1. Originally a manor house known as Palazzo Confalonieri, the Mandarin Oriental’s new 162,000-square-foot Milanese outpost, competitively positioned right near the Bulgari Hotel Milano, occupies four buildings dating back to the 18th century.
2. The hotel was designed by Italian architect Antonio Citterio, a master at modernizing historical Milanese spaces (i.e., the Bulgari).
3. 1930s-inspired color-blocked walls in brick red, pistachio green, and pale yellow create a residential feel in the lobby.
4. All 72 guest rooms are outfitted with custom furniture by local artisans and white- or black-Italian-marble bathrooms. Our favorite standard double is no. 411 ($780) for its extra-deep tub and glorious view of the hotel’s sun-drenched courtyard.
5. If you're in search of a suite, go for the Junior Mandarin Terrace ($1,350)—the master bath opens up to a private balcony.
6. Seta, the hotel's restaurant, is headed by Michelin two-star chef Antonio Guida (formerly of Il Pellicano in Tuscany). Order the delicately fried cauliflower with frothy almond milk and yuzu sauce and the pan-seared fig-fed chicken. Reserve one of the two ringside tables in the courtyard to catch the kitchen action.
7. The hotel has a curated mix of more than 2,000 songs to ensure exactly the right music is on at every moment. For example, Sinatra plays during dinner.
8. There’s no scrimping on service here. General manager Luca Finardi is a master, previously at Florence’s Savoy and Villa San Michele. (For more on Luca Finardi, read his hometown guide to Milan.)
9. Treatments at the intimate six-room spa use ancient Chinese traditions with an Italian twist; a solid option is the Home Grown Body Scrub ($80 for 30 minutes), a fresh blend of coarse Sicilian sea salt, orange, jasmine, and thyme.
10. But it’s the Mandarin Bar, with its black and white marble mosaic walls, that’s the heart of the hotel. Il Martini di Milano—Tanqueray No. Ten, Campari, and saffron liqueur served in a metal martini glass chilled to minus six degrees—is reason enough to book now. Via Andegari 9; 39-02/8731-8888; mandarinoriental.com.
Image Credit: Courtesy Mandarin Oriental, Milan