Our next stop on our trip to Italy & France was Milan, where we spent two nights at the 58-room Bulgari Hotel Milan. This is regarded as Bulgari’s flagship property, as it was the first hotel that the Italian luxury brand opened.
What are Bulgari hotels & resorts?
In recent years we’ve increasingly seen fashion brands get into the hotel business. Bulgari (or BVLGARI, if you prefer, to reflect the Roman alphabet), is an Italian luxury brand known for watches, fragrances, jewelry, leather goods, etc.
Over time the company has launched collaborations to get into other spaces, and one of those collaborations has been for hotels. Bulgari currently operates seven hotels, with a further five in the pipeline, all expected to be opened by 2025. Bulgari got into the hotel space as part of a collaboration with Ritz-Carlton (which is owned by Marriott), and the first property (in Milan) opened in 2004.
How to book the Bulgari Hotel Milan
Even though Bulgari is a collaboration with Marriott, the brand unfortunately doesn’t participate in Marriott Bonvoy. That means you can’t earn or redeem points for stays at Bulgari properties, and also can’t take advantage of any Bonvoy elite benefits.
The best way to book a stay at any Bulgari property is through a travel advisor affiliated with the Marriott STARS program, so you can receive extra perks, like complimentary breakfast, a room upgrade subject to availability, a hotel credit, and more.
Since STARS is Marriott’s own proprietary program, these upgrades are prioritized over those through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, Virtuoso, etc. Ford is happy to help with this, and can be reached at [email protected]
As far as pricing at Bulgari Milan goes, rates generally start at 950 Euro per night, but pricing does vary throughout the year. This is in line with the pricing of Milan’s top hotels.
In the interest of full disclosure, we stayed here on a travel advisor rate. This is something Ford arranged, and I figured OMAAT readers would still enjoy getting a sense of what the hotel has to offer.
Bulgari Hotel Milan location
Bulgari Hotel Milan has a great location for walking around the city. It’s in an area with lots of high-end shopping, near Via Montenapoleone. It was only roughly a 10 minute walk to Duomo di Milano. What’s cool is that the immediate area around the hotel is quiet, and almost feels like a residential area, as it’s also near botanical gardens.
Given how small the hotel is, the entrance also feels quite intimate. You might feel more like you’re pulling into a luxury condo building rather than a hotel.
As far as getting to the hotel goes, Bulgari Hotel Milan is a roughly 50 minute drive from Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP), a 20 minute drive from Milan Linate Airport (LIN), and a roughly 10 minute drive from Milano Centrale, should you be taking the train. If you’re looking to take the subway, the hotel is just a couple of blocks from the Montenapoleone stop.
Bulgari Hotel Milan check-in & lobby
We arrived at Bulgari Milan at around 2PM. We were promptly helped by a friendly bellman, who escorted us to reception. The first thing I noticed were the uniforms the employees were wearing, which were much more fashionable and less formal than what you’d usually find at a luxury hotel.
The hotel’s reception area is small, with the front desk to the left and the concierge desk to the right.
Our check-in process was efficient, and within a couple of minutes we were escorted to our room. This required walking through the lobby lounge, which I’ll talk more about later on.
Bulgari Hotel Milan superior room
Bulgari Milan has five floors, and we were assigned room 410, on the fourth floor. There was some cool art by the elevators, and then the hallways had a fun minimalist design.
We were assigned a superior room, which is the hotel’s entry level room. However, our superior room had a massive terrace. Even within each category there’s variance in terms of the features of the rooms, so this balcony was a special feature.
Superior rooms at Bulgari Milan are marketed as being 35 square meters, which comes out to roughly 375 square feet. I’d say our room may have been a bit larger than that, based on the long hallway. Once inside the room, the bathroom was to the left, while the rest of the room was to the right.
The room featured a comfortable king size bed with a Bulgari throw blanket. As you can see, this isn’t your typical hotel room in terms of finishes, as there was a bunch of Bulgari (and other) art in the room.
Not only was the bed comfortable to begin with, but there was also a pillow menu, with seven types of pillows to choose from.
In the far corner of the room was a wall-mounted TV, plus a desk with a chair.
The desk had a stationery kit, which you don’t often see in hotel rooms. With the exception of a pen and ruler, I don’t think I’ve used anything in that kit for over 15 years. What a throwback to middle school.
There was a welcome amenity on the table consisting of some sweet treats with a homemade hazelnut spread, plus two bottles of Acqua Panna water. It seems that a sweet treat is a daily amenity at the hotel, as we were also brought one the next day as well.
There was also a safe at the far end of the room, which was built into the wall. I thought that was a pretty thoughtful design.
Back toward the entrance was the minibar, which included a Nespresso machine, kettle, and a variety of drinks and snacks for purchase.
There was also a fairly large closet in the hall between the bedroom and bathroom.
The bathroom featured a sink in the main room, then a separate room with a toilet & bidet, and then a separate area with both a walk-in shower and a bathtub.
As you’d expect, toiletries were from Bulgari, which are always great. The number of products also seemed to be nearly endless.
