MondaysinMilan is back! If you’re planning to visit and wondering where to stay in Milan, this place is for you – here are the best hotels in Milan, all tried and tested. Which means that I have actually slept there. How’s that for a guarantee?
One of the questions I’m asked most often by readers is where to stay in Milan. Many of you have found this blog searching for things to do in Milan, or for where to find the best Milan street food, and naturally, you’ll also be wondering about the best hotels in the city.
Up until a few months ago, I was clueless when it came to recommending Milan hotels. When people asked me about the best place to stay, I was always tempted to respond ‘that’s my house!’ Normally, I ended up recommending Milan Airbnb, which I still think can be a great deal in the city, but sometimes people just need a hotel – and honestly, I had no clue.
Then, a few months ago I was asked to start reviewing Milan hotels for the Telegraph. Between October and mid-December, I stayed at 17 different properties around the city – from 5 star luxury hotels, to boutique palazzos in the heart of the city, to functional business hotels and quirky hostels. Let me say that again – I have slept and eaten in EVERY SINGLE ONE of the places I’m going to recommend in this article. I don’t think there are many people that can claim to have done the same.
Each of the hotels I visited had something special – in some cases, it was all about the location, in others it was the service, or a delicious breakfast. I have come to the conclusion that the perfect hotel doesn’t exist – it all depends what you’re after, of course, on your tastes and preferences. I have tried to emphasise positives rather then negatives, and naturally I am hoping to be able to add more and more Milan hotels to the list next year!
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5 Star Hotels in Milan
Westin Palace Milan
Recommended for… the luxury atmosphere and the delicious Milanese food at PanEvo restaurant
Westin Palace is located on Piazza della Repubblica, right across the road from Principe di Savoia, another historic 5 star luxury hotel. It’s the kind of place where you feel luxury the moment you walk in – the grandiose lobby is full of chandeliers and shiny marble, and service is top-notch. The hotel has a spectacular rooftop terrace, and a gym with steam room, in line with the Westin brand’s focus on health and wellbeing.
The rooms are spacious and come either in classical or contemporary style – the former have marble coverings and period furniture, whereas the latter are bright an airy, with fashion illustrations on the wall.
Finally, the hotel’s PanEvo Restaurant is worth a mention if you fancy trying some traditional Milanese cuisine – the saffron risotto with ossobuco and cotoletta (breaded veal schnitzel) were the best I’ve ever had, and trust me, I’ve had quite a few!
Recommended for… the creative Arya Restaurant and rooftop views
Strictly speaking, The Square isn’t a 5 star hotel – it’s classified as 4 star superior. I won’t get into the details of how stars are assigned and all that, but after having stayed at The Square I can guarantee that even though it isn’t 5 star, it’s pretty damn close.
The hotel is in uber-central Piazza Missori, a short walk from the Duomo – you can get a bird’s eye view of the city centre by climbing on the rooftop centre, which is shared with sister hotel Cavalieri located just next door. In summer, the rooftop terrace is a great place for an aperitivo or alfresco dinner, as the hotel’s restaurant moves outdoors.
Naturally, I visited in November, so no alfresco eating for me. I did enjoy a lovely dinner at the restaurant, on the first floor for the winter season – I still remember the homemade maccheroncini with porcini mushrooms, yum. The decor is best described as sleek and minimal, with touches of gold here and there. Another great hotel!
Best Hotels in Milan City Centre
Recommended for… beautiful interior design and amazing breakfast
Enterprise Hotel is not far from the Arco della Pace, the victory arch found at the end of Parco Sempione, close to many aperitivo places. However, there’s really no reason to eat out as Sophia, the hotel restaurant, is one of the best we’ve eaten at, with a fusion Italian/Asian menu that included a tasty tuna fillet and a yummy slow-roasted, coffee-infused suckling pig.
The breakfast buffet is also worth a mention – there’s literally anything you can think of, from omelettes to bacon to lots of juices, cereals, fresh fruit… you name it. You can even have a steak for breakfast!
Food aside, Enterprise Hotel is worth a visit for its Asian-inspired furniture and decoration. Ah, and there’s also a spa.
Sina De La Ville
Recommended for… location, location, location!
You can’t possibly find a better place to stay in Milan in terms of location! Sina De La Ville is right in the centre of Milan, less than 200 meters away from the Duomo, but it’s tucked in a side street which is quiet round the clock.
