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We recently shared the exciting news of W Milan coming in 2016 to the design capital of Milan. You’ve asked us for more information and trust us— we are working on it and will provide updates as we receive them. Yeah, we know, two years is a long time to wait and we share your pain.
We know that the new 76-room W Milan has a hot location in the artsy Brera District, within Milan's historical center. This area is a great fit for the W crowd, with its art galleries, hip boutiques, and plenty to see and do at night.
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As spring continues to elude a lot of us, you might be mind escaping by leaving on a jet plane to far-off destinations. To feed your fantasy, we thought we’d share with you this flight of fancy offered by Four Seasons: A $69,000 backstage pass package to some of Europe’s most iconic cultural kicks.
This 16-day Backstage with the arts package includes the use of a fully kitted out 757 private jet that’ll whisk you from European capital to European capital: Lisbon, Milan, Istanbul, St. Petersburg, Paris and Prague, complete with a Four Seasons Global Guest Services Manager to help make all of your arts and culture dreams come true along the way.
To further whet your appetite for this OTT fantastic fantasy, here are some of the behind-the-scenes treats for the 52 people who will be able to book the package.
Milan, recognized around the world as one of the great intersections of design culture--where fashion, interior design, and architecture come wonderfully together. We often look to Milan for inspiration and what’s next.
And what’s coming next, as in right next door to the circa 1932 Excelsior Hotel Gallia, is a striking new addition that is garnering quite a bit of attention. Not to mention an Italian tourism award for its modern design. Not bad for a project still under construction. Once completed sometime next this year, it will be hard to ignore but maybe easy to love. Once we get to know it.
Having scoped out where both W Hotels and Mandarin Oriental will be landing in Milan, we turned down the city’s Via Montenapoleone to make our way to the Four Seasons, and check in on some of the work that has been going on to keep the hotel fresh and ready for whatever competition will show up in the next few years.
For the 15th-century former convent that houses the hotel, that means renovation of its 68 guestrooms has started, and the addition of a brand new spa. Resident Four Seasons designer Pierre-Yves Rochon has put his name on the new look of the rooms, and Patricia Urquiola is responsible for the spa. No matter what happens within the hotel's walls, one of its loveliest features is actually outside: its pretty courtyard, a space so quiet in the middle of Milan that you can reportedly sleep with the windows open, something we can easily believe based on the silence we experienced here.
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As much as we wanted to believe that Mandarin Oriental would open its Milan hotel this year, no one will be surprised that’s not happening. Unfortunately, we’re going to rain on your – and our own – parade even further, since it was whispered in our ear that it will more likely be sometime in 2015.
2015! That demands at least another year of patience for the 104-room hotel on Via Monte di Pietà, around the corner from the W Milan. It seemed rather quiet when we walked by recently, but who knows what hive of activity it was inside. The MO announcement from way back in 2007 talks about three 19th century buildings, but we counted four distinct facades, which also pop up in an architectural rendering we found in the wonderful treasure trove that is the internet.
So we were all sorts of excited when W Hotels announced it would be opening its first Italian hotel in Milano, but had not even a hint of an image to go with it. Now we do, if only of the exterior of the five-story structure on Via Brera, in the middle of the city’s artsy and nightlife quarter.
To get the worst news out of the way: that 2013 opening that floated around at the time did not quite work out – obviously – and if you’re eager to check in, pace yourself. It’ll be another two and a half years until April 1, 2016 (no April Fool’s joke, we hope) before that will be possible.
Not a photo of the W Milan (it's the W Chicago Lakeshore), though we don't doubt Milan will have its share of paparazzi snaps soon enough
It's crazy to think that in a city where the Armani Hotel, Maison Moschino and Hotel Bulgari fill their beds with the fashion-foward set year-round, that a W Hotel hasn't claimed a single cobblestone as its own.
Oh waitwe take that back! The W Milan has announced that it'll be opening in the Italian metropolis as soon as May 2013 and guess what? It'll not only be the first W in Milan, but the first W in the entire country of Italy. Che meraviglia!
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There's tons of hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· Mandarin Oriental Milan is coming in 2013: The luxury brand, Mandarin Oriental have long had their eyes set on Italy but now we've got word that the MO Milano will open in 2013. The hotel will have 104 guestrooms including 34 suites set throughout three 19th century buildings on Via Monte de Pieta, a rather swank address. A GM has just been appointed for the property which is a good sign that the 2013 opening date will stick.
· Trump Lands in Miami: It's finally happened. Trump Hotels have officially assumed management of the Doral Golf Resort & Spa outside Miami. Over the next 18 months, Trump will put in about $200 million in renovating the almost-800-acre resort. The place will be fully re-branded when the new look is complete.
“Imposing” is the word we probably would have used. Or “magisterial”, maybe. But definitely not “like a psychiatric hospital”, which is how Roberto Cavalli just described the Armani Hotel Milan.
“Between Armani and me there is an abyss. Have you seen that new hotel? It looks like a psychiatric hospital” were the exact words he used when talking to La Repubblica newspaper.
The most embarrassing thing for Armani in the whole affair is that you know what? Now that he’s said that, we look at pictures and go “You know what, it kinda does.” But then again, it’s hardly out of place in Milan, a city whose buildings are way more severe than the flouncy terracotta stuff you expect in the Italy of your textbooks.
Everyone knows that the first stop for fashionistas on a jaunt through Italy is Milan. It's got designers. It's got Fashion Week. And it's got the man himself, Giorgio Armani.
A man, who, as much as he's making a name for himself now in the hospitality biz, first got introduced to the world as a fashion person. Clothes, retail, couture: those are his roots, not necessarily beautiful hotels. But the new Milan property, with all its 95 textured monochrome guest rooms and eighth floor "hat" lobby, actually manages to contain both those worlds under the same roof—the hotel is built right on top of an Armani store. How convenient!
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Though we took a quick look last month at what Tripadvisor reviewers were saying, we still feel a little out of the loop about the new Armani Hotel Milan, which has been open for almost two months now.
What kind of fancy Armani unforms do the staff wear? Are the rooms really that big? How do the hotel's Lifestyle Managers fit in, exactly?
Sadly, the hotel provided little in the way of a response—choosing only to reiterate Giorgio's vision of creating a "precisely defined ambiance of total comfort." But we have managed to scrap together at least a fragmentary sense of the interiors. For starters: similar to the property in Dubai, the Armani Milan's rooms are homogenized in soft beiges, tans, and dark browns. Emphasis here is more on texture—with limestone bathrooms, backlit shingled headboards, and cabinets that vanish into walls. All of which, hopefully, don't get in the way of comfort.
We can hardly believe it ourselves, but the Armani Milan is over the one month mark, as it finally made its debut back on November 10. It may still be piping hot and fresh out of the hotel-baking oven, but it's time to start reading what people are saying about it.
One thing is important to remember, however, and that's that Italy doesn't have it all together on the social media/online sharing front. Case in point: the place has been booked up, but both Hotels.com, Expedia, Venere, etc have not a single review of it (barring this nice photo gallery).
Thus, for now we turn to Tripadvisor: