What will the new Bvlgari hotel & residences in Moscow be like: an exclusive interview with the vice president of the company

22 May 2020
What will the new Bvlgari hotel & residences in Moscow be like: an exclusive interview with the vice president of the company
Specially for AD (Architectural digest), Executive Vice President of Bvlgari Group Silvio Ursini spoke about brand's new project - Bvlgari Hotel & Residences Moscow, which will be commissioned in 2022.

— Bvlgari hotels and residences are located in different cities around the world. Why have you chosen Moscow this time?

— Russian clients are very important for our brand. Moreover, Bvlgari has a well-developed representative office and several shops in Russia. In addition, Russians often visit many of our hotels - in Milan, London, Bali. Despite the fact that our company is based in a Mediterranean country, Russians are close to spirit and to philosophy of Bvlgari and many other aspects of our aesthetics. Your compatriots have a special attitude towards Italy, which manifests itself in many ways. Russians even share our preferences for jewelry: they also prefer sensual and slightly daring pieces made of yellow gold and adorned with precious stones.
Silvio.jpg
SILVIO URSINI
Wainbridge International
Executive Vice President of
Bvlgari Group

We believe that Russian market has great potential for Bvlgari because Moscow is just an incredible city. At the same time, despite all its advantages, there are still not any offers bound up with luxury hotels, especially in comparison with Paris, London and other capitals.

 

— Do all Bvlgari complexes comprise residences?

— No, in Milan it consists only of a hotel. There are residences in Beijing, Shanghai, Bali, in London we have built two penthouses. In general, the concept of branded residences is highly appreciated by our clients.

— How many residences and rooms will the Bvlgari Hotel & Residences Moscow complex?

— The complex includes eleven residences with the status of apartments (including one penthouse with a view terrace), as well as three townhouses ranging from 465 to 1026 meters. The hotel will comprise sixty-five rooms.

— How does Bvlgari approach the choice of an urban location for placing its residences and hotels?

— We do not have specific criteria; we are just searching for a beautiful location with a special atmosphere and energy, a place that has a soul. Some locations can provide it, some cannot. Once we were asked: "How is it possible that this time your complex won’t contain garden, but you are always engaged in projects that provide beautiful gardens." It is not truth, having a garden is not a priority for Bvlgari. Our final choice is influenced by several factors at once: we pay attention to the distance from the main attractions and shopping areas, to the surroundings, to the views that will be offered from the windows, to the appearance of the buildings where we plan to place the hotel and residence (if we do not build them from scratch).

— The new Bvlgari Hotel & Residences Moscow complex will be located in the center of Moscow – in the neighborhood of Bolshaya Nikitskaya Street and Sredny Kislovsky Lane. Why have you chosen this particular place?

— I was immediately fascinated by it. First of all, because it retains the historical spirit. We have chosen an excellent area: next to the Kremlin, to the Conservatory, a wonderful cultural landmark; there is a garden square as well. The building where the residences and the hotel will retain their historic facade. We Italians highly value the heritage of the past, so it was a special pleasure for us to find a place with such a powerful historical overtones.

— As far as we know Wainbridge has become a project partner. What is its role in the Bvlgari project?


— Wainbridge is our developer in Russia. We have been looking for a partner in this country for a long time, and since the first meeting with the company it has become obvious that our ideas about work on the project coincide by 100%. In addition, Wainbridge has deep international expertise and experience in projects in London, Paris and the Cote d'Azur, so she knows a lot about luxury real estate. The Wainbridge representatives are very active, they make a great contribution to the development of our project.

— You have brought Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel to work on the project. And it is not the first time you have collaborated. Why do you remain loyal to these particular professionals?

— Our friendship has lasted for about twenty years and goes back to the times when I just started working on Bvlgari projects and thought about finding a partner who would help with the design concept. We interviewed many architects, some of them were very talented, but Antonio and Patricia had a significant advantage. They could demonstrate a complex of works at once - from creating an architectural design of a building to decorating the interiors of different zones and designing furniture. The philosophy of this approach to design was popular in Italy and France in the 1930s, but over time it began to be used less frequently. Novadays different people are often engaged in the construction of hotels, interior design, furniture design and selection of decor. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to achieve harmony in this way. Collaboration with one bureau with a specific signature allows Bvlgari to create harmonious spaces in which absolutely all elements are perfectly combined with each other and made in a unified aesthetic.

Antonio and Patricia have their own recognizable style, and we would not want our projects to become conditional "Citterio Resorts", we always remain Bvlgari. That is why we have discussed for a long time how exactly Bvlgari's philosophy can be interpreted by this bureau. Antonio and Patricia are close to the aesthetics of minimalism, and Bvlgari is more about luxury, baroque, splendor, about everything associated with majestic Rome. I think the combination of the two can be really interesting, avoiding extremes. In addition, our general style is not static, it is evolving, and what we did in Milan is quite different from what we are currently implementing in Moscow.

— Bvlgari hotels are similar to each other in some way, but at the same time they are different. Does their appearance also depend on the location?

— You are right, a lot really depends on the location. Let's recall the Bvlgari project in Beijing: there the windows of a low-rise building overlooking a garden with a river, and the interior, in which stone and natural wood are used. All these seem to echo what we see from the outside. In Shanghai, the hotel overlooks a stunning urban landscape with skyscrapers. So it is no coincidence that many gray and dark shades are used inside, thanks to which the interiors correspond to the urban style.

As for Moscow residences and hotels, we will create a luxurious and modern environment. A couple of months ago, I saw for the first time what one of the rooms would look like. I was very pleased with what I had seen. It seems to me that the appearance of the project will perfectly correlate with the atmosphere of Moscow.

— Which hotel service will be available for tenants of Bvlgari residences? Which ones will included by default, and which ones can be used upon request?


— All standard services will be included: security, concierge service, engineering services for common areas. By the way, residents will have their own underground parking, which is especially important for the tenants of the city center. Many hotel services will be available to owners of residences on the a la carte system. In this regard, we are very lucky, because the hotel and residences are located in the same complex (in Dubai, for example, they are located in different places). Residents will be able to order room cleaning and catering, to use dry cleaning and much more.

Hotel guests and residents will also be able to visit the gym and spa, which will be located in the Bvlgari Hotel & Residences Moscow complex. Consequently, they do not even have to leave the complex to receive these services. I think the Bvlgari spa is absolutely fantastic. It traditionally has two main components: "active" (it includes the opportunity to work with a personal trainer according to a special system developed by a specialist from London) and "relaxing" - with massages, beauty treatments, a visit to a hammam and a bath. Every few months we will present to our spa guests a variety of treatments designed according to the most modern standards.

— You have published an issue of the magazine dedicated to the new vision of luxury. The definition of luxury changes over time, and today it is not the same as 20 or 100 years ago. For us, Bvlgari is largely associated with a modern luxury. What is the meaning of this concept for you?

— That is a very interesting question. The concept of luxury has existed for many centuries, and its manifestations could be found in Ancient Egypt. I believe that the desire for beauty has remained unchanged since then. Today, the new vision of luxury includes two more aspects. Firstly, it is is an impeccable service. I highly appreciate our service model, which was influensed by the Italian traditions. It is not a formal one — Bvlgari employees are always very attentive to guests and residents. They will never just perform their functions on autopilot. As a result, many of our customers build a truly friendly relationship with the staff. So, the resident can greet the Concierge with a strong hug while leaving the residence and hug. For Bvlgari it is absolutely normal.

The second aspect is compliance with the trend towards sustainable development. The quality standards that Bvlgari adheres to while working on their projects are very high. The concept of sustainable development is initially embedded in all aspects of work, it is a whole range of solutions that allows us to comply with it. For example, in summer air conditioner can be certainly turned on in the room, but if the window is opened, it will be automatically turned off. This allows us to avoid wasting resources. Today, people are thinking about how their actions affect the environment and their own health. That is why they have become more attentive to food they consume as well.

— Speaking of food, are you planning to open a restaurant or a bar in the Bvlgari Hotel & Residences Moscow?

— Yes of course. The Il Bar will be open. Here customers can taste our famous cocktails. Moreover, the Il Ristorante restaurant will operate: it will be run by the Italian chef, chosen as the ideological inspirer of all our establishments - Niko Romito.

— What your future clients be like? Do you think Russian clients will be different from loyal clients of the brand in Italy, the UAE, and other countries?

— I think that, first of all, it is worth separating the future owners ofthe residences and hotel guests. Tenants of the residences will most likely be Muscovites, or at least Russians. I don't think there will be many foreigners among them. But the guests of the hotel can be both Russians and residents of other countries. Loyal customers who return to Bvlgari hotels over and over again are very important for our company. In Milan and London, more than half of our hotel guests are exactly like this.

— What qualities should a person who wants to become a part of the Moscow Bvlgari service team possess?

“We try to involve several Italians in each of our service teams, but, of course, most of the employees of complex in Moscow will be Russian. We are looking for charismatic people with a bright personality. Lots of professional skills can be taught, but a person should have a strong character and energy initially.

— What is the key to the success of Bvlgari Residences?

— I think the success of Bvlgari residences is made up of several factors: location, high design, impeccable quality of service. In addition, the big name of the brand plays into our hands. It is already associated with a certain lifestyle and is admired by people.

Source: https://www.admagazine.ru