Welcome to episode 7, Seeing The World In Steps is back in Milan for another visit after 9 years. This will be my second visit to the city. It felt incomplete the first time around given how little time I had in the city the first time around on a tour group. Being a Hilton loyalist, it is no doubt that I will be staying at Hilton Milan. I will be staying for 4 nights here. Hilton Milan has a great location, it is just 5 mins away from the central station and comes with good public transportation links. If you wish, you can also take a leisurely stroll to the Duomo and the main shopping district. Just beside the hotel lobby, you have a Europcar branch and an Aldi supermarket. It doesn’t get any easier than this!
Booking Process & Pre Arrival
Prior to my stay, I was pre-upgraded to a King Deluxe Room in advance. It represents a 3 tier upgrade from the base level room that I booked. The room would have normally cost 157 Euros a night during my stay. Hilton was running a sale and my nightly rate was around 150 SGD including the tax. This was brought down by utilising my Citi Prestige 4th-night benefit to 112 SGD a night after the 4th night free benefit. Hilton Milan features 320 guest rooms and suites spread across 9 categories. You can find the breakdown below.
|Rooms||Executive Lounge Access||Bathtub|
I arrived close to 1pm in the afternoon after arriving off a train from Turin. The hotel is in the heart of the city and right next to the Central Station. It doesn’t get any simpler than this. This works for tourists both arriving via train or plane as the direct train to the airport arrive here as well. The connectivity to the metro system makes it an even more desirable location as well. From the hotel to the main shopping area or Duomo, it is only a couple of metro stops away or a leisurely 30 mins stroll.
Upon entering, I was warmly welcomed. Check in was prompt and fast! Despite the early hour, it was bustling in the lobby already, out of all my hotel stays this time around, this might just be the busiest one so far. The hotel has a pretty lovely lobby area with plenty of seatings. It is nice to see the place is decked out in festive decorations as well. You will have to have a Green pass or COVID Vaccination certificate to be able to stay here. There is no suites available when I first check in however the staff promised to keep a lookout and on the second day a Junior Suite open up and I was moved over for the last 3 nights of my stay. The Junior Suite would have usually cost 213 Euros a night.
King Deluxe Room
I was assigned room 852, a King Deluxe Room on the executive floor on the 8th floor. It is one of the bigger ones and really spacious. According to the staff, this is the favourite room type of the usual and Diamond guests in the hotel. While the public areas look pretty decent, the room is rather antiquated. There was a short entryway upon entering and the bathroom is located immediately to the left after entering. I really wish that they had some hooks by the entrance which is going to be super useful especially in the winter season with all the outerwear and coats. Swing left and you can find the main space of the room itself which is in the middle. It is largely in a squarish configuration. The room is on the spacious side and this is definitely one of the largest non-suite rooms in town.
By the side of the wall, you can find a proper working desk with an armchair. The working desk was a nice space to work on. The seats offer great back support and power sockets can be conveniently found. The premium wifi was fast in the room as well.
You can find a huge plush king-size bed in the middle of the room. It is comfy and huge. I love the quality bedding and the pillow offers great neck support as well. They are not paper-thin if you get what I am referring to. Sandwiching the bed, you can find nightstands, one side even comes with an alarm clock. Switched for the lights can be found as well. What I didn’t appreciate was the lack of power sockets by the bed. That is hotel 101 and I can’t understand why so many hotels can miss out on it so easily. An unbelievable aspect in the 21st century.
In front of the bed, you can find two armchairs and a coffee table. It is commendable to have such a spacious separate seating area in a normal room and that is a nice place for some extra seating or using it to dine. The room also has a decent view of the surrounding area given how high up we are, at least from Milan perspective.
The patio and balcony area is pretty lovely and would be a good amenity in the summer season. While I appreciate the view, the surrounding area near the Central Station isn’t famous for its views unlike the Duomo area or something.
On the right side of the room, you can find the room TV and this is one disappointing aspect. The TV is super small and the channels are limited, mostly local channels in Italian. The TV placement is also constraint by the orientation of the room and can be only viewed at an angle from both the bed and the seating area.
The room does come with a walk-in wardrobe area and this is also where the minibar is located. It is behind the bed and can be accessed from a walkway by the side. You can find a kettle with some packaged tea and coffee provided. It might be a lapse in other destinations but Italy? The renowned country for coffee? That is such a disappointment! You can find a mini-fridge with 2 bottles of still water provided. In the wardrobe which is on the spacious side, you can find an ironing set, hangers and a safe provided.
Let me head back and share about the bathroom. It is on a smaller side and a tight squeeze. Sadly to say, this is one of the typical old Hilton style bathrooms as well where it comes with a shower cum bathtub set up! I am not a fan of this. The shower curtain really disgusts me, especially in this COVID era. Toiletries from a local brand are provided and they are pretty good. I do love the tea scented fragrance. Thankfully, the water pressure and temperature control were really good.
The configuration was rather weird! I would rather the wardrobe and minibar area which include the luggage storage area be near the entrance and the washroom to be inside. This way, you do not have to carry your suitcase all the way into the room and with the wardrobe near the entrance, you can hand up your outerwear for easy access before heading out.
I was locked into one of the King Junior Suites for the last 3 nights of my stay. The Junior Suite is the entry-level suite and it is a spacious one. It could be even classified as a full suite if it had a half bath and a barrier between the living room area and the bedroom area. My suite has a short entryway where you can find the bathroom on the left and the wardrobe on the right. The wardrobe comes with everything that you might need, an ironing kit, a safe and plenty of hangers.
