Maybe we haven't seen the return of the roaring global recovery everyone has hoped for. The U.S. economy is sputtering, and the European continent isn't looking very bullish at the moment. But none of this seems to be terribly concerning to the luxury hotel market. There has been a spate of recent openings — hotel extensions of luxury brands — to prove it.
Bulgari, which operates a luxury hotel in Milan, a luxury resort in Bali, and restaurants in Tokyo, has just opened the doors of its fourth Bulgari Hotel, with its latest five-star property opening in a chi-chi pocket of London.
Located in the city's prestigious Knightsbridge section, its well appointed rooms (such as the one above) are opening just in time to take bookings for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Bulgari gushes about the property: "It is a perfect expression of the Bulgari aesthetic of timeless glamour. Innovative artistry and a lavish use of precious marble and silver blend harmoniously, exuding an understated elegance. The quality of the service, magnificent elements such as the spa, pool and private screening room, and the distinguished location beside Harrods and Hyde Park all contribute to an uncompromising sense of excellence."
As for the London site's design, it's — naturally — an elegant reflection of the Bulgari brand ethos featured in the new Meta-luxury book by Manfredi Ricca and Rebecca Robins. Luxe design details include "custom-made silk curtains that feature silver patterns derived from an 1800s silver brooch by Sotirio Bulgari, and the spectacular handcrafted solid silver chandeliers, which dominate the Ballroom and are set to become the most impressive pair of silverware pieces made this century. The design is complemented by state of the art technology and many sustainable features."
LVMH, owner of such luxury brands as De Beers, Fendi, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton, is luring the jet-set to Saint-Tropez with White 1921, a luxury hotel that is so exclusive it will only be open seasonally, until October. With a mere eight rooms, White 1921, housed in a private mansion, will cost up to $1,245 per night. Guests can enjoy a first-class view of the park on Place des Lises and can take advantage of an impressive wine cellar. And yes, the hotel (at right) is white; its "1921" designation comes from the fact that it was a great year for champagne — a nod to LVMH's Dom Pérignon, Krug, Ruinart, Veuve Clicquot, Moët & Chandon Champagne brands.
China continues to be a hotbed of luxury activity, and this year marks the arrival of the Tonino Lamborghini Boutique Hotel Suzhou. Founded by Tonino Lamborghini, son of Lamborghini automotive brand’s Ferruccio Lamborhini, the luxury hotel is located on the banks of Jinji Lake is a co-operative effort with Chinese real estate developer Join In Group. The new hotel boasts 92 lake view rooms in four buildings, while the Suzhou-style classical garden includes a bridge, flowing water, and a pagoda. Such features as a French restaurant, spa, indoor swimming pool and bookstore add to the experience. Nine more such hotels are being planned for seven locations in China.
As if that's not enough, German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has been retained by the Hotel Metropole in Monte-Carlo. According to New York magazine, "Karl is redesigning the hotel's full exterior, including the pool, terrace, and a new Joel Robuchon restaurant." Lagerfeld's design plans include "a series of frescoes starring Baptiste as a toga-wearing, goblet-raising Greek god of sorts." Darling, we expect no less.