Stepping out of the bustling Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and onto a small side street nestled away in the thriving heart of Milan, I spied the Park Hyatt sign. A bellman stood outside the door and welcomed me as I entered the hotel.
Through the revolving door, I entered a small foyer with a grand cupola in the dining room ahead and a small check-in area to the left. A clerk warmly greeted me and welcomed me to Milan and to the Park Hyatt. Moments later, Anja Eilers, the Guest Relations Manager, stepped out of her office and welcomed me to the hotel. As is customary at Park Hyatt, she escorted me to my room, making small talk on the way up the sixth floor.
I was upgraded to a junior suite and the room was well appointed and spacious. While the room itself was large enough, the spacious balcony made the room appear even larger and added warmth and character to the room, especially as the afternoon sunlight streamed through the large glass doors.
The room was a perfect blend of classic and contemporary—the chairs and couch were a rich brown and red while the room was accented with a cream-colored marble that brought a touch of refinement and elegance to a room that already had a lot going for it. The bathroom was spacious and included a separate toilet room, rain shower, and walk-in closet.
Don’t get me wrong, I like stately and elegant (think Willard InterContinental in Washington, DC or InterContinental Le Grand in Paris) but I really liked the functional simplicity yet elegance of the Park Hyatt Milano room design. Later on that afternoon, General Manager Claudio Ceccherelli showed me the Presidential Suite and in many respects it looked like a well-furnished (large) apartment or small house rather than an opulent palace. This is a good thing—the room was functional and comfortable, yet still sophisticated with just the right combination of modern and classic elements.
The doorbell rang a few minutes later—it was room service with a delicious plate of fruit (strawberries, tangerines, grapes, and nectarines) along with a bottle of Italian red wine and a container of sun-dried tomato crisps—a delicious accompaniment to the wine. Along with the food items was a note from Mr. Ceccherelli welcoming me to the property. Welcome notes are another Park Hyatt staple and add an extra personal touch that engenders loyalty to the chain as a whole.
I failed to perform due diligence before arriving in Milan, assuming I could just waltz into the church housing Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper painting without a reservation. I was wrong—access is limited and a reservation is required (and should be made at least two weeks before your visit). But the hotel had a solution—the concierge attendant, who had already learned my name just a few hours after check-in, had a contact that ran guided tours of Milan each day that included a visit to view the Last Supper. Unfortunately, the time of the tour the following day did not work out for me (I do not stay at fine hotels to wake up at the crack of dawn to go on a bus tour and the late tour did not give me enough time to make it the airport in time for my flight out), but I was impressed nevertheless that the hotel had a solution to a problem that likely arises often.
Milan has a great deal to offer—from Duomo di Milano just a few minutes away by foot to bustling shopping arcades and sprawling parks nearby, Milan is the quintessential amalgamation of old and new. Nowhere else in Italy can you find a sleek and modern skyscraper adjacent to a 300-year old church. Talk to the concierge if you need help formulating a sightseeing plan or are looking for dining recommendations—in my case, good gelato.
The Park Restaurant offers an enticing menu of regional cuisine prepared by Chef Filippo Gozzoli—pair “The Park” salad with roasted cod, “guazzetto” of peppers, capers, and olives or enjoy seafood carbonara spaghetti with galzed veal cheek, potatoes, and polenta foam. Prior commitments prevented me from sampling the restaurant’s fare, but I had look inside the restaurant and the food looked amazing.
I returned from dinner to find a large bottle of water next to my bed and a first for me—a large vase of fresh flowers on the coffee table.
I dined in La Cupola for breakfast the next morning, choosing the breakfast buffet. The buffet, two large tables on either side of the iconic Medusa sculpture sculpted by Lucio Fontana, featured a wide variety of cold breakfast items including fresh fruits and yogurts, meats and cheeses, bread and pastries, and cereals. There were no hot items in the buffet and I assumed that the breakfast buffet included the option of ordering any hot items off the menu. Upon request, however, I was told that no hot breakfast items were included in the buffet. As the pictures below demonstrate, there was more than enough in the buffet for a full and satisfying breakfast, yet if there is one small criticism I have of the hotel, it is that simple dishes like eggs are not included in the buffet. To be fair, the menu featured an extensive selection of hot choices and the prices were all reasonable, but I would liked to have seen an all-inclusive price that allowed me to order an omelet and French Toast with my cold breakfast items.
The hotel room was so comfortable, that rather than go out sightseeing before my early evening flight, I hung around the hotel all day, lounging on the patio under the sunlight with a glass of sparkling water and a good book. It was just nice to set aside a half day to actually relax and catch up on my free reading.
Before I left, I squeezed in a short workout in the hotel’s small but adequate fitness center and a quick soak in the spa. Spa and fitness center access is included in the room rate and the spa, bedecked with gold paint makes for a comfortable way to relax.
Finally, the time arrived to check out. The stay had gone much too fast and I was beyond pleased with my experience at the hotel. Upon checkout, I was again greeted by name by the same agent who had checked me in. After checking me out, we exchanged handshakes after he profusely thanked me for staying and wished me a pleasant journey home.
From start to finish and everything in between, the Park Hyatt Milan exceeded my already high expectations. Should travel take you to Italy, make it a point to visit Milan and stay at the Park Hyatt. You will be pampered with excellent service and a uniquely comfortable room.