Take a closer look at the Four Seasons Hotel Milan. You'll find some clever local references

Is an international hotel really the best place to stay when exploring a new city? It's a question that the Canadian chain Four Seasons has obviously considered. Scratch the cosmopolitan surface of these hotels and you will often find cute references to the host city.

In the case of Milan, first there is the setting: a 15th-century convent set around a cloistered garden with many of its original features preserved. Then there's the suite with interiors designed by the fashion house Brioni, a nod to the city's signature industry. But most interesting is the styling of one atrium as a ringhiera, with rooms set off railed balconies just like the traditional housing complexes that many Milanese have called home.

The location

Within the Quadrilatero d'Oro, the fashion district, in the centre of the city.

The comfort factor

The importance of comfort isn't lost on Four Seasons: a page on its website is dedicated to giving the exact dimensions of the 118 rooms and suites, specifying the size of the bed within each. Most offer the classic, well-upholstered style with local furnishings and mod cons which has earned these hotels fans worldwide.

The bathroom

An Italian marble palace with double sinks, a huge bath and walk-in shower. Indulgent toiletries are by Aqua di Parma.

The food and drink

There are two restaurants, offering formal and casual dining. Snacks are also served in the lobby. The service is impeccable.

The people

A well-heeled, international clientele who come from the US, Europe, Russia and Japan.

The area

Apart from the obvious diversion of clothes shopping, the main sights are La Scala opera house and the Duomo. To see an original ringhiera go down to the Naviglio Grande canal.

The damage

From £415 per room per night, room only.

The access

There are four rooms modified for people who have disabilities. Braille and hearing loop facilities are available. Children and small dogs welcome.

The address

Four Seasons Hotel Milan, via Gesu 6/8, Milan, Italy 20121 (00 800 6488 6488; fourseasons.com/milan).

Kate Simon travelled to Milan from London City Airport with British Airways (0870-850 9850; ba.com), which offers return flights from £90.