Luxury Explorer Review

5-Star Hotel Review

Hotel Principe di Savoia

Italy

A favourite of royalty and celebrities, this grand hotel is a Milan institution

loading
Reserve
Close
Special Offer
Close
Reserve online
check-in
nights
+ -
reserve book now
Check availability, offers and
book best available rates
online with Hotels.com

Or, ask our concierge for help
Hotel Principe di Savoia
  • Reserve
  • Contact Concierge
Hotel Principe di Savoia

Location

Piazza della Repubblica, Milan

Travel Information

Milan Linate Airport - 20 mins (8km)
Milan Malpensa - 45 mins (50km)

Top Tips

Shop in style at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele which boasts the first ever Prada store (opened in 1913)

5-Star X-Factors

The sumptuous spa and impeccable service

Principe pleasures

As I write this, my feet are cocooned in monogrammed Principe comfort and these slippers are, without any doubt, the very best. Starting with the feet, the pleasures at the Principe di Savoia eventually reach the very last follicle on the crown of your head. It is a result of a bespoke recipe concocted in 1927 combining luxury, comfort and elegance in an evolving style that instinctively complements the putative fashion capital of the world: Milan.

We stayed in the Royal Suite, so name-dropping at this juncture is almost obligatory. This suite has been the favourite of Frank Sinatra, along with royals from all over the planet, while celebrities and heads of state reserve 'The Royal' months in advance. It is a suite that offers a good reason for visiting Milan, though there are many other worthwhile causes for coming here, besides fashion.

The Principe has a particularly grand presence: an off-white neoclassical façade facing the tree-laden Piazza della Repubblica, pleasantly apart from the 'crowd'. The impressive semi-circular drive is charged with porters and bellmen, a hand away from doors, cases and shopping bags. Walking towards the celebrated circular doors of the entrance, with fine red carpet underfoot, I clock the first of many guest considerations: a spray of fine mist blowing from the 20s iron colonnade to cool the hot summer air.

The hotel has, for several colourful decades, dedicated itself to hosting its premier and regular clientele, and during its 80-year reign it has evolved with a keen eye on the contemporaneous. To this end, it has gone through several facelifts; each one reflecting the present, while the ethos and elegantly-preserved traditions still glow intact.

This is not a modern phenomenon: it is a result of enduring aethetics. The classical and attractive Lombardy style rich ornate woodwork, soft shades, delicate fabrics and distinguished works of art – is in fine keeping with the mood of the hotel, just as the stylish modern gestures and cutting-edge technology fit perfectly with today's expectations. The tuning thus far seems spot on, but there is a lot of pressure for perfection in a capital exploding with beautiful people and leading designers.

Perfect for a princess

Staying in the magnificent Royal Suite, it could be tempting to close the large ornate double doors and simply be. The entrance hall, a shrine to Tuscan marble, leads into the opulent, yet warm, dining and drawing room, complete with a fine antique table surrounded by eight black and gilt leather-bound Baroque armchairs. The walling in Burgundy damask shows off the splendidly rich still-life paintings and the beautiful solid woodwork reflects the years of masterful polishing with spotless pride. This is most definitely a royal suite.

The bedroom is serenely orchestrated with a blend of lavish and classical touches – shades of rich burgundy, faded golden damask walls, and one of the most amazing chandeliers I have ever seen; not to mention the coroneted bed that would comfortably sleep a small family.

The touches here are simply stunning, like the metres of butter-soft pale pistachio cashmere throw at the base of the bed and the crystal glasses filled with every fresh berry in season. Then there's the flowers, oh the flowers! Vases of fuchsia, lilies, roses and frangipani, in the paler pastel and cream colours, are positioned lavishly in all the rooms.

Next, the bathroom. How did they place so much glorious marble into every square inch? This room glows with a caramel opulence, a sort of Romanesque resplendence, like the cornucopia of fruit in the dining room which flows with opalescent green grapes, mangoes, pineapples, cherries, plums and more. Sublime Acqua di Parma is liberally placed in bounteous quantities on every marble corner. Just how spoilt can a little princess get? The prince was rationed.

So, you could simply 'hole-up' but, of course, we didn't. There was much to experience including a trip to the lakes, which is less than an hour from the hotel, if you know where you are going. But first, the much-lauded shopping experience; this really does live up to its reputation and the ever-helpful concierge will supply you with a 'shopping' map while a limousine shuttles back and forth every 15 minutes.

Culture and couture

The limo stops at the very well-heeled – Prada, Gucci et al – couture-lined streets, along with some wonderful culture: Via Della Spiga, Montenapoleone and the Piazza Della Scale. The latter is close to the duomo, La Scala Theatre and the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery. The shops closed at 7pm (15 minutes after we arrived).

Acanto restaurant at the Principe is outstanding. Again, they have pulled in the 21st century, but with a definite air of 'polished and patrician' and the lighting is extraordinarily good, by day and night. The room is back-dropped by the landscaped garden with a water feature and covered seating area, surrounded by a tall hedge of Magnolia grandiflora trees.

The menu offers a selection of quirky dishes along with the more traditional; the talented chef has created quite a stir, combining his knowledge of Lombardy with that of the Mediterranean. There is an option here to go light or heavy and both are remarkable. The chef's kitchen is on display to diners from a glass frontage, a feature that really does add value to the word sensational.

Glorious Como

On our one full day, which was due to peak at 38 degrees celsius, we took to Lake Como, or Clooney-land, to shoot the breeze. This eminently glorious part of Italy is exceedingly close to Milan and many locals commute both ways. We lunched next to the lake under a lemon canopy, with a slightly cooler ambient temperature, on plates of perfect risotto with fresh scallops and sweet tomato, at the outstanding Villa d'Este.

On our return I enjoyed a facial in healing and gifted hands at the Principe's Club 10. Each pore was revived and, by the end I felt, and apparently looked, glowing. It was the sort of treatment with layers of expertise, products, and assessment that could easily cost over twice the price. It is such a groovy, high-tech, soothing, steaming, cleansing place, with panoramic city views – almost worth a cardio stint in the immaculate gymnasium and certainly worth a swim in the city's largest indoor-pool.

During that balmy evening we enjoyed cocktails in trendy addresses – a couple around the Arco Della Pace on Piazza Sempione – followed by dinner at a celebrity fashion haunt, 10 Corso Como. This fabulously authentic garden cafe-style restaurant – flowing with flowers and oozing city chic – is set within one of the most influential fashion stores in the world, and is only a 15-minute walk from the hotel. All were buzzing with supremely stylish Milanese, of all ages, and the food was pretty good too; although the latter restaurant could learn a thing or two about service from the Principe.

Staying in many top league hotels it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate between levels of exclusivity, from one grand-luxe landmark to the next; but, in my opinion, the Principe Di Savoia has reached a high note.

Sophie Marchant
Sophie Marchant


Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer