From rubies to rooms – the rise of Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts

From rubies to rooms – the rise of Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts

Luxury isn’t an industry, it’s a lifestyle, a code that can be applied across hospitality, retail, travel and beyond. The most switched-on luxury brands know that their high-net-worth clientele do not compare a check-in experience at one hotel to that at another hotel, they compare it to the service they received at Cartier, Bentley or Louis Vuitton. It’s this understanding of excellence that allows truly innovative brands to crossover into new industries. And Bvlgari leads the way.

From humble beginnings

Founded in Rome by Sotirio Bulgari, the Bvlgari brand started out as a single jewellery store which opened on via Sistina in 1884. With early designs inspired by Byzantine and Islamic art as well as French trends, Bvlgari’s craftsmanship gained notoriety across Europe.

Throughout the 20th century, Bvlgari expanded and continued to balance innovation with design classics, opening stores around the world. Diversification into watches came in the 1970’s (with Bvlgari Time opening in Switzerland) as well as perfume, accessories and rings in the 1990’s.

At the start of the 21st century, the Bvlgari brand entered the hotel industry through a joint venture with Luxury Group, part of Marriott International. The first hotel opened in Milan in 2004, followed by Bali (2006), London (2012), Beijing (2017), Dubai (2017) and Shanghai (2018). All properties feature the distinctive, bold and contemporary style of the brand.

Excellence, the Bvlgari way

The Service Concept at Bvlgari Hotels is ‘Informal yet Impeccable’, delivering a fresh approach to luxury. The location of each property has been specifically chosen for its prestige and prominence in that destination. Inside, Bvlgari have combined local culture and traditional design with Italian contemporary architecture, featuring commissioned works of art, rare materials and superior service – echoing their core values.

Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts core values:

– Authenticity
– Pure Presence
– Radiance
– Grace
– Integrity
– Tradition of excellence

Although they have a ‘chain’ of hotels, the localized interior design makes each one unique through bespoke touches, e.g. a garden-theme in Milan,or the brand’s heritage as a silversmith in London. The attention to detail is inspired, but is also translated across every element of the hotel, such as the pattern used on the curtains and headboards at Bvlgari Hotel London, which is abstracted from one of Bvlgari’s early brooch designs.

Focusing on the guest experience

When it opened in 2012, the London hotel in Knightsbridge was among the most expensive places to stay in the UK capital. With only 85 rooms and suites, the hotel’s strategy is to offer all guests a unique and personalised experience, with unrivalled room quality and exceptional hotel amenities, which supports the premium pricing.

“At Bulgari Hotels and Resorts, we commit to enchanting our guests through inspired, radiant and graceful service.” Bvlgari Credo

As a new build hotel, the design of the property was focussed on providing exceptional guest experiences – the award-winning spa features a 25-m swimming pool – the longest of any hotel in London – while in the back of house, having kitchens on two floors for different purposes makes the serving process smoother and more efficient.

Moving hospitality forward

Bvlgari has a further three properties in the pipeline (Moscow, Paris and Tokyo), which will create an additional 239 rooms. When you consider the average luxury hotel in the US has 320 rooms, you can see Bvlgari are staying true to their strategy of having a few, smaller properties that deliver on Bvlgari’s legacy of excellence.

Fortunately for Glion students, the school has a very strong relationship with the luxury hotel, and the company is very enthusiastic about encouraging students to work in their current and upcoming properties. On a recent field trip to the London hotel, the staff engaged with students, inspiring them to see the many different opportunities that are available across all departments including HR, finance and marketing, as well as reception, rooms division and F&B.

Defining luxury for over 130 years

Most high-end hotel brands claim to have ‘reinvented luxury’, but few can truly say they achieved something different, remarkable and unforgettable. Bvlgari have done exactly this, bringing a new standard of excellence and enchantment to the hospitality industry. They have weaved their luxury heritage into the customer experience across all of their hotels, proving that a disruptive and innovative brand can equally be a relative newcomer and over 130 years old.

Related Articles: Glion and Bvlgari talk luxury retail at exclusive event.

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Glion goes to the races – London students visit Royal Ascot

Glion goes to the races – London students visit Royal Ascot

When you’re studying luxury hospitality in London, there’s no shortage of opportunities to see and experience the industry first-hand. From hotels and restaurants, to spas and world-famous events, the UK capital has it all.

And few events are more quintessentially British than Royal Ascot.

From the Royal Procession and attendance of the Queen, to the communal bandstand singing and six top-class races, it’s an event steeped in history and tradition. Race weekend in October represented a great opportunity for our London-based students to immerse themselves in real-life hospitality at this 300 year-old venue.

A day of luxury hospitality

For the 12 students, the trip was a reward for their involvement in the school and work as a Glion Ambassador, forming part of the London Experience. They were treated to a hospitality package including lunch, drinks, afternoon tea, and access to the Queen Anne Enclosure and restaurant all day.

The Glion ladies brought a strong hat-game to the Queen Anne Enclosure

Named in honour of the racecourse’s founding monarch, the Queen Anne Enclosure is at the epicentre of Royal Ascot, situated close to the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure. Glion students donned their finest attire, including some impressive hats, and enjoyed access to elegant Champagne bars, tea rooms and the atmospheric raised terraces, experiencing hospitality fit for a Queen.

The atmosphere was buzzing!

The students enjoyed their first visit to Britain’s most valuable race meeting and immersed themselves in this truly international luxury event.

“It was such a fabulous day. We arrived and the weather was beautiful, the sky was crystal clear. The atmosphere was buzzing already at 10.30am, everyone looked very glamorous in beautiful dresses and hats!”, said one of the members of staff in attendance.

After a few hours exploring the historic race course and soaking up the atmosphere, the students sat down for the gourmet lunch included in their hospitality package. “We had a lovely four course lunch in the Queen Anne Enclosure where Afternoon tea was also served.”

And the Afternoon Tea delivered a quintessentially British experience

Enjoying the London experience

Part of studying at Glion London is enjoying what this capital of culture, luxury and tradition has to offer, outside of the classroom. To help students get the most from this vibrant city, we deliver the London Experience, giving top-contributing individuals the chance to sample the beating heart of the UK. The Royal Ascot trip was part of the London Experience and a unique treat for 12 Glion students that have helped improve Glion for everyone.

The students had a commanding view from the raised terraces

After enjoying their lunch, the students headed to the raised terraces to cheer on the horses and get a great view of a complex, constantly-changing hospitality environment. Exploring the race course offered a fascinating insight into the many aspects of hosting an international, large scale event.

There were plenty of betting tips for those who fancied a flutter…But not all horses had a chance of winning!

The students had an amazing time and enjoyed being a part of a world-renowned hospitality event for the day.

“We watched the race from our table but later we went out to the race course, it was amazing to see the horses so close! Also, it was incredible that the Queen was there!”, Alexandra said. “Ascot was a very unique experience and we were so lucky to be part of a quintessentially British event!.”

Find out more about the London Experience at Glion.

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