May 15-20, 2016
Room Rate: 220€
I was in Milan for work for a quick week, and just my luck, a Westin was located right across the street from my office! I usually never find a decent hotel so close to work, so I really lucked out here.
The Westin Palace, Milan
Spa: Yes, plus in-room spa option
Make a Green Choice: Yes
Bar and Restaurant On-Property: Yes
Room Rate Range: 200-300 €
I arrived at the hotel at around noon on a Sunday and was a bit worried my room wouldn’t be ready. It was a gorgeously sunny day in Milan, and I was warmly greeted by the bell staff out front upon pulling up to the property. The bell boy took my luggage and let me know it would be sent up to my room shortly.
I strolled into the lobby – elegantly decorated, though seemingly a bit old in decoration. The front desk was a bit busy, but I only had to wait a couple minutes before someone was able to check me in.
I was told i was upgraded to a junior suite, and my room was ready despite my early arrival! Fantastic.
The elevator banks were located by the check in desks. Some elevators were much newer – with a TV that flashed current events going on at the property as well as the weather, while some were a little dated.
While the lobby was bright and flooded with natural light, the floors, in sharp contrast, where brown and dimly lit. It didn’t feel creepy, but it definitely felt old.
Fortunately, my room looked nothing like the hallways. It had definitely been upgraded recently, as walls and trim looked a bit newer and more modern, though some of the furniture and the bathroom looked a bit more dated. Even so, I was thrilled to have so much natural light in my room.
Upon walking into the room, I walked into the entryway, which lead to three areas – the bedroom, the bathroom , and the walk in closet.
The walk in closet area was incredibly spacious and could have easily tended to two people, but of course, I always get upgraded when I’m traveling by myself for work. The walk in closet held extra linens, an ironing board and iron, and the safe.
Though the sitting area looked updated – new side tables and lamps and crisp looking wallpaper – the furniture looked a little older, like it might have better matched the old set up. No complaints though, the seats were incredibly comfortable and I certainly didn’t mind the extra room.
Right by the sitting area was the mini bar console, which had the standard in-room snacks and beverages, in addition to an espresso maker (I expect no less in Italy) and the complimentary bottled water. I must say, the staff was generous with refilling the water bottles – the room had 4 water bottles (due to the size, I suppose), and the hotel was excellent about making sure I had all four available my entire stay.
The room came with a king sized bed which I found to be incredibly comfortable. It’s the standard Westin Heavenly Bed, and maybe it was the uncomfortable flight over, but I had the best night’s sleep the night I got in. As with much of the room, the bed frame appeared to be newer to match updated look of the room.
The desk was located right by bed, which, though I did plenty of work in my room, I didn’t actually do any work on the desk. (I did all of it in bed because the bed was so deliciously comfortable and I love a good fluffy down comforter). The TV felt a little oddly located, but given the shape of the room, this was the best place to put it. I was able to adjust the TV when I wanted to use it, since it was mounted and was attached to an extendable arm.
The bathroom, right off the entryway, didn’t look as updated as the rest of the room, but it had all the basics.
The bathroom was large and would have easily accommodated two people. Though the sink didn’t have a large counter area, it had a small glass shelf so I was able to lay out my stuff on it. Even though the look of the bathroom was a bit dated, the shower head (including the hand-held shower head) was a bit updated, which was nice (and the water pressure was decent). As expected, the bathroom came stocked with Westin-branded toiletries.
Here’s a tip – if you happen to be in the tub, do not tug on the white string hanging on the wall. At first I thought it was maybe a light switch – as it turns out it was intended for use in case of emergency – say, if you slipped and fell while in the tub. A few minutes after I got out of the shower, I had two very concerned hotel associates at my door checking in to see if I was okay!
While my room was on the updated side, the lobby was less so. It was, without a doubt, a look of grandeur back in the day, but today it feels a little out of date. Lots of mirrors and chandeliers deck the wooden hallways, with large, cushy chairs lining the hallways. It definitely felt a bit like stepping backwards in time (read: the 80’s), and, while the lobby could use an update, it was perfectly fine, clean, and served its purpose.
I’m not a big room service person – I usually only order in if I am too exhausted to venture out or if I run out of time. Both are fairly common when I travel for work, and this time was no exception. Certainly room service couldn’t be terrible in Italy!
It wasn’t, though eating out would have been much better, no doubt. I had the green salad topped with shrimp and balsamic vinaigrette and the creamed risotto alla Milanese. As expected, the food was overpriced, but well worth the convenience (and frankly, I’ve had much worse room service – this was quite good, all things considered).
For those looking to dine at the restaurant, PanEvo, you’ll find it on the lobby floor. Those looking for breakfast (including SPG Platinums who select the complimentary breakfast option) will also find it served here. Breakfast is a continental style buffet with a few hot items. Food can be ordered a la carte from the breakfast menus if you are so inclined.
The hotel isn’t particularly centrally located in terms of sight seeing, but it is located a quick 5 minute walk from the Milano Centrale train station. Even so, Milan is a fairly walkable city, and you can get from the hotel to the middle of the city in about 20 minutes on foot.
Even so, many of the major spots you’ll want to visit are very much in reach. The Duomo di Milano and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is centrally located, so is easily walked to from the hotel. Getting across town to the Navigli District (where you’ll find plenty of restaurants and bars), is much further, and you’ll want to take the train or taxi there, and this would cost about 10-15€ each way.
You’ll find a slew of restaurants nearby the hotel (mostly appealing to the business crowd, it seems), and a few unexpected finds nearby. such as Pavé, an adorable coffee shop that brews a great cup of coffee, and cozy scoop shop Gelato Guisto.
L-R: The interior of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, The Duomo di Milano, The Navigli District, A couple scoops of Gelato from Gelato Giusto
Overall, I had a great stay. The hotel served my needs as a business traveler just fine, though I think if I were to return on a leisure trip, I would consider choosing a more centrally locate property.
Check In: 10/10 – Check in was quick, friendly and informative of all the information I needed about the hotel and the area.
Elite Recognition: 10/10 – Upgraded to a junior suite, can’t complain.
Room: 9/10 – Nice, spacious, and looked new (with the exception of the bathroom and some velvet furniture)
In-Room Technology & Entertainment: 7/10 – Large TV, good placement of outlets, but nothing special.
Staff: 9/10 – Staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. Bonus points for coming to check on me when I pulled the assistance cord in the shower!
Location: 7/10 – Not the best location for a visitor, but great location for my trip.
On-Site Dining: 7/10 – Pretty decent hotel food, but the breakfast spread was a little lacking.
On-Site Amenities: 8/10 – On-site spa, plus a gym and roof terrace. They also offer a personal food shopper which I didn’t get to try.
Hospitality Services: 8/10 – Concierge was friendly enough and did his best to secure me a last minute dinner reservation (didn’t work out in the end).
Hotel Appearance: 7/10 – It’s upgraded in some areas, though feels dark and outdated in other areas.
Overall Rating: 82/100 (82%) ★★★★★
Special thanks to Laura Roberts for providing photos of the exterior and lobby!