Hotel Milano Scala is the perfect place to stay for an eco-conscious and chic traveller, who appreciates art, culture, and impeccable service attending to all their creature comforts.
This lovely hotel is based in the heart of Milan, in the prestigious Brera district. It’s located a stone’s throw away from Teatro alla Scala, and the seven-storey, luxury hotel who gets its inspiration here. The influences of music, art, dance and theatre are evident as soon as you walk through the glass doors.
In 2010, the hotel was recognised with an award for being the first zero-emissions hotel in Milan. It was fascinating to learn from the newly-appointed General Manager Diego Brachetti about the ongoing eco-friendly practices, which they are pioneering. These include the system located deep below the hotel grounds, which makes the air-conditioning and water supply very efficient, although they get their drinking water from another source. They are very conscious about every aspect of running a luxury hotel and do their best to cause the least impact to the environment.
The 62 rooms are individually designed, all evoking a theatrical ambience with luxurious, red, velvet draping curtains. Prints of ballet dancers and singers on the walls set a dramatic mood with minimal light and dark wood details in the rooms. All of this adds to the drama and luxuriance of the hotel. The bathrooms are carved out of rich black and white marble, proving that eco-chic can also mean luxury and indulgence, and balanced by biodegradable toiletries to remain true to their environmentally-friendly values. Needless to say, everything was spotless and very well-maintained.
I stayed in a Classic Double room with a view of their vertical jasmine garden, and also stayed in a Classic Double room overlooking the street and where the windows let in a lot more natural light to make it feel more spacious, as the other Double room felt pretty snug. I also looked around a Junior Suite, with its own balcony offering superb, panoramic views of Milan. Although the style of rooms and the bed is very similar in all of these rooms, I would recommend the rooms with an exterior view, as they are much lighter. Guests have the choice of an ‘allergy-free’ room, which has an air purifier and special pillows, and will make your stay even more enjoyable and comfortable, even if you don’t have any allergies.
Organic Veggie Garden
One of the reasons why I was really drawn to this hotel is because it has its own bee-friendly rooftop terrace garden, where they grow their own greens and veggies! Naturally, they have more fresh produce in summer and autumn than in winter, but rest assured you will always see their garden’s harvest served up at breakfast; tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and other herbs, all homegrown and organic. Details such as this are very important to me, being vegan and obsessed with sustainable, zero-miles food.
Salad Bar @ La Traviata
This is not your standard lunch-hour: At Hotel Milano Scala guests eat lunch at their resident restaurant, La Traviata. In my case, I enjoyed a salad from the abundant salad bar, which they set out every day, with some homemade gnocchi and a massive berry platter for dessert. Lunch was accompanied by live classical music, as I washed it all down with a ginseng coffee. The live music which is played both at breakfast and lunch, is a nice touch as you feel like you are dining somewhere very swanky.
Eco-chic aperitif @ Sky Terrace
You can’t come to Italy and not experience an aperitif! At Hotel Milano Scala, it’s hosted at their open air Sky Terrace, which has a panoramic view of the city and you can just see the Duomo from there, too. Your meal comes in a wooden, recycled veggie delivery box in which every tiny dish is beautifully presented, and the bubbliest waitress/cocktail mixer Sara makes you a cocktail of your choice.
In the evenings, locals flock to this venue, as it is a gorgeous place to escape and enjoy after-work drinks and nibbles, while marvelling at the view of the city skyline and listening to the subtle background lounge music. I highly recommend you visit the Sky Terrace, even if you’re not a guest of the hotel, as it is a perfect way to spend a late afternoon.
What makes it unique
My experience was exceptional because this hotel is not only gorgeous and totally aligned with my ethos and values, but because of the people who work here.
Riva, the immaculately-presented, award-winning concierge star, is a true gem of the Scala Milano. She is the IT girl when it comes to knowing everything worth knowing about Milan. From every secret exhibition to the best time to visit a very prestigious restaurant, she has you covered on all fronts. Riva is a former precious stone dealer, and now genuinely enjoys what she does. Her passion for Milan and what it has to offer – beyond the Last Supper, shopping and the Duomo – is as obvious as her radiant smile. She only works until the early afternoon, so be sure to catch her and have a chat with her, as she’ll suggest you go and see things in Milan that you didn’t even know existed!
In my opinion, outstanding customer service goes beyond the polished, by-the-book customer service. It is the human-to-human connections you make with the people you see every day during your stay, the genuine care that people show, and the fact that they do everything to make your stay the most enjoyable not because it’s their job, but because it’s just who they are.
This goes for the lovely Alice, Riva, Diego, all the guys at reception, both Saras and as well as the calm, very tanned yet undoubtedly Italian gardener Filippo, who takes great care of the garden, as well nurturing the orchids seen all over the hotel. Their hospitality and friendship will stay with me forever.
The Hotel Milano Scala is a prime example of why I do what I do; shining a light on hotels which cause little or no harm to the planet, and reinvent what luxury means in the world we live in, while employing the best team who are as passionate as I am about sustainability, connection and living life to the fullest.
This is why I can genuinely recommend you consider Hotel Milano Scala on your next visit to Milan – I will be back for certain.
Want to stay here?
Hotel Milano Scala
Via dell’Orso, 7, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Rooms start from around £200 per night (season depending) with breakfast.