Without a doubt the most exciting part of the room was the outdoor terrace, which featured a beautiful sitting area with an umbrella, plus two day beds.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t too great while we were in Milan, though we still got to enjoy it quite a bit.
After being shown to our room, the friendly front office associate asked if she could get us a welcome drink. We asked for cappuccinos, which were promptly brought up to our room with some cookies. What a nice touch!
Wi-Fi in the room was fast and free, and there was daily housekeeping plus turndown service.
Bulgari Hotel Milan The Lounge
The Lounge is Bulgari Milan’s lobby lounge, and it’s located between reception and the guest elevators. This is open throughout the day, and has everything from coffee & tea, to cocktails, to light meals, to pastries. As you can see, there’s a big focus on fashion with all the art on the walls.
We didn’t end up having anything to eat or drink here, but it seemed to be popular with both hotel guests and outsiders.
Bulgari Hotel Milan The Bulgari Bar
The Bulgari Bar is the hotel’s all-day venue, as it’s open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, drinks, and dinner. This is a beautiful space that has a bit over a dozen seats at the bar itself, plus about a dozen tables around it. This space is right next to Il Ristorante Niko Romito, which is the hotel’s signature restaurant.
The bar area also has a gorgeous outdoor terrace, but unfortunately the weather wasn’t cooperating there.
We came to The Bulgari Bar one evening before dinner, and you can find the drink list here. I decided to order the hotel’s signature cocktail (the Bulgari cocktail, served with gin, aperol, fresh orange juice, pineapple, and lime juice), while Ford had a negroni.
The drinks were excellent, but equally impressive was the snack tray that came with it!
Bulgari Hotel Milan Il Ristorante Niko Romito
Il Ristorante Niko Romito is Bulgari Milan’s signature restaurant, and we had dinner there one evening. The person behind this restaurant has opened a Michelin three star restaurant, and we had heard from several people how good this restaurant is. It sure didn’t disappoint.
The restaurant is located right next to the bar, and it’s quite intimate, with only about a dozen tables.
Il Ristorante Niko Romito serves contemporary Italian cuisine, and you can find the menu here. To kick off the meal, we were offered a treat from the kitchen, which was an extraction of carrot, onion, and celery, with no water, but rather with champagne.
We were also offered quite the selection of bread.
For starters, I ordered the risotto alla Milanese, which was outrageously indulgent.
Ford had the roasted carrot and beetroot salad, parsley sauce, almond, and horseradish, which was definitely the healthier choice. 😉
For our main courses, I ordered the steamed sea bass with capers, lettuce, and lemon. This dish was so good, and I loved the presentation and sides as well.
Ford had the milk fed veal Milanese style, which he said was the best veal he’s had in his life.
We were so stuffed at this point, but they still sent out some sweets to finish the meal.
I can’t say enough good things about the dining experience at Il Ristorante Niko Romito. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, this restaurant is most definitely worth a visit (though it can be hard to get a reservation — staying at the hotel can help with that).
Bulgari Hotel Milan breakfast
Breakfast at Bulgari Milan is served daily starting at 7AM, and you can find the breakfast menu here. Breakfast is served in the dining area of The Bulgari Bar. Our stay included breakfast, and if you book through Marriott STARS, it will include breakfast as well, so you can order freely off the menu.
To drink, we had a cappuccino, a french press coffee, and a fresh juice.
We weren’t that hungry since we had a huge dinner the night before, but I had the smoked salmon and avocado on whole grain bread, while Ford had two poached eggs with a side of avocado.
If your rate includes breakfast, Bulgari Milan will also gladly serve it via room service at no extra charge. Best of all, the hotel serves breakfast 24/7. Since we had a 6AM train on our second morning, we could order breakfast at 4:30AM, which was much appreciated. We ordered some poached eggs, homemade granola with nuts and yogurt, and avocado, along with some coffee and water.
Bulgari Hotel Milan spa & gym
On the basement level, Bulgari Milan has the gym and spa complex. The spa is open daily from 9AM until 9PM, while the gym can be accessed 24/7.
The gym was on the small side, and had a treadmill, elliptical, and a variety of weights. The gym can be reserved in advance as there’s a limit of two people at a time, but we had no issues getting our preferred time.
The hotel also has a nice indoor pool, along with a sauna and steam room.
Bulgari Hotel Milan service
Service at Bulgari Milan was just about textbook perfect for a city hotel:
- Everyone working at the hotel seemed to genuinely like their job, and on top of that had personality, which is always nice
- In particular, the restaurant and bar staff were exceptionally friendly and attentive, at breakfast, drinks, and dinner
- The in-room phones had a single button you could push for service, which I’d typically be skeptical of, but there was always a near instant answer, and no need to be connected (this person could help with everything from room service orders to arranging restaurant reservations through the concierge)
Bulgari Milan is the flagship Bulgari property, and it was cool to finally stay at a hotel belonging to this famous luxury brand. Bulgari Milan is a boutique property with a cool design, an excellent restaurant, friendly service, and a central location. Furthermore, having a terrace like what we had in an entry-level room is pretty unheard of.
If you’ve stayed at a Bulgari property, what was your experience like?