When in Milan: Stay at the Mandarin Oriental

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Whether you’re going to Milan for Salone or Fashion Week, make sure you stay at the Mandarin Oriental. This is certainly the best hotel in Milan!

The hotel features 104 guestrooms, including 32 suites, and is located in the heart of Milan, at the point where the city’s fashion, cultural and financial centres meet. A few steps away from the hotel are Milan’s most precious heritage sites, Teatro alla Scala, via Montenapoleone and Duomo.

The architecture, the service, the breakfast, the bar, the large outside terrace, the spacious rooms, the tasteful decoration and of course the bar make it the perfect hotel. Once again, the Mandarin Oriental brand doesn’t disappoint.

For a bit of history, the hotel is housed within four 18th century buildings overlooking two parallel streets. While the hotel’s Mandarin Bar and Seta Restaurant are accessible from Via Monte di Pietà, its main entrance is on quiet via Andegari, a side street of fashionable via Manzoni where all the luxury shops are positioned. Legend has it that when the Romans first set foot in Milan they found a Celtic settlement completely surrounded by thick hawthorn hedge. A section of via Andegari – “andegavium” means hawthorn in Latin – follows that ancient hedge line.

Originally built as a luxurious manor house, Palazzo Confalonieri, the building later housed the city’s tax office, Esattoria Civica Milanese, between the 1930s and 1950s, and a bank, Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, from the 1960s. Original coats of arms of historical “Lombard provinces” are visible on walls above the arched colonnade, reflecting the building’s illustrious past.

The restoration project was conceived and completed by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel Interiors, a well-established Milanese firm of international interior designers. To create a harmonious design across the four buildings, leading architect Antonio Citterio blended oriental touches with Milanese style.

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Like other prestigious Milanese buildings the hotel features architecturally grand inner courtyards behind its elegant facade. Citterio’s design for the hotel’s common areas are inspired by the concept of dimora milanese (“Milanese noble residence”), and he has given them a residential feel with his choice of colour palettes and furnishings. The concierge and lobby area is a welcoming, light space that resembles an elegant salotto (“salon”), with large fireplace and refined, contemporary decor. The result is subtle and very elegant.

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With its wide, U-shaped bar counter, Mandarin Bar is the hotel’s beating heart. Reached through hotel reception its walls are covered with black and white geometric, mosaic patterns. Together with glasses, mirrors and other reflecting surfaces, these walls frame views of an inner courtyard visible through glass windows. The display of orchids is stunning! The Mandarin Oriental Bar serves the best cocktails. It was the same at the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona.

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Lunch and dinner bistro menus, prepared by executive chef Antonio Guida, and a range of cocktails for aperitvo and after-dinner, are available for guests at Mandarin Bar. Just like a typical Italian small town piazza, the mood in the bar evolves from relaxed daytime oasis to vibrant nightspot as the hours pass.

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Accessible from Mandarin Bar and its own street entrance on via Monte di Pietà, Seta restaurant welcomes hotel guests and visitors for lunch and dinner, inviting them to savour executive chef Antonio Guida’s gastronomy. The restaurant features its own inner courtyard, embracing it on three sides so these outer and inner realms merge into one harmonious whole, with guests able to watch chefs at work through large glass windows.

The Spa’s holistic approach provides physical, emotional and mental equilibrium. The hotel’s eastern heritage is evident in its treatments and architecture. For its interior design, feng shui principles have been followed to create a space that encourages relaxation and rejuvenation.

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Welcome rituals is an invitation to receive the benefits of therapies that blend ancient and modern techniques, and are developed in consultation with Traditional Chinese Medicine specialists, to ensure they meet the needs of each individual guest. The spa features six treatment rooms, which include two double suites, one Thai Massage room and one VIP suite. Beauty treatments are available at the beauty studio, pedicure studio and hair salon. The fitness centre has hi-tech training equipment, while time spent at the pool invites contemplation of its design, which is both functional and beautiful.

Greeted on arrival by the Nigh Manager, we were welcomed with a delicious traditional Easter chocolate cake. These details and the impeccable design and service make the Mandarin Oriental Milan, the best hotel in town.

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