Sina The Gray Hotel in Milan, Italy

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Updated: August 5, 2020

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Review of Sina The Gray Hotel in Milan, Italy.

Sina The Gray – Sumptuous boutique hotel, just seconds from the Duomo.

Sina The Gray broke the mold when it burst onto the scene in 2003, causing quite a splash and drawing in the jet-set with its edgy design and sleek, unique rooms. It still stands out, showing how ahead of its time it was back then, and has kept its mod-cons up to date. Its location doesn’t hurt, of course: the Duomo is almost within touching distance (turn left as you exit and it’s right there), and its bar, as well as some of its rooms, have views right into the Galleria. The hotel’s location comes at a price; with space at a premium, it has few shared facilities. Luckily, it has a trick up its sleeve: its sister hotel, Sina De La Ville – a one-minute walk away – which comes replete with a spa, gym, and rooftop pool.

Sina The Gray – Location

  • Address: Via San Raffaele 6, Milan.
  • Nearest Metro: Duomo Metro station on the M1 (red) line. 3-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • Area: Prime location in the heart of Milan, with a very short walk to the Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and La Scala opera house. It’s just 2 blocks from the Metro and surrounded by great restaurants and shopping.
  • How to Get There: From Malpensa airport, it’s around 55 minutes (33 miles) by taxi or public transport – take the express train to Milano Cadorna station, from where it’s 3 stops on the M1 to Duomo station, then a 3-minute walk (0.1 mile) to the hotel.
  • Handy to: Duomo, Galleria, La Scala.

Sina The Gray – The Basics

  • Ages: Guests tend to be couples or travelers on a city break, although children are welcome.
  • View: Some rooms overlook the spectacular Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Several rooms have jacuzzis. One of the Junior Suites has a steam room.
  • Parking: Valet parking service available for €45 per day.
  • Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi throughout the property.
  • Extras: Guests are provided with a free smartphone to use during their stay. Coffee machines and cocktail shakers in the rooms. Free newspapers. Special package for opera lovers, which includes tickets to La Scala.
  • When to Book: Reserve as far ahead as possible if you’re coming during the fashion or design weeks (February, April, and September).
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +39 02 720 8951
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: sinahotels.com

Sina The Gray – Amenities

    Guests can use the amenities at The Gray’s sister hotel, Sina De La Ville (150m, 2-minute walk), including its pool and spa.

  • Pool: Rooftop pool with views of the Duomo at Sina De La Ville.
  • Spa: Sina De La Ville’s wellness spa offers a whole host of services, including a steam room, sauna, chromotherapy shower, and beauty treatments.
  • Fitness Center: Gym available at Sina De La Ville. One of the suites at The Gray boasts its own gym.
  • Laundry: Laundry services available (additional charge).
  • For Disabled Guests: One City Deluxe room is fully kitted out for wheelchair users.
  • For Families: Babysitting services available upon request (extra charge).
  • Activities: The concierge can organize tours, rentals, and tickets for shows.

Sina The Gray – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant: Le Noir describes itself as the “best restaurant in Milan”. It is on the hotel’s first floor and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Food is modern haute cuisine, served in a striking dining room that plays with light and dark. No specific kids’ menu, but children can be accommodated. Open daily 12.30-2.30 pm and 7-10.30 pm. $$$.
  • Lounge/Bar: GBar is a small bar on the ground floor with a range of drinks available all day until the early hours. There are views at street level into the Galleria. In the summer, drinks can be taken on the Aria Terrace.
  • Breakfast: Le Noir serves a full buffet breakfast from 7-11am for an additional charge (€36).
  • Room Service: A snack menu is available 24 hours. Restaurant food is available at meal times.

Sina The Gray – Rooms

  • Room Types: City Queen • City Deluxe Queen • Gallery Deluxe King • Junior Suite • Duplex Junior Suite
  • Smoking Rooms: Smoking rooms are available on request.
  • Best Room: The Junior Suites are all unique, offering different luxuries. One has a private gym, another is a duplex that can be joined with a City Deluxe room to make a 2-bedroom suite, and a third has a steam room. All have comfortable living areas. Bathrooms have bathtubs (some have jacuzzis) as well as showers and double vanities.
  • For Families: Under-twos stay free; cribs are available. Junior Suites can sleep up to 4 guests and interconnecting rooms are available.

