Four Seasons Hotel Milano

LOCATION: Set in the back streets of one of the world’s most famous fashion districts, the Four Seasons Hotel Milano is surrounded by the very chicest shopping boutiques and is only a short stroll from the centre of the city.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The building used to be a convent and dates back to the 15th century, making it unconventional for a hotel in that it’s square, set around a quadrangle. The upshot is that the inner courtyard provides a delightfully calm retreat from the bustle of the city outside, something that would be lost were the building’s history less interesting.

THE FACTS: First opened as a hotel in 1993, the Four Seasons boasts a recently-opened spa and hair salon designed by award-winning Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola, as well as two fine restaurants, Il Teatro and La Veranda. I dined in the latter – of particular note were a delicious beef filet carpaccio appetiser and a splendid gnocchi with pesto first course, both of which I devoured with great enthusiasm.
In addition to the regular banqueting options, guests have the opportunity to dine on a tailor-made menu at the Chef’s Table in Il Teatro, while cookery classes are also available in which the establishment’s chefs reveal their culinary secrets. Il Foyer, located off from the main lobby, is the place to head to for a drink – the lounge is situated where the convent’s church stood over 500 years ago, and is an elegant venue in which to enjoy a cocktail.
The opulent marble bathroom was the pièce de résistance of my well-appointed Premium room which looked out onto the courtyard, while the Fortuny fabrics throughout also added a seriously stylish touch. The tranquillity of the courtyard facing rooms served as a delightful change of pace from the fervour of Milan’s sophisticated streets, but street-facing accommodation is available for those clients keen to keep eyes and ears on the sights and sounds of the city throughout their mini-break. Excellent service and quality abound elsewhere in the hotel, from the courteous and knowledgeable concierge staff to the waiters that attended my table with great aplomb and charm. It seemed clear to me that the staff take pride in their hotel, and the warnings of Milanese snootiness I had been given prior to leaving for Italy appeared – at least here – to be unfounded.

WOW: The hotel can arrange for local boutiques to open after hours for those who prefer more privacy while they browse.

A GOOD BASE FOR: Dedicated fashionistas couldn’t find a better location – every top-end brand worth its salt is represented in the streets directly around the hotel. Milan’s magnificent cathedral, Il Duomo, takes less than 10 minutes to walk to, while La Scala, the city’s world renowned opera house, is also just a few blocks away. A little further afield is Lake Como - guests that wish to explore the idyllic villages around the lake can have the concierge arrange for a private transfer from the hotel.

HOW MUCH: Rates start at £594 per room per night on a bed and breakfast basis, based on two people sharing and inclusive of all taxes.

 fourseasons.com/milan

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