24-Hour Room Service: Hotel Principe di Savoia, Milan

The Principe is a bastion of old-guard glamour among the minimalist hotels that are cropping up across Milan. There's marble everywhere, Murano glass fittings and wood-panelled walls. All in all the hotel's decadent interiors stand out against the Armani-grey furnishings and raw cement surfaces that prevail elsewhere.

During Milan Fashion Week, which starts today, the hotel is the bolthole of choice for the couture industry. Usually the clientele is a mix of business travellers, celebrities and even royalty (Her Majesty the Queen has stayed – and if she'd brought the corgis, she'd have discovered that there's a dinner option on the room service menu for guests' dogs).

Founded in 1927, the hotel was taken over in 2003 by the Dorchester Collection, and the group spent €14m (£10.7m) to ensure that the Principe was restored to its former glory. The main restaurant, Acanto, reopened in May 2006, with a new chef, Fabrizio Cadei, who focuses on traditional Italian food by using regional seasonal produce. In addition, 48 "Deluxe Mosaic" rooms have been refurbished, with particular attention being paid to the bathrooms. The rooms are Neo-Classical, Venetian or Florentine in style– with heavy velvet furnishings and damask walls.

But the overall style of the hotel is perhaps best appreciated in the "winter garden" bar, where panels of marble adorn the walls, Art Nouveau-style carpets cover the floor and white marble statues frame a tinkling fountain. This eclectic mix may feel over-the-top, but it all begins to make sense if you have a chance to check out the three-roomed Presidential suite. One of Europe's largest suites, it is modelled on a Roman bath house.

The service, too, is imbued with a belle époque air. When I asked to book what turned out to be an overpriced and overrated restaurant, the concierge carefully steered me towards a simple but fantastic alternative in the Brera district called Bebel's.



LOCATION

Hotel Principe di Savoia, Piazza della Repubblica 17, Milan, Italy (00 39 02 6230 5555; www.hotelprincipedisavoia.com). Location is the Principe's main weakness – the Piazza della Repubblica, a large square of office blocks and advertising hoardings which it overlooks, has certainly seen better days. Having said that, Il Duomo and the centre of town are only a 20-minute walk away and a complimentary limousine service runs from the hotel to the Piazza della Scala every 15 minutes (depending on the time of day), so you can arrive at the Armani store on Via Manzoni in some style.

Time from international airport: the most convenient gateway, Linate (served by BA and Alitalia) is a 20-minute drive. Orio al Serio, the low-cost hub, is a 45-minute drive; Malpensa is the same distance.



COMFORTABLE?

The guest rooms are lavishly decorated, with the decor firmly moored in turn-of-the-century traditional Italian. Our room, one of the refurbished Mosaic Rooms, was in the Florentine style, with soft grey and blue furnishings, a vast bed towering with pillows and cushions, embossed leather covering the wardrobe doors, and traditional rosewood furniture. The highlight was definitely the bathroom, almost as big as the bedroom, with a huge bath and state-of-the art power shower, all in white marble except for the beautiful blue mosaic which mirrored the colours of the bedroom. If pampering yourself in this kind of bathroom isn't enough, the hotel has a health and beauty centre on the top floor, with a gym and a pool as well as a spa offering every type of treatment from shiatsu to lymphatic massages.

Freebies: soft drinks in the mini-bar, plus regular treats delivered each afternoon before dinner – chocolates, small cakes or glacé fruits; in the bathroom, Aqua di Parma products quietly breed.

Keeping in touch: LCD high-definition flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi in all the rooms and direct-dial telephones.



THE BOTTOM LINE

Classic double rooms start at €345 (£265), room only.

I'm not paying that: The Hotel Cavour (Via Fatebenefratelli 21; 00 39 02 620 001; www.hotelcavour.it) is a traditional hotel with a good central location, just off the Piazza Cavour and near the central shopping district. Doubles start at €219 (£168), room only.

Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
News
i100
Travel
Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
travelChic new hotels in 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £30,000 Uncapped

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Day In a Page

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

    The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
    Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

    Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

    France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
    Sports Quiz of the Year

    Sports Quiz of the Year

    So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

    From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

    Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect