Antica Locanda Mercanti
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So-called because merchants used to frequent this inn a century ago – but there is now nothing businessy about the three-star Antica Locanda Mercanti. In fact, it’s exemplary of Milan’s locande: immaculate, homely and full of character.
Scented with fresh flowers, it has the feel of a summer villa – right in the heart of the centro storico in an unmarked townhouse hidden in a street of antique shops. There are 13 unique architect-designed rooms, all with crisp white bedlinen, plenty of light, and fresh flowers in the place of a TV (TVs are available on request, but it’s more fitting to bury one’s nose in one of the one-night-read communal books).
It’s worth upgrading to a terrace room with private garden, variously filled with aromatic herbs, geraniums and potted trees. All four terrace rooms come with aircon; standard rooms have ceiling fans. After all, it’s essentially a simple and friendly guesthouse (reception is staffed from 7am until 11pm) that refuses to call itself a hotel.