”Never showy but always stylish, the Bulgari Hotel Milano lives up to the brand’s legacy of elegance and excellence. The hotel’s greatest asset is the garden and adjacency to the Botanicals, creating an unlikely green expanse in the middle of Milan’s thriving fashion and art district. Sheltered, suave, and welcoming, the Bulgari is exclusivity through intimacy.”
By Laura Marwick, content writer
Located steps from Milan’s premier shopping district, you’ll find Bulgari Hotel Milano close to its usual peers, the finest fashion houses of Italy and greater Europe. The neighboring botanical gardens enfold the hotel in quiet and freshness. The sweeping lawns and removal from the road retain an elusive serenity and privacy. The neighborhood of Brera is artistic and trendy, full of stylish places and people.
Linate Airport is 20 minutes drive, and the more international Malpensa is 45 minutes.
The pale, stately shape of the Bulgari Hotel Milano makes an immediate impression. The foundations have housed different structures over the centuries, and the building as it stands today was built in 2004. Tall, mirrored rectangular windows remind visitors of the hotel’s exclusivity. The size of the outdoor area is guaranteed to impress, and uses fine wooden furniture to integrate with the garden. Fine gravel dining areas are bordered by decorative shrubs and roaming ivy, while cultivated, mature trees create shade. The white exterior of the building is thrown into relief by dark green foliage. To one side, the botanical gardens rise over the fence to create an outdoor green wall. Guests enter the building through a glass revolving door. The lobby lounge features deep, low-backed seating, a fireplace, and contemporary fashion photography. Jars of local confectionary are on hand, to start your experience on a sweet note.
The Bulgari’s subtle staff will shine your shoes, iron your clothes and clean your room to an exacting standard. If you’re on the run, the kitchen can prepare you a packed lunch. 24 hour room service will satisfy late night cravings, and turndown service is performed each evening. The Bulgari concierge focuses on only the most exclusive activities, like private hydroplane flights over Lake Como and tours by limousine or yacht. The hotel is on good terms with the most fashionable restaurants and tour groups in the area, the concierge is eager to connect guests.
To preserve the solitude, the Bulgari Hotel Milano has a restricted capacity, with 58 rooms, 11 of which are classified as suites. A stay at the Bulgari feels like holidaying in the guesthouse of a wealthy and fabulous friend: not lived-in, but personal. Fabrics are matte naturals and supple leather, with the occasional shimmer. Half moon sofas soften the shape of the room. Varnished oak walls feel organic and authentic, while marble forms modern fireplaces and finishes tabletops. Jet-colored metal and stone are paired with pale textiles. Doors fold or slide to create flow and maximize space. The wooden verandas don’t protrude but recede into the outer wall. The resulting space sits in the fresh air while staying sheltered, the building giving protection from sun and wind. Tall trees form a canopy alongside the higher floors, giving a serene forest view.
Our favorite accommodation:
For nothing but the finest, you’ll want to book The Bulgari Suite. The top-floor accommodation is comfortably lush in deep wine red and saffron, with black marble and white granite. A few industrial textures serve to point up the softness of the linens and drapery. The penthouse suite is made up of two bedrooms, a walk-in wardrobe, a lounge, library and full bar. Bathe like Egyptian royalty in the enormous bathroom with its immense stone tub. Naturally, the products provided are Bulgari. There’s a heavy emphasis on outdoor living, with an endless patio curving around the edge of the building to extend the garden view. Drapes can be pulled to create a marquee feel, and it’s possible to order a private dinner for al fresco dining beside the treetops. The slanting, historic roofs of Milan are also visible from your outdoor lounge suite.
Our second choice:
The runner-up is the Premium suite with garden view. Rough-hewn fabrics lend a homemade feel against the sleek lines of the walls and furniture. Space is devoted either to an expanse of outdoor living space or a pantry to allow for private entertaining. Dining, living and bedroom spaces all turn tall windows out onto the garden view.
The Bulgari Hotel and its immediate surroundings have many romantic avenues to explore. Wander through the botanical gardens with their flowers, trees and observatory, and pass through the Brera Academy on the way, housing an extensive art collection. Unwind together with a couples massage, where a combination of Swedish, Thai and Indian techniques will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated. Lovebirds who book a suite can enjoy the sunset from their balcony, light the candles provided and order room service for a cozy and romantic night in.
Food and Drinks:
The bottom floor is the place to drink, dine and mingle, the Bulgari’s nerve center and style statement. Il Ristorante has plenty of seafood and pasta options; after all, this is Italy. The flavors are clean and simple, selecting a few fresh ingredients and preparing them to complement each other. The dining area echoes many of the decorative motifs seen in rooms. Higher ceilings and velvet curtains bring a dressier, more extroverted vibe. Onyx surfaces reflect light and color and succulents beautify tables.
