While there are plenty of hotels in Milan with designer names literally attached to them, the Hotel Principe di Savoia is, for most, moda HQ. Its imposing 19th-century facade is an icon of luxury in the fashion capital, with vast chauffeur-driven cars – many with police escorts – pulling up every few minutes to deposit sunglasses-clad size-zero passengers at reception.
During Fashion Week and the Salone del Mobile the place is packed with A-listers, and the sumptuous bar, with its parachute-style chandelier ceiling, has the most in-demand banquettes in the city. Prosecco is poured, deals are sealed and elaborate nibbles nibbled from silver vessels. A Dorchester Collection offshoot, it’s old-fashioned, heavyweight glamour, full of polished empire-style wood panelling, marble, Murano glass and lead-heavy curtains so voluptuous that they resemble fairy-tale ball gowns. Everything about the hotel feels very special indeed, and the service is impeccable. Even though most of your fellow guests are here on business (room rates dip at weekends), it’s still an incredibly romantic, deeply plush, destination.
Even the smallest rooms at the hotel are on the grand side, and there’s no shortage of takers for the extravagant €17,000 a night Presidential Suite which has its own vast salon with piano, and its own Roman-style spa, straight out of the most decadent of Versace catalogues. The Hotel Principe di Savoia oozes wealth and elegance. There’s something gloriously cinematic about the journey through the front revolving door and the lobby with its classic concierge desk, flanked with beautiful vintage message boxes for each room, into the lift and up to your immaculate, chic room. The whole thing is pure fantasy. If only real life was like a long weekend at the Principe…
- Dining alfresco of an evening in the hotel’s wonderfully pretty garden
- The omnipresent fashion crowd
- Generously sized Acqua di Parma products in the bathrooms
- A good selection of albums pre-loaded on the in-room entertainment system
- Breath-taking internet charges – €28 a day. Ouch
- No outdoor pool area apart from a tiny terrace
Need to Know: Hotel Principe di Savoia
Number of rooms: 401
Check in/check out times: 3pm and 12noon
Room service: Yes
Swimming pool: Yes
Spa: Yes. Five treatment rooms on the 10th floor with products by Kanebo and Thalgo.
Dogs welcome: Yes, but small pets only. €120 housekeeping charge at check-out.
Eating and drinking: The restaurant, Acanto, is a ravishing amber and gold fantasia of patterned marble, glass and clear Murano chandeliers, with skeletal red garter-like seams around the bulbs. Chef Fabrizio Cadei’s kitchen serves plates that compete for fine dining drama. Italian classics come with glossy, refined twists: lobster risotto with saffron and sweet red peppers, tagliolini pasta with langoustine and lemon ragout, oven-baked turbot with peaches and candied celery. The Principe’s cocktail bar and lounge is a theatre of hushed, sumptuous chic with wonderful attention to detail. Breakfast at Acanto is a whirlwind of perfect-cappuccinos, big-business meetings and Japanese tourists gearing up for a Prada-safari.
Near to? While it’s a fairly long walk to the Golden Triangle shopping area, 10 Corso Como is nearby, and the Repubblica metro stop is a few steps from the front door.
Getting there: The hotel is a 15 minute drive frm the central international airport of Linate. Malpensa airport is easily reachable by taking the express train (approx 35 minutes) from Cadorna station.