Melania Guarda reviews Grand Hotel et de Milan. A grande dame that has welcomed global names for decades.
You enter the Grand Hotel et de Milan on tiptoe, almost speaking in a whisper. Crossing the threshold and passing through the large wooden and glass doors, it feels like entering a museum. This historic hotel, located in the center of Milan just a stone’s throw from Teatro alla Scala, the Duomo, and nestled between luxury shopping streets such as Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga, has shaped the history of the city.
It was here that the President of Brazil, Dom Pedro, signed the end of slavery; here that the great Maria Callas stayed, and here that Giuseppe Verdi chose to live and eventually passed away.
On May 23th 1863, the Grand Hotel et de Milan became a residence for Milanese high society. As the first hotel in the city with postal and telegraph services, the ‘Milan’ quickly became a meeting place for diplomats and entrepreneurs. Subsequently, it became a meeting place for artists and more. In 1872, Giuseppe Verdi took up residence in the hotel (suite 105 on the first floor) and remained there until his death on January 27, 1901.
The hotel offers different types of rooms: classic, dedicated suites, and even the Verdi Suite. Twelve suites pay homage to twelve extraordinary personalities hosted at ‘Milan’—legendary characters who have inspired our lives with their incredible talents in music, dance, art, theatre, and cinema. For example, D’Annunzio (room 103) sent his lovers here when he couldn’t keep them at the Vittoriale. This suite now fittingly bears the name of Tamara de Lempicka. Hemingway (303), a reporter for the Star, assisted the American Red Cross located at 10 Via Manzoni.
Maria Callas was a frequent guest from 1950, often staying on the occasion of her passionate performances at La Scala. The great Caruso recorded the first vinyl in history, becoming the first superstar in the music world. The sumptuous Junior Suite 306 is dedicated to this historic event, adorned with an illustration drawn by Caruso himself, portraying him singing in front of the recording device.
The Junior Suite Rudolf Nureyev pays homage to one of the greatest dancers. The Grand Hotel et de Milan was his Milanese home, and he often stayed with the famous English dancer Margot Fonteyn during their performances at La Scala.
I stayed in Suite 123, dedicated to Dom Pedro II, a 55 m2 Superior Suite with two rooms dedicated to the Emperor of Brazil. A fervent supporter of the abolition of slavery, he managed to make his wish come true during his stay at the Grand Hotel et de Milan. A statue in the lobby commemorates this important historical event. The suite includes a separate living area, perfect for official meetings or a relaxing aperitif.
Yet, the beauty of the hotel is not confined to the rooms.
Spaces such as the bar and the two restaurants contribute to making it perfect for relaxation, enjoying excellent Milanese cuisine, or conducting a business meeting. Let’s start with Gerry’s Bar, located in the hotel lobby, featuring comfortable sofas and romantic colors. Here, you can enjoy a light meal or savor excellent cocktails.
The Caruso Nuovo Bistrot, led by Chef Gennaro Esposito and his executive chef Francesco Potenza, was born inside the Grand Hotel et de Milan.
With its pleasant veranda overlooking Piazza Croce Rossa, it has become a reference and meeting point in the quadrilateral of via Montenapoleone. Don’t miss the breakfast, featuring freshly cooked dishes. I also had the opportunity to have lunch at Caruso. Try the stuffed squid!
For those who prefer a more elegant dining experience, there’s Don Carlos, a tribute to the great Maestro Giuseppe Verdi, with arias from the most famous operas playing in the background. The menus offer classics of Milanese tradition, reinterpreted with creativity and refinement by our chef. Below Don Carlos lies the cellar, preserving not only wines from excellent vintages but also an ancient and little-known part of the city—the defensive walls of Milan (250 AD).
For three generations, the Grand Hotel et de Milan has been managed with dedication by the Bertazzoni family. Their meticulous attention to detail and commitment to preserving this historical landmark, cherished by the Milanese, have earned it a place among the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’.
Original parquet floors, fine antiques, and bold contemporary touches make each space perfect for the 21st century. It is the only grand hotel in Milan not belonging to a corporation but managed by private individuals for 50 years. Today, it is led by Daniela Bertazzoni along with her daughter, Alissia Mancino.
Tell me more about Grand Hotel et de Milan
Grand Hotel et de Milan Via Manzoni, 29 20121 Milan, Italy
T : +39 02723141 E : firstname.lastname@example.org
Nightly rates from €650