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Where to Stay in Milan: Best Areas & Hotels, 2018

While Rome may be the tourist capital of Italy, Milan is where the country does business. Visitors to the city will likely want to see historic sites like the duomo (cathedral) and DaVinci's Last Supper. A stay in the Centro Storico puts you within steps of these tourist attractions. If you're there to shop or do business, trendy Porta Nuova may be the best option. The area around the Piazza della Repubblica is also centrally located and filled with a range of hotels from budget to luxury.

Where to Stay for Luxury

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
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The Hotel Principe di Savoia, a part of the Dorchester Collection, continues to impress guests with luxurious accommodations and deeply personal service. The hotel sits right on the edge of the hot Porta Nuova neighborhood, only a few minutes drive or tram ride from the Centro Storico. There's a large gym; an indoor pool; and two great restaurants, one casual, one formal. For convenience, this luxury hotel has a complimentary limo that goes to the Piazza del Duomo every 20 minutes.

For a more boutique luxury experience, the Chateau Monfort, located behind Piazza San Babila, is an excellent choice. This Relais & Chateaux property's rooms and suites are inspired by fairy tales, great works of music, opera, and ballet. The hotel's Amore E Psiche spa is one of the best in the city and includes a large saltwater swimming pool, a Turkish bath, and a range of treatment options. The Chateau Monfort has one large restaurant, Rubacuori, that has three dining areas and a varied selection of meal services and types of food. Their Sunday brunch is especially popular with hotel guests and locals.

The city's most Instagrammable hotel is the TownHouse Galleria, located inside Milan's iconic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The Galleria is the world's first enclosed shopping mall, and some of the hotel's luxurious rooms and suites have balconies inside the Galleria. The hotel has several dining options, including the casual Ottagono, which also overlooks the vast Galleria interior. More fancy is their new Pavarotti Restaurant Museum, dedicated to the great opera singer, who performed many times across the street at La Scala. There's also the I Dodici Gatti, a pizzeria on the hotel's rooftop level.

ME by Melia Milan II Duca may be the city's most stylish hotel, which in Milan is really saying something. It's on the Piazza della Repubblica, putting it between Porta Nuova and the Centro Direzionale area by the train station. It's home to STK Milan, the Italian outpost of the trendy American steak restaurant group. Suite guests get the brand's ME+ service, which includes en-suite check-in, a personalized music playlist downloadable before your trip, and complimentary unpacking and packing services.

Where to Stay: Mid-Range

Piazza del Duomo
Piazza del Duomo
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Many of the city's best mid-range hotel options are in the area between Milano Centrale station and the Piazza della Repubblica. It's a good location in the heart of the city, but you will need to venture out of the area to shop or explore most museums and historic sites. Right across from the station is the C-Hotels Atlantic. It's modern, clean, and stylish, which elevates it beyond the budget status its price might indicate. Formerly a Best Western, the hotel was completely renovated in 2013, and the soundproofed rooms now have Simmons mattresses, large LCD TVs (with 200 channels), hardwood floors, and hypoallergenic furniture. There's also a Technogym fitness room, free Wi-Fi, and free buffet breakfast.

Moving into the historic heart of Milan, the IH Hotels Milano Ambasciatori is about a three-minute walk from the duomo. The rooms and suites are clean but showing their age, and that contributes to its very reasonable pricing. Try to get a balcony as the rooms and the hotel itself are a bit dark, suffering from a strange lack of windows. The staff members speak good English, and the Wi-Fi and breakfast are free.

At the higher end of the mid-range scale, the UNA Maison Milano is worth the splurge. The boutique hotel is right next to the Piazza del Duomo, saving you time and money if it's Milan's historic core you're looking to explore. The hotel only has 27 rooms, meaning guests get very personal attention from the staff. Shopping and dining (and trams) are right outside your door. Also right outside your door is Milan's best gelato; it's worth the wait in line to try some at Cuore di Gelato across from the hotel.

Where to Stay on a Budget

View over Milan
View over Milan
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Other than the historic heart of the city near the duomo, budget hotel options are available in many of Milan's neighborhoods. The Hotel Ornato - Gruppo Mini Hotel is in Niguarda, about 20 minutes by tram from the duomo. The neighborhood has a nice old Milan feel, and the hotel itself is clean with caring staff members. The property is large (and rarely full) with free Wi-Fi and free breakfast.

The Hotel Nuovo Murillo is a basic, budget hotel that offers a real local Milanese experience. The hotel's location in the San Siro neighborhood means there are plenty of good local restaurants and markets nearby. They also have free Wi-Fi and free breakfast. Tram and bus stops are located in close proximity for exploring the city.

The Best Western Hotel Ascot is near the University of Milan and offers basic, clean accommodations. It's still within walkable distance of the duomo (about 10 minutes), and it even offers a free airport shuttle, which makes the rooms a great value. Breakfast is included in most rates, and there's a grocery store on the next block. Transportation (bus and tram) is within steps of the hotel, and the staff members are both helpful and knowledgeable about the neighborhood and the city.

Where to Stay for Families

Dining at night in Milan
Dining at night in Milan
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The Camperio House Suites and Apartments is, as its name suggests, an all-suite hotel composed of a group of apartment buildings. The large one- and two-bedroom units are well-furnished, clean, and perfect for families. Unlike an apartment rental, you get a 24-hour staffed desk and concierge, fitness center, and free breakfast each morning. The location is excellent for sightseeing, midway between the duomo and Sforza castle.

There's another UNA hotel in Milan (well, actually there are six in total), the UNA Hotel Century, and they love families. One child under 12 stays free (including a free breakfast), and the hotel has large family rooms that comfortably accommodate four people. The hotel has special loaner toys available, and kids have a section on all the menus. The hotel also has organized, seasonal activities for its younger guests. It's in a bland but safe area, Centro Direzionale, near the main train station.

Where to Stay for Romance

Naviglio Grande canal in Milan
Naviglio Grande canal in Milan
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The Four Seasons Hotel Milano is housed in a restored 15th-century convent and delivers a romantic experience from the moment you walk in the front door. Beyond the luxurious accommodations, hotel guests can choose from a menu of unique experiences, including use of a two-seat, 1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider for a romantic day-trip drive to Lake Como. One of the smaller Four Seasons properties, the hotel has only 114 rooms, delivering a high-end boutique experience. The location is great, too, right next to the Duomo.

For an intimately romantic experience, Sina The Gray is a modern, stylish boutique hotel with only 21 rooms. It's perfectly located right next to the Duomo. Book a Gallery room, with views directly into the iconic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II from your bed. The view is complimented by a circular Jacuzzi just right for two, housed within the room's spa-like bathroom. The room itself is immaculately designed, with floors and walls paneled with contrasting exotic woods and a range of luxury amenities. Couples will appreciate the warm, personal service and overall attention to detail.

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