5 Must-See Milan Hotels for the Design Tourist

Visiting Milan and you want to stay somewhere that ticks all the boxes for a design tourist? Well I’ve got the low down on 5 great hotels worth laying down your hat in.

Milan is famously dubbed the global capital of design, and its eclectic, glamorous hotels stand up to this fitting label. I visit Milan every year for Milan Design Week (8th-14th April 2019) – arguably the most important week in the design calendar, and already it feels like Milan Design Week and Salone del Mobile were months ago rather than 3 weeks ago to me. While I was in Milan I poked my nose into a couple of hotels I hadn’t visited before so that I could bring you Milan’s must-see hotels for design tourists.

As interiors are my passion and a significant part of my day job, it’s not surprising that I am equally fascinated by the interiors of hotels. From cosy former private residences to an airy historic perfume factory, Milan’s lodging opportunities are reminiscent of the city’s creatively prosperous past. Whether you are in town for design week, for work or you’re just spending your days studying Milan’s famous art and architecture, you will no doubt find comfort in one of the city’s exquisite homes-away-from-home. 

After more than one hundred years as a private residence, the Ranza family has converted their former family home into an exquisite 43-room boutique hotel named Hotel Senato. It was redesigned by architect Alessandro Bianchi, who conceived its renovated exteriors, planned its light and airy public spaces, and carefully considered every marble, wood, and brass detail. It’s neoclassical on the outside, contemporary on the inside, and welcoming all around. But the way the marble has been used (the stripes are exquisite) is worth the visit alone to see the lobby.

Roommate Hotel Giulia is located in a late 19th-century building designed by Patricia Urquiola. It’s also featured on my Instagram account a couple of times too. Why? In most part, because of Urquiola’s distinctive style and in her use of bright pink, green, and blue hues paired with traditional materials such as terracotta bricks and marble fixtures which are impeccably paired. Each of the hotel’s 85 room and suites, as well as its unique public spaces are bursting with interesting details and mid-century shapes. It feels young and fresh, and it’s only a stone’s throw Piazza del Duomo, in fact, its a design tourists dream. One day I’m going to stay here and I’m going to photograph every corner of the place. If you’re going to be a design tourist in Milan you’ve got to document it, right?

The Yard Milano offers 32 suites in the heart of Milan’s hip Navigli neighbourhood. What began as a simple search for a family home became a new livelihood centred around running this prestigious boutique hotel frequented by global travelers. Eclectic masculinity abounds, as rooms are lined with dark woods, rich fabrics, and gem-coloured walls and filled with retro sports memorabilia, rare books, and travel-related relics – think vintage leather trunks and pith helmets. Being a design tourist in Milan should definitely include a visit to Navigli, as the canals are lined with great bars, restaurants and boutiques.

If you have deep pockets and want to stay in central Milan and experience refined quiet luxury then you need to consider The Bulgari Hotel. This 58 room hotel was designed by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners in 2004. The 18th century Palazzo is situated centrally near the Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga. I’ve walked through its sumptuous lobby to its gorgeous garden beyond – created by landscape architect Sophie Agata Ambroise. I’d love to come back a try out the gorgeous spa and pool. The interiors of the hotel are stylish and contemporary with Italian furniture and details designed by Citterio, expect lots of black marble paired with refined wood finish throughout.

Located just outside of Milan, the Borgo Nuovo is warm and inviting. The interiors are by Viviana Fedeli and Luca Puglia, who have chosen to decorate them with art and installations created by Samantha Lina. Its spaces, which include four suites, seven superior rooms, and a restaurant-lounge are sophisticatedly-inspired by the 1940s and filled with both vintage treasures and contemporary touches.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this latest addition to my design tourist series. If you’d like to see more take a look here.

All images provided via the hotels listed.



  1. Donna
    April 28, 2019 / 7:02 pm

    Gosh they all look fab but the first and last look the most exciting to me! I’ve flown to Milan for a trip into to mountains but I’m desperate to see the city. And especially visit Milan Design Week

  2. Nicola Capper
    April 28, 2019 / 7:38 pm

    What a fantastic post, you have made my desire to visit Milan even stronger, and given me so much inspiration for my home too!

  3. April 28, 2019 / 7:38 pm

    Oh wow, what a great guide! Not sure which is my favourite but I’m definitely drawn to Roommate Hotel Giulia! Adore the ochre colour and the coloured grout in the bathroom. Gorgeous!

  4. April 28, 2019 / 7:57 pm

    Gorgeous, I love the first one with the extensive use of marble, large stripes and lighting fixtures — so chic!!! Thank you for sharing, I will put these on my visit list for the next time I am in Milan!

  5. April 28, 2019 / 8:00 pm

    Oh my word, this is making me want to pack my suitcase right now! Gorgeous images x

  6. April 28, 2019 / 8:13 pm

    They all look gorgeous, I would happily stay in any of them. I once stayed in a roommate hotel in Madrid which was cool but not as cool as that one in Milan

  7. April 29, 2019 / 12:50 pm

    What a feast for the eyes Mary!! Absolutely beautiful selection.. My favourite is definitely Hotel Senato – absolutely gorgeous! Just look at that marble… I have never been to Milan but I would love to visit it one day! Thank you for sharing!

  8. April 30, 2019 / 10:02 am

    you know that i so would love to travel – and visit all those stunning places !!! they are really a design feast for the eyes x

  9. April 30, 2019 / 10:24 am

    Wow these are such gorgeous interiors. Milan is definitely on my hit list of places to visit and I’d love to stay at one of these hotels. The senato is my favourite as it is just so different.

  10. May 6, 2019 / 7:15 am

    Oh Wow!! These images left me speechless…. such an amazing place to visit and as I’m hitting the big five O next year would be an amazing to go! Thanks so for sharing Mary!

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