Oozing style… the Four Seasons Milan

The entrance to the Four Seasons Hotel Milan is quite discreet… especially when compared to the interior.


An ancient convent transformed into a 5 star hotel was never going to be run of the mill. This one is nothing short of spectacular.

Built around a central courtyard and overlooking the integral gardens, this is a building of  historical importance and of intense beauty.  The vaulted corridors have been kept as authentic as possible. The original stone columns of the convent and the remains of old wall frescos are juxtaposed with contemporary sculptures throughout the lobby.

milanfs2The floor carpet pattern is replicated on ceiling panels and leather chairs, and the sofas are deep and comfortable. The flower displays, changed daily, are a form of art in their own right.

We arrive on a Sunday and the hotel is busy, busy, busy as people arrive for the traditional buffet brunch that starts at 11 am and goes on to mid-afternoon.

milanfs1My first port of call is the spa. The swimming pool is a long wide corridor under a vaulted brick ceiling and easily one of the most stylish I have ever seen. Everything in the spa, in fact, is streamlined, high tech, and just so. Wood panels throughout conceal individual showers, a steam room and a wealth of spoiling facilities and products.

Our room looks over the enclosed courtyard and has a walk-in dressing room and a vast marble bathroom.  Just like the rest of the hotel, it has been designed to somehow mirror a private home, albeit a very grand one.four-seasons-milan-9

In fact, in the course of our two day stay there, I frequently reflect on the fact that I could easily live in this place.  It isn’t just the highly styled perfection of it or its fantastic location – in the centre of the most chic shopping area of Milan – it’s the fact that it has quite a personality of its own. The signature Ugo Riva sculptures in the lobby and courtyard contribute to the impression of being a guest in a somewhat majestic Milanese home.

milanfsThen, there is the service… All 5 star hotels have attentive staff. However the staff at the Four Seasons Milan have been picked and trained; they are quite possibly the best we have ever come across. It is a small wonder then, that the lobby bar is frequented by regulars who are not staying at the hotel. Maître d’, concierge and waiters appear to know them well and often by name. Sitting in the lobby reveals the dynamic of the day and provides a great people watching opportunity: breakfast gives way to business meetings in the lobby, followed by shoppers taking a break (the amount of branded shopping bags by the concierge desk is nothing short of astounding), and then, by late afternoon, it’s the social meetings and the odd romantic assignation (we fancy).

Eating at this hotel is a seamless flow between the vast lobby and the Veranda restaurant that is a continuation of it. La Veranda overlooks the courtyard gardens and is flooded with light at breakfast and throughout the day.

Restaurant-Milano-8fIn fact, so delicious are the canapés at the bar that we would have been quite happy, on both evenings to just sample those with a glass of Barolo or Chianti. The deep fried, meat-stuffed giant green olives are quite unlike anything else we have ever tasted and a delicious and more-ish meal in itself. We did, however, order the beef tartar, so that we can properly review the restaurant fare. 10 out of 10 for presentation, this arrived as a single block of beef with dressing, anchovies, two cheeses and a dressing on the side, topped with two halves of a quail egg. I have always been partial to mixing my own steak tartar and this was delicate rather than robustly spicy, but of superb quality nonetheless.

I am not quite sure a review, however well penned, could do justice to this hotel.  Suffice to say that I am already planning my next (regular) visit.

Tel. 39 02 77088

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