The Best Hotels in Milan
In spite of having some world class sights, Milan is not a tourist city and the hotel scene reflects this. About 80 per cent of the Italian HQs of international companies are based here or in the immediate surrounding area, so it stands to reason that the best places to stay in Milan are geared towards executives travelling on high end expense accounts.
Then there’s the fashion industry, of which Milan is a world centre, so the fashionistas flock to some of the coolest hotels with the sharpest design in the country. Whilst these may undeniably be the best places to stay in Milan, they are also some of the most expensive. This has negative repercussions for tourists, especially if you want to avoid large, outrageously expensive, corporate-style hotels, however hip they may be.
WHAT NOT TO MISS
- Milan isn’t considered as beautiful as other Italian centres. It was heavily bombed during WW2 and rebuilt itself more as a commercial centre than a historic beauty – it’s shiny and elegant, but it isn’t romantic looking. No, what makes Milan a desirable place to be is that this city is really all about enjoying oneself. If you enjoy food, shopping, opera, fashion, football and nightlife then Milan is for you.
- It’s not without treasures, though, La Scala is a stunner, as is the Duomo, one of the largest and most impressive Gothic cathedrals in the world and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is probably the world’s most beautiful shopping arcade. Milan is also home to Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper which can be seen in the Renaissance architectural masterpiece the Cheisa di Santa Maria della Grazie (Saint Mary of the Graces Basilica).Francesco Hayez’s The Kiss, is in the Brera Museum among numerous Italian Renaissance and Baroque treasures. The Palazzo Reale is both interesting and beautiful, the Cimitero Monumentale is one of the world’s most impressive Art Nouveau/ Liberty museums in the world.
- Arguably the most beautiful cemetery in the world and the Cinque Vie, Milan’s most ancient part, is rife with wonderfully preserved Roman archaeological sites.
- This is really just the tip of iceberg when it comes to graceful palazzos, elegant piazzas and ornately wonderful churches. Expect Art Deco as well as rationalist architecture, great art in every museum and great design on every corner and in every cafe.
- The city of Milan has the second highest number of Michelin stars in Italy so perfect for foodies.
While bargains in this city are thin on the ground, a handful of the best places to stay in Milan are delightful small hotels where it’s not de rigeur to be dressed in head-to-toe black Prada crowned with a massive pair of dark glasses; we have listed our favourites below.
For the best places to stay in Milan if you want to mix with the super cool try:
Straf was declared Italy’s most avant-garde hotel when it opened is still creating a stir today. Come here to rub shoulders with the fashionistas, designers et al who love the interiors where rough slate sit alongside burnished brass, iron and concrete.
Bulgari is more about understated glamour. Here the emphasis is on chic sophistication. Plus it’s the only hotel within the city walls to boast a garden. A sensational spa and great food complete the picture.
If you want to experience life as a fashion model or designer stay at the Magna Pars Suites, a collection of 39 rooms and suites in a beautifully converted perfume factory in the heart of the design district.
The Hotel Viu is a five-star hotel on the Chinatown, Port Volta border. There are 124 contemporary design heavy rooms and a trendy vertical garden. The roof terrace is something else, as is the Mixology Bar.
Close to the central station, the Lagare Hotel is a glass pillar, rising from a basement spa to the roof terrace which overlooks the Port Nuova district. There are 141 slickly designed rooms in muted colours.
If you’re looking for luxury but prefer it on the tradition end of the scale, then some of the best places to stay in Milan are definitely for you!
Grand Hotel et de Milan would be a top choice. This “grand dame” exudes bags of character and luxury – think rich fabrics, antiques and fine art on the walls. It is only a stone’s throw from La Scala so ideal for opera buffs.
Lavish and grandiose, the Principe di Savoia is a five-star hotel with 301 opulent rooms and suites, a spa, heated indoor pool, a choice of restaurants and all the trimmings.
Four Seasons Milan Whilst we don’t normally endorse big chain offerings, the Four Seasons Milan offers discreet luxury in a converted 15th century monastery featuring cloisters and a lovely garden. Gourmet restaurant. Great location for an extravagant shopping trip!
The Palazzo Parigi is a classically grand Italian hotel in Brera, one of Milan’s most fashionable districts. There are 98 large, light rooms with spectacular city views and two elegant restaurants.
The Chateau Monfort is a five-star, fairytale themed hotel jus s short walk from the Piazza San Babila and Milan’s famous designer boutiques. Expect period features, an elegant wine bar and classic Italian cuisine. This is the kind of hotel in which to take afternoon tea.