Hotel Straf - Milan, Italy

16 March 2017

Literally just steps from Milan’s Duomo cathedral and La Scala opera house, Hotel Straf, is the perfect place to stay on a short visit to Milan. This is such a cool city hotel. Italian architect and fashion designer, Vincenzo de Cotiis, had a vision to make a hotel that stood up itself as a work of art. Here, his installation in this converted 19th century palazzo, comprises bare cement floors and stairs, rooms featuring oxidised brass and split slate, scratched mirrors, and burnished iron. The industrial feel is softened by jewel coloured velvets and silks. The 64 guest rooms come in either a light or dark colour palette, and as a member of the Design Hotels group, aesthetically, it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Ours was classed as a Standard Double Room, but it was still very spacious and comfortable with striking original art (in fact every room has an original richly textured painting) and an eclectic mix of industrial materials, including a stunning burnished brass bathroom. There are a variety of rooms and suites, including the Well Being Rooms which include Chromotherapy and a Japanese auto-massage armchair to help you relax before bedtime.

The breakfast room is another marvel, with the same astute attention to detail; design wise it’s absolutely breathtaking. However, the space is incredibly compact which leads to a less than comfortable dining experience; jostling food whilst trying to squeeze past tables. Here, Straf’s design trumps its practicality.

Unfortunately, another issue we had during our stay, was internet connection. It was incredibly patchy in the room, and only worked properly in reception which was frustrating.

As already stressed, Hotel Straf’s location couldn’t be any better a few yards from both the Duomo and the fabulous historic shopping centre, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It is situated right in the middle of Milan’s historical and cultural centre: Centro Storico. The area is home to an abundance of art galleries, notably the Brera Art Gallery and Royal Palace, the Castello Sforzesco castle and courtyard which houses several art museums, top restaurants, and Milan’s best fashion shopping.

On many levels, this is a really good hotel, but as with the principle ‘form follows function’ whereby the shape of a building should be primarily based upon its intended function or purpose, addressing the glitches highlighted, would make it a great one.

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Images by Hotel Straf.

CELLOPHANELAND* were guests of Hotel Straf.

CELLOPHANELAND* were guests of the The Gombit Hotel which is a member of the Design Hotels Group. Other Design Hotels Group hotels reviewed by CELLOPHANELAND* include:

Ham Yard Hotel – London

Number Sixteen – London

The Gramercy Park Hotel – New York

The Gombit Hotel – Bergamo

C Hotel & Spa – Como

The Cambrian Hotel – Adelboden