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Family Hotel Principe di Savoia: a landmark of luxury by Milan’s central station

14:21  12 october  2022
14:21  12 october  2022 Source:   theweek.co.uk

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Exterior of Hotel Principe di Savoia Hotel Principe di Savoia © Hotel Principe di Savoia Exterior of Hotel Principe di Savoia Hotel Principe di Savoia

Classic Italian glamour oozes from this historic Dorchester Collection property

The first thing I see as I walk into the lobby of Hotel Principe di Savoia is a framed photograph of the Queen, who died one week earlier. It’s an unexpected touch and one that, combined with several hours of travelling and an empty stomach, makes me feel strangely emotional.

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But it’s no great surprise that the hotel has chosen to pay tribute to the late monarch in such a prominent way. Edward VIII, Queen Elizabeth’s uncle, reportedly stayed there and the property is part of the historic Dorchester Collection which owns The Dorchester – the fancy London hotel where the Queen stayed the day before she announced her engagement to Prince Philip in 1947 (and which she allegedly blocked Kim Kardashian from visiting in 2012).

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Anyway, back to Hotel Principe di Savoia – a hotel fit for a queen, or certainly a close relative of one. Designed in a striking neoclassical style in 1896 by Milanese architect Cesare Tenca, the distinctive building has become an iconic landmark in the Italian fashion capital over the past century. Located minutes away from Milan’s main train station, The Principe was originally envisaged to suit business people but over time has developed a reputation as one of Milan’s finest hotels – and subsequently attracted everyone from Duomo enthusiasts to David Rockefeller.

Hotel Principe di Savoia lobby © Provided by The Week UK Hotel Principe di Savoia lobby

Hotel Principe di Savoia

The rooms

Classic Italian glamour is epitomised by the interiors of The Principe, with rich fabrics, antique furniture and silk curtains so heavy with material that opening the window proves a minor challenge. The dazzling clash of colours, fabrics and patterns should be headache-inducing but isn’t; instead, rooms feel luxurious and full of personality.

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I’m staying in the Ambassador Suite, which features a large adjacent living room and a marble bathroom, plus one of the comfiest beds I’ve slept in for a while. The curtains are so thick that they work as effectively as black-out blinds, only enhancing my good night’s sleep.

Hotel bedroom of the Ambassador Suite © Provided by The Week UK Hotel bedroom of the Ambassador Suite

Hotel Principe di Savoia

Eating and drinking

Breakfast is a comprehensive buffet at the Acanto Restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel. I also order from the menu, but this is a mistake – there’s more than enough in the buffet to satisfy: pastries, fruit, cooked meat, cheese, salad, yoghurts and even an entire honeycomb to extract my toast topping from, plus a decent selection of gluten-free options.

Acanto, which puts a twist on classic Italian dishes, is also worth a visit for lunch or dinner. It offers a tasting menu but I opt for a la carte and come to regret it as each dish is so delicious I wish I could have sampled more. The creamy egg starter sounds strange but is a true gastronomic treat; served with stracciatella mousse and crunchy “tubers” (a selection of purple and yellow potatoes, plus celeriac) in what resembles a giant speckled egg, this is a savoury showstopper worthy of The Great British Bake Off. When asked where the otherworldly vessel originates from, my lovely waiter – eyes twinkling – informs me that they have “a raptor in the kitchen”.

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Acanto restaurant at Hotel Principe di Savoia © Provided by The Week UK Acanto restaurant at Hotel Principe di Savoia

Hotel Principe di Savoia

Another highlight is the extremely al dente spaghettone (slightly thicker and squarer spaghetti) served in a decadent sauce of octopus, garlic, olive oil and chilli. This dish is so tasty that the menu carries its own warning: “Attention! It can be addictive”. My waiter tells me that some visitors return to Acanto again and again for this dish alone. After tasting it, I can understand why.

Spaghettone with octopus, garlic, olive oil and chilli © Provided by The Week UK Spaghettone with octopus, garlic, olive oil and chilli

Hotel Principe di Savoia

Things to do

For a truly lavish experience, indulge in a spa treatment at The Principe’s tenth-floor fitness and beauty centre, Club 10. This wellbeing zone features a 10.5m indoor swimming pool, state-of-the-art gym and rooftop terrace, complete with deckchairs, which are perfect for warm, sunny days.

The hotel also offers several bucket-list travel experiences exclusively for hotel guests, including a helicopter ride over the Italian Alps to the picturesque region of Valtellina, a one-day driving trip in a Ferrari California, Ferrari F430 F1 or a Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster, or an intimate tour of Franciacorta’s world-famous Ca’ del Bosco winery.

Verdict

My stay at The Principe lasts just one night – which definitely doesn’t feel like enough time to explore everything the hotel has to offer, while also soaking up the historic sites of Italy’s fashion capital.

That said, even on my whistle-stop visit I am quickly able to understand how Hotel Principe di Savoia has earned its esteemed reputation – and why it is the Milan spot for regular guests and royalty alike.

Rooms at Hotel Principe di Savoia start from €300 in low season and €500 in high season

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