That it has been called China's most dazzling new hotel seems fitting, for this Shanghai beauty carries a name known for dazzling baubles – Bulgari. Like all the Italian jewellery brand's offerings, from adornments to accommodations, the Bulgari Shanghai walks a delicate line between extravagance and elegance.
Bulgari Hotels & Resorts (a joint venture with Marriott International) began life in 2004 with Bulgari Hotel Milano, announcing a game-changing new level of boutique hotel glamour that instantly attracted the beautiful set.
Shanghai is the sixth property to bear the Bulgari name and like Milan, Bali, London, Beijing and Dubai before it, upholds the pillars of the brand. It is located in the most prestigious area of a destination – this time, within the Suhe Creek revitalisation project in Shanghai's Jing'an district. It strongly references local culture and blends traditional endemic design with dramatic Italian contemporary architecture.
The hotel sits atop a gleaming 48-storey rose gold tower designed by Italian firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, which is responsible for the entire Bulgari hotel collection. Eighty-two rooms and suites across eight floors have stunning views of the Bund and the river.
Though materials are lavish – leathers, silks, velvet and oak alongside Pakistani onyx and Indian marble – there's a cool hand at play, letting those luxuries bask in subtlety.
Manicured gardens are also a signature of the Bulgari brand, and Bulgari Shanghai delivers a riverside oasis with a rare heritage jewel within: the old Shanghai Chamber of Commerce building that now houses the Whiskey Bar, Bao Li Xuan, a Chinese fine dining restaurant, and an extravagant ballroom.
Of course, you can also buy Bulgari jewellery here – there's an onsite boutique as well as Il Cioccolato, Bulgari's first chocolate "boutique", offering delights of an exquisitely different kind.
Three more Bulgari hotels are in the pipeline: Moscow, London and Paris.
Rooms at Bulgari Shanghai start from about $735 a night. See bulgarihotels.com