With its king-sized lobby of dazzling chandeliers, neo-classical gilt cornicing and mirrored columns, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d walked into an Arabian palace rather than one of the five-star hotels in Milan.
Now owned by American chain Starwood, it was bombed to bits in World War II and completely rebuilt in 1950 as a marble-clad modern towerblock. No such mediocrity inside – this is an elaborate reworking of Italian Renaissance architecture and all its excesses.
Its 241 rooms and 16 suites (10 with private Turkish baths) are all finished in a colourful imperial style with antique and repro 19th-century furniture, and fitted with Westin’s Heavenly beds (supposedly an ‘unforgettable sleeping experience’); the roof terrace restaurant affords city views in the summer.
The opulent ground-floor lounge bar, with a marble colonnade and tropical water fountain, lures the arrivistes; Starwood’s loyalty scheme and ample convention facilities draws in the corporate clients.