A city centre palace that was left to rot for 30 years before being reborn as a luxury hotel with a fairytale theme might not sound terribly promising. At the Chateau Monfort, at the epicentre of one of Europe’s most fashionable cities, it works like a charm.
The new luxury Relais & Chateaux property, which opened last year, is a charming 77-room boutique hotel in Milan with a whimsical ambiance that also has its own extravagant gourmet restaurant, Rubacuori.
Within walking distance of the cathedral and La Scala opera house, as well as some of the best shopping on the continent, Hotel Chateau Monfort, in the elegant Monforte quarter, oozes Italian style.
The hotel’s on-site restaurant Rubacuori is quirky with ultra-professional staff and features whimsical takes on traditional Italian dishes (think maybe foie gras escalope with turmeric, mango, rice chips and sea urchins; or maybe red mullet with poached eggs, red onion compote and tea foam).
The hotel has also instituted a Wines of the World program that features labels including Cape Mentelle, Cloudy Bay, Rupert & Rothschild from South Africa and Cheval des Andes from Argentina.
These are also available in the relaxed lounge bar, populated by a collection of funky artist types, young lovers and serious suits.
Milan is alive right now; whether you love history, fashion, sport or shopping it is one of the hottest destinations in Europe.
The hotel – part of the Planetaria Collection that also includes the excellent Grand Hotel Savoie in Genoa - has its own fitness centre and spa, swimming pool and free wifi. Rooms have a sense of retro charm but all modern comforts and the staff are impeccably mannered. Prices start from around €265.
Hotel Chateau Monfort is at 1 Corso Concordia in central Milan. Phone +39 02 776 761. www.hotelchateaumonfort.com.