Cool and friendly

By Chen Jie | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-28 06:58

Cool and friendly

"China has deep respect for nature. I think this is a way to capture Chinese culture.

"We have only 119 rooms, not that many, but each is spacious and has a warm, cheerful spirit. Usually hotels seem formal, but Bulgari hotels are cool and friendly," he added.

The location, about 30 minutes from Tian'anmen Square and 20 minutes from Beijing Capital International Airport, is a convenient choice for many visitors.

Bulgari also commissioned Chinese artist Yang Peiming to paint a portrait of its founder, Sotirio Bulgari (1857-1932). The portrait is hanging on the wall of the lobby to greet the visitors.

"We love Yang's style. It is a nice way to introduce our founder through the eyes of a contemporary Chinese artist. We shared with him several pictures," Babin said.

Founded in 1884 in Rome, Bulgari's product lines include jewelry, watches, perfume and accessories. The hotel division is their smallest and youngest business.

"When we sought to figure out some 15 years ago how the luxury brands would develop in the future, we thought it might not only be possessing a timeless masterpiece jewelry or watches. The clients would more and more look for emotions, for memories, for experiences. So we thought that hospitality probably would be an emotional place to go," Babin said.

He said the hotel business now contributes less than 10 percent to the group's revenue, but has great potential and is developing very fast.

Following Beijing, new Bulgari hotels will open in Dubai in December, Shanghai in January 2018 and Moscow in 2019.

Babin hopes the brand's name will help to attract more visitors to their hotels and resorts.

Bulgari is one of the most desirable luxury brands in China, known for its craftsmanship and design, and especially its jewelry and watches.

China is one of the top three countries worldwide for the brand.

"Chinese customers are very demanding. They are also quite informal, breaking your rules that (with) luxury - especially jewelry - everything tends to be very formal, the store is very formal, the staff and the clients are all formal," he said. "Chinese are bringing a freshness into the industry. They are sophisticated, respectful, but younger and pretty casual.

"Chinese people access wealth at an earlier age than in the West. It is forcing the industry to evolve."



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