Sina The Gray – Local Transport

  • Walking: Milan’s center is surprisingly walkable. Most sights, including the Quadrilatero d’Oro, Duomo, and Sforza Castle are within a 10-minute walk. Within 30 minutes (2 miles), you can be in the Navigli Canal district, where much of the city’s nightlife is.
  • Metro and Bus: Milan’s Metro is very easy to navigate, with just 5 lines. The hotel is nearest to Duomo Metro station (0.1 mile, 3-minute walk), on the M1 (red) line which runs east-west. There are a good tram system and an excellent network of shared transport systems, including electric bikes, scooters, mopeds, and even cars that only need quick signup in an app.
  • Taxis, Uber, Lyft: City taxis are white and can be hailed from the street. Ubers are widely available.

Sina The Gray – What’s Nearby?

Recommended Nearby Tours

  • Free Walking Tour – Look out for the yellow umbrella in front of the Museo del Novecento (just by the Duomo) at 10 am every morning. An excellent free walking tour that takes in most of the main sights in 2-3 hours. It’s best to reserve your place online. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Segway Tours – You’ll see lots of people whizzing around on Segway tours; they allow you to cover more ground. There are several reputable companies, but this one is an 8-minute walk (0.4 mile) from the hotel.
  • Fashion Tour – A well-established outfit (pun intended) with a mission to help you understand this fashion-obsessed town. The same company also runs perfume tours and offers personal shopping services. The classic tour starts in Via Montenapoleone. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).

Best Nearby Restaurants

    Many Milanese restaurants have good-value lunch (pranzo) deals. Dinner doesn’t usually start until at least 8 pm; go for an aperitivo first.

  • Cracco – A Michelin star, superb wine cellar (over 2,000 labels), cafe food, and haute cuisine, all in the Galleria. What’s not to love? 1-minute walk (100m).
  • Gino Sorbrillo – Italian mini-chain – with an international branch in NYC – serving reliably fantastic and inventive Neapolitan-style pizzas. 1-minute walk (100m) to the outlet on Via Ugo Foscolo.
  • Spazio – Run by pupils of Niko Romito (of the Michelin 3-starred Reale restaurant), this ‘space’ at the top of the Mercato del Duomo gives you a taste of excellence for a fraction of the price. 2-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • Giacomo Arengario – At the top of the Museo del Novecento and overlooking the Duomo. Avant-garde fine dining as well as more casual lunch options for museum-goers. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Corsia del Giardino – Simple but elegant cafe – think high-class burgers and club sandwiches – tucked into a courtyard in the Quad. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • A Santa Lucia – Classic restaurant from the 1930s, filled with photos of celebrities who have dined here, including many a Hollywood legend. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Seta – Outstanding Michelin 2-star contemporary Italian restaurant from Chef Antonio Guida in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Book ahead. Strict dress code. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone – Prestigious deli-restaurant that has fed wealthy shoppers in the Quad since 1957. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Trattoria Milanese dal 1933 – There’s another, unrelated restaurant with the same name in Navigli; both offer reliably good Milanese food, but this one, just behind the Ambrosiana, is a little less touristy. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).

Best Nearby Cafes

  • Pasticceria Marchesi – Historic patisserie, now owned by Prada. Visit the original 1824 store on Via Santa Maria della Porta (0.6 mile, 11-minute walk), or the sumptuous green cafe above the Prada store in the Galleria (50m, 1-minute walk).
  • Luini – It’s worth braving the queues to get your hands on Luini’s authentic Pugliese panzerotti (empanada/pasty). A cheap and delicious fuel (or sweet treat) on the fly. 1-minute walk (50m).
  • Iginio Massari – Award-winning celebrity chef, specializing in pastries and chocolates, all freshly made at this shop, just off the Duomo square. They keep coming out of the kitchen non-stop. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).

Best Nearby Bars and Breweries

    Milan’s version of the happy hour is the famous aperitivo: cocktails served with ‘free’ tapas-style appetizers. Every bar offers it in some form and is a great way to keep yourself going until dinner, which doesn’t usually start before 8 or 9 pm.

  • Bar Straf – Immensely popular hotel bar that locals love for its outdoor seating, good aperitivo buffet, and central location. 1-minute walk (75m).
  • Camparino – Camparino is a thoroughly Italian liquor whose inventor started this bar in 1867. Go for an evening Negroni or Americano aperitivo and drench yourself in Italian history and tradition. 3-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • Armani Bamboo Bar – There’s nowhere better to drink when shopping than at the Armani Hotel. Classy, cool, and spacious, with views over the Quad towards the Duomo. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).

Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops

  • Matia’s Fashion Outlet/DMAG – If you’re dismayed by designer prices, but can’t get out to one of the outlet villages, it might be worth seeking out one of the many outlet stores in town. Matia’s and DMAG each have several convenient central locations.
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – As far as Milanese experiences go, strolling through the Galleria, which runs between La Scala and the Duomo, is a must. Find the worn spot in the mosaic floor where Italians spin around for good luck. Visit eminent Italian designers, have a pastry and an espresso at Pasticceria Marchesi (above Prada) or an aperitivo at Camparino, and simply soak in one of the world’s oldest malls. 1-minute walk (50m).
  • La Rinascente – One of the best and biggest department stores in the world. The top floor is a food court and deli selling the best Italian produce. Look out for money-off coupons on free tourist maps. 1-minute walk (100m).
  • One Block Down – Mainstream and cult streetwear brands with innovative displays, a block from the Duomo. Small cafe inside sells healthy food bowls. 1-minute walk (100m).
  • Borsalino – Make like Humphrey Bogart and head for this luxury hat-maker, whose name has long been shorthand for a felt fedora. 2-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • Libreria Internazionale Hoepli – Big bookstore with a great selection of books in English and other languages. 2-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • Humana Vintage Milano – Specialist outlet of this international charity store, focusing on quality Italian second hand clothes. 5-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Quadrilatero d’Oro – The ‘golden quad’ refers to the 4 streets – Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni, Corso Venezia, and Via della Spiga – that bound some of the best designer shopping in the world. Everyone who’s anyone has a store here. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Pettinaroli – Historic luxury stationers for handmade paper and leather-bound notebooks. Also has a great selection of globes and antique maps. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Corso Vittorio Emanuele II & Via Dante – These 2 streets house clothing stores of most of the popular international chains. 1-minute walk (50m) to Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and 8-minute walk (0.4 mile) to Via Dante.
  • Pellini – Famous and fabulous costume jewelry. 13-minute walk (0.6 mile).

Nearby Attractions

    Milan’s museums have variable opening hours throughout the week and many will have reduced rates or free entry on certain days; it’s always worth checking their websites before heading out. It’s also a great idea to buy a Milano Card, starting at just €11 for unlimited access to some of the city’s top museums and attractions, as well as public transport.

  • Piazza della Scala – One of central Milan’s main squares, with a statue of Leonardo da Vinci and several sights of note: the Scala opera house and museum, one of the entrances to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade (see shopping section), the important Gallerie d’Italia art gallery, and the tourist information office. 2-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • Piazza del Duomo – The city’s main square, which features many of the main sights: the cathedral (Duomo), Museo del Novecento (modern art museum), Palazzo Real (Royal Palace), Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (see shopping section above), and Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the prime shopping thoroughfares which leads to the Quadrilatero d’Oro. 3-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • Teatro alla Scala – The world’s most famous opera house, set in a beautiful plaza. If you can’t see a show, go on a tour via the adjacent museum. 3-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Gallerie d’Italia – In a historic stately home. Some of the best 19th-century Lombardian art, including by ground-breaking futurist Umberto Boccioni. Closed on Mondays, and open until 10:30 pm on Thursdays. 3-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Duomo – Gothic cathedral whose construction started in 1386. Love it or loathe it, the cathedral is the heart of the city. The incredible views from the top over Milan, and as far as the Alps on clear days, are unmissable. 3-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Museo del Novecento – A huge collection of 20th-century Italian art, featuring a Guggenheim-like spiral ramp with great views over the main square and the Duomo. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Palazzo Reale – Tour the royal palace to get to grips with the various rulers of this part of Italy, which has been held by the Spanish, French, Viscontis, Sforzas, Habsburgs, and others. 5-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Ambrosiana – Grand library and art gallery featuring many great Old Masters, including da Vinci, Titian, Raphael, Botticelli, etc. Helpful website. Closed on Mondays. 7-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Pinacoteca di Brera – Set in the traditional artists’ quarter of Brera in the 17th-century Palazzo Brera. Houses some of Italy’s most important works, including Rafael’s The Marriage of the Virgin. Closed Mondays. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Castello Sforzesco – Dramatic fort at the top of Via Dante, leading to Parco Sempione. Built by the all-powerful Visconti (later Sforza) family in the 1360s, it now houses several museums, including cool stuff for kids. Closed Mondays. 14-minute walk (0.7 mile).
  • Parco Sempione – A wonderful park that houses the Sforza Castle, Peace Arch (Arco della Pace), rolling gardens set around lakes, Triennale design museum, a cool viewing tower, and some great al fresco cafes and bars. 18-minute walk (1 mile).
  • The Last Supper at the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie – One of Milan’s biggest draws. Book months ahead if you want to go as an individual or use a tour company like City Sightseeing, whose ticket price includes access to hop on-hop off bus tours. 22-minute walk/13 minutes via public transport (1 mile).

Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores

    Milan has around 100 specialty/local markets.

  • Peck – This is no ordinary deli, but a self-declared ‘temple of gastronomy’. The counters display all kinds of delicacies made on-site, the incredible wine cellar has over 3,000 wines and liquors, and the restaurant does an elegant lunch. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Carrefour Express – Handy 24-hour mini mart right in the center of town. 7-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Eataly – Three-story Italian food emporium with every gourmet and regional specialty food you could ever need. Features the Michelin-starred VIVA restaurant, as well as fantastic pizza and pasta cafes. Definitely worth the trip outside the center. 21 minutes (1 mile) by public transport to the Smeraldo branch.

Sina The Gray – The Hotel

The hotel is located near the Duomo.

Sina The Gray spans old and new buildings on a side street just by the Duomo.

Straf Bar is very popular with locals.

The hotel is opposite the popular Bar Straf and, more importantly, just a few yards from Milan’s premier attraction, the Duomo.

The hotel exterior has intricate carvings.

Make sure to look up. The historic buildings add character to the hotel and contrast with the cool modernity inside.

The lobby-bar is colorful.

A mix of textures, pops of colors, and a touch of fantasy sums up The Gray’s lobby-bar.

The bar overlooks the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

From the bar, there’s a direct view into the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the oldest shopping mall in the world, with some of the finest restaurants and shops in the city.

The Aria Terrace is get for an aperitivo.

In the summer, the Aria Terrace is a popular spot for an after-work aperitivo.

Le Noir features quirky decor and quality food.

Le Noir restaurant’s playful lighting and quirky features like the cutlery-cladded lampshade don’t distract from the quality food on offer.

Breakfast is a beautiful spread.

Breakfast at The Gray does not come cheap, but it is a beautiful spread, served in Le Noir.

Hanging 4-poster bed in a City Deluxe room.

One of the City Deluxe rooms has a dramatic suspended 4-poster bed.

Some rooms have Philippe Starck designed bathtubs.

Some of the rooms feature Philippe Starck designed baths, others have balconies or terraces.

Gallery Deluxe rooms overlook the Galleria.

The Gallery Deluxe rooms have views into the Galleria. Although the rooms are all different, this color palette is used throughout.

Gallery Deluxe rooms have unique round jacuzzis.

The Gallery Deluxe rooms have dramatic circular jacuzzis as well as separate showers.

Guests can stroll through the Galleria every day.

Most tourists only get to walk through the Galleria once. If you stay at The Gray, you get to every day.

Junior Suites are very spacious.

The Junior Suites have spacious bedrooms and comfortable living areas.

Duplex Juniors have floating staircases.

This is one of the Duplex Juniors, complete with a floating staircase.

Ones of the Junior Suites has its own gym.

If working out is your thing, make sure to go for the Junior Suite with its own gym.

Junior Suites have jacuzzis.

Junior Suites feature double vanities as well as jacuzzis.

Guests can use the amenities at the sister hotel close by.

The Gray’s sister hotel, the De La Ville, is just steps away. It has various amenities that Gray’s guests can use.

De La Ville has a rooftop pool.

De La Ville has a rare rooftop pool with views of the Duomo.

The spa offers multiple treatment rooms.

The spa uses aromatherapy to deepen relaxation. Single and double treatment rooms are available.

Guests can use the well-equipped gym.

The De La Ville also sports a gym that The Gray’s guests can use free of charge.

The main square has several metro entrances.

The first thing you’ll want to do is head to the main square to orientate yourself. The Gray is down one of the side streets between the Duomo and the pink building (part of the Galleria). Steps down to the Duomo metro station are scattered all around this square; the closest entrance to the hotel is just about visible here, in front of the Galleria.

The Galleria is famous for its boutiques, bars, and restaurants.

Next, explore the Galleria, the oldest shopping mall in the world; it only takes about a minute to walk end-to-end. As you can see the Galleria from The Gray’s bar, it won’t take you long to find.

Pasticceria Marchesi serves excellent coffee and sweet treats.

You’ll find the exquisite Pasticceria Marchesi above the Prada store.

Cracco has a Michelin star.

Opposite Marchesi, make reservations at Michelin-starred restaurant Cracco.

Camparino offer happy hour.

