Â Eighty-two monochrome guest rooms are understated and spacious, with Bulgari cashmere blankets and Italian designer tea sets adding extra-luxe touches.
From an intimate tented camp in the green foothills of Bali to a converted 19th-century Jesuit retreat in Tamil Nadu, our editors and reviewers have roamed the Asia-Pacific region to bring together DestinAsianâ€™s annual collection of the yearâ€™s top hotel openings. Read on to discover which new properties stood out from the rest in terms of service, setting, amenities, and a singular sense of style.
The second Bulgari hotel to open in China in the last 12 months sits beside Shanghaiâ€™s Suzhou Creek with high-rise views that take in the Bund and the mega-towers of Pudong. The interiors of the 48-story tower, designed (as are all Bulgari properties) by Milanese firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, are embossed in dark marbles and bronze, with generous branding nods in the Roman-inspired patterns and artworks depicting glamorous Bulgari ads from the 1960s and â€™70s.
Eighty-two monochrome guest rooms are understated and spacious, with Bulgari cashmere blankets and Italian designer tea sets adding extra-luxe touches. (Book a Bund-view room, as others currently overlook a noisy construction site.) The heights of glam and the best views can be found at the upper-level restaurant and bars, where you can dine on eye-wateringly expensive Italian classics or sip sophisticated negronis at the oval copper bar. In the warmer months, the place to be is the rooftop La Terrazza for a sunset aperitivo session.
For all its genteel Roman glamour, the highlights of this property are its relics of Shanghaiâ€™s concession-era past. The grounds incorporate the cityâ€™s first Chamber of Commerce building, a neoclassical pile dating to 1916 that Bulgari has restored to its original coffered-and-domed splendor; today, it hosts a ballroom, Chinese restaurant, and snug whisky bar tucked behind the mezzanine balcony. Also, be sure to wander across the Italian gardens to the 1920s gatehouse for a rare glimpse of surviving Revolution-era propaganda slogans.
86-21/3606-7788; bulgarihotels.com; doubles from US$498.
This article originally appeared in theÂ October/November 2018Â print issue of DestinAsian magazine (â€śThe Luxe List 2018: The Bulgari Hotel Shanghaiâ€ť).