For the final post in our Italy 2022 journey, we had a two night sleepover in Milan. In 2019, we stayed at the incredible Hotel Principe di Savoia, Dorchester Collection. I wrote about it in the Milan 2019 post. We really loved that hotel, the warm and humorous hospitality, the exceptional service, and the stunningly beautiful rooms and building. For the 2022 trip, since it was only two nights, we wanted to splurge and go for something right in the city centre. There’s no better location than the Park Hyatt Milano, right in the middle of everything.
Park Hyatt Milano
The hotel is next to the Piazza Del Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Everything is within walking distance including shopping, arts and culture and the metro station. You certainly pay for this convenience as the pricing was just as high as the Principe Di Savoia, but with a much smaller room. While we didn’t spend too much time accessing the hotel’s services, we found a professional team, willing to make our stay comfortable and relaxing.
Milan is often cited as the world’s best place to shop. In 2019, we verified this to be true by having the time of our lives shopping for luxury brands as well as local, high quality, hand crafted goods. However, in 2022, Milan was only partially able to deliver on the shopping experience promise. Local brands and small shops continued to be excellent places to spend our money, with warm, witty and knowledgeable service.
It was in the luxury stores where the service was severely wanting. The big luxury brands all had lineups outside their stores, some as long as 1-2 hours. Who would want to spend 1-2 hours of their vacation standing in line? One notably bad experience was at the Goyard Store; it’s a postage stamp sized store that makes people wait outside (rain or shine) for 1-2 or more hours. Upon entering the store, customers quickly find out that they have nothing to sell. I can’t imagine the disappointment of waiting two or more hours and then finding out there’s nothing to buy.
When we did finally get into some stores (tip: wait for the rain storms to come and then visit the stores as the lineups immediately evaporate), we found the staff complaining about the “weak Euro tourists” who were using their strong currency to buy everything in sight. However, after chatting for a while with the staff, the warm hospitality that Italy is known for eventually emerged. It just took some effort to bring the smiles back by showing a genuine interest in the product and not wanting to buy everything in the store.
Since we were using Milan as our shopping destination and the last stop before departing back to Asia, we didn’t have too much time for tourism photos. The images are from the 1.5 days we were there and the from the flight back. I hope you’ve enjoyed this short series on Italy in 2022. While we had an up and down experience, battling our way through the streets teeming with tourists, we can’t fault Italy for that. As tourism normalizes in 2023 and beyond, I expect things to settle down again and we will certainly be looking forward to an Italy 2024 trip!
In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing some tips and images from a Christmas trip to Bali, Indonesia!