Shopping Heaven with Nicola Brookes at Four Seasons Milan

“I arrived at Milan’s second airport Linate, struggling under the weight of my copious luggage, prepared for a long weekend in the shopping capital of the world. I knew deep down that I’d be coming back with more bags than I turned up with….I jumped into a cab and tried out my Italian; ‘Four Seasons… per ...favour’...I was getting into the spirit, dressed like an Italian and now speaking like one!! Well at least I’m trying.

If you don’t want to travel by cab just call the hotel and transfers can be arranged to or from any destination. Just ask the concierge.

On my way to the hotel, looking out of the window dreaming of the gorgeous Ferrari driving Italian men I was going to meet, I realised just how magnificent Milan really is. From the parks to the beautiful old buildings, Milan just oozes style. I passed Naomi Campbell on my way, surrounded by a group of beautiful people, all dressed in white and looking amazing. White is clearly the way forward in the Italian heat.

The Four Seasons Milan is located in downtown Milan in the historic part of the city. It is situated in a narrow one-way street down which only the occasional car, some bikes and the delightful people that visit Milan can pass. What makes me very happy is that I am just a stones throw away from all of the best shops.

Stepping out of the car and down the steps into the hotel I am taken a back by the design and layout. The Four Seasons hotel is quite unlike any other hotel I have stayed in. It has managed to maintain the historic feel but combined it with the ambience of a buzzing city hotel. The lobby seems to be a favourite meeting place for both guests and the local Milanese. The Four Seasons was originally a 15th century convent and you can see the Renaissance cloisters and frescos that adorn some of the neutral walls, an 18th century fireplace and the neo-classical fa├žade.

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One of the first things I notice about the hotel is the pleasantness of the staff. For me, as for many travellers, the quality of the staff is the most important thing in any hotel. The Four Seasons seems to have worked this to perfection. I am quickly taken to my room, my suitcase whisked away before being given an explanation of everything I will require during my visit.

My room is fit for the princess that I like to think I am. The bathroom is to die for, in white marble bath, heated floor and a beautiful spa inspired mosaic shower. The bath condiments are the Italian Aqua Dessa range. In fact I am in bathroom heaven!

My room has all I have come to expect. You can have high-speed internet access on request or you can use the business room downstairs. There’s the bar, top of the range TV and a walk in wardrobe big enough to hold a cocktail party in. The hotel even has its own CD via Gesu 8 the soundtrack of the next catwalk shows. It’s an enthralling album both funky and relaxing at the same time.

The room maintains the regal style of the hotel with gorgeous bedding. The Four seasons Milan has 118 spacious rooms incorporating a number of different styles. There are bi-level garden suites, royal suite’s and even a presidential suite - all divine.

The Four Seasons has two fine dining restaurants. The Il Teatro offers a gourmet menu and the hotels all-day-dining restaurant, La Veranda faces the beautiful cloistered courtyard and is very popular among the fashionable locals.

The Four Seasons gym is compact and bijou but has all of the latest equipment that you could need. It doesn’t have its own spa as yet but you can arrange a massage or facial in the comforts of your own room.

However if you want to visit a spa that is very close to the hotel then ask the concierge to book you into the Gianfranco Ferre Spa. It’s truly outstanding and offers all of the best ESPA treatments.

My stay at the Four Seasons Milan was perfect, with absolutely nothing to complain about. I now know why it has won many prestigious awards and why we have nominated it for Italy’s Leading Hotel Resort for this year’s World Travel Awards. A little spa or swimming pool would set it right apart, but when you visit Milan do you really have time to swim? I just shop till I drop.”
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