A stone’s throw from the city’s avenue of luxe, Via Montenapoleone, the diminutive hotel is entered through a stone archway recessed into a quiet lane. Comprising four 18th-century edifices, the eclectic urban mood is enhanced by two internal courtyards, one for dining, one for socialising.
Designed by Antonio Citterio, the 104 rooms and beguiling public areas combine new and old to dramatic effect, reminiscent of Citterio’s designs at the nearby Bulgari Hotel. East Asian inflections combine with sumptuous Italian materials throughout – on best display in the surprisingly spacious suites.
Up to the usual Mandarin Oriental standards: friendly, knowledgeable, discreet and attentive to details. Staff recommendations are well-informed and knowledge of the city is second to none.
The stunning black and white marble bar serves up seriously attractive cocktails, which you can take into the courtyard on warm evenings, but top prize goes to the 900sq m subterranean spa, where six treatment rooms, fitness centre and heated pool are infused with the five modern-day elements: earth, stone, water, air and metal.
Delightfully central city hotel with impeccable design flair that ably caters to honeymooners as well as heads of state and hedonistic fashionistas. The 18th-century charm of the connected buildings makes for occasional awkwardness – including the bizarrely large fireplace in the petite entrance lobby – but it is a welcome addition to the city of couture.
Date visited: October 2015