Only after I had checked in, did I realise that I stood out from the rest of the valued guests staying at the Westin Palace Hotel. Most of them were businessmen with briefcases in-hand huddled in small groups calculating their next moves or involved in serious telephone conversations to seal big deals. It didn’t take me long to conclude that this establishment in Piazza Della Repubblica is preferred by mighty successful corporate climbers who appreciate its convenient location and facilities.
Maria Vittoria Lucchese, a marketing coordinator for the Starwood Hotels and Resorts Group confirmed my theory explaining that the Westin Palace lies just outside of the mainstream tourist track but still offers quick access to the main shopping district and city centre only minutes away as well as Centrale Station which is within walking distance. While we sipped on caffe latte at the lounge bar, she pointed out that the open lobby is purposely decked out with coffee tables and comfy armchairs to cater to their fast-paced clients’ needs for on-the-go get-togethers and work areas. For more privacy, nicotine-dependent guests can conduct business behind the closed doors of the smoking lounge
The hotel’s regal name is certainly matched by its impressive interior. A trait which the modern-day building must have inherited from pre-World War years when it was simply referred to as The Palace. I was completely enchanted by the domed and vaulted ceilings embossed with floral detail and highlighted with rich gold accents while crystal chandeliers shine warm light to envelope the room in an almost intoxicating, romantic atmosphere.
The Palace was renovated in 1950 and renamed just over ten years ago to reflect its new position under the Westin umbrella. This means that travellers who frequent Starwood Group establishments internationally can have their loyalty rewarded with membership to the SPG (Starwood Preferred Guests) Programme. Every night spent with them banks points which can eventually be redeemed for great perks including free accommodation, free WiFi access and breakfast on-the-house, as well as room upgrades.
The exquisite décor of the ground floor extends all the way up. The typical ‘Classic’ rooms are either furnished in the older Imperial style or the newer Milan style achieved by interior architect, Irene Pansadoro, whose feminine creativity infused “Giallo Milano” into the revamp. A cleverly used element, yellow is synonymous with the city because of the old trams which transport its citizens as well as risotto, Milan’s famous rice dish.
‘Deluxe’ rooms, decorated in a classical ‘Aga Khan’ style, are followed by a larger Executive Suite, a Junior Suite and a Diplomatic Suite, but it’s the Presidential Suite stretched between the two top floors which is the hotels crowning glory. It boasts a private terrace, wine bar and splash pool on the lower level and a super-spacious bedroom above.
After a long day’s work, rest and relaxation are an absolute necessity. The two Westin Workout Rooms combine gym and spa facilities to rescue tired bodies and help stressed guests blow off steam. Personal trainers can optimise your workout session while therapists use Comfort Zone products to restore vitality.
My favourite escape was the L-shaped rooftop terrace solarium which allows guests to spread out across cane furniture, bask under the sun and host private events. The view from up here is breath-taking and even the Duomo can be seen in the distance.
Hungry? Dining out at the Westin Palace’s Casanova Restaurant is quite an affair. Get dressed in your best formal attire to savour delicious Mediterranean cuisine with a healthy use of organic produce. During the summer months, the entire restaurant relocates to the Ivory Terrace on the mezzanine level.
Having thoroughly enjoyed my stay, it’s no wonder why businessmen choose to spend their fleeting trips here. The hotel seems to be centred on satisfying their clients’ every whim giving them exactly what they need and more of what they desire.
For more information or to book, visit The Westin Palace website or call +39 02 63361