Mary Gostelow savours perfection in London’s Knightsbridge

Here's what awaits clients staying at Bvlgari Hotel London

Bvlgari Hotel London, Bvlgari Suite, Living Room

For the nearest-to-perfect stay in central London, consider Bvlgari Hotel London – confusingly, the hotel brand uses a V rather than the standard U, as with Bulgari boutiques and jewellery.

You are right in the hub of activity, or at least within five minutes’ walk of Harrods, the Brits’ version of David Jones. All right, Harrods is now Qatari owned but it remains as quintessentially English as its roots: it was started by Charles Harrod, with two assistants, to capitalise on the Great Exhibition of 1851, held in nearby Hyde Park.

Bvlgari Hotel London, front facade

The decade-old discreet nine-floor hotel, which honestly resembles a Bulgari boutique outside, has found its place, set as it is equidistant between Harrods’ sage-liveried doormen and the natural greens of Hyde Park. You are welcomed by hotel staff in black roll-necks, designer suits. Everyone knows who you are, but no-one intrudes on your space.

Over the years the 85-key Bvlgari Hotel London has softened from the original Citterio-Viel in-your-face design. The lobby, anchored by a jet-fuelled fire and 1960s Gian Paolo Barbieri images of the just-departed Monica Vitti and her contemporaries, is now subtly coloured.

Bvlgari Hotel London, The Bvlgari Lounge

Another evolution is the separation of the two-floor rear eatertainment area. Today a dedicated Knightsbridge Green street entrance attracts the A-list locals, hungry for, say, heavenly just-made ravioli cacio e pepe in Sette, overseen by Manhattan’s legendary Scarpetta, who cannot use that name here as someone else bagged it for London. Sette has a most thoughtful ambience, by Manhattan designer Thomas Juul-Hansen, who has put in club-type leather, a central green tree, and mirrors around the walls so that diners facing ‘out’ can view the entire room.

Bvlgari Hotel London, Sette bar and restaurant

Postprandially, incidentally, Bvlgari’s subterranean Nolita is just the nightclub Knightsbridge laps up. Having an onsite cigar emporium’s an additional plus. Locals, too, savour Bvlgari’s daytime wellness club: membership comes with Lee Mullins fitness, and a 25-metre pool lined with golden tiles. Stay at the hotel, of course, to use these facilities, and I also suggest a jetlag recovery spa treatment with the oh-so-trendy 111skin products, straight from Harley Street. You may also want to think of surprising your travel companions, or London-based friends, with a private screening in the hotel’s cinema.

The Bvlgari Spa, Bulgari Hotel London

I have not mentioned the rooms, which range from 43 sqm. Views over Knightsbridge and through to Hyde Park are popular – perhaps book-filled Bvlgari II, a suite which has a 360° fire, and dining for eight.

The final plus here is the international team, many from Italy, including the lively young concierge from Ischia. They all seem to operate as a well-trained Manchester United – or rather A.C. Milan, in view of Bulgari’s Italian roots, or Olympiakos, as their captain, hotel GM Kostas Sfaltos, gained a lot of his people skills in the Greek military. He’s currently, by the way, doing an extracurricular degree in professional lifestyle coaching, helping his team make decisions more confidently. Would that all luxury team members, wherever, produced such an enjoyable performance.

Kostas Sfaltos, GM, Bulgari Hotel London
Deluxe Suite, bedroom - Bvlgari Hotel London

Mary Gostelow publishes the daily and a unique weekly 15-minute industry Mary Gostelow Girlahead Podcast, both part of Almont Global.

Subscribe to LATTE’s free eNewsletter to keep up to date with everything in the luxury travel industry.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WP to LinkedIn Auto Publish Powered By :