Since we were arriving in Milan early in the morning after a red eye flight in economy class, we decided to treat ourselves to a nicer hotel to increase our chances of an early check-in. We ended up at the Bulgari Milan, which is unquestionably one of the best hotels in the city (though mostly it was because we found a really really special rate which was too good to pass up!).
Location: The Bulgari (pronounced “boo-gar-ri” according to cab drivers) is ideally situated in a quiet little street right next to where the new MO is being built (I am a FAN!), less than 10 minutes walk away from the Monte Napoleone (shopping!) and the Duomo (masterpiece!). Not quite as close to the Monte Napoleone as the Armani Hotel, but we are not complaining.
First impression: As our car got closer to the hotel we realised why we didn’t see anything when we Google mapped the hotel – the Google van couldn’t get pass the gates. Once we passed the gates and went up the driveway, we were welcomed by the sight of Ferraris etc. and an elegantly designed reception and lobby.
My boss (who previously stayed here) thinks the Bulgari Milan lacks character, but I personally think that it is minimalist and chic.
As we had hoped, they were able to let us check-in early, though they needed some time to prepare the rooms. So we went for a Bulgari breakfast. We were all famished after the airline food!
A little pricey, but you get what you paid for in terms of quality (if not portion!). The most impressive were their fresh juices, especially their fresh orange juice (using blood oranges!) and their fresh strawberry juice (SO sweet). It’s a tough call which my favourite is. I wonder if they would still give me the bread basket (also excellent) if I just ordered juice.. cause really that’s all I need.
After breakfast, we were given a quick tour of the hotel (mostly a minor detour to see the basement pool and spa) before being shown to our rooms. Each floor is key access only (you would be surprised how many hotels in Europe DON’T have this function).
Since we paid for the cheapest available rate, I can only assume that what we were given is the Deluxe Room. But man, our rooms were SPACIOUS. There was a little area at the entrance for the minibar (not pictured). There was space for a huge table in front of the TV (pictured above). There was the sleeping area with the king size bed (which was simply divine by the way with very high quality bedding – I slept like a baby!). AND there was a ginormous bathroom.
So ginormous they had to separate the bathtub in a completely different room. But yes, as you can see the bathroom was super spacious (at this point, I realized that this may be a handicap room given all the hand rails and extra space).
I would also like to commend their hair conditioner. I realized belated that I’d forgotten how hard the water in Europe was, and that the hair conditioner I brought was simply not strong enough to detangle my locks. So I proceeded to smother my hair with the hotel hair conditioner and it worked like a charm. I snagged it for the rest of the trip!
Oh and for ladies who groom – they have a LEGIT off the wall hair dryer, complete with a removable nozzle!
Service: Overall great before and during our stay. I was in touch previously by email to arrange for some museum ticktes, and they were prompt and professional. During our stay, we asked them to help buy train tickets. They did not get the buy one get one free promotion tickets available on Saturdays even though we reminded them of it on the phone.. but I guess cost is not a priority for the Bulgari staff. There was also a minor mishap with our bill at check out, but that was quickly resolved.
Conclusion: Definitely our best hotel on this trip (also most expensive!). I thought it was everything a five star luxury hotel should be. Excellent service, high quality rooms and all the luxuries of modern amenities. Would I pay full price for it though? To be honest, probably not. If I were to go high end again in Milan I would probably go for the Armani Hotel down the road which is newer, closer to the shops and marginally cheaper. Armani can’t be that bad.
Incidentally if I were to come back to Milan again and I wanted something more affordable, I would probably look at the Westin Palace (older and further but safe and has Amex rates) or maybe the NH Collection Milano President (which looks quite decent).
- True 5 star quality service and modern hardware
- Spacious rooms with super comfortable beds
- Amazing fresh juice selection
- Location could be a bit closer to key sights
- One of THE most expensive hotels in Milan (currently #2 most expensive on Tripadvisor), but it is the Bulgari.. that is to be expected
- Surprisingly the shower strength was a bit weak and the temperature somewhat inconsistent, but not a huge dealbreaker
- The lighting system was a bit too high tech for me, but maybe that is just me
Address: Via Privata Fratelli Gabba 7/b – 20121 Milano
Telephone: + 39 02 805 805 1
Read more about my trip to italy here!