A landmark of luxury Milanese hotellerie. An oasis of relaxation in the heart of the fashion Quad. A kingdom for gourmets and connoisseurs: this is the Four Seasons Hotel Milano
The scintillating glamour of the Quadrilatero della moda, the boutiques lining via della Spiga and the hustle and bustle of the financial district outside, the relaxing silence of a former 15th century convent and the luxury of an exclusive five-star hotel inside. The Four Seasons Hotel Milano has that rare quality of effortlessly reconciling these two diametrically opposed worlds.
“However, the real benefit is the luxury of our service and how we consistently aim is to surprise our clients,” says Mauro Governato who, took over the reins of this prestigious property from Vincenzo Finizzola, just over a year ago. Governato explains, “The Four Seasons is a timeless hotel, a private residence that welcomes a diverse range of international guests, including Americans, Russians, Asians and visitors from the Middle East. These international tourists outnumber the Germans, British and Swiss of the past, and they require exclusive, last minute services; for example, our concierge is able to organize the purchase of a bespoke suit or a prestigious car in real time, and, in addition has managed to open the boutiques in via della Spiga at 2am in the morning for a private shopping session, or book the Manzoni Theatre for a client who wanted a ‘private screening’ at night. The Four Seasons is not only renowned for its ‘mission impossible’ services but is always in sync with the requirements and tastes of this new generation of guests, both from a technological viewpoint (from Wi-Fi to the hotel’s presence on social networks) to an array of innovative, attractive offers. “In the past, our garden was designed for a simple relaxing experience, ” continues Governato. “Now, we invite our guests to experience the garden fully. During the day, every half an hour, we offer a series of services ranging from iced lollies flavoured with mint and water, to ‘chinotto’ (a type of carbonated soft drink produced from the juice of the fruit of the myrtle-leaved orange tree) and chilled grapes. We pamper our guests by offering them small conveniences like, cleaning their sunglasses. In the evening, we organize an aperitivo, accompanied by live music.”
Relaxation and Sophistication
The hotel offers guests a choice of 118 rooms and suites. Although they differ one from another, they all feature luxurious details, antique or contemporary objet d’art, exquisite, desirable furnishings, large, relaxing spaces and state of the art technology.
Several of the suites are decorated with 15th century frescoes, whilst others boast fabulous views of the garden. Some are located on twin levels or feature dream-like four-poster beds and whirlpool tubs.
For moments of pure relaxation, the hotel also offers a spa; a truly chic urban oasis designed by Patricia Urquiola, where beneath eye-catching 19th century vaults, guests will find a heated swimming pool , a couples’ suite, a Turkish bath, an ultra-modern gym and seven treatment rooms. The Spa offers a wide variety of massages and treatments – including physiotherapy and osteopathy – enhanced by the use of exclusive products including a holistic mixture of natural elements and Sodashi essential oils, creams by Sarah Chapman and Swiss Perfection facial treatments.
The change of executive management at the Four Seasons Hotel Milano coincided with a change of chefs. Sergio Mei handed over the reins to Vito Mollica, a starred chef, who was named chef of the year in 2014 by Il Sole 24. He offers what he describes above all, as “good cuisine, which respects the flavours of the past upgraded with a contemporary twist. Italian cuisine is a legacy that has been inherited from past generations so therefore it should not be revolutionized but enhanced with high-quality ingredients.” Mollica heads a brigade of 32 staff in Milan (and 36 in the facility in Florence), who participate in the creation of his consistently evolving menu and who aim to make La Veranda, the leading restaurant at a Milanese hotel; a reference point for the entire city. “During the week we offer a business lunch served in an estimated time of 45 minutes, with two courses at a price of 39 euros. This is the ideal solution for businessmen who are pressed for time,” explains Marco Veneruso, the chef at La Veranda restaurant, who recommends two of the venue’s most popular dishes, “Cavatelli cacio e pepe and quail stuffed with apricots and foie gras.”
Particularly noteworthy is the hotel’s chocolate room. Entirely covered in chocolate, each year it is decorated in a different theme, the ideal place to taste and discover this exquisite ‘food of the gods’, or to return to a childhood dream.
Alternately, for quick snacks or sophisticated aperitivi, and also for an after-dinner drink, the Foyer Bar offers guests a relaxing yet elegant atmosphere, enhanced by the soothing background notes of a grand piano. On colder evenings, there is another element that steals the scene inviting guests to relax: the fireplace of the Foyer Bar built where, in the 15th century, the convent’s chapel once stood. Finally, on Sundays, Milan’s elite gather to indulge in the brunch offered by the Four Seasons Hotel Milano, a triumph of delectable, high-quality, sophisticated and original dishes, with dedicated areas – featuring pancakes, eggs, dairy products and raw food – as well as mouth watering regional specialties. “We host artisans of taste and sought-after, niche producers who offer highly exclusive products on a rotational basis,” says Mollica. “Guests with a sweet tooth will be spoilt for choice thanks to our irresistible dessert buffet. And a plus! Warm dishes are served directly from the kitchen!
A Delightful Triangle
The concierges at the Four Seasons Hotel Milano are able to offer guests a whole range of leisure-time activities, from the in-depth discovery of the treasures of Milan, (its manager is currently putting together original cultural packages), and exclusive excursions to the city’s outlying areas, such as the Lake Como tour aboard a vintage car or a scenic tour of the Rhaetian Alps and Mt. Bernina in a helicopter. But, as Governato explains, the options do not end here. “The Milan facility works in synergy with two other Four Seasons hotels, the Four Seasons in Florence and the Four Seasons in Cap Ferrat, making an ideal triangle that includes the unique art of Florence, the sea of the Cote d’Azur and the glamour, shopping and cosmopolitan atmosphere of Milan, all sharing the exclusive service and luxury of our brand, within a 300km range. This brand has always had a strong investment in Italy; the Milan-based hotel was the first in Italy and the second in Europe. Italy gathers the many tourists who used to flock to Turkey and North Africa, which are no longer accessible, but now come to Italy, which is the only country that offers such diverse experiences. For this reason, the Four Seasons has been searching for many years for the right locations in order to open branches in Rome and in Venice. And a future project of the brand includes the idea of opening a resort in the South, possibly in Taormina,” concludes Governato.
>> Official website: www.fourseasons.com
Article by Simona P.K. Daviddi
Translation by Carey Bernitz
Photos by Felice Lardieri