The location is probably one of the best in the city – literally right next door to the Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, in the centre of the Quadrilatero d’Oro. You are in the heart of the sightseeing and shopping district and within easy walking distance of many of the major sights. There are two metro stops a short stroll away for excursions further afield.
It can get complicated choosing a room here with no fewer than 12 different categories from a park king to the imperial suite. Across the range, rooms are decorated in muted earth colours – browns and beiges and creams. The design watchwords throughout are "sumptuous minimalism", using wonderful textures such as travertine stone in the bathrooms, Venetian stucco on the walls and Murano glass. The rooms, on the whole, are a generous size for a European city centre hotel with oversized beds and baths to roll around in with Laura Tonatto smellies.
The lobby area is dominated by Tuttle’s great glass cupola that is the centre of life within the hotel. There is room around the edges, however, for four extremely chic boutiques selling jewellery, bags, fashion and scrumptiously sinful chocolate.
Eating and drinking
The hotel’s ‘name’ restaurant is the Park, a chic gourmet haven overseen by an Italian chef, Filippo Gozzoli.
La Cupola Lounge is a café/bar that has become a popular jetset and fashion hangout, under the hotel’s signature glass dome, offering a constant array of food from the breakfast buffet (good but not a massive American-style feast), light meals and gossip from dawn – till dawn, if you desire.
My personal preference, because of their great line in non-alcoholic cocktails – is for the Park Bar, with its floor to ceiling windows overlooking the glorious Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele. At lunchtime, they do a buffet lunch of salads, pasta, and puds. In the evening, with a glorious touch of American excess, the cocktail menu offers a choice of six different Martinis and eight different Bloody Marys.
There is a small gym and the basement spa offers a range of massages and facials, but the highlight is undoubtedly the whirlpool with its shimmering inlay of 250,000 hand-crafted mosaic tesserae, inlaid with 24-carat gold leaf.
The hotel runs its own city tours and also offers guests free use of a bicycle (complete with helmet and lock) for those who wish to explore on two wheels. It’s surprisingly popular given the lunacy of most Italian drivers; advance booking is required.
The service is excellent, with a 24-hour concierge desk. Staff even go out of their way to welcome pets with a special package for VIDs (Very Important Dogs).
Who stays there
Men in suits and women with big hair and bigger sunglasses – in other words, the usual Milan five-star mix of businessmen, politicians and fashionistas along with a regular stream of enthusiastic visiting Americans.
Deals are designed to give added value rather than discounts, with packages such as the shopaholics tour offering a spa treatment and time with a personal shopper, and the business package, throwing in things like bottled water and free WiFi which most of us think should come free anyway.
- Business travellers
- Mature travellers
- Special occasions
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Superb location
- Excellent service and comfort
- No free WiFi
- Breakfast not included automatically