Attracting more than 10 million visitors annually from around the world, Milan is a metropolis that beckons people with an opportunity to experience exciting art, culture, food, and fashion.
Whether you come here for business or pleasure, one of the best choices for accommodations is the Mandarin Oriental, Milan (mandarinoriental.com). On a recent business trip, we stayed here for five nights and it offered the perfect combination of location and amenities that we needed.
Our Mandarin Room featured a color palette of beige and aubergine in an understated Milanese style. High speed WiFi and a large desk for working complements the custom-made furnishings, showcasing beautiful, curved headboards and sofas. The large bathroom with dual vanities, a large tub, and a walk-in shower was great for two guys trying to get ready in the morning. Every room has large windows, but make sure to reserve one on the top floors that offer views towards the spires of the Duomo and a balcony or terrace.
We began each day with a swim in the beautiful indoor pool. The pool is available by appointment only to limit the number of people using the facilities at any one time. This is a wonderful option that we wish more hotels provided for their guests. We reserved the pool in advance for 8:30 A.M. every day, and it was an absolute joy to have the place all to ourselves for 45-minutes.
After our swim, we headed for the dining room to enjoy their expansive breakfast and made to order egg dishes. Choose the Buffet, American, or Oriental Breakfast, as well as a great selection of a la carte items. Besides their exceptional coffee and teas, you may want to try a mango, strawberry, or pineapple smoothie, or perhaps a blended fruit and veggie combo that includes cucumber, apple, fennel, carrot, ginger, and celery.
If you believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you’ve come to the right place. Besides fresh fruit, yogurt, omelets, and cold cuts, their pan cakes, waffles, and crepes will prepare you for exploring the city, or any business meeting you may have on your agenda.
The Mandarin Oriental, Milan is located just a couple of blocks from the world-famous La Scala opera house, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, an extravagant 19th-century glass-topped, barrel-vaulted arcade that serves as a lively and colorful shopping mall, and Il Duomo di Milano, one of the largest and most impressive Catholic churches in the world. Many evenings after dinner we would walk around the neighborhood and marvel at these impressive testaments to Italian creativity.
If you love to shop, this area is also home to some of the best stores and outlets in Milan, including Massimo Dutti (massimodutti.com), Prada (prada.com), and The Highline Outlet (thehighlineoutlet.com) that features clothes by Fendi, Versace, Casbia, Valentino, and more.
For lovers of art and culture, several unique museums are within walking distance of the Mandarin Oriental, Milan. Gallerie d’Italia Milan (gallerieditalia.com/en/milan), which is made up of three historic buildings in piazza della Scala, via Manzoni, and via Morone features a total of 8,900 square feet of space is dedicated to art and architecture that is showcased in exhibitions, permanent collections, and events.
Nearby, the Museo del Novecento (museodelnovecento.org/en) has an impressive collection of 20th century masterpieces, including works by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Paul Klee, Kandinsky, and Amedeo Modigliani.
If you want to explore the life and creative genius of Leonardo da Vinci, head to the Leonardo da Vinci Science & Technology Museum (museoscienza.org) for the largest permanent exhibition in the world dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci “engineer and humanist.”
After exploring the city, our go to place for martinis and dinner was the Mandarin Garden. Nestled in the heart of the Mandarin Oriental, Milan, and featuring a beautiful courtyard, this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy drinks or some wonderful food at any time of day. Open from early morning to late at night, it provides an ideal combination of lush plant life, Italian design, and subtle Oriental touches. This secret garden, located right in the center of the city, is a great place to host business associates, or to savor a romantic meal with someone special.
Two Michelin star chef Antonio Guida has crafted Mandarin Garden’s exquisite menu, which includes an array of Italian and Milanese dishes, his signature salads and sandwiches, as well as a selection of sharing dishes.
We dined here every night during our five-day visit to Milan, savoring such culinary treats as beef fillet with sweet potatoes scented with juniper and turnip tops; sea bass with mushrooms, green apple and chard; buckwheat ravioli with Pienza pecorino and sage fondue; and grilled octopus with mashed potatoes and pistachios.
Also helmed by chef Guida, Seta, the hotel’s two Michelin-starred restaurant is a must for gourmands visiting Milan. Fusing traditional techniques with an innovative gastronomy, the menu presents an inventive and contemporary approach to Italian cuisine. Located within the hotel’s second courtyard, Seta’s timeless design offers the perfect backdrop for Chef Guida’s dishes.
All business trips have their benefits and challenges, and the city of Milan will certainly provide you with both. What makes all the difference in the world for working travelers is the accommodations they choose. If you come here for business, like we did, the Mandarin Oriental, Milan will help make everything you need to do a pleasure, and in one of the best locations in the city.