“One of the highlights of the Imperial Suite is the Turkish bath which, with its chrome-therapy system, massaging shower and special make up console, encourages complete relaxation, a luxury that is taken very seriously at the Hotel Principe di Savoia,” explained Ezio Attilio Indiani, General Manager of Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan.
Ezio Attilio Indiani was appointed general manager for Hotel Principe di Savoia in 2005 and is recognised worldwide as a leading figure in luxury hotel management, having worked at some of the most prestigious hotels in the world for over 25 years. His experience includes being director of Hotel Villa D’Este in Cernobbio, Italy and working for the Forte Group. In 2002 he received the Hermes Prize for ‘Best Hotel Director’ in the world, the highest award given in the deluxe hotel category.
Tell me a little bit about the history and location of Principe di Savoia, and how it’s become a symbol of the ultimate luxury stay in Milan.
From the very beginning, the Hotel Principe di Savoia, one of the Dorchester Collection, has been a classy contradiction in terms — symbolizing gracious living for a clientele focused on business, offering the traditional hospitality of a grand resort in an unapologetically urban setting, hosting captains of industry, counts of nobility and cultural icons with equal aplomb. From the outset, the hotel’s success exceeded all expectations. The first guests were international business people and powerbrokers. But soon, attracted by the novelty of the hotel, by the lure of a quiet stay in the midst of the trees and gardens surrounding the building, by “all the comforts one could possibly think of”, other guests arrived: kings, queens, international royalty, and world-renowned artists and intellectuals. They quickly realized that La Scala was less than ten minutes away by carriage.
Legend also has it that among the guests of the new Milanese hotel was Italy’s dashing literary icon, Gabriele d’Annunzio. And in the years both before and after World War II the “Principe & Savoia” registered the names of guests more associated with the world of society and letters than with business: the Duke of Windsor and Erich Maria Remarque, Charlie Chaplin and Josephine Baker, Evita Peron and Maria Callas. The Aga Khan and Aristotle Onassis were also regulars. Thus the fame of the hotel spread through the quality of the guests who patronized it.
In more recent times, an American magazine, well qualified in matters of tourism commented: “The Principe di Savoia is a kind of private club both for the aristocracy of money and for that of great names. If you want to catch a glimpse of Gianni Agnelli and his wife, Marella, together with Henry Ford and David Rockefeller, or Elizabeth Taylor, Rudolf Nureyev, the Prince of Monaco and the Visconti di Modrone all having an aperitif together, just pop into the bar at the Principe di Savoia in Milan”.
In terms of top-tier suites and accommodations, how do some of the signature suites differ in style, elegance and decor?
Principe suites are appointed with hand painted frescoes, traditional Italian furniture as well as deep purple armchairs and floor-lamps creating a warm ambience. The large sitting rooms, part of each suite, are furnished with sumptuous sofas while colourful Murano glass vases sit on Lombardy style tables. The stunning bathrooms are spacious, light and equipped with a Lasa marble bath in the centre of the room as well as a shower adorned with striking handmade glass mosaics.
The redesign of the Imperial Suite was overseen by Celeste dell’Anna and combines a series of contemporary and classical elements. The 230 square metre suite has a large sitting room, featuring a handcrafted mini bar console and crocodile skin writing desk. Striking paintings featuring interpretations of contemporary masterpieces have been specially created by Celeste dell’Anna. The bedroom boasts a four poster bed in the richest fabrics and a large walk in wardrobe capable of housing all the latest purchases from the nearby shopping district. One of the highlights of this suite is the Turkish bath which, with its chrome-therapy system, massaging shower and special make up console, encourages complete relaxation, a luxury that is taken very seriously at the Hotel Principe di Savoia.
The Presidential Suite, located on the 10th floor of the hotel, is about 4,413 square – feet and offers its guests an unparalleled standard of outstanding luxury and great comfort. Extreme excellence characterises each room and there has been immense attention paid to detail. The suite also offers a Pompeian style private swimming-pool, with muralled walls, polychrome marble tiles and a wide pool with dolphin mosaics, gives guests a taste of the atmosphere of the Ancient Roman thermal baths. A water massage, sauna and Turkish bath are the finishing striking elements of this pearl of Italian hôtellerie.
The Acanto Restaurant at Principe di Savoia is known for its Sunday Brunch, but how would you describe the overall menu and cuisine?
Acanto offers a fresh and very Milanese alternative to diners, thanks to Executive Chef Fabrizio Cadei. The menu is made up of classic Italian cuisine, its flavors exalted by the talent of the Chef who combines a lightness of touch with a newly gauged cooking technique; presenting dishes of high aesthetic value.
