After working from home for so long, there are some things we all forgot to do. My most recent mistake was forgetting to polish my boots before packing them for a conference. So thank goodness for the concierge at the Four Seasons Milan, where I was staying during my first in-person conference in two years.
With just one call to the front desk, my tired shoes were retrieved from my room and returned fifteen minutes later, brand new.
I felt like I could have asked for virtually any request and it would have been sorted out in a matter of minutes.
How is the building?
The Four Seasons Milan, like the most interesting people, has lived many lives. It was born in the 15th century as the Convent of Santa Maria del Gesù and still stands on Via Gesù. Since then it has been the home of one of the most important families in the city (I have yet to find who – contact us if you know). Then, during World War II, it was the headquarters of General Radetzky during the Austrian occupation.
You can feel how many famous people walked the halls and strolled through the beautiful courtyard in the center of the complex. The Four Seasons took over in 1987 and it wasn’t until their six-year restoration that the convent cloister was discovered.
Before that, it was believed that the building had always been a palace.
The original features have been carefully preserved, such as the frescoes and exposed bricks. 18th century stone carvings and stucco ceilings also remain from the old “palace”.
It all adds up to an opulent yet welcoming environment. You can feel the history of the building, but the interiors, added to the recent renovation, are modern and comfortable.
What do the rooms look like?
We were in a Premium room which as the website notes is everything “rich Fortuny fabrics, bespoke wood accessories and opulent marble”. I’m always worried that I won’t be able to relax in luxury hotels for fear of spilling red wine on a carpet that costs more than my car.
But it was just the opposite here.
I sank straight into the deep sofa and had a good night’s sleep in the plush bed. The room had everything you could have forgotten to pack. Or, like me, couldn’t fit in your cheap airline’s luggage. Umbrellas, slippers, plush bathrobes and superb Acqua di Parma toiletries.
There were also lots of little surprises. When I opened the box for the shower cap, there were two sparkly hair ties inside. Like the best gifts, I didn’t know I needed them until I got them.
How’s the food?
We had dinner outside so I can’t comment on the evening meals but I’m sure like the breakfast they are spotless. We were given a full menu to order our morning meal but naturally you are welcome to make specific requests.
I am gluten free and when I asked the waiter if he had any gluten free pastries he simply replied, “Sure, ma’am.” Ten minutes later, freshly baked muffins arrived at the table. Gluten-free baked goods aren’t known to be the best in the world, but they are some of the best I have ever tried.
You also get your tea in a suitable cup rather than a coffee mug. This should be the norm in all hotels, of course. But, as an Englishwoman, it was particularly appreciated.
Is the hotel well located?
Milan is a very walkable city, so be sure to pack a comfortable pair of shoes and be prepared to crush your step count.
All the tourist attractions you’ll have on your list are within walking or short driving distance of the Four Seasons.
It is located in the fashion district which is pretty much in the middle of town. Not that you know it. Once inside the hotel, you will feel cocooned in a quiet nest of comfort and luxury.
If you’re in town for shopping, the Four Seasons is the right place to rest after a long day of shopping. It’s just off Via Monte Napoleone which is home to all the big designer brands, earning it the crown of Europe’s most expensive third street.
Il Duomo, the third largest cathedral in the world, deserves a place on every tourist’s itinerary.
Even the Milanese who have been there a hundred times are going back. It’s only a ten minute walk to the Four Seasons and you can easily spend a day walking around the area. Do not miss the Castello Sforzesco. It is the former residence of illustrious families and houses three major museums.
True luxury and service
5 * hotels are of course not the economical option. But this one is worth it.
Four Seasons hotel guests pay to know that whatever they need, at any time of the day, staff are happy to help. With each shoe brought its own bag, if they are lucky.
Double rooms start from 850 € and can be booked here.