This article first appeared in Fathom, March 2015.
All eyes are on Milan as it the city gears up for Milan Expo, which opens in May and runs through October 2015. Fathom contributing editor Erica Firpo checks out the excitement at the new Palazzo Parigi Hotel and Grand Spa.
From the outside, Palazzo Parigi Hotel & Gran Spa looks like any of Milan's modern office buildings — glassy windows, metal frame, business-y. Just take a deep breath and walk inside. If the magnificent Murano glass chandelier doesn't blow your mind, then the "I wanna wear a ballgown and traipse down this luscious marble staircase" will. Palazzo Parigi is neoclassical luxe with a French twist throughout its ten floors. Its vibe is cosmpolitan and stylish, shown off by its staff, a well-heeled team of polygots straight from the runway. Location is key: Turn the corner, and you're in the Fashion Quadrangle, the very epicenter of Milan's finest.
Palazzo Parigi is what's new. This is the very first of Milan's next generation hotels — a large-scale boutique hotel. It's in the thick of things, just around the corner from Via Solferino, my favorite street in the city, and an easy to walk to Piazza del Duomo.
A room with a view.
In the Room
All 98 rooms and suites are styled to be mod Milanese or chic Parisian, which means either Italian design touches (dark wood and metal) or French ornamental details accenting the overall neutral tones by architect and owner Paola Giambelli. Somehow, Giambelli is able to fight the Milan greys to make the rooms bright, airy, and luminous. If you think the minibar is well stocked, the Clarins lineup in the bathroom will make you never want to leave.
Room with a View
I stayed on the fourth floor with a view downtown and a balcony facing the garden. This was perfect. I'm not a fan of the inner courtyard views, though anything above floor six is great.
What's on Site
The third floor spa is poised to wow. Ground level lounge bar Caffé Parigi feels like Daddy Warbucks' study, while the restaurant is a neoclassical homage to a catwalk. The garden is where you want to head to for afternoon/evening cocktails in warmer months. WiFi connection is a bit tricky but easy to get after a few tries.
Palazzo Parigi Hotel's Milanese-inspired restaurant.
Old-school cocktail bar with excellent vintage drinks. Palazzo Parigi's restauranti is all about traditional Milanese dishes.
This Place is Perfect For
A weekend of fabulousness. Palazzo Parigi is like lathering up in luxe.
But Not So Perfect For
Anyone looking for a cheap escape.
Very Milanese. In other words, quiet and stylish. The hotel is just around the corner from Giardini Pubblici, one of Milan's large public parks where you can hang out, picnic, work out.
WHAT TO DO NEARBY
Fishbar de Milan Via Montebello, 7; +39-02-6208-7748Clever little fish joint whose sister restaurant MeatBar is right around the corner.
Open Baladin Via Solferino, 56; +39-02-659-7758 Artisanal beer and burgers, the sister to the Roman eatery of the same name.
La Briciola Via Solferino, 25; +39-02-655-1012 Old-school Milanese.
Pisacco Via Solferino, 48; +39-02-9176-5472 Fancy pants bistro.
Bar Brera Via Brera, 23; +39-02-877091 Historic bar, best for people watching.
Galleria Arte Moderna Via Palestro, 16; +39-02-8844-5947
Villa Necchi Campiglio Via Mozart, 14; +39-02-7634-0121
Antonio Colombo Galleria Pinacoteca Brera Via Solferino, 44; +39-02-2906-0171
You are walking distance to the best shopping and window shopping streets — Via Montenapoleone, Via Pontaccio, Corso Como, Via Manzoni — and just around the corner from Matia's (piazza Carlo Mirabello, 4; +39-02-6269-4535), an excellent multi-brand designer outlet.
Palazzo Parigi Hotel & Gran Spa 1 Corso di Porta Nuova, Milano, Italy 20121 +39-02-625-625