BACKSTORY: Milanese architect Paolo Mezzanotte built this splendid family palazzo in the early 20th century. Opened as a five-star hotel last year, it offers aristocratic levels of comfort in Milan’s gorgeous Monforte district, with acres of fashion boutiques on your doorstep.
DESIGN NOTES: The décor here is a slightly surreal update on 18th-century opulence. Oversize pumpkin seats, twisted lamps and ornamental birdcages crop up among its 77 pretty rooms and suites. The color scheme varies among rich greens and luminescent blues, lilacs and burnt oranges. You’ll see what looks like dinnerware scattered on the wall in one spot, a vaulted brick ceiling in another.
BEST PLACE TO HANG OUT: An ornate Eberhard clock ushers in aperitivo hour, as cocktails are served beneath the magnificent cupola of Bar Mezzanotte. For those seeking a less potent pick-me-up, the Rubacuori restaurant features an Alice in Wonderland–style tea room and cozy dining areas.
UNEXPECTED TREAT: The Amore e Psiche spa boasts such features as “Emotional Showers” in a “suggestive and charming” environment, but a lot of the real post-shopping therapy takes place in the adjacent wine-tasting room.
ROOM WITH A VIEW: For a sense of the romance of Milan, with a little urban bustle thrown in, choose a room on the side overlooking the palazzo, where, from your balcony, you’ll get a clear view of the old-fashioned wooden trams rattling past and other aspects of the district’s varied street life.