Milan may have a reputation as a drab, grey city, but it is nonetheless the style center of Italy, and its high-tech capital as well. Deep in the center of Milan’s industrial sprawl stand such spectacular landmarks as the Piazza della Duomo, the Teatro della Scala, and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the glass-enclosed shopper’s walk that inspired a thousand suburban American shopping malls.
Just next door to the Galleria is an eighteenth-century palazzo, formerly a bank, now home to the Park Hyatt Milan. Designed by American-born and Parisian-based architect Edward Tuttle, creator of the Aman resorts and the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, this hotel is quintessentially Milanese — daring modern design meeting old-school Baroque elegance head-on.
Only the shell of the original building remains, and the interiors are far from the typical opulent Italian style — though they are not exactly minimal either. The bathrooms, in fact, are maximal, each almost half as large as a standard bedroom, featuring mirrored walls and octagonal stone and glass showers. The décor in general relies upon classic materials such as travertine and alabaster, but the style is crisp, modern, without ornament. Broadband internet and satellite TV entertainment centers provide the technological conveniences, while fine linens, rich wool carpets, and hand-blown Murano light fixtures provide the creature comforts.
The lobby and the adjoining La Cupola lounge are the centerpiece of the hotel, beneath a modern glass dome recalling that of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele next door.
There is, of course, more to this (or any) Park Hyatt than just design. Guests are not likely to be disappointed at the multi-lingual efficiency of the Park Hyatt’s staff. Overall, in fact, this is a fine hotel — remarkable architecture, an unparalleled location, and top-flight service — perfectly fitting for stylish yet businesslike Milan.