Milan & Lake Como, Italy
November 12, 2019 at 12:09 PM
A short visit to Milan & Lake Como
It was such an honour to be invited to Milan last month to attend the first Bvlgari Advisory Council Meeting, along with 15 other travel business owners from around the globe.
It was wonderful to be greeted on the air bridge by an airport representative with a Bulgari sign, and to experience a VIP arrival meet and greet and baggage concierge. After 24 hours of flying, it is a fabulous service to have included in your itinerary! I was given assistance with my luggage and escorted out through customs to Bvlgari’s Maserati for a very fast drive to the hotel. Excitement plus!
The airport is a good 40-50 minute drive into the centre of Milan so keep that in mind when you are organising your return transfer to the airport.
The Bvlgari Hotel Milano has 58 rooms and not many suite options. It is 5 star luxury and Italian opulence all rolled in together, the bar is a place ‘to be seen’ by guests and local Milanese, and the restaurant experience is fantastic - the 3 michelin star chef Riko Timoto has put his own spin on contemporary Italian Cuisine. The spa is an oasis of calm and I can higly recommend starting your trip with a treatment to unwind after the long flight.
What impressed me the most was the level of detail and exclusions in the room and the attentive service of every one of the team members. An example of the thoughtful details is that the rooms have movement sensors so the staff never enter the room when you are in it, so you never have those awkward knocks at the door. They have thought of every little detail in the room and they offer lovely amenities, a fruit bowl that is replenished daily, and the use of a mobile phone, sound system and beautiful Bvlgari products in the bathroom. I happened to mention to one of the team that I was driving up to Lake Como and next time I went into my room there was a book in Milan & Lake Como left for me with a note from the team. The hotel has a lovely garden area so it feels like an Oasis from the hustle and bustle of Milan. A great hotel for couples, groups of friends and business clients. Probably not so ideal for families due to the limited number of interconnecting room options.
I loved the location of the Bvlgari as it was closed to the Brera shopping area as well which is more your local Italian brands and lots of lovely cafes to stop and enjoy a break from shopping & exploring!
The other property I was fortunate enough to experience was the Four Seasons Milano, quite a different style of hotel, twice the room size, incredible service, understated luxurious with a relaxed elegance.
The building was originally a convent, turned into a luxury 5 star hotel and sophisticated inner garden and courtyard - an Oasis from the busy fashion district on its doorstep. There are two parts to the accommodation, the convent and a separate wing where the penthouse suite is located. Both types of rooms and suites have an Italian feel with the separate wing rooms perhaps slightly more modern. I stayed in a cloister duplex suite in the old convent building, this would be great for families or for those wanting extra room, the gorgeous bathroom is downstairs and then upstairs is a lounge and a master bed on the mezzanine floor above. The bathrooms in all of the rooms are gorgeous. The lobby lounge has a relaxed feel about it, a home away from home. The location is a shoppers dream, particularly if designer labels is your shopping goal. The moment you walk out of the hotel entrance you are the main high end shopping streets. After a day of shopping and exploring Milan’s Museums and Galleries you can sit and relax for hours in their lobby and enjoy a wine or two!
The spa and underground pool is one of the largest of the luxury hotels in Milan, built in the original 15th century wine cellar.
I don't have a personal perference, I loved both hotels and it would be important to match you to the right hotel so that you have the best expereince possible for your time in Milan. This is where we can add real value! Understanding your needs and what you like and matching this with the perfect hotel.
It was so much fun to rent a car and drive up to Lake Como, (although a number of locals thought I was crazy to attempt this!). It is only 45 mins from Malpensa airport and I would definitely recommend a trip to the lake for two nights at least if you are coming to Milan. If you don't want to drive we can easily arrange a car/driver for you.
I booked the car through Joey Rent in Milan, they are a fantastic luxury tailor made car rental option in Italy. One of the benefits is that they will deliver and collect the car from a number of our luxury hotels in Italy. They have some gorgeous luxury car options. I opted for there compact Abarth 500 595 C Cabrio – very quick and great to get around those tight corners on the drive around the Lake.
Once at Como Township there is the choice of accommodation either on the West banks or East banks of the lake. The West bank takes you up past Villa D’Este to Grand Hotel Tremezzo, while the East side you have Mandarin Oriental, the more modern Il Sereno Hotel, (a great option for those who prefert the modern style hotel) and the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio (one of the most famous popular spots to visit). After this trip, I can now say with confidence that there really isn’t a ‘best side’ of the lake, they are both gorgeous and it is very easy to get from one side of the lake to the other. You can take either the passenger or the car ferry across the lake. It takes just 10 minutes. To drive from Lake Como to Tremezzo it takes approximately 30 minutes to give you an idea of scale. So all of Lake Como is very accessible once you are there.
I stopped into two of our preferred partner hotels on my way up to the Grand Hotel Tremezzo for the night.
Mandarin Oriental – A blend of Italian style and oriental charm the Mandarin brand took over the management of this hotel earlier this year, previously the CastaDiva Resort. Como township is just 15 minutes away and positioned on the East banks of the lake gets the most amazing sunsets. This is a family friendly hotel with options of two bedroom suites and connecting rooms as well as Villa Del Lago, the separate 3 bedroom private villa.
Villa D’Este – A beautiful hotel on the lake just past Cernobbio on the west side of the lake, absolute Italian opulence, with a pontoon swimming pool and stunning grounds.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo – I absolutely loved my one night at this gorgeous 5 star Grand Hotel. A fantastic location on the lake in Tremezzo – you look directly across at Bellagio and it is an easy 10 minutes by ferry to get across the lake to explore Bellagio. The hotel has a pontoon pool on the lake as well as a garden pool and an inside heated pool. They gym is 3 levels and the view from the restaurant and many of the rooms is incredible. You also have a choice of the palace park view overlooking the fabulous gardens. The restaurant La Terrazza Gualtiero Marchesi is a must visit and showcases the best of Italian cuisine while sitting on one of the most beautiful terraces on Lake Como.
If you would like any further information or would like to chat about either destination please give me a call or send me an email.