Milan is a city synonymous with style, and never was this more evident than at the Hotel Principe di Savoia. We cherry picked this award-winning five-star luxury hotel as the perfect setting for a cultural family weekend of sightseeing, relaxing, and of course, shopping.
We were thoroughly surprised by how easy and quick it was to get to Milan. A mere two-hour flight from London and then 20 minutes by car from Linate airport meant that we were checking into the hotel the same morning that we left – which is always a bonus with young children in tow!
Part of the Dorchester Collection of hotels, Hotel Principe di Savoia has the kind of thoughtful attention to detail, impeccable service and comfort which has become the brand’s trademark. From when it first opened in 1927, it’s been a home away from home for royalty, literary icons and world famous entertainers. Past guests include Queen Elizabeth II, Ernest Hemingway, Charlie Chaplin and Madonna, who have all stayed in the opulent Presidential Suite.
We had booked to stay in one of their luxurious Ambassador Junior Suites, which combines beautiful Art Deco with a modern touch. Interior designer Francesca Basu has filled the rooms with stunning Italian-made fine wooden furniture and the lavish en-suite marble bathroom is adorned with Murano glass mosaic walls, showing off the country’s fine craftsmanship and artistry in an elegant and understated fashion. Despite the traditional setting, we were given every modern convenience and luxury, finding the bathroom filled with complimentary Acqua di Parma toiletries, and high-speed Wi-Fi and interactive LCD TV so we could keep up to date with the news and in touch with loved ones.
What We Did
The Hotel Principe di Savoia is excellently geared towards families and younger guests. Its ‘Bambino Package’ is designed to engage and entertain little VIPs both in the hotel and in the city itself, and it includes a complimentary welcome gift for all children, a second room on the house when booking a suite and a credit of 50 Euros per room to be used at the hotel’s Acanto Restaurant, which has a special child-friendly menu. The package also offers complimentary access to the Club 10 Fitness & Beauty Centre, where little ones can use armbands and have private swimming lessons, and a free limousine service to the city centre so you can travel in comfort and style. In addition there’s babysitting on request, meaning that parents in need of a bit of pampering can enjoy a luxurious spa treatment or candle-lit dinner, followed by a well-mixed cocktail in the elegant Principe Bar, without having to rush back to check on the children.
Overlooking Milan’s Piazza della Republica, Hotel Principe di Savoia is located north of the city centre and it’s an easy 5-minute walk to Stazione Centrale station, but we opted to use the hotel’s incredibly convenient daily shuttle service. As well as visiting the newly opened MUBA children’s museum, we took ourselves on a whistle-stop tour of the city which included famous opera house Teatro alla Scala, Sforzeco Castle and Duomo Cathedral – the third largest church in the world which is certainly a sight to behold, boasting unparalleled views of the city from the upper terrace. Literally a stone’s throw away from the cathedral is Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world's oldest shopping malls which includes luxury high-end shops like Louis Vuitton, Prada and Versace, to fulfil all your designer shopping needs.
What We Ate
Italy is known for it’s culinary expertise and for traditional Milanese cuisine we felt absolutely spoiled by talented head chef Fabrizio Cadei at the hotel’s Acanto restaurant. Exceptional dishes include spit-roasted shoulder of suckling pig and veal fillet, but the standout plate was undoubtedly the Tagliolini pasta with langoustine ragout with Amalfi lemons, which is so delicious that it even draws in the local Milanese residents. The female sommelier was full of wonderful and thoughtful suggestions on what would best accompany our meal and we were not let down by array of indulgent desserts – especially the chocolate soufflé with freshly made milk ice-cream.
If you fancy venturing outside of the hotel for food there are an array of stunning local family-owned trattorias not too far away, including the excellent Repubblica Solferino and Salumaio di Montenapoleone. There you can sample the finest fresh pasta, burrata and tartare dishes, which will remind you why Italian food has garnered such acclaim around the world.
Rooms from £150 per night. Hotel Principe di Savoia, Piazza della Repubblica 17, (+39 02 62301, dorchestercollection.com). The ‘Bambino Package’ is subject to availability with a minimum length of stay of two nights. Rates are intended per room, per night, taxes and breakfast included. The package can be booked via firstname.lastname@example.org.