The Italians behind ‘the best new luxury hotel’ of 2017

Dubai – The Bulgari Resort Dubai only opened late last year – 7 December – but according to a recent report by CNN, Bulgari Resort Dubai has already been crowned the best new luxury hotel of 2017.

Located on the artificial island Jumeira Bay, the resort is designed to be more ‘like a Mediterranean village’ – albeit an extremely luxurious and exclusive one – than yet another colossal skyscraper in the Dubai skyline. The creative force behind the lavish 158,000-sq-m resort, Italian multidisciplinary design studio Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, is no stranger to the international Bulgari chain; having previously designed Bulgari Hotels in Milan, Bali, London and Beijing. Each hotel simultaneously preserves several iconic characteristics of the brand while incorporating influences from each location. However, while expressing Balinese architectural forms with the Bulgari material palette is a rather straightforward approach, in Dubai, Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel tries to give the extravagant UAE cityscape a sorely needed oasis – as exquisite and understated as a finely cut jewel, with the luxury of privacy.

The coral-like façade makes a stunning visual impact from the outside while shielding the interior from the glare of the Middle Eastern sun.

In the resort’s junior suites, Evergreen sofas and Dida accent tables by Italian furniture brand Flexform evoke a relaxed glamour that invites Emirati heiresses and Hollywood stars alike to kick their shoes off.

Indeed, the travel ratings company that named the Bulgari Resort Dubai the best hotel of 2017 credits its understated structural design and location. In extreme contrast with the 161 floors of the 828-m-high Burj Khalifa, the resort has only four floors, encouraging guests to actually stroll from the yacht club on the beach to the shops to the suites.

However, the architects are not the only Italian design influence at play in the space. Furniture brand Flexform also had a hand in the making of the premier hospitality destination, providing many of the furnishings – all of which were designed by Antonio Citterio himself.

Refined Feel Good stools by Flexform contribute to the elegant atmosphere of the bar, which is dappled by the coral-like shadows cast by the façade.

The lounge area maintains a spatial connection with the bar through the use of Feel Good and Morgan armchairs mixed with Feel Good stools at the counter, creating visual variety at different height levels while speaking the same design language.

Featuring Groundpiece sectional sofas and Dany tables by Flexform, the lobby exudes comfort and intimacy.

Of all the designers that Flexform has partnered with since the 1960s, Citterio has contributed the most to the history of the company, having been writing and translating its values into objects for forty years. Now, the two Italian powerhouses have come together to create this extraordinary resort.

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