It’s one of those classic, a little old-fashioned places, and it’s very convenient for theatre lovers as La Scala is just next door and artists often stay at the hotel. So you never know, you may just have breakfast with your favourite ballet or opera star!
Recommended for… eclectic decoration and boutique feel
Palazzo Segreti is also in a really good location, on a side street off Via Dante. It’s located in a beautiful palazzo, renovated into an intimate 18-rooms boutique hotel. When renovating historical properties it’s very easy to get cheesy or unnecessarily opulent – what I loved best about Palazzo Segreti is that the interiors were renovated in a really stylish manner, using bold colours and raw materials.
The 18 rooms are all uniquely decorated, and the largest suite has a Jacuzzi next to the bed. It almost feel as if you’re staying in a private home – the moment you step into the hotel, the traffic and chaos of Milan’s city centre is immediately forgotten.
NH Palazzo Moscova
Recommended for… TRUFFLES!
First reason to love this hotel – it’s housed in a former station, and you know how much I love trains and stations! And this is not just any station, but Milan’s first one, opened in 1840. There’s a beautiful Neoclassical façade and a striking front terrace, ideal for aperitivo in summer.
Rooms are bright and comfortable, but the thing I liked best about this hotel was the truffle-themed restaurant – and surprisingly, my favourite dish weren’t the butter tagliolini heaped with shaved white truffle, or the slow-cooked egg with chanterelles and black truffle, but the truffle tiramisu!
Recommended for… freshly made breakfast and luxury boutique feel.
This hotel was one of the best surprises of my whole assignment. I thought it was going to be a stuffy, old fashioned joint – what I found instead was a beautiful townhouse, all gleaming marble and Murano chandeliers, with some of the friendliest service I’ve ever experienced. The hotel only has 48 rooms, so it feels really intimate – I really did wish I could have stayed longer instead of my usual one night.
And the restaurant. OMG, so good. I had freshly cooked risotto, melt-in-you-mouth salmon and a delicious chocolate cake. But what really took my breath away was breakfast – there’s an entire a la carte menu with eggs, pancakes, fruit shakes, sausages, salmon, and more, and you can order whatever you want from it, for no extra charge. You can also ask for one of everything, if you like.
Sheraton Diana Majestic
Recommended for… the inner garden and historic atmosphere.
As I mentioned above, different moods call for different hotels. Some days you want to surround yourself with the privacy and comfort of a boutique hotel, other days call for livelier atmospheres, or for cutting-edge design places. This is why I could never say which Milan hotel was my favourite – but if I really, really had to choose one, it would probably be the Sheraton Diana Majestic.
‘Il Diana’ has been a gathering place for wealthy Milanese for over a century, and its brunches and aperitivo still attract locals. I love the decor, effortlessly blending tradition and modernity, and the feeling of being in a place where so many people met, lived, ate and drank before me.
And I haven’t mentioned the garden yet. Imagine a place with cascading wisteria, sprinkling fountains and secular trees in the heart of the city. That’s Diana’s garden – if you’re visiting Milan in April, May or June, make sure you stay here.
Cheap Hotels in Milan
Recommended for… music lovers
When I heard a hostel had been opened in a late-Gothic building in Via Conservatorio, naturally I had to check it out. Via Conservatorio is one of the most charming streets in the city centre, and it’s named after the music conservatory, located right next to Babila Hostel. Hostels are often noisy, but at Babila Hostel the only noise you’ll hear is that of music students practicing.
The hostel is set in a beautiful building which was carefully renovated to preserve original architectural features while adding comfort and modern touches – and the result is amazing. There’s also a bistro serving moderately priced, home cooked dishes. The carbonara is great!
Ostello Bello Grande
Recommended for… the vibe and all the extras!
I think it’s safe to say that when the first Ostello Bello opened in Milan, the hostel scene was never going to be the same again. Ostello Bello was so amazing and set the bar so high, that all other hostels had to try damn hard to even come close.
What makes Ostello Bello special? It’s hard to say – perhaps the quirky flea market decor, lively bar, and especially all the included extras – not just wifi and breakfast, but also portable mifi devices, free aperitivo, welcome drink, tea and coffee, free food always left in the kitchen, free laptops and tablets to borrow… you name it.
Ostello Bello Grande replicates the same award-winning formula in a larger location right next to the station.
Eco Hotel La Residenza
Recommended for… organic food and eco-friendly ethos
This hotel is hidden away in Affori, a residential neighbourhood in the northern part of Milan – it’s not as far from the centre as it looks, as you can easily reach Duomo with a 15-minute metro ride. This hotel is really one of the best deals in Milan, as you can have a double room for as little as 50 euro – which is unheard of, even in hostels!
