Carlton Hotel Baglioni
Compared to many of the hotels in Milan that are here today but gone tomorrow, the five-star Baglioni is a trusty old stalwart in the heart of a fickle fashion world. Stately but not grand – thanks to low ceilings and the welcoming aroma of log fires – the décor is turn-of-last-century with antique statuettes, Persian rugs, crystal chandeliers and silk brocades; although the cloyingly heavy carpets have been torn up to make way for polished parquet in recent years. Art deco touches, such as rosewood marquetry on doors and marble mosaic floors, attract the style savants, also wise to the doorstep shopping opportunities here (its back entrance spits you out by Armani on Via della Spiga). Guests pay a premium for the 92 small, soundproofed rooms, although they get to lord it over the quadrilatero d’oro hoi polloi from the Baglioni’s new third floor terrace. (Suites have large private terraces of their own). The famous Il Baretto restaurant joined the hotel in 200 after 42 years on Via Sant’ Andrea. The adjoining caffe` is a den of shopping bags and overbrimming cake stands. Overhead ventilation means that you can light up a crafty Sobranie or smoke a fireside pipe by the library.