At one of the best lounges in Milan, walking down the long, softly lit pergola to the Executive Lounge is something of a symbolic drum roll. It’s a fittingly ceremonious entrance to this vast Bali-inspired bar – a veritable village of cushion mountains and ornate teak lounge furniture topped by timbered beach hut roofs.
Take your pick from low pouffes in shot-gold oranges, reds and pinks, sofas as big as king-size beds, and Balinese teak four-poster garden beds – the only thing there is no choice about is kicking back and getting horizontal.
All the furniture and scene-setting Buddhas come from Bali, and the air is atmospheric with the smell of teak and scented candles and the sound of Eastern chill-out tunes.
The Executive Lounge was opened in 2003 by eccentric Belgian socialite Maurice (who is usually accessorized with a ridiculously exotic cocktail – as standard from the bar), and the Executive connection is that the bar is situated in the garden of the ATAHotel Executive – the long walk to the hotel lavatories is sadly something of an anticlimax.