After arriving in Geneva, I headed straight to the airport ibis to catch some sleep and wait for the morning train to Milan. My plan was to get in as early as possible, so I’d have more time to feast.
I only had one night in Milan before I headed back to Singapore, and it was just my luck that I was visiting during Milan Fashion Week. Hotel rates were through the roof, but fortunately I could redeem the Hilton Milan at 70,000 points.
Having stayed there, I now think that’s way too many points, at least under regular circumstances.
|🏨 tl;dr: Hilton Milan|
|Old, tired rooms and a forgettable lounge spread mean the Hilton Milan’s main perk is its location.|
|👍 The Good||👎 The Bad|
Hilton Milan: Arrival & Check-in
The Hilton Milan is conveniently located near Milano Centrale station, less than a four-minute walk away. You can catch the Malpensa Express to MXP from there (every 30 mins), or board one of the many buses making up the Malpensa Shuttle service (every 20 mins).
Next to the hotel is an Aldi supermarket as well as a Europcar branch, and the Duomo is a 35-minute stroll away, or 9 minutes by public transport.
This property is old. Really old. First opened in 1968, the 320-room hotel has been a landmark in the central business district for decades. While they did renovate the lobby, lounge bar and restaurant in 2016, the rooms (at least some of them) have unfortunately not received the same degree of love, as you’ll soon see.
My room wasn’t ready yet when I arrived at 10 a.m, but the concierge helped store my bags and I went next door to pig out at Mercato Centrale. It’s an absolute must-visit for anyone who loves eating but doesn’t want to commit to a single restaurant.
Hilton Milan: Suite
When I returned to the front desk at 3 p.m, I was informed that my room had been upgraded to a King Junior suite. That’s a nice upgrade, and a welcome change from having to argue for one.
The room, however, has seen better days. It’s got that early 2000s wood and beige thing going on, and I can’t say I was won over by the décor.
Since this was a junior suite, there was no separation between living and bedroom area. Instead, the living area was located at the far end of the room, with a direct line of sight to the bed.
The living area had a couch, two chairs and an oval-shaped table. The television, however, was tiny. I didn’t come all the way to Italy to watch TV, but it astounds me how they thought this could possibly be adequate.
The work desk had a comfortable office chair, and while the room might be ancient, at least the Wi-Fi network was modern. I clocked 93 Mbps up and down, an excellent connectivity speed.
The mini-bar had Twinnings teabags and Nescafé Gold sachets, which I thought would be blasphemy given Milan’s coffee culture. I’m not sure how they got away without offering so much as a Nespresso machine, but well.
Inside the mini-bar were two complimentary bottles of mineral water. Milan’s tap water is perfectly safe to drink (and if you have lounge access, there’s a free flow of Acqua Panna waiting upstairs!).
Inside the wardrobe was a safe, ironing board, together with a pair of bathrobes.
The bed had the standard Hilton Serenity mattress, custom made by Serta. It was comfortable enough, even if the sheets weren’t quite as high thread count as I was hoping for. A bigger disappointment were the bedside tables, which lacked any charging outlets, much less USB ports.
The bathroom was surprisingly cramped for a suite, no bigger than what you’d expect in a standard room. It had the combination shower/tub that I’m no fan of (I’d much rather have a less-restricted shower area with no tub), plus the usual stand-alone bidet that’s common throughout Europe.
Given the toilet was so small, the vanity area had close to zero space for personal items.
Hilton continues to offer Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries from the Verbena & Lavender range.
Hilton Milan: Club lounge
As a Hilton Diamond member, I had access to the Hilton Milan’s club lounge, located on the 8th floor. The lounge opens from 10 a.m to 9 p.m daily, and seats about 40 guests.
There’s also an outdoor area with high tables and heat lamps, for those who want a more al fresco vibe.
All-day light refreshments were available, basically fruit, nuts, chips, tea and soft drinks. I did so enjoy chugging down Aqua Panna, given how expensive it is in Singapore.
Evening cocktail hours are 6-8 p.m daily.
Frankly speaking, I didn’t think any of the items were worth rearranging your dinner plans for. There were just two hot items — neither of which looked particularly appealing— and an assortment of cold salads, cheese and fruits.
The wine selections were also disappointing, given where we were:
- Mastia Soave Blanc (3.3/5 on Vivino)
- Torrenvento Castel Del Monte Primaronda (3.5/5)
- Bernardi Cortivi Prosecco Treviso Brut (NR)
Surprisingly, there were no reds on display. I mean, I’m not asking for Super Tuscans or anything, but at least something that warrants a DOCG label…
Hilton Milan: Breakfast
Breakfast is served at Pacific Milano restaurant from 6.30 a.m to 10 a.m on weekdays, and 6.30 a.m to 11 a.m on weekends. It’s complimentary for Gold and Diamond members, otherwise you’ll pay €35 per person. Yes, it’s not cheap.
I had a train to catch at 6.55 a.m, so I couldn’t hang around for too long, but managed to browse the selection quickly.
The cold area had fruits, cheese, cold cuts, pastries and various breads.
I particularly loved the fresh juice machine, which squeezed oranges to order- just pull the handle. And of course, enough Aqua Panna or San Pellegrino to fill a bathtub.
Over in the hot area was an egg station, as well as the usual breakfast staples like bacon, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes and baked beans.
There was also an obligatory Asian item, served as part of the Hilton Huanying programme catered to Chinese guests (because God forbid you’d visit a foreign country and actually want to try their food!). It looked…less than ideal.
I didn’t have time to check out the gym, but you can check out some photos here.
The facility is located in the basement, and looks rather basic, with capacity for 12 guests at at a time.
The Hilton Milan has an excellent location, but for 70,000 points a night is way too expensive to be appealing. As much as I appreciated the suite upgrade, the rooms are showing their age, and the executive lounge spread is certainly not worth spoiling your dinner for.
For what it’s worth, I understand the rooms are due for a refurbishment so maybe things will get better.