There are a couple of brands belonging to Marriott that tend to cause confusion. One of those brands is Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and the other is BVLGARI Luxury Hotels & Resorts. I recently wrote about the basics of Ritz-Carlton Reserve (and what makes the brand different than Ritz-Carlton), and in this post wanted to talk a bit about BVLGARI.
BVLGARI doesn’t participate in Marriott Bonvoy
BVLGARI hotels don’t in any way participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program, even though the hotels are displayed on marriott.com. When staying at BVLGARI properties:
- You can’t earn Bonvoy points
- You can’t redeem Bonvoy points
- You don’t receive any sort of elite recognition if you have Bonvoy status
For all practical purposes, think of BVLGARI as not being part of Marriott, except the brand is bookable through Marriott booking channels. BVLGARI does participate in Marriott STARS, meaning that when booking through an eligible travel agent you can receive perks like free breakfast, a $100 hotel credit, and a room upgrade subject to availability.
I’m sharing BVLGARI’s lack of participation in Bonvoy upfront, because I don’t want people getting excited over these properties, only to realize at the end of this post that these hotels don’t participate in the Bonvoy program.
The basics of BVLGARI hotels
BVLGARI (or Bvlgari, or Bulgari — the “V” in place of “U” is intended to reflect the Roman alphabet) is an Italian luxury brand known for watches, fragrances, jewelry, leather goods, etc.
Over time the company has launched collaborations to get into other spaces, and one of those collaborations has been for hotels. BVLGARI currently operates six hotels, with a further five in the pipeline.
BVLGARI got into the hotel space as part of a collaboration with Ritz-Carlton (which is owned by Marriott), and the first property opened in 2004. The portfolio has grown at a slow pace, with the second hotel opening two years later (in 2006), the third hotel opening six years after that (in 2012), and then the fourth and fifth hotels opening five years after that (in 2017).
For what it’s worth, here’s how the hotel group describes itself:
Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts aims to be the leading luxury hospitality collection in the world. Comprised of a few, selected properties in major cosmopolitan cities and luxury resorts destinations, its aim is to convey the excitement of the Bvlgari brand, its timeless glamour and its heritage of magnificent Roman jeweller.
BVLGARI hotel & resort locations
Currently BVLGARI has six hotels, in the following six locations:
In addition to the properties currently open, there are another five BVLGARI hotels expected to open in the next few years:
Has anyone stayed at a BVLGARI property?
Over the years I’ve found myself checking rates at BVLGARI many times, and I can never decide whether I think these properties sound great, or if this is kind of like when a celebrity chef opens an airport restaurant.
A few things stand out:
- Often boutique luxury hotel brands open resorts in vacation destinations, but BVLGARI is largely in some of the most competitive luxury hotel markets in the world, like London, Paris, Dubai, etc.
- I get that BVLGARI properties probably have a big focus on design, and I can guess what toiletries they use, but is there anything else that makes the group unique in terms of services, amenities, etc.? Most luxury hotel brands have something that set them apart, but I can’t figure out what that is here.
- In many cases I’ve found that BVLGARI properties are disproportionately expensive, even compared to other top luxury hotels in cities; does anyone know what the primary demographic is for BVLGARI hotels, because I don’t actually know many people who have stayed at them (I feel like not many Americans stay at them)?
Along those lines, I’d certainly love to hear from someone who has stayed at a BVLGARI property. How was the stay, would you return, and which BVLGARI property is the best?
BVLGARI’s hotel collection started as a joint venture with Ritz-Carlton, which is how it’s connected to Marriott. Unfortunately for Marriott Bonvoy members, these hotels don’t in any way participate in the loyalty program, meaning you can’t earn or redeem points, and can’t take advantage of elite benefits when staying with the BVLGARI brand.
I’ve long been intrigued by BVLGARI properties. While Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties at least have some association with Ritz-Carlton based on the name, BVLGARI has always been an oddball to me.
The properties look gorgeous, and are priced accordingly. What I’m curious about is if there’s any substance to these hotels, or if this hotel group is simply a luxury brand cashing in on its name?
Has anyone stayed at a BVLGARI property? If so, what was your experience like?