What quality(s) do you look for when you are searching for a hotel for your leisure trip? Is it the comfort level? The size of the room? The facilities? The cost/value? Or maybe the location? I believe that different people will have different priorities while looking for a place to stay during their travel. My top 3 priorities would be safety, location, and value.
During my Milan trip, I’ve stayed in two different places. One is a hotel, while the other one is a service apartment. While the hotel was much cheaper, I find that the apartment was of a much better value.
“Residenza Delle Citta” is the name of the service apartment, and it’s run by the Planetaria Hotel Chain, which is an Italian local brand since the mid 1990’s, and now has 9 different hotels/residences thru out Italy at the moment. The group is well known for restoring their establishments with great attention to identity and specific architectural features of the property, so that each has a different atmosphere that is representative of the urban context in it is located.
This residence really surprised me, in many ways! Let’s talk about them one by one:
The residence is only one stop away from Milan Centrale station – this is the major station for all the trains from the different city of Italy, and is also where the Airport Coaches will terminate. From Milan Centrale station, you can either take one stop on the green subway line 2 and gets off at Caizzo station, and from Caizzo station, it will take you about 8 minutes by walk; or you can walk directly from Centrale station, will will take you approximately 15 minutes.
Bus and tram stands are just around the corner from the apartment, which makes it very easy for you to navigate around Milan. There are also supermarket and local restaurants within the block.
The reception of the apartment is not open 24 hours, so it could make checking in and out a bit difficult. However, before your stay, the manager will send you an e-mail to confirm your time of arrival to ensure a smooth check in. Be sure to let them know your approximate time of arrival, as arrivals outside their opening hours that have not been notified at the time of booking will incur a supplement cost, which I’m sure you wouldn’t want.
Our check in was smooth, my friend and I arrived the apartment around 8pm, and were warmly greeted by the manager on duty. He was very friendly, and explained to us about the facilities of the place and asked if we had any questions. His English level was very good, which made communication very easy.
We stayed in the smallest type of unit within the apartment building, which is a one room one living room style, and the room was huge! It was very spacious, and you have lots of space to walk even after you open up your suit cases.
The built in fixture of the unit are made with wood, which is kind of “old style”, but the designer had cleverly used modern furniture and carefully selected colors in the room, which gives the room a very unique modern x classic feel to it.
The bedroom was very spacious, and both the bed and pillow were comfortable. There is a big build in wardrobe in the room, so even if you are planning to stay here for long term, there’s enough storage for your clothes and accessories.
All unit comes with a full kitchen, which is great for long stay. The bathroom was also very big, you can dance in there!
There are free wifi thru out the whole building, and it’s quick and had no problem connecting to it at any time. The lobby was very spacious, and have up to date magazine which you can read, while enjoying all the complimentary drinks on offer. There are teas and coffees, and a fridge filled with soft drinks, beers and milk which you could take freely back to your room. There is also a washing machine and dryer, an avant-garde gym and a spacious terrace where you may spend time relaxing in. Car parking also available in the courtyard.
I must stress that I absolutely adores the design of the lobby. It is bright and clean, and decorated with lovely art pieces. I took so man photos just of the lobby itself, it’s surely a spot you should not miss!
The apartment is located on a quiet street near the city, and has quite a lot of immigrants in the area, which I wouldn’t call it the safest spot of Milan. However, the apartment itself is very well secured. You will first have to get thru a metal gate before you arrive the front door of the building, which both of them need a key. Once you get to your floor, you will need to dis-alarm the security using a key fob before you can unlock your door with the keys. During my few nights stay here, I actually felt quite safe to be walking back alone at night from the station.
Overall, I would highly recommend anyone travelling to Milan to consider staying here, whether it’s for a short holiday, or for a long stay, I believe this apartment has all you need, with the comfort of feeling like home.