The Top 10 Boutique Hotels in
Milan, Italy

September 19, 2022

Tablet is your source for discovering the world’s most exciting boutique hotels — places where you’ll find a memorable experience, not just a room for the night. For over twenty years we’ve scoured the earth, evaluating hotels for every taste and budget, creating a hand-picked selection that’s proven and unforgettable. Now, we’re the official hotel selection of the legendary MICHELIN Guide.

Here are the top 10 boutique hotels in Milan, Italy.

Mandarin Oriental Milan

Milan is hardly uncharted territory for luxury brands. The world’s high-end hoteliers, in particular, are at the top of their game here, going out of their way to adapt their five-star offerings to the particular style and character of the city — to its 18th-century architecture as well as its status as a capital of contemporary design. Add Mandarin Oriental to this rarefied list. Spanning four classic buildings around the corner from La Scala, the Mandarin Oriental Milan went straight to the source: architect and designer Antonio Citterio, the man who’s responsible for far more than his fair share of Italy’s contemporary luxury interiors.

Mandarin Oriental Milan
Mandarin Oriental Milan

It’s hard to overstate just how excellent a location this is, equally close to the Duomo cathedral and to the shopping mecca that is the Golden Quadrangle. That sort of thing comes at a price, but you can trust Mandarin Oriental to ensure that you get what you pay for. The rooms are spacious and lavish, showcasing a level of attention to detail that fits right in to Northern Italy’s reverence for craftsmanship. And the suites very quickly ascend to extreme heights of luxury, with bathrooms that rival some hotel spas, and optional terraces that offer a rare perspective on a city that’s not known for open skies.

Vico Milano

The first wave of Milanese boutique hotels were grand gestures, tasked with representing Italy’s design capital to the world. Vico Milano, by contrast, is a more personal vision, a small-scale hideaway by a family that also owns the Castello di Vicarello in Tuscany. More personal, yes, but no less stylish — its public spaces are dazzling, filled with design furniture and contemporary art, while its seven rooms and suites are handsome in a more relaxed way, delicately balanced between sparse simplicity and organic warmth.

Vico Milano
Vico Milano

It’s set in a location that’s somehow both central and tucked-away, a mile to the southwest of the Duomo, in a building that was once a bicycle workshop and then a fashion atelier. This industrial heritage didn’t stop Vico Milano’s designers from achieving an authentically residential atmosphere; it’s complemented by modern-luxe boutique-hotel details like Lavazza espresso makers and Aesop bath products.

SINA The Gray

While Milan may be the capital of Italian fashion, you would never have known it from its hotels — until recently, they have all come in two flavors: the over-the-top opulence of the palatial luxury hotels, and the carpeted blandness of the corporate chains. The Gray is representative of a new (new to Italy, at least) movement toward modern, daringly designed hotels.

SINA The Gray
SINA The Gray

The location is impossible to beat, just off the Piazza del Duomo, near the Galleria and the Scala opera house, in the center of Milan's shopping and commercial district. The hotel itself is hardly the grand affair one might expect in this Baroque city; it is in fact a converted office, on a humble side street. But inside, it is a modern design playground, starting with the swing, a pink mattress suspended from the ceiling in front of the reception desk.

Starhotels E.C.HO.

Milan is a city that could use a bit of green. In a former life this was the Splendido, a fairly standard luxury hotel across from the central rail station, just northwest of the city center. In its current incarnation it keeps this location, of course, but it makes the most of the thin sliver of parkland between it and the station; today it’s the Starhotels E.c.ho., a bit of clever punctuation that’s meant to underline the Echo’s credentials as an eco-hotel — or, as they prefer, an “eco-contemporary hotel.”

Starhotels E.C.HO.
Starhotels E.C.HO.

The shoe certainly fits. The earth tones and natural wood textures of the Echo’s interiors are a world apart from the marble and gold of the typical Milanese luxury hotel. Energy efficiency is the watchword in the rooms, from the smart thermostats to low-flow bathrooms and solar-generated electricity. And when it comes to lighting, nothing’s more efficient than natural sunlight — which, lucky for everyone involved, is also the most attractive lighting scheme yet invented.

Speronari Suites

The location is as central as it gets, a scant 200 meters from the Piazza del Duomo. And while the building that contains Speronari Suites is a 19th-century palazzo, its interiors could hardly be more contemporary — Angus Fiori Architects and interior designer Francesca Attolini have created a powerful reminder of why Milan is Italy’s capital of modern style.

Speronari Suites
Speronari Suites

Though the atmosphere is residential, this is a proper luxury hotel, albeit a low-key one; witness the high-end comforts in the bedrooms and particularly the bathrooms, and the gym and sauna provided for guest use. Connected to the hotel is El Porteño, an Argentine bistro with a globe-spanning selection of wines.

Palazzo Segreti

Here in Milan, even more than in most Italian cities, there’s little hint from street level of what’s going on behind closed doors. Like many Milanese residences, Palazzo Segreti doesn’t look like all that much from the outside — just another typically stately 19th-century edifice, albeit one in a remarkably central location, just to the west of the Scala opera house, and not far from the Duomo cathedral. On the inside, however, you’ll find rooms that are starker, more minimalist, more sparsely modernist than the norm in this luxury-mad city.

Palazzo Segreti
Palazzo Segreti

In fact the style is more urban-apartment than luxury-hotel; rooms feature materials like whitewashed brick walls, vintage floorboards, or raw concrete, all of which are set off against boldly curvaceous modern furniture and dramatic interior lighting. Junior suites, naturally, spread things out a bit, while the lone suite finds space for a jetted tub right next to the bed.

Chateau Monfort

The name could hardly be more French, but the Chateau Monfort, on the fringes of the Milanese city center, isn’t your typical storybook chateau. To be fair, it isn’t your typical Milanese design hotel — or your typical anything, for that matter. It may begin with a classically French sensibility, but it’s filtered through a deranged postmodern imagination, and the result, though certainly stylish in its unique way, is about as far as you can get from the sober tones and high seriousness of Milanese luxury design.

Chateau Monfort
Chateau Monfort

Chateau Monfort’s public spaces are theatrical, or maybe cinematic, all atmosphere, with no time for the corporate sheen that too often dulls the high-end design hotel. And while most hotels would tone it down a bit in the rooms and suites, Chateau Monfort keeps the atmosphere cranked to eleven, mixing modern gestures and classic elements in unusual color combinations. You could call it Louis XXI — for their part, they call it “neo-Romantic.”

Aethos Milan

The idea of a hotel with a verdant, pastoral touch is at odds with the ultra-urban industrial vibe that this northern Italian city is known for. Aethos Milan achieves this improbable feat, with a location on a leafy courtyard next to the Naviglio Grande Canal. And what’s inside is equally unusual in the context of Milanese hotel design.

Aethos Milan
Aethos Milan

First of all, there’s a bit of the classic bed-and-breakfast about it. Aethos is family-owned, and we’re not talking about one of the multinational fashion-empire families — the actual proprietors themselves are on site, and they’ll trust you with the keys to the place after they lock up. (See how that compares with Mr. Armani’s place across town.) And while the interiors are impeccably designed, there’s more of a drawing-room vibe in the lobby than a public-architecture vibe — this house is meant to be inhabited, not just photographed.

Viu Hotel Milan

The idea of a hotel with a verdant, pastoral touch is at odds with the ultra-urban industrial vibe that this northern Italian city is known for. Aethos Milan achieves this improbable feat, with a location on a leafy courtyard next to the Naviglio Grande Canal. And what’s inside is equally unusual in the context of Milanese hotel design.

Viu Hotel Milan
Viu Hotel Milan

First of all, there’s a bit of the classic bed-and-breakfast about it. Aethos is family-owned, and we’re not talking about one of the multinational fashion-empire families — the actual proprietors themselves are on site, and they’ll trust you with the keys to the place after they lock up. (See how that compares with Mr. Armani’s place across town.) And while the interiors are impeccably designed, there’s more of a drawing-room vibe in the lobby than a public-architecture vibe — this house is meant to be inhabited, not just photographed.

Magna Pars L’Hotel À Parfum

Milan’s hotel scene is a place where hospitality and retail go comfortably hand in hand. There are hotels owned by fashion houses, by jewelers, and even one hotel that’s literally located inside a high-end mall. So Magna Pars L’Hotel À Parfum, a gleaming all-suite hotel on Via Forcella, is not without precedent: it’s owned by Milan’s Martone family of perfumers. For most of the past century the building was the family’s “essences factory,” but like Milan itself, it’s gotten quite a facelift since its industrial days. Encased in glass and flooded with light, furnished by forward-thinking designers and contemporary Milanese artisans, it looks every bit the live-in design showroom that it pretty much is, perfectly at home in a neighborhood defined by its design studios, architecture firms and fashion houses. During Milan’s Design Week there may be no better place to stay, though the fact is that at Magna Pars L’Hotel À Parfum it feels a bit like Design Week all year round.

Magna Pars L’Hotel À Parfum
Magna Pars L’Hotel À Parfum

The hoteliers do well to apply the olfactory theme with a light touch. Suites are named after fragrant flowers and plants (gardenia, jasmine, sandalwood) and there are occasional, well-placed visual reminders (an image of a wind-swept lavender field on the wall of the restaurant), but no one is getting spritzed with samples as they walk down the halls. In fact there’s plenty of room to breathe. The suites start out industrial-scale massive and only get bigger as you go up the scale, and they’re made to feel still airier by their views of the hotel’s courtyard garden and all the immaculate white décor. They’re high-tech, as well, everything from the curtains to the temperature controlled from a single panel.

Popular Questions

Which of the best Milan boutique hotels are the most romantic?

When it comes to a romantic spot for a special occasion in Milan, we would urge you to consider the following boutique hotels:
Palazzo Parigi
Grand Hotel et Milan
Senato Hotel Milan
Hotel Savona 18 Suites

Which of the best Milan boutique hotels have spas?

There’s no shortage of spas at the best Milan boutique hotels. Here’s a selection, below:
Chateau Monfort
Viu Milan
Magna Pars
Bulgari
Speronari Suites
Armani

Which of the best Milan boutique hotels are closest to the Duomo?

What’s a trip to Milan without a look at the Duomo? Here are the best Milan boutique hotels on Tablet near the famous cathedral:
Hotel Straf
Sina the gray
Galleria VIk
Speronari Suites
Grand Hotel et Milan

Which Milan boutique hotels are the best for an aperitivo?

You’re in Milan, and you want a pre-dinner drink at a gorgeous terrace or cocktail bar. Milan is the birthplace of the aperitivo. The following hotels don’t disappoint:
Viu Milan
Sina the gray
Magna Pars
Aethos
Chateau Monfort

Which Milan boutique hotels have the best views?

There’s a lot to gaze at in Milan. We recommend a perch at the following hotels:
Armani
Bulgari
Grand Hotel et Milan