The Petit Palais is more accurately a piccolo palazzo, but the family owners thought it sounded more alluring in French, which certainly makes it stand out among Milan’s hotels.rnrnIts salotto – or drawing room – which serves as the lobby, is perfectly enticing with Venetian and Florentine antiques, Murano chandeliers, pistachio silk curtains, an ornate fireplace and family photographs – the expensive clutter of a typical Lombardy palazzo. The reception is like a nobleman’s bureau with its grand green leather antique writing table. rnrnThe rooms are more repro than real, but with Fortuny upholstery, monogrammed Frette bedlinen and towels, Etro toiletries and fresh flowers, guests can still entertain a fantasy of aristocratic connections. With just 18 suites split between four-star hotel accommodation and longer-term residency, it’s cosy and intimate, and the service is friendly and personalized (a 24-hour porter takes care of matters after hours). rnrnStraddling the Centro and Navigli, Petit Palais is near everything but nothing in particular: what better excuse to take a cognac in front of the fireplace?