Stop for a cocktail at Camparino at happy hour, known as the aperitivo. For a few hours, starting around 6 pm, all bars will give you some kind of tapas with your drink; it’s a local tradition.

Mercato del Duomo has a great selection of eateries.

Or, if you prefer a spritz to a Negroni, find the Aperol terrace bar in the Mercato del Duomo; the entrance is behind the white tents in this picture. Also in the Mercato is Spazio, where you’ll get haute cuisine by trainee chefs at a fraction of the price.

Free walking tours start from the Museo del Novecento.

On the other side of the Piazza is the Museo del Novecento, whose interior is a must for any modern art fan and the Mussolini-era architecture is quite something.

Free walking tours begin every morning outside the museum.

Look out for the yellow umbrella outside the museum every day at 10 am. It signals a free walking tour of the city. Bring comfy shoes as it’s 2-3 hours long, but well worth it.

The Duomo museum is on Palazzo Reale.

Next to the Museo del Novecento is the Palazzo Reale: home to the Duomo museum as well as temporary exhibitions and information about the aristocratic families who ruled over Milan for generations.

Iginio Massari’s patisserie has an open kitchen.

Head towards the Martini tower from the Piazza and you’ll see celebrity chef Iginio Massari’s patisserie on your right. Stick around and you’ll see the chefs busy at work.

One Block Down is a trendy shoe store.

Just around the corner from here is trendy shoe store One Block Down. Around the next corner is the Humana vintage store.

Peck is a great deli-restaurant.

Also a quick walk from the hotel is the incredible gourmet delicatessen, Peck. They make fresh pasta, sauces, and antipasti here daily, and their cured meat and cheese selections are a sight to behold. The wine cellar is epic.

Pinacoteca Ambrosiana exhibits some real Italian treasures.

Just around the corner from Peck is the Ambrosian art gallery (there’s also a grand library in the building), a must for any classical art fan.

B Cafe is great for drinks.

B Cafe is a hip but inclusive bar with lots of quirky decor and a good aperitivo spread. They have a sister restaurant around the corner that often has live jazz.

Trattoria Milanese is known for its Osso Buco.

Just by B Cafe is Trattoria Milanese, one of those old-fashioned restaurants where the waiters are formal, the food classic, and the ambience classy. Come here for traditional Lombard specialties like Osso Buco.

Sforza Castle and Sempione Park are a must-visit.

Don’t miss the magnificent Sforza Castle, set in the grounds of Sempione Park. You can easily spend a whole day in this area as both the castle and the park feature several museums.

La Rinascente is one of the world's greatest department stores.

In the same block as The Gray is the enormous department store La Rinascente, which sells almost anything you can think of. The top floor is a food court (try the legendary paninis at De Santis).

Luini sells amazing panzerotti.

Just behind The Gray is Luini’s which always has huge lines for their famous panzerotti. If you don’t mind the calories, get a deep fried one. The Gray’s sister hotel, the De La Ville, is just behind Luini on Via Hoepli.

Hoepli is a great bookstore.

On the other side of the street from the De La Ville is the Hoepli bookstore, one of the largest in Europe, which stocks lots of books in English.

The Armani hotel has an excellent restaurant and bar.

Just northeast of here begins the Quadrilatero d’Oro, sometimes known as the Quadrilatero della Moda, or Montenapoleone after its most famous street. It’s the high-fashion district so, of course, the enormous Armani hotel is a great landmark.

Borsalino is a great local hat maker.

If you want to be able to say “I got it in Milan”, get yourself a hat from classic milliner Borsalino, whose fedoras became popular with the stars of Hollywood’s golden age.

Corsia del Giardino is a great lunch spot in the Quad.

You don’t have to be shopping in the Quad to lunch at Corsia del Giardino.

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II is great for shopping.

The southernmost end of Via Montenapoleone comes out at Piazza San Babila. From here, take the popular shopping street Corso Vittorio Emanuele II back down to the Duomo.

La Scala, Museo Teatrale alla Scala, and Gallerie d’Italia are on Piazza Scala.

On the opposite side of the Galleria and the Duomo is another grand square, the Piazza della Scala, where you’ll find the Scala opera house and museum.

Gallerie d’Italia is a beautiful building.

The Gallerie d’Italia, in a beautiful old building, is also on the square.

Pettinaroli & Figli is a superb stationery store.

If you take Via Guiseppe Verdi, the street opposite that runs along the right hand side of La Scala, you’ll come to the Brera neighborhood, famous for its wonderful gallery and warren of cool shops like this stationery and map store.

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