The Four Seasons, Milan Style

Seeing Milan in Style

For years, I’ve envisioned Milan with celebrities attending exclusive designer fashion shows, models posing in glamorous locations, and stylish residents dining in exclusive restaurants. The allure of Milan style has intrigued me and I’ve long wanted to visit. But until last month, Milan was still on my must-see list.

"Model wearing a wedding gown in a fashion shoot in Piazza del Duomo, Milan, Italy"

Fashion shoot in front of Duomo di Milano

Before heading to the Emilia-Romagna and Puglia regions of Italy for blog projects, I had my chance to visit this cosmopolitan city, one of the fashion world’s capitals and the second largest city in Italy, known for history, culture, architecture and style. In person, I now got a glimpse of Milan style. The model in the wedding dress (shown above) caught our attention at the Piazza del Duomo. We also saw well-dressed Milanese of all ages appearing poised, ready for the limelight, but not ostentatious. Business people confidently rode bicycles and motorbikes through the streets wearing sharp suits and accessories.

"Even riding a motorbike, Milan residents are in style"

In style on a motorbike in Milan

Although I wasn’t mingling with the rich and famous during Fashion Week or sipping Prosecco at a villa at nearby Lake Como, I got a wonderful sampling of Milan style during my stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Milano.

Staying in Style

The Four Seasons Hotel Milano exuded luxury and style matching my expectations. The hotel is a beautifully restored 15th century cloistered convent with 67 guest rooms and 51 suites. Portions of 18th century frescoes can still be seen in the lobby (center left in the photo below) and in some of the guest rooms.

"Il Foyer lounge and lobby at Four Seasons Milan"

Il Foyer lounge and lobby at Four Seasons Milan

Perhaps my favorite design feature of the hotel is the oval spiral marble staircase that goes from the lower level to the 5th floor.

"Art Nouveau spiral staircase at the Four Seasons Milan"

Spiral staircase at the Four Seasons Milan

We had arrived earlier than expected, but the hotel made every effort to accommodate us. While waiting for our room, we enjoyed perfectly-prepared and presented lattes in Il Foyer, the lobby lounge. We had a lovely conversation with our server, Roberto, who represented the Four Seasons well with his pride in the hotel, enthusiasm for his work, and friendly demeanor. His friendly, helpful personality was consistent with other staff we met.

"Perfect lattes in Il Foyer at the Four Seasons Hotel Milano""

Perfect lattes in Il Foyer

Fashionable Location

The Four Seasons is located in the heart of Quadrilatero della Moda, the premier fashion district mainly bounded by Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni, Via della Spiga and Corso Venezia. Many of the top designer shops are at most just a few minutes walk from the hotel. The world famous Teatro alla Scalla (La Scala), Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral) are also in easy walking distance (about one half mile).

"Versace showroom in Milan, Italy"

Versace on Via Montenapoleone

"Alberta Ferretti showroom in Milan, Italy"

Alberta Ferretti on Via Montenapoleone

"Cartier's flagship store in Milan on Via Montenapoleone"

Cartier on Via Montenapoleone

Mr. TWS and I window-shopped the designer showrooms such as Armani, Prada, Alberta Ferretti, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, and Tincati (an exclusive men’s boutique directly across Via Gesù from the hotel). I admired the shopping bags embossed with famous brand names in the hands of passersby. But we were traveling very light on this trip, so I didn’t give in to the many purchase temptations.

"On Via Gesù by the Four Seasons in the rain, Milan"

On Via Gesù by the Four Seasons in the rain

So convenient to the city center, Duomo and Galleria, the Four Seasons’ location made it easy to see it all — in fact, multiple times! We went back late one evening to enjoy a stroll in the warm rain, see the sites without the crowds and capture some night photos, which we’ll be posting soon (along with much more about Milan).

Comfort and Style

Our deluxe room looked out onto to a peaceful view of the courtyard (shown below). The view of courtyard garden, with birds chirping and church bells ringing in the distance, was an oasis amid a bustling large city. All the excitement of the city, as well as its historic attractions and extensive shopping and dining options were right at hand, but the ambiance inside was serene and elegant.

"Lovely courtyard view from room at the Four Seasons, Milan"

Lovely courtyard view from our room

"Glass-enclosed hallway looking out to the courtyard at the Four Seasons Hotel in Milan, Italy"

Glass-enclosed hallway looking out to the courtyard

After a day of walking miles around the city center, visiting the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (the world’s oldest shopping mall), walking throughout the Duomo and on its rooftop, exploring the nearby upscale residential neighborhoods, having a spritz at Terraza Aperol, and much more, it was a pleasure to come back to the luxury of the hotel and the comfort of our room.

"Enjoying the comfortable and luxurious accommodations of the Four Seasons Milano"

Enjoying the comfort and luxury

The two large windows opening onto the courtyard let in plenty of natural light and fresh air perfect for enjoying the fresh fruit and tasty chocolates that had been delivered to our room. The spacious room and furnishings were also conducive to getting some work done in this office away from home.

"Spacious sitting area in a Premium Room at the Four Seasons Milan, Italy"

Spacious sitting area in our Premium Room

We twice enjoyed the full American Breakfast in La Veranda, a bright and unpretentious restaurant that looks out to the main courtyard. In keeping with the quality expected at a Four Seasons hotel, he buffet selections (pastries, meats, cheeses, fruit and more) and a wide selection of à la carte entrees including omelettes, pancakes, and Eggs Benedict were a great start to our days.

"Dining in Milan style - Cathy Sweeney and Mr. TWS in La Veranda restaurant at the Four Seasons Milan, Italy"

Cathy and Mr. TWS in La Veranda restaurant

The fine touches

We admired the interesting and diverse art and decor, tastefully placed throughout the hotel and in keeping with Milan style.

"Sculpture near staircase at Four Seasons, Milan"

Sculpture at Four Seasons Milan

Fresh flowers enhance the ambiance throughout the hotel, including these in Il Foyer.

"Flowers in the lovely lobby of the Four Seasons Milan"

The lovely lobby of the Four Seasons Milan

"Beautiful floral displays at the Four Seasons Milan, Italy"

Floral displays at the Four Seasons

Next Time…

With only two nights to get acquainted with the city, our stay at the Four Seasons Milan was short, but very enjoyable. Our tour of the city let me experience a good touch of Milan style leaving me with a craving to bask in the glow of Milan again. I’ve told Mr. TWS that the next time we’re in Milan, I’d like to dress in Versace or Ferretti, attend an opera at La Scala, take a day trip to Lake Como, and stay at the Four Seasons again — just for a bit longer.

"At Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II"

Next time … Versace!

Disclosure: Our accommodations in Milan were hosted by the Four Seasons Hotel Milano, but the opinions about our experience are totally our own — as always.

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42 thoughts on “The Four Seasons, Milan Style

  1. budget jan

    Sounds like a plan Cathy. I visited Milan for less than a day and saw so much that I liked. I would definitely return, and probably will as Milan seems to be enroute from Australia.

  2. jenny@atasteoftravel

    I love Milan…it’s one of my favourite cities. We often pop into the hotel for a drink when we are there. It’s in a fabulous position. I can just imagine staying there and popping back with all the shopping bags from those fabulous nearby shops!! Back to reality!!

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      I’ve got the same shopping fantasy. It’s funny…. I’m not really much of a shopper at home, but I could easily get in the habit there — if the budget would allow it. 🙂

  3. Jackie Smith

    We love Milan as well and each visit it shows yet another side of its very complex self. We’ve stayed in historic charmers, usually those within walking distance of the train station. We visited the Four Seasons six years ago during one such stop and planned to have a drink at least there. When we saw that a “Bud” was $12 US we decided there were equally as interesting places to have that glass of wine and moved on to find them. 🙂 Glad you had the opportunity to experience the Four Seasons luxury during your Italian travels. A great report, Cathy.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      I’ve got a feeling there’s lots more to learn about Milan on our next trip. I’ll come to you for some tips!

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      It was probably for the best that we weren’t staying for a longer time — I would have given in at some point.

  4. Simon

    Looks like you had a blast and I’m very jealous of your stay at the Four Seasons! 🙂 But next time you come, please let me know. If I’m home, I’d love to hang out a bit with your and Mr TWS!

  5. Marcia

    Love that spiral staircase, Cathy.
    I agree with you, next time you must attend the opera at La Scala and wear Versace or Feretti and stay at the Four Seasons. Assolutamente!

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      Yes, I can’t say that I was surprised to find Milan and the Four Seasons to my liking. 🙂 Everything lived up to expectations.

  6. Lori

    My husband was in Milan with his job, I didn’t manage to be there yet. I definitely want to visit this city though!

    One thing is for sure though: I love to stay in such luxurious places;) It looks like you had an amazing stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Milan and that it is a place I should take in consideration when I’ll book my trip there! Loved the photos and article – great as always!

  7. Leigh

    What a great introduction to Milan. After sleeping in a tent for two weeks I can only imagine the level of luxury you experienced – but I do look forward to my own Four Seasons stay in Costa Rica come November. Sounds like quite a trip you had to Italy.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      I’m sure the Four Seasons in Costa Rica will be awesome. You certainly deserve a little luxury after two weeks in a tent — although that kind of travel can be lots of fun, too.

  8. Pingback: Italy 2013: Ciao Milano! » Traveling with Sweeney

  9. Sofie @ Wonderful Wanderings

    That looks like a hotel I wouldn’t mind staying in:-)
    I’ve only been to Milan once and I was there during the only days of that summer that it was less than 20°C and raining regularly.
    The weather conditions might have played their part, but Milan didn’t really steal my heart. Everything was so expensive and people seemed to be grumpy all of the time. But maybe they knew that I had brought them bad weather:)

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      Shame on you for bringing the bad weather! 🙂 Sorry you ran into some grumpy people there. That really can affect your opinion of a place.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      Haha — I haven’t either, I like that each of the Four Seasons hotels have their own special character, too.

  10. Mary {The World Is A Book}

    The Four Seasons and a visit in Milan sounds like a notch up the ladder of luxury. Milan is still on my must see list and I’m glad it doesn’t disappoint. Love the courtyard and spiral staircase. I like your future plans and hope you get to return soon. I think my husband would be nervous letting me loose in Milan 🙂

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      There’s really a lot more we’d like to see of Milan. We just scratched the surface, but I do have more to come.

  11. Freya

    I went twice to Milan this year and both times it rained, looks like you had the same luck 😉
    The four seasons looks wonderful, I would love to stay there.
    I like Milan but I just cannot believe how expensive this city is.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      The weather was actually nice and clear during the day. We really liked taking a walk in the rain that one night. Gives you a whole different perspective of a place.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      Thanks, Mette! We did see several wedding couples having photos taken while we were in Italy, but this one wasn’t a real bride.

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