Set in a new development centred on an art foundation by Tadao Ando, the Bulgari rises above the Liangma River in Beijing’s leafy Embassy District and is conceived as an urban resort for this city of 20 million. In keeping with tradition, it was designed by multidisciplinary international design studio, Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, who selected or designed each element for consistency. Uncompromisingly contemporary from without – squint and it’s almost an elongated reimagining of the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana – inside, there are echoes of the flagship Milan hotel.
Based on a contrasting palette and lavish use of travertine, onyx, granite and bronze, the design does include the odd local nod, notably in the landscaping by Enzo Enea, which is inspired by China’s Millennial tradition but overall, reads as an expression of all things Italian. So there are furnishings from Flexform and Flos and food from Niko Romito, the triple-starred owner of Abruzzo’s Reale, who will also be overseeing menus at the forthcoming properties in Dubai and Shanghai. With 119 rooms and suites, including a two-floor spa with 11 treatment rooms and indoor pool, Beijing’s latest luxury retreat brings a taste of northern Italy to northern China.