There are a few Marriott brands that are causing confusion. One of these 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 from Ritz-Carlton) and wanted to talk a little bit about BVLGARI in this post.
BVLGARI does not participate in the Marriott Bonvoy
BVLGARI hotels do not participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program in any way, although the hotels are advertised on marriott.com. When staying in BVLGARI accommodation:
- You cannot earn Bonvoy Points
- You cannot redeem Bonvoy points
- You will not receive Elite Recognition if you have Bonvoy status
In practice, don’t think of BVLGARI as part of Marriott unless the brand can be booked through Marriott’s booking channels. BVLGARI participates in Marriott STARS. When you book through an eligible travel agent, receive perks such as free breakfast, $ 100 hotel credit, and a room upgrade based on availability.
I share BVLGARI’s lack of participation in Bonvoy in advance because I don’t want people to be happy about these properties only to realize by the end of this post that these hotels are not part of the Bonvoy program.
The basics of BVLGARI hotels
BVLGARI (or Bvlgari or Bulgari – the “V” instead of “U” is meant to reflect the Roman alphabet) is an Italian luxury brand known for watches, fragrances, jewelry, leather goods, etc.
Over time, the company has started collaborations to get into other areas, and one of those collaborations involved hotels. BVLGARI currently operates six hotels and another five are in preparation.
BVLGARI entered the hospitality sector as part of a collaboration with Ritz-Carlton (owned by Marriott) and opened the first hotel in 2004. The portfolio has grown slowly. The second hotel opened two years later (in 2006), the third hotel six years later (2012), and the fourth and fifth hotels five years later (2017).
For what it’s worth, the hotel group describes itself as follows:
Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts aims to be the world’s leading luxury hospitality collection. Consisting of a few select properties in major cosmopolitan cities and luxury resorts, it is designed to convey the excitement of the Bvlgari brand, its timeless glamor and the legacy of a great Roman jeweler.
BVLGARI hotel and resort locations
BVLGARI currently has six hotels in the following six locations:
In addition to the hotels currently open, another five BVLGARI hotels are expected to open in the next few years:
Has anyone stayed at a BVLGARI hotel?
Over the years I have checked prices at BVLGARI many times and I can never make up my mind if I think these properties are great or if this is like a celebrity chef opening an airport restaurant.
A couple of things stand out:
- Often times, boutique luxury hotel brands open up resorts in vacation destinations, but BVLGARI is largely located in some of the most competitive luxury hotel markets in the world such as London, Paris, Dubai, etc.
- I understand that BVLGARI properties probably have a huge focus on design and I can imagine the 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 sets them apart, but I can’t figure out what this is.
- In many cases I have found that BVLGARI properties are disproportionately expensive even when compared to other top luxury hotels in cities. Does anyone know what the primary demographic for BVLGARI hotels is because I don’t know a lot of people who have stayed at them (I feel like not a lot of Americans stay at them)?
With that in mind, I would certainly love to hear from someone who has stayed at a BVLGARI hotel. How was your stay, would you return and which BVLGARI hotel is the best?
BVLGARI’s hotel collection began as a joint venture with Ritz-Carlton and is thus affiliated with Marriott. Unfortunately for Marriott Bonvoy members, these hotels do not participate in the loyalty program in any way, which means that you will not be able to earn or redeem points, and you will not be able to enjoy elite benefits when staying with the BVLGARI brand.
BVLGARI characteristics have fascinated me for a long time. While Ritz-Carlton Reserve Properties have at least some connection to Ritz-Carlton based on the name, BVLGARI has always been an oddity to me.
The properties look beautiful and are accordingly cheap. What makes me curious is whether these hotels have any substance or whether this hotel group is simply a luxury brand that benefits from their name?
Has anyone stayed at a BVLGARI hotel? If so, how was your experience?