The Yard

Mix the decor of an old boys’ club with the comfort of your dream bed coupled with the charm and humor of a British pub and you have the Yard---a small but distinctive boutique hotel just north of Milan’s Naviglio. The menu at the Doping Club cocktail bar is a gin-lover’s dream.

Excelsior Hotel Gallia

Designer Marco Piva has converted the space, originally opened in 1932, into a glitzy megahotel. The Shiseido Spa, which is excellent, offers a range of treatments across two floors.

Mandarin Oriental

Italian contemporary design meets old-style grandeur in this luxury landmark that occupies four connected eighteenth-century houses around the corner from La Scala. Enjoy southern Italian cuisine at Seta, the in-house restaurant, but be sure to have an alfresco drink beforehand in the hotel’s intimate, gorgeously designed garden. The spa is another not-to-miss spot.

Palazzo Parigi Hotel

Designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, this former palazzo from the fifteenth century is now a supermodern, sleek (and some say too shiny!) hotel in upmarket Brera. The interiors are inspired by 1930s design, and the location boasts a private garden where you can decide whether to take an early-morning coffee, midafternoon lunch, or drinks.

Straf Hotel & Bar

This boutique hotel is steps from Piazza del Duomo, but its minimalist design (spearheaded by überarchitect Vincenzo de Cotiis) will make you feel miles away from the hustle and bustle. The space is hip, but be prepared for raw and stark materials. Non–hotel guests should check out the downstairs bar, a hotbed of cool cocktails and DJ beats.

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