Inside the Mandarin Oriental in Milan

The Italian city’s elegant fashion district is a fitting neighbourhood for this head-turning property.

Robert Chilton June 18, 2016

If there was a Premier League of European streets, Milan’s Via Monte Napoleone would be in the top four, pushing for the title with its team of superstars.

Every beautiful window displays exquisitely designed collections from the likes of Gucci, Prada, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton and Dior. This is the A-List of shopping.

So, for a hotel to stand its ground among such gems, it has to be pretty special and the Mandarin Oriental Milan certainly doesn’t look out of place. Located just around the corner on Via Andegari in the city’s hip fashion district, the hotel has the looks to rival those seen in the window displays of the giant fashion houses nearby.

Only opened in July 2015, the Mandarin Oriental Milan’s shiny newness beams from every corner. Oriental touches are seen here and there, with a soothing colour palette of greys and blacks. Very tasteful, and very Italian. But there is history here too as the hotel is embedded in four 18th century buildings. 

The energy in the lobby is palpable as a steady stream of good looking and impeccably dressed guests pass through the marble entrance and past the impressive open fireplace by the reception desk.

If the lobby is the heart of this hotel, then the Mandarin Bar in the outdoor courtyard is the soul. Enclosed by four walls, pretty trees line the edge of this swish meeting place that does a deadly house Negroni del Professore. If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy the famous Italian aperitivo at 6pm, this is the place. For foodies, the hotel restaurant Seta is a dream. Led by the acclaimed Antonio Guida, the modern Italian menu earned a Michelin star in 2015.

There are 72 rooms and 32 suites across five floors, but the hotel still feels like a cosy boutique property. Two elegant, new suites were opened in April this year, both 100 square metres in size and both an homage to two of Italy’s most decorated designers. The Milano Suite is a tribute to Piero Fornasetti, the artist, interior designer and sculptor who lived most of his life in Milan. Some of his original pieces are in the suite so be careful you don’t knock them over with your suitcase. Italian architect Giò Ponti also has a suite dedicated to him – the Premier – that carries his trademark Milanese rationalism and minimalism.

Milan is undoubtedly a hectic town, fuelled by endless cups of espresso from its ubiquitous cafés. Thank heavens, then, for the hotel’s spa and its six treatment rooms, including a hair salon from top class stylist Massimo Serini. The Mankind treatment is a good one for guys: a two-hour pampering package of hot stones, body scrubbing and massaging to pinpoint your chakras – just the thing to calm you down before tackling those luxury boutiques.