This five-star new-build from the luxury Italian retailer opened last May. Bulgari also has hotels in Milan and Bali.


The property is an exercise in understated luxury – from the black granite floors and polished sapele mahogany walls to the silk headboards and Marquina marble bathrooms, no expense has been spared on the Antonio Citterio-designed project.

It is no surprise, then, that it is one of the most expensive hotels in the UK. Reception is to the right and a warm, open-plan lobby lounge with a roaring fire to the left. Staff were immediately welcoming.


At 171 Knightsbridge, around the corner from Harrods, Hyde Park, and Knightsbridge Tube station.


Entry-level Superior rooms are spacious, at 40 sqm, and have 42-inch LCD TVs, Nespresso machines, free wifi, Bulgari toiletries, separate tubs and rainshowers, laptop safes, turndown service and custom-made minibars in what look like vintage travel trunks.

The décor is masculine, with a palette of silver, cocoa, ebony and milk. My first-floor Junior suite had views of the road, while others face on to neighbouring buildings and side streets. The suite had plenty of living space and a Juliette balcony, and the king-size bed was supremely comfortable. Upon arrival, my charming butler (assigned to all suites) brought up a DVD player as requested and connected it to the 55-inch TV.


Options include a cigar lounge with a collection from Edward Sahakian’s Davidoff keep, Il Bar, specialising in cocktails, and the Spirit room, which has a shelf of rare distillations.

From the bar, a staircase leads down to the Italian Il Ristorante, with a centrepiece of white amaryllis hanging from a knarled tree. An à la carte breakfast is served, along with lunch and dinner. The service was top-class and the food delicious – I had the autumn girolle, endive and shaved apple salad (£14), followed by exquisite, buttery, handmade egg tagliolini with black truffle (£24). It’s easy to spend in excess of £100 a head but there is a three-course set lunch menu for £30.


The hotel has a 140-capacity ballroom featuring solid silver chandeliers, a 47-seat screening room, three private dining rooms and two boardrooms.


The 2,000 sqm, two-floor subterranean health centre has a large, gold-tiled vitality pool, a 25-metre swimming pool, two workout rooms (one with Technogym machines; the other for Bodyism training sessions and with a Power Plate machine), 11 treatment rooms, a foot clinic, steam rooms, saunas and ice showers.


If suave but serious modern luxury is your thing, and price is not a concern, the Bulgari will not disappoint. Its facilities and location are also boons.

Fact file

  • HOW MANY ROOMS? 85 – 62 rooms (six Superior, 50 Deluxe and six Executive Double) and 23 suites (three Junior, five Studio, four Deluxe, four Knightsbridge and seven Bulgari).
  • HIGHLIGHTS The 25-metre pool, delightful food in Il Ristorante and the sizeable rooms with free wifi.
  • PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in March started from £528 for a Superior room.
  • CONTACT Bulgari Hotel and Residences, 171 Knightsbridge; tel +44 (0)20 1511 010;