However, the main reason to love Eco Hotel La Residenza is that management really takes eco-friendly policies at heart. Each and every piece of furniture – as well as linen, wooden floors and even the paint on the walls – is eco certified. On top of that, there’s a delicious onsite organic restaurant specialising in risotto, including Milan’s very own risotto alla milanese with saffron, risotto with rum and chestnuts, with sausage and onions, and more. The wine lists includes a number of local, organic wines, and prices are very affordable.
Milan Hotels near Centrale Train Station
Recommended for… the ‘urban garden’ feel
Once upon a time, this hotel was one of the many anonymous business hotels surrounding Milan’s Stazione Centrale. Then, it was completely renovated, becoming one of Milan’s top green hotels. Walking in, you have the feel to have entered an ‘urban garden’ – reception is all decked out in muted green and brown tones, there’s art made with reclaimed wood and leaves and the walls of the hotel restaurant are decorated with blown-up images of a Florentine garden.
But it is in the details you cannot see that Starhotel reveals its extraordinary commitment to environmentally friendly policies. The rooftop space is covered with solar panels (a rarity in Milan), excess heat from the hotel’s cooling system is used to aid the water heating process and grey waters are processed and recycled onsite.
To make matters even better, the hotel has wonderful views over the station building, and it’s blissfully quiet at night.
43 Station Hotel
Recommended for… budget stays in a convenient location
When I asked the hotel manager to describe the hotel, she said ‘our aim was to open the perfect three-star station hotel’. 43 Station does not bother itself with unnecessary facilities and amenities – after all, most clients only use the hotel as a base, for business or leisure trips.
Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay. Rooms and common spaces are decorated with custom Milan-themed wallpapers, breakfast is excellent quality and the rooms are soundproof and super comfy. If you need to stay near the station, this is an excellent option.
Recommended for… street art lovers
NYX Milan isn’t just a hotel – it’s also a contemporary art gallery, with a special focus on street art. Prominent local artists were commissioned to create pieces on each of the floors and in the internal courtyard, dominated by an impressive 3D artwork. Other art pieces can be found in the lobby and patio area, which opens up into the courtyard in summer.
Guided tours are sometimes organised to introduce guests to the art on display, or you can pick up an booklet at reception introducing artists and their work, and tour the hotel by yourself. The ‘street’ theme continues in the restaurant, which serves several dishes inspired by street food from Italy and beyond.
Milan Hotels Away From the Centre
Milan Suite Hotel
Recommended for… those visiting Milan by car
This hotel is located in Villapizzone, a neighbourhood in the northern outskirts of Milan, linked to the centre by train and suburban rail. It takes about half an hour to reach the centre, but the northern ring road is only a few minutes drive away, and it’s easy to park your car in the vicinity of the hotel.
Milan Suite Hotel is especially aimed at business travellers – there are suites and luxury rooms on offer, some even with their own spa and private hanging gardens. It’s the sister property of Enterprise Hotel, and it boasts the same Asian-inspired interior design.
Radisson Blu Milan
Recommended for… the wonderful swimming pool and spa
Radisson Blu is also located in Villapizzone, a short distance away from Milan Suites Hotel, making it also ideal for those travelling by car. The two best things about the Milanese Radisson hotel are the spectacular glass-topped swimming pool and the yummy hotel restaurant – I’m still dreaming about the red prawn spaghetti!
Actually, let’s make it the three best things and mention the rooms as well, which are a lot larger and more comfortable than the rooms usually found in four star properties. All in all, a great hotel if you prefer to be away from the centre!
Recommended for… art and design lovers
Let’s save the best for last, shall we? Nhow was one of my favourite hotels, a concept property by hotel chain NH dedicated to the world of art and design and located along Via Tortona, at the centre of Milan’s hippest design district. The hotel is located in a reconverted electrics factory – some details dating back to the building’s industrial past were kept, and the addition of bold colours, a striking wave video wall and playful touches throughout make Nhow a really striking hotel.
The hotel spaces house contemporary art and design exhibitions, rotating every six months, and the hotel is right at the centre of Design Week events. The spectacular two-floor Penthouse Suite is also worth mentioning, as is the internal terrace connected to a club, where legendary design week parties are held.
I visited all these hotels while on assignment for The Telegraph. All pictures were taken from the hotels’ press packs, except for the one portraying me.
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