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There are good hotels experiences, there are great hotel experiences, then there is the Park Hyatt Milan. I will include a ton of photos and descriptions but so that it does not get lost in the rest of the details of the post I want to make sure it is crystal clear.
“Every single employee I encountered during two separate stays at the Park Hyatt Milan went above and beyond their particular call of duty in some way. It was the best start to finish hotel experience I have ever had.”
Now for the details.
I was able to book this trip as part of a fuel dump fare that was widely publicized. We managed to work in a weekend in New York City, a couple of days in Milan and nearly a week in Barcelona. If we could do it all over again, we would have spent a lot more time in Milan, a city we have not been impressed by in the past but this time was amazing, and it was entirely down to the Park.
We booked the pair of nights as bookends to our Barcelona trip using 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points and $300 (€223) each night. That seems high when I see it in black and white (and on a credit card statement), but I think it might be one of the best bargains in the hotel industry. The rates were about €625/night and those are well out of my price range. Even for a basic room in Milan in a five star hotel, these are a little steep. But for Diamond members, especially those with available suite upgrades, even retail prices are justified.
For this trip, the Sherpa, Sherpstress and Sherpita were all in tow, but we also brought along the Sherpstress’ sister, who turned out to be a defacto travel nanny – though that was not the original intention when she decided to join us she carried that role with pride.
After an overnight red-eye from JFK, we landed in a foggy Milan. Most cities have flat rates from the Airport to the city center and usually is between $40-60, Milan Malpensa is a staggering €90 ($115) each way whether you get in a Mercedes or a taxi. Somehow we were able to negotiate with a local driver for €80 and used him frequently. There are also train services that will take you into the city with about an hour journey, but when you factor in three of us, plus a baby plus our things, it turns out to be nearly a wash against the price of the train vs. cab, but at least with a taxi or private car there is less hassle. It was a Monday morning and traffic was moderate, we spent about an hour and 10 minutes getting to the hotel, but this was largely a non-factor as we were anxious to start our trip.
For those that have no been to Milan, Il Duomo di Milano is a massive cathedral at the center of the city and has been home to some sort of Christian edifice since year 335 AD, and the current structure broke ground in 1387 AD. It’s still under construction and renovation today, and sounds a lot like most home renovations I have come to know – over budget, not as I imagined, and still in progress with no end in sight for what feels like 500 years. The Duomo is the heart of the city and all streets either circle it or lead to it, the Park Hyatt is perhaps just 150 meters from the front steps.
As always, the Sherpita was VERY impressed by yet another amazing landmark.
She’s going to kill me one day for this photo. That’s also chocolate gelato smeared on her face because, how could you not share chocolate gelato?
Moving on, the hotel was impressive. We were greeted upon arrival by multiple bellmen, our things were arranged to be brought up to the room from the taxi and we were led inside. I was able to meet the General Manager on this trip, Gorka Bergareche who is also a friend of Marco Olivieri at the new SPG Luxury Collection hotel a few miles away. He was charming, took interest in our daughter, wanted to ensure we had a great stay and this extra effort is really something that I value. He saw to it that we were able to try a different suite each of our visits and you could tell he was passionate about what he does.
For our second stay on this trip we were taken to the Park Terrace Suite, certainly something special and above the normal Diamond Suite upgrade, which we were able to utilize for both nights. Instead of explaining all the fine details, perhaps I should just let you see what the suite looks like.
Opposite the entrance, terrace to the left.
Panoramic shot of the Terrace (only we had access to this terrace though there is space for a few rooms here) – photo credit Gabrielle Schenkelberg.
The terrace looks down on to the courtyard and some other rooms with the glass dome of the restaurant in the lobby at the center. In the summer, this would be the ideal Milan hotel for those looking for an upscale Italian experience. Consider that the location is less than 100 meters from the Duomo and you have the best of Milan within a few steps of your doorstep.
