I read this week that luxury hotels are now so stylishly presented that guests want to copy ideas for their own interior design plans.
Amy Popp, of the Four Seasons luxury hotel chain, says it’s not uncommon for guests to fall in love with a chair in the lobby, a duvet cover or something even more outlandish. “One of the most unusual requests we’ve had is for the door going into the executive office … someone wanted to buy the door,” she said.
It’s a fact that luxury hotel chains hire the best interior designers with cutting-edge ideas, so people look to hotels to see what’s fashionable. Each location is styled individually, capturing regional charm.
If you do see something in your luxury hotel that you can’t live without, ask the manager about it. You might be able to do a deal, or he/she could tell you where you could order it. However, many pieces of hotel furniture tend to be custom-made and one-of-a-kind.
The Four Seasons soon cottoned on to the trend and, after receiving multiple requests, began selling a complete bedding package including beds and linens — right down to the pillow.
by Andy Moreton, with acknowledgements to Delaney Seiferling of the Toronto Sun.
A weekend break in Milan, Italy’s second largest city, is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy some retail therapy at any time of year. Make time to visit the Castello Sforzesco with its fine collection of art, archeology and coins or book tickets to the world-famous Teatro alla Scala, a chance which is not to be missed. Any weekend in Milan would not be complete without a shopping spree. Consider splashing out on a luxury hotel to suit your mood from one of our personal recommendations at Luxique.
The wealth of artwork which is available in the galleries of Milan is almost unfair. The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana has works by Titian, Raphael, Tiepolo, Caravaggio and Giorgone, all in a palazzo which is more than worthy of these exhibits. Built in 1609 to house Cardinal Borromeo’s art collection, it recently had a €21.7 million restoration. More classic and modern art can be seen at the Pinacoteca di Brera with works by Modigliani and Picasso alongside the Rubens and Van Dycks.
This stylish, modern city full of smartly dressed locals is the place to shop for a new wardrobe for the forthcoming season. The 19th century Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is packed ful of sophisticated shops, bars and restaurants. Enjoy the zodiac floor mosaics as you browse the designer shops in this covered arcade then head for the Designer Fashion District of Via Montenapoleone, Via Andrea, Via Gesù, Via Borgospesso and Via della Spiga.
There are a host of fine luxury hotels in Milan to choose from. The Gran Hotel et de Milan is one of the best located hotels which will not disappoint. Traditional in style, it is within a stone’s throw of some of the best-known fashion houses and boutiques and close to the Teatro alla Scala, the Duomo and the Palazzo Marino. More contemporary in style with minimalist furnishings, The Gray Hotel is arguably one of the best luxury hotels in Milan. Those who are looking for chic, contemporary style will feel right at home in this designer creation. Visitors to Milan who want to add a little romance to their stay will be delighted with Townhouse 31, a boutique hotel with just 18 rooms, offering an oasis of serenity yet within walking distance of Milan’s bustling shopping district of Montenapoleone. Those who are only impressed by designer names must experience the Bulgari Hotel. Lush gardens surround this former monastery which has been transformed into an ultra-modern luxury hotel with the lavish use of rare and precious materials in its décor. From the opulent spa to the exquisite restaurant, the Bulgari pulls out all the stops to make your weekend break in Milan complete.
by Luxique Luxury Travel
Italy is to embark on a project to open up miles of 14th century waterways that have fallen into disrepair.
The aim is to allow tourists the opportunity to travel by slow boat from Lake Maggiore to Venice via Milan. The restored canal system would eventually link up with the River Po, winding its way to Venice by way of Pavia, Piacenza, Cremona and Ferrara. It will be a chance for visitors to ‘drift past the Italian Renaissance landscape.’
The project, costing a billion euros (£886 million / $1.3 billion), aims to revive what was once a main transport artery, as confirmed by casual references in Shakespeare to Milan as an inland port.
The first part of the route was originally used to transport marble from quarries in Piedmont to build Milan’s Gothic cathedral, which was begun in 1386. The trip, using horse-drawn barges known as cagnone, took two weeks, with each barge carrying up to 50 tonnes of stone.
The canals began falling into disuse in the 1930s, as goods were transported by road and rail instead of water. They became unnavigable either because of neglect or because dams were constructed for irrigation. Electronically-controlled locks will now be built.
Some of Milan’s canals have already been restored for picturesque boat trips, including the oldest one, the Naviglio Grande, now lined with boutiques and cafés.
by Andy Moreton
Luxique can offer a wide selection of luxury and boutique Italian hotels, including some of the finest in Venice and Milan.