The minibar is also next to it! Similar to the deluxe room you can find some packaged teas and coffee. Surprising, a proper coffee machine isn’t provided as well for suite guest. You can also find a mini-fridge below which comes with two bottles of still water. These are replaced daily and more can be requested from the staff.
The bathroom is of the same size as the deluxe room one I shared earlier. Small and only comes with a single sink with the same tub and standing shower combo. Weirdly, the toiletries here are from Crabtree and Evelyn, Hilton’s usual brand. Perhaps they are in the midst of switching brands.
You enter into the middle part of the suite after the entryway. It then splits into the right for the living area and the left for the bedroom area. You can find a sofa set that sits around 4 pax and a coffee table. I certainly enjoy having the extra space in the room. Perched on the wall you can find the TV which I have to admit is very small for a suite of this size but already much better than the earlier one. The mounting makes it conducive for viewing from both the bed and the living area but to be frank, you can barely make out anything when viewing while in Bed.
The suite has a rather lovely view of the terrace on the 1st floor. Although you should keep your curtains drawn in the evening as it might be easy to be seen thru the window due to the low level.
The bedroom area is on the left of the suite and you can find the bedroom area here. The plush king-size bed is in the middle and it is comfortable. I had a great rest here every night. By the side, you can find nightstands as well. Sadly, similarly to the room, there aren’t any power outlets by the side of the bed.
Along the wall, there is a working desk. It is a replica of the one in the room, with a comfortable office chair to work on. The Wifi is good and strong in the room.
The gym is small and basic. You do not have to make reservations or anything. It is located in the basement and comes with the usual equipment that you might need. It doesn’t especially look that welcoming but gets the work done. A maximum of 12 pax can use it at the same time.
The Executive Lounge is located on the 8th floor and due to the current circumstances, it is only open for evening cocktails from 6pm to 8pm. I am unsure what circumstances it is given how crowded it is and the whole hotel was exactly like pre-covid. The only circumstances I can think of is cost-cutting! I do appreciate having a separate space to work or have some drinks during the day as well. I do have to say that it is on the smaller side and barely 5 mins after opening, you can see the entire lounge filled up. Hilton Milan is a popular hotel with business guests and Diamond members. The lounge only has a capacity for around 40 pax max. It is quite a lovely space. While there is an outdoor terrace with some extra seating, it isn’t that conducive in this season given the cold. Here are some pictures of the lounge. There is also a small business centre or a computer set up at the side.
While service is excellent. It might still get a little diluted when everything is on a table service basis and only two poor staff are working the entire lounge! They are excellent though especially the guy who is very proactive with refills and recommendations.
Drinks-wise besides non-alcoholic offerings such there is also red wine, white wine and prosecco. Bottled water of both still and sparkling options are offered. The staff can also make simple cocktails or spirits with mixers. There are Vodka, Gin and Whisky on offer. They do make a good spritz!
The canapes and snacks came in a little personal platter for each guest and I am glad that the food wise changes day to day and sometimes even during the same evening. Here are some of the items I tried during my stay here. The first day consists of some pasta and beef oriented items.
On the second day, you have sort of a grain salad and sandwiches. You can also request some chips and nuts from the staff. It was a good lounge and a solid offering, especially in the Europe context. The crowd also clear up slightly during the latter part of my stay when people check out after the weekend. I was kept entertained when there was a fight in the lounge on the second night between some guests.
Breakfast at Pacific Milano
Breakfast is served at the hotel restaurant, Pacific Milano. It is located just off the lobby area on the ground floor. Breakfast service starts from 7am to 10am. I was promptly welcomed in by the staff. It certainly gets crowded here during peak hours. This is a popular hotel that almost operates at full occupancy. Breakfast is included if you book a rate that includes it or if you are a Hilton Gold member and above. If not, breakfast will have cost 29.50 euros per person.
The service was excellent! I was shown in and drinks orders were taken. Breakfast was super crowded given that it’s on the weekend and I am there during the peak breakfast hour. One thing that I really love about Italian breakfast is the freshly squeezed orange juice and barista made coffee drinks! Latte, Mocha, Double Espresso! I tried everything. That’s one good thing that I’m looking forward to every day!
The restaurant was huge and plenty of tables are available. Eggs orders were also taken by the staff and you have your choice of eggs freshly cooked to your liking. They do make an excellent omelette as does a poached egg! Complimenting it is a great selection of other items from the buffet.
It works in a mixture of self-assisted buffet and help yourself the usual way. Here are some pictures of the buffet line. It consists of some cheese and cold cuts from the region. I love the parma ham and it is nice to see them having items from the region. Hot items wise, you have some sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs, mushrooms, hash browns and beans.
On the continental side, you have some sorts of cereals, salads, an amazing selection of cut fruits.
Then you have the bar area where you can find a nice collection of freshly squeezed orange juice, pineapple juice and grapefruit juice. Acqua Panna and San Pellegrino water are offered too. Their croissant is fresh and flaky!
I love their breakfast and it was pretty quality food, nice perks to get it on the perks of being an elite member. I do wish that the food items are rotated each day. It might get a little tired for guests who are staying multiple days like me after a while.
This is a solid offering for Hilton members in Milan and is the only choice that is useful in the city. This is also seen given how popular it is among guests. This is a hotel that is popular with elite members and business guests. It has a great location and generally, service among staff are good. Some of the stands out points includes the breakfast and the lounge. The rooms are dated and hopefully, they will be refreshed which should then be perfect! I had a great stay and will certainly be back. With the lack of other Hilton offerings in town and the great breakfast, lounge and elite recognition, there is no reason why a Hilton loyalist would go anywhere else. Just keep in mind that sometimes the offering might be diluted with tons of elite members and business travellers.