The primary inspiration for the Acanto menu has been derived from the regional culinary tradition of Lombardy, to which the Chef has merged flavors from the Mediterranean and beyond to create delicate dishes infused with a world of flavor. Nothing but the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients are used throughout – and to add charm to the dining experience, the famous designer Paul Valet, international known for his show kitchens created around the world for Alain Ducasse, has installed for the first time in Italy a state of the art show kitchen with the latest high tech equipment and glass paneling; enabling guests to observe the chefs at work in the kitchen from their tables.
With regard to the spa, pool and fitness amenities, what kinds of offerings are available for guests, and what particular treatment would you highlight as a must-experience?
Located on the top floor of the hotel with a roof terrace overlooking the city, Club 10 Fitness and Beauty Centre is the most exclusive health club in Milan. Offering a range of personalized and exclusive treatments – with products by Kanebo and Thalgo, our aim at Club 10 is to ensure that our guests feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Our 5000 sq ft facility includes a heated swimming pool, fully equipped fitness center, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath, five massage rooms, changing rooms with marble showers complimentary soft drinks, light cuisine served on the terrace, chaises lounges and solarium.
Some of our signature treatments include:
Rosso Nobile Experience – An aromatherapy ritual that through active ingredients of red grape will be moisturizing, antioxidant and firming for face and body. Exfoliation, mask with grape must and massage with oil for velvety and bright skin.
Indocéane – A journey through the seas where, from port to port, the scents and the colours of the Orient are mixed in marine wealth. Calming and soothing properties for the nervous system, promotes the elimination of toxic elements produced during periods of stress. Gommage Sucré-Salé, fol lowed by a Voluptuous Massage and by a Subliminal Wrapping.
Aromasoul – A unique system of rare ritual scrubs, essential oil blends and nourishing massage products, inspired from the Indian, Mediterranean, Oriental and Arabian traditions, for a sensorial and olfactory experience in emotional connection with these ancient and fascinating cultures.
Red Grape Facial Treatment – This treatment is rich in vitamins and antioxidants; it is a promoter of skin elasticity. It is indicated for an immediate anti-age and anti-stress effect.
Finally, for travelers looking to spend a few days in Milan this summer, what would be your top 5 list of places to see and things to do?
Expo Milano 2015 is the Universal Exhibition that Milan, Italy, will host from May 1 to October 31, 2015. Over this six-month period, Milan will become a global showcase where more than 140 participating countries will show the best of their technology that offers a concrete answer to a vital need: being able to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the Planet and its equilibrium. In addition to the exhibitor nations, the Expo also involves international organizations, and expects to welcome over 20 million visitors to its 1.1 million square meters of exhibition area.
A platform for the exchange of ideas and shared solutions on the theme of food, stimulating each country’s creativity and promoting innovation for a sustainable future, Expo 2015 will give everyone the opportunity to find out about, and taste, the world’s best dishes, while discovering the best of the agri-food and gastronomic traditions of each of the exhibitor countries.
Scale the Duomo: The Duomo of Milan is an amazing sight. Stretching up high above the piazza del Duomo, it’s the third largest church in Christendom. A staggering 3,500 statues and 135 spires adorn the marble structure, which has a Baroque and neo-Gothic façade, as well as five bronze doors carved by different artists. It’s no wonder that it took 500 years to complete and building work continues today. To appreciate this beautiful cathedral in all its glory, take the lift to the roof, from where you to get a breathtaking view of the Alps on a clear day.
Explore Castello Sforzesco including The Rondanini Pietà, marble sculpture that Michelangelo worked on from the 1550s until the last days of his life, in 1564.
Have a Venice experience in Milan: Visit the navigli and the recently re-opened Daresna.
Piazza Gae Aulenti: The Unicredit Tower is a skyscraper in Milan, Italy. With a height of 231 metres (758 ft), it is the tallest building in Italy. The building was designed by architect Cesar Pelli and was topped out on 15 October 2011, with the attachment of its spire. The building will serve as the new headquarters of UniCredit Bank. The Unicredit Tower is part of a larger development of new residential and business structures in Milan’s Porta Nuova district, near Porta Garibaldi railway station. Is eighth in the ranking Emporis 2012, that rewards skyscrapers for excellence in their aesthetic and functional design. It has been pointed out that the nearby Palazzo Lombardia, at 161 metres, is still the tallest building in Italy as judged by its highest usable floor. The Unicredit Tower’s height includes a dramatic spire of approximately 84 metres. The spire’s LED lights can change colour in particular days like the flag of Italy’s colours during the Italian national day Festa della Repubblica.