The newest hotel in London’s Knightsbridge neighborhood is no grande dame in traditional garb. Slick and seductive—and Italian to the core—Bulgari Hotel & Residences London opened in May with no apologies. “We’re Italian, we’re warm, we smile,” says general manager Sylvain Ercoli, who directs the hotel’s young staff to be informal and impeccable.
The firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners, which designed Bulgari London’s sister hotels in Milan and Bali, dressed up the new property mostly in black, mahogany, and silver. In the low-ceilinged lobby, four Bulgari-made silver pieces pay tribute to the Italian brand’s silversmith founder, Sotirio Bulgari. Sotirio’s creations, including a Bulgari brooch, inspired the hotel’s fabrics and wall coverings, which vary dramatically despite their limited color palette.
The hotel is small, with just 85 rooms, a restaurant, a cinema, a gym, and an 11-room spa with a nail salon. London-based foot expert Margaret Dabbs employs podiatrists to do pedicures in the salon, and Australian trainer James Duigan runs a personal-training program in the gym. Duigan also designates healthy choices on the menu at Il Ristorante, where Scottish-Italian chef Robbie Pepin’s seasonal dishes—based on seasonal ingredients from Italy, of course—could persuade even Anglophiles to spend the night at Bulgari’s bastion in Knightsbridge.
Bulgari Hotel & Residences London, +22.214.171.1240, www.bulgarihotels.com