Il Ristorante opens for three meals a day. Breakfast offers churros, pastries, fresh fruits and muesli and is best enjoyed outside. The afternoon and evening aperitivos are rumored to be among the best in Milan.
For intimate and exclusive events, Il Gazebo has a pretty cottage feel with hatched woodwork and calico. Set in one corner of the garden, this small, sunlit space has its own menu and is available upon arrangement during summer months, but seats only a handful of guests.
Dark bronze and stained wood are alleviated by the flood of light admitted by the tall windows. The central space is all about curves, with the oval bar, circular ceiling, and round-backed chairs. Bar and restaurant spaces are not separated, encouraging flow and people-watching. At Il Bar, choose from an astonishing variety of gin and tonics or peruse the lengthy wine menu.
Afternoon Tea is served in the lounge from 3.30pm to 6.30pm.
Pool, spa, and fitness:
The spa includes a gorgeous indoor pool in an unearthly shade of emerald. In one of the hotel’s most extravagant touches, the pool is tiled in gold. With stone walls and low lighting, this part of the hotel feels like an enchanted cave. The spa is home to four private treatment rooms and one couples suite, all in stone, misted glass and fine tiles. There’s a sauna and hammam, and beauty treatments are available. The usual floor-to-ceiling windows appear again, letting in soft daylight. Wood slats create a private space for the jacuzzi, where the roof parts to create an open-air sunbathing area.
There’s considerable choice for active guests. The Bulgari holds a state-of-the-art fitness center and offers bike rentals. Guests who wish to use the fitness center will be assigned a personal trainer who will create a training program for their individual needs. The workshop is the next step up, a holistic system of assessment, planning, and training to achieve fast, targeted results. This takes into account genetics, diet, and current fitness levels.
A flawlessly manicured park in the heart of the city, the garden has become the Bulgari’s calling card. On the tiered lawns, outdoor furniture is arranged around trained trees to create “rooms”. Small private events can be held here amongst the wisteria and laurel, catered with the Bulgari’s famous aperitivos. Inside, there are two boardrooms with a small-medium capacity. These can also be converted into a single space for evening events and celebrations.
Kids, pets, and accessibility (Restrictions):
Children are welcome and can stay free at two years old and under, but only one extra bed per room is permitted. Disabled guests have been provided for with adapted rooms, as have those with allergies. Small pets will also be welcomed, though advance notice should be given to the hotel.
Activities and attractions:
Brera has always had a bohemian side, and these days you’ll find unadulterated luxury mixing with galleries and elegant eateries. Take a stroll down Via Madonnina to soak in some local color and admire the antique shop fronts. In the surrounding streets, you’ll find exclusive brands like Gucci and Marc Jacobs, but also more artisanal brands like Aesop, specialty plant-based products for sensitive skin. For vintage looks from Europe’s top designers, Cavalli e Nastri has unique styles spanning the last century. To shop for new styles from an assortment of brands, try Biffi Boutique on Corso Genova or Gio Moretti on Via Della Spiga.
If this doesn’t satisfy your appetite for high-end fashion, you can always get to Via Montenapoleone for a whos-who of the world’s most desirable designers, the ultimate destination for Milan’s diehard fashionistas. All this is within ten minutes walk from the Bulgari Hotel Milano.
Although famous for fashion, Brera is brimming with culture and cuisine. San Simpliciano is sweepingly beautiful, one of the oldest structures in Milan. The artisanal side streets are a great place to sample local treats, notably fine Italian chocolates, and wine. In the evening, kick back and enjoy a cocktail at Cinc, although you may have to fight for a table. To go full native, see an opera at La Scala, a grand Italian tradition in a grand Milanese landmark. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, take a five-minute stroll to the Mandarin Oriental and their in-house restaurant, Seta, where the decor has a contemporary class and the food is Franco-Italian. For alternative haute cuisine, Joia is a vegetarian/vegan haven 15 minutes drive from the Bulgari. Enjoy audacious dishes in a casual, warm setting. These restaurants hold two and one Michelin stars respectively.
The most affordable room at the Bulgari starts at $885 during the off-season. This climbs to $950 in busier periods, but there’s no great variation as Milan is always in season. The starter room is the Superior, with a spacious bathroom and modern entertainment suite, 377 square feet and panel windows giving views of the greenery outside.
”From the iconic Bulgari brand and in the world’s style capital, the Bulgari Hotel Milano has an impeccable pedigree. She proves worthy of these luxury credentials with a vast and skilfully landscaped garden, the quiet embrace of the rooms, and access to one of Milan’s most coveted neighborhoods. For a rarefied serenity in the thick of the city, look no further.”