The key of all rooms at the Park Hyatt Milan would have to be the bathrooms. In the entry level room, the bathroom is 40% of the total square footage and is incredibly spacious and luxurious. This is the first time that I have found a full dressing room inside of the bathroom, and quite frankly, this was an amazing design. Having your clothes in drawers in the bathroom eliminates the need for dressers or closets in rest of the living space and makes the most sense for getting dressed and undressed.
There is also a stand alone shower and separate tub along with several vanities. I have stayed in smaller hotel rooms than our bathroom. The marble finish that was everywhere on the property were under our feet, around the tub, and on the walls. It was clearly a focus for the designer of this hotel, and leaves you with a very luxurious feeling.
All Park Hyatts have excellent toiletries and many where I have stayed have commissioned their own scent from premium brands (Park Hyatt Washington uses the very expensive Le Labo). The Park Hyatt Milan is no exception, but contrary to other Park Hyatts and five star hotels in general, this property features full size bottles and is one of the rare cases where we actually brought them home with us.
The bedroom was separated from the living space by a pair of pocket sliding doors. The bed was exceedingly comfortable and soft lighting, convenience and abundance of bedside plugs, and orchids made this a very inviting bedroom. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable, but as expected in a five star, top tier hotel.
Sliding door below as seen from couch.
One of two desks (below), though this one was mostly littered with copious amounts of Illy coffee, a feature that will weigh for me when choosing future hotels. I feel that most hotels get coffee in general (and especially in-room coffee) terribly wrong. This one is excellent, so much so that I will be ordering the Illy coffee maker featured in the room, even though we have a Kuerig at home.
Second desk in the bedroom.
This Park does not have a lounge (it’s a smaller property in an amazing location, it doesn’t need a lounge) which means breakfast is available either in the restaurant or via in-room dining. We tried both, and while the restaurant is lovely, there were many people there on business clearly working on deals and with our 10-month-old daughter, it wasn’t some place we wanted to linger. That was a personal choice, not one of the hotel. In fact, the hotel accommodates to their guests quite nicely, the Sherpita had one of the nicest high chairs we have ever seen. Another guest brought her dog and the hotel kindly obliged her by bringing a mat for the dog to lie on and a water bowl.
We had three adults, but they brought breakfast for four, which we did not (of course) reject. Here is what was on offer for spending of €35/guest.
That’s two eggs benedicts (one with smoked salmon and one without), a side of bacon, a cheese plate, french toast, fresh squeezed orange juice, coffees, a bread basket and a selection of jams. We treated it like a buffet and everyone picked off the plates to make their own.
The eggs benedict is a feature of the Hyatt brand throughout the world, this one did not disappoint.
We had to mail something internationally while we were there and it was a fairly complex task (going to the Ukraine, not an easy place to post items these days). The concierge insisted we had one of the bellmen who is fluent in several languages go with me to the post office to make sure it was mailed properly. Ryoto is fluent in native Japanese, as well as Italian, English and there was at least one other language I am forgetting (maybe Mandarin) and negotiated the complex task with me. It’s not that I asked for the help, it’s that they insisted and Ryoto obliged so cheerfully, that left me with the impression that the guest is really at the forefront of their mind. The concierge also set us up with a great dinner recommendation which is expected but he took into account our daughter, our budget and found a place that delivered an amazing view within walking distance of the hotel. The care that they put into setting up a crib for the Sherpita was unreal. It was a 15 minute set-up process that included giving out a list of available baby items, and a door hanger to note when the baby is sleeping. The hard product was great, the service was amazing.
Will we be back?
While the new SPG property across town opened recently and looks to have a compelling and competitive product, I take issue with their upgrade policies (I have asked for further clarification on their upgrade policy and have yet to receive it) and it is hard to beat what we had at the Park. For our money, this is the best value in the system for diamond members. Applying a suite upgrade for up to six nights and using cash plus points (€222/night + 15,000 points) is one of the best values you can get for your hard earned GP points.
We will go out of our way to stop back at this hotel, and you should too.