Michelle Chenery reports on a stay at the Hotel Principe di SavoiaHotel Principe di Savoia is a member of the Dorchester Collection. It not only offers truly 5-star luxury and cuisine in a central location in Milan, but it knows exactly how to offer all the best of the city’s culture and art so that group organisers can not only see their groups enjoying it all, but can themselves be relaxed enough to enjoy it with them.
If any company feels that its personnel deserve the best for surviving the recession or achieving exceptional results, then the Principe di Savoia of Milan must be on the shortlist of venues to reward for past successes and inspire future successes.
The hotel has 257 air-conditioned rooms and 44 suites over ten floors, each with hi-speed Wi-Fi. All have large opening windows. The Signature Suites are divided into four categories, all recently refurbished, combining luxury with modern facilities and designs.
There are 48 Mosaic rooms in three different styles: the Venetian, with gold and turquoise nuances, mirrors in Murano glass and a mosaic decorating the bathroom wall; Florentine with azure-grey shades and a matching mosaic; and the Neoclassical style, ruby-amethyst reflecting in the lamps and chandeliers, with the colours repeated in the bathroom glass mosaic and ruby red glass over the basin.
On the 5th and 6th floors of the hotel are the Imperial Suites, offering 180sqm of unique masterpieces and precious decorations. They boast a master bedroom with 4-poster bed, a large closet covered in leather and a white marble bathroom complete with mosaics. The bathroom is equipped with massaging shower, Turkish bath and a chromo therapy system. A spacious sitting room combines a comfortable sofa area with an extendable table and a large desk, making this convenient for hosting private events and business meetings, with a connecting Executive room available on request.
This, of course, has to be where David Beckham resided during his time as a member of the AC Milan football team.
On the top floor is the very impressive 500sqm, 3-bedroom Imperial Suite, with its own private elevator. It features original antique furniture, all in Empire style. The dining room is furnished with French Crystal, Limoges porcelain and silverware, with authentic Venetian 19thC mirrors, Murano glass lamps and chandeliers, marble and bronze wall lamps, and 19thC century prints and fine objects in marble and granite completing the décor. There is a large formal dining area, with the lounge allowing access to a terrace that gives panoramic views over Milan. Then there is also the private Pompeian style Spa, complete with swimming pool, bath whirlpool, Jacuzzi, sauna and Turkish bath. The suite is available for private events.
The Hotel's spa Club 10 can also be found on the top floor of the hotel, covering 5,000sqft (550sqm) it includes a heated swimming pool, fully equipped fitness centre, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath, solarium and five massage rooms and changing rooms equipped with marble showers.
I indulged in a toning therapy, administered by one of the male masseurs, involving three different types of massage techniques: Shiatsu, Ayurvedic and Lymphatic. I came out revived, but with all my muscles feeling they had been well and truly worked over. The more intense treatments are usually administered by men, but it is also possible to request a female masseuse.
1,000 seated for a banquet
The hotel claims the largest meetings facilities of all the 5-star hotels in Milan. In total there are 12 rooms, the smallest at 35sqm hosting up to 20 theatre style. The Salli Cristalli measures 190sqm and makes up for the lack of natural light with its three impressive chandeliers. It caters for up to 100 for a banquet. With numerous room configurations available, the hotel can host up to 1,000 guests for a banquet. All the rooms can be fully equipped with the latest technology upon request.
Unforgettable gastronomic experiences
Before dinner that evening the group met in the Principe Bar where we sampled a few of the house cocktails as well a pre-dinner aperitivo. The chilli-infused cocktails certainly warmed up the evening for me, whilst others in our group opted for more classical concoctions.
We were then in exactly the right mood for the hotel’s Acanto Restaurant and for the great Italian cuisine created by Chef Fabrizio Cadei. We were privileged to sit at one of the tables giving front row seats of all the action in the kitchen. The group enjoyed exceptional fresh pasta dishes, and veal, with every course paired with wine selected by the hotel’s sommelier, Alessandra Veronesi.
The following day there were more great gastronomic experiences. We were served lunch at Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone, one of the many courtyard restaurants dotted around Milan. Offering fresh pasta, meat and fish, served with a daily seasonal offer. We sat outside in the courtyard sunshine, taking in the views of Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, a beautiful example of Lombardy Neo-Renaissance architecture.
There was a lot of effort in mixing the dry ingredients by hand and rolling it out on a flat surface.
It was cut into the different pasta types and then we had to fill, seal and shape some tortellini. The chef then cooked it and prepared a special sauce and we all had the pleasure of tucking into it.
Then he demonstrated how to make tiramisu keeping it light and airy - and deliciously good. There wasn’t quite enough time to allow it to set completely, but that didn't stop us from devouring it.
I found the time to take a walk down to the Duomo, Milan’s monumental Gothic cathedral that has roots dating back to the 4thC. It features 135 spires and I decided to tackle the 250 steps to the top (though there is the option of a lift).
The views were spectacular and I was fascinated by all the intricate carvings on the spires. That evening we enjoyed an evening meal at Solferino, a restaurant in the 'Brera' district, well-known since 1909. Its traditional dishes include beef fillet with strawberries and Tropea red onions, which sounded strange but worked so well, there was not a trace left on my plate. Nor of the light and airy tiramisu that followed.
Cultural exclusives, including Leonardo
The hotel was kind enough to arrange for us to visit the Santa Maria Delle Grazie church to see Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper.
We were allowed a 15-minute audio-guide viewing before we were then transferred to the doors of the Triennale di Milano, the design museum, an international cultural institution that organises exhibitions and conferences as well as hosting arts, design, architecture, fashion, cinema, communications and social events. Many of the exhibits represent Italian design of every different genre, with presentations of the biggest fashion brands, furniture design and metal punching machines. There were body casts that lined an entire flight of stairs.
A short walk took us through Parco Sempione to Castello Sforzesco, originally built in 1368 for Galeazzo II Visconti as a fortress, then later enlarged by Gian Galeazzo, Dukes of Milan. It was later developed by Ludovico il Moro, who commissioned Leonardo to decorate the Sala delle Asse and had Donato Bramante design the Cortile della Rocchetta.
The Castle is now a cultural centre housing several museums, with various artworks, frescos, tapestries and sculptures on display from famous artists, as well as armour, furniture, and musical instruments. The work by Leonardo in the Sala dell Asse can be seen to this day. Also on display in the Museo Civico d`Arte Antica is Pietà Rondanini, Michelangelo’s unfinished masterpiece.
Groups staying at the Hotel Principe di Savoia can choose from a range of very special and memorable packages. In addition to the Discover Leonardo da Vinci that we savoured, there is truffle tasting, involving a hunt for the truffles in the medieval village of Roddi before dining on the famous delicacy at a leisurely lunch.
The Discover Milan Package is another popular offer, with discounted entry to the most famous museums, a free guide book, a car service to and from the city centre and a three-day public transport pass.
For further information on Hotel Principe di Savoia
Tel: +39 02 6230 5555 or visit www.hotelprincipedisavoia.com
To View more images from our visit, please take a look at our Hotel Principe di Savoia Facebook album