The location couldn’t be better, on the edge of the Quadrilatero d’Oro with a private entrance off Milan’s trendiest shopping street, the Via della Spiga. You are within walking distance of the best of the shopping and most of the great historic sights, from the Duomo to La Scala. There are two metro stops within an easy stroll if you want to get further afield.
There are four different standards (classic, superior, deluxe and suites) with opulence the watchword at every level. The walls are lined with fabric, the beds and windows draped in Italian silk, the chandeliers are hand-blown Murano glass. The rooms all have flatscreen TVs and free WiFi (a huge plus point in my book), while standards include bathrobes and slippers, and a turndown service. Ask for a room at the back of the hotel if traffic noise worries you. I personally love the 10 junior suites, which have had a high camp black and gold Italianate makeover, or for a real treat (and huge amounts of cash) you could try the glamorous gilded Montenapoleone Suite with its private terrace overlooking Via della Spiga.
The look is English country house on the Riviera in urban Milan – if that sounds confused, it isn’t. It is cosy old-fashioned ostentatious luxury, all antiques and drapes, tassles and gilt, with just a few slightly edgy additions to prove you are in the fashion capital of the world. From the moment you roll up the circular drive and see the window boxes filled with flowers, you feel as if you are entering an oasis away from the urban grit, a feeling that follows you into the lobby with its gleaming parquet floors, wood paneling and overstuffed armchairs.
Eating and drinking
Breakfast is buffet style with a good but not groaningly huge selection of fresh fruit, breads, cold meats and cheese.
The Baretto al Baglioni restaurant is pure English club land in feel, complete with dark wood panelled walls, studded leather chairs and hunting scenes on the walls. One of Milan’s oldest and most illustrious restaurants, it moved in here from outside, bringing with it a very well-heeled collection of besuited business lunchers who love the clubby conversational atmosphere. The food is anything but English, serving Milanese favourites and light Mediterranean options such as sautéed risottos.
Meanwhile the Caffè Baglioni and the Terrazza Baglioni, with their beguiling mix of light delicious meals, cocktails and prosecco, and open terraces with comfy seats, have become two of the places in town to be seen. Camp out here to watch the thin, young and ultra-beautiful drift past for a campari. I didn’t recognise anyone but then I don’t read the right magazines!
There is a small gym, which is free for guests to use, but the hotel is also home to the luscious Spiga 8 Spa, entered past a spectacular wall of onyx. Based on Laura Elos’ holistic Mediterranean treatments, it has a relatively simple but well-chosen menu of treatments with luxury treats such as caviar-based facials (do you eat it or rub it in?). There’s a Turkish bath but no pool, and although space is limited, it is well thought through and blissfully relaxing.
The service is what makes this very special hotel. There is a very occasional hiccup but the staff are so charming and so helpful that everything can be forgiven. The concierge is hugely knowledgeable about the city.
Who stays there
Business people and politicians during the week, mixed with a regular parade of fashion professionals. The Dalai Lama, Michael Jordan, Franco Zefirelli and Lauren Bacall have stayed here at one time, amongst many others.
They aren’t cheap options but the hotel offers some wonderfully imaginative packages, such as a Ferrari Tour – two nights and a day with a Ferrari to explore nearby Lake Como.
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Mature travellers
- Celebrity spotting
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Its own secure underground carpark
- Free WiFi
- Immense charm
- Excellent location
- Some of the finest food in Milan
- Occasionally chaotic service
- Some traffic noise in rooms at the front of the hotel