June 24, 2024

The New Gem of Paris: The Bulgari Hotel in Paris

It was the shower for me. Shower convinced me that more luxury fashion brands should explore expanding into hotels and resorts. This particular shower was in my suite at the Bulgari Hotel Paris, one of the Italian brand’s newest properties opened in December 2021. For some reason, many luxury resorts and hotels like to feature “rainfall” showers as a feature of their rooms, but for the most part, and in the hundreds of properties I’ve visited, such “rainfall” showers tend to feel like pouring down. But not at the Bulgari Hotel Paris. This shower was transformative, the drops so fine but so abundant and soft that I knew I had never felt real rain in nature like THIS.

Not that I expected anything less from Bulgari, a brand cemented for over a century by its legendary Italian craftsmanship and timeless appeal. Founded in Rome in 1884, the iconic serpenti and tubogas motifs have graced the necklines and wrists of Hollywood’s finest for decades, including those of Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly, and Audrey Hepburn, and more recently, Zendaya and Anne Hathaway. Surely this level of detail could naturally be extended to hotels and resorts if a better brand spins enticing snakes and delicate flowers of 18ct yellow gold diamonds and gemstones.

If wearing a piece of Bulgari jewelry is an experience in itself, then it is like being in a jewelry box staying in a hotel in Bulgaria, a treasure trove immersed in detail and difficult to fully capture, like the shower. The press kit alone for the hotel is 33 pages, mostly in print, if that’s any indication of how well crafted this amazing property is. I’ll start with the location and exterior.

Like many other 5-star properties in Paris, the Bulgari Hotel Paris is found within the “Golden Triangle,” the coveted space found on the Right Bank of the Seine River, the Champs-Élysées, and George V avenues. Although very different from other properties, the Bulgari Hotel in Paris blends Parisian and Italian charm, “which shines no brighter than when it is generously divided on both sides of the Alps.” Designed and restyled by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel with the French

architectural firm Valode & Pistre, the exterior was reimagined with hints of the Italian Renaissance (two-story windows, a feature of an Italian palace) and Parisian materials (exterior masonry, as used in several famous monuments throughout Paris). Above it, the distinctive Parentesi pattern, the beige travertine design that once paved the roads of Rome, can be seen on the building itself. Right in the main entrance, two elegant eight-pointed stars dazzle from the floor, a reflection of the famous ones from Piazza del Campidoglio. No stone is without meaning within the Bulgari Hotel Paris, much like every necklace or bracelet designed by the brand as well, I’m sure.

Inside, each area has mosaic details. I loved the leafy garden behind the bar area for dining, a green escape amongst the city streets, and the lounge, designed like a Bulgarian clutch with rich jewel tones and rose gold carpet and yellow silk (yes, silk) by Altai de Milano. Ornate ceramics by Italian ceramist-turned-architect Gio Ponti and vases by Venetian-born designer Carlo Scarpa also fill the space. A level down from the lobby and lounge, the 1,300 square meter spa is another oasis. The main pool itself is 25 meters long and glimmers with emerald and jade mosaic tiles. In case you need more treasures, opt for one of the Spa “Bulgari Gems” “Diamond,” “Ruby,” or “sapphire” services that use massage, scrub, and facial techniques to deploy the luxe ingredients directly on the skin.

The interior details at Bulgari Hotel Paris are impossibly impressive, but so one final aspect is worth mentioning: the service. Since the pandemic, I’ve noticed that many luxury hotels in general have not excelled at the simple but deep interactions with day-to-day guests and the “extras” they enjoy. The Bulgari Hotel Paris offers transfers from Maserati, shoe care from the legendary cobbler Berluti, complimentary pressing, and many other gem services, but the highlight is the disarming yet crisp guest service. From the Spa attendant who spoke three languages ​​flawlessly within two minutes to the breakfast attendant who greeted me by name the first morning, every interaction was a mini dream. I tip my hat to Sylvain Ercoli, the General Manager, for keeping the hotel group’s one rule well in place: excellence.

As for the shower, it’s Axor. If other properties in Bulgaria have this shower, I’m booking a stay immediately. Miami, Los Angeles, and the Maldives are slated to open within the next two years, and I’ll be sure to check out their goodness as well.

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