Palazzo Segreti Hotel in Milan, Italy

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Updated: August 5, 2020

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Review of Palazzo Segreti Hotel in Milan, Italy.

Palazzo Segreti – A chic townhouse where every room offers a unique experience.

Palazzo Segreti is ideally placed to explore Milan, wedged in between the Duomo and Castello Sforzesco. The architect-owners, who spearheaded the renovation of the characterful old building, have transformed the rooms using contemporary styling and inventive uses of light and dark to give each room its own micro-climate and create this ‘palace of secrets’. What it lacks in facilities – it has just one common area that serves as reception, breakfast room, and bar – it makes up for with stylish yet comfortable rooms, a delectable breakfast, and exceptional staff, who make sure they get to know their guests well enough to make them feel at home.

The owners also have a set of seven self-catering apartments in the trendy Porta Garibaldi area of Milan.

Palazzo Segreti – Location

  • Address: Via San Tomaso 8, 20121, Milan.
  • Nearest Metro: The Cairoli Castello Metro station is a 2-minute walk (0.1 mile), Cordusio is a 3-minute walk (0.2 mile), and Cadorna is an 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Area: Prime location just off the Via Dante, a major thoroughfare that runs between the Duomo and the Castello Sforzesco (which sits in the glorious Parco Sempione). Surrounded by great restaurants and shopping and just 2 minutes’ walk (0.1 mile) from the nearest Metro station.
  • How to Get There: From Malpensa airport, it’s around 50 minutes (31 miles) by taxi. On public transport, get the express train to Milano Cadorna station, from where it’s a 10-minute walk (0.5 mile) or short taxi ride to the hotel.
  • Handy to: The Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Castello Sforzesco.

Palazzo Segreti – The Basics

  • Ages: The hotel is not strictly adults only, but there are no specific amenities for children. The concierge can arrange cots or babysitting services if required.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: The Unique Design Suite features a spa tub.
  • Kitchen: None of the rooms at Palazzo Segreti have their own kitchens, but Le Suite apartments do.
  • Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi throughout the property.
  • Extras: Drinks on arrival, turn-down service, concierge service, and free newspapers.
  • When to Book: Reserve as far ahead as possible if you’re coming during the fashion or design weeks (February, April, or September).
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates. Also for the apartments.
  • Phone: +39 02 4952 9250
  • Email: [email protected] / [email protected]
  • Website: palazzosegreti.com / suitepalazzosegreti.com

Palazzo Segreti – Amenities

  • Pool: No pool.
  • Spa: No spa.
  • Fitness Center: No fitness center.
  • Laundry: Hotel laundry service available (extra charge).
  • For Disabled Guests: Small cage elevator.

Palazzo Segreti – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant: No restaurant.
  • Lounge/Bar: The bar in the reception has an excellent wine selection and is available to guests 24 hours.
  • Breakfast: An excellent buffet-style breakfast is included, showcasing local, organic produce and a selection of breads and pastries baked in-house. Available 7-10:30 am.
  • Room Service: Drinks and snack menu available 24 hours.

Palazzo Segreti – Rooms

  • Room Types: Superior Design Room • Junior Design Suite • Unique Design Suite • Le Suite apartments (off-site)
  • Smoking Rooms: Rooms are non-smoking, but some have terraces.
  • Best Room: In theory, the Superior Design Suite is the largest and most luxurious, featuring a spa tub and balcony, but it’s worth discussing your requirements with the team, as every room has a different configuration and feel. The hotel also has seven apartments, with kitchens and living rooms, in the trendy Corso Como/Porta Garibaldi area of the city, under the name of Le Suite di Palazzo Segreti.
  • For Families: Le Suite will offer the most flexibility and space for families, although it is further away from the city center.

Palazzo Segreti – 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 (1.5 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 Cairoli Castello Metro station (0.1 mile, 2-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.

Palazzo Segreti – What’s Nearby?

Recommended Nearby Tours

  • 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 a 1-minute walk (25m) from the hotel.
  • 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. 9-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • 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. 11-minute walk (0.5 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.

  • Da Rita e Antonio – Locals will tell you this is the best pizzeria in the city. Serves delectable meat and seafood dishes, too. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • T’a Milano – A chocolate shop, bar, restaurant, and boutique – this place has it all. Try the award-winning white chocolate bar with caramel and Hawaiian sea salt. 5-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • La Brisa – Romantic vibe, serving excellent Italian food and wine, and loved by locals. Cozy interior with a secret walled garden, near the Roman ruins. 5-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. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • 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. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Rovello 18 – Simple, quality, characterful, and recommended, with a great wine list. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • L’Orto di Brera – Brera’s ‘vegetable garden’ serves an exquisite vegetarian lunch served around a central table surrounded by fresh produce. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • 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? 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Gino Sorbrillo – Italian mini-chain – with an international branch in NYC – serving reliably fantastic and inventive Neapolitan-style pizzas. 9-minute walk (0.4 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. 9-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Corsia del Giardino – Simple but elegant cafe – think high-class burgers and club sandwiches – tucked into a courtyard in the Quad. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • A Santa Lucia – Classic restaurant from the 1930s, filled with photos of celebrities who have dined here, including many a Hollywood legend. 14-minute walk (0.7 mile).

Best Nearby Cafes

  • De Santis – Hundreds of cool panini combinations have made this cafe legendary. Try to go to the original outlet on Corso Magenta to get a real flavor for it. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Pasticceria Marchesi – Historic patisserie, now owned by Prada. Visit the original 1824 store on Via Santa Maria della Porta (0.2 mile, 5-minute walk), or the sumptuous green cafe above the Prada store in the Galleria (0.4 mile, 8-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. 9-minute walk (0.4 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.

  • 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. 7-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Terraza Aperol – Try-hard trendy bar owned by the eponymous and ubiquitous liquor brand of ‘spritz’ fame with a great terrace overlooking the main square. Enter through the Mercato del Duomo. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • B Cafe – The bare brick walls and quirky decor give this place a hipster vibe, but the staff is welcoming and cocktails are cheap. There’s often live jazz both here and at the sister B Restaurant around the corner. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Bar Straf – Immensely popular hotel bar that locals love for its outdoor seating, good aperitivo buffet, and central location. 9-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Bar Magenta – An art nouveau wonder and total Milanese institution, serving good meals and cheap drinks. Open 7:30 am-2 am (or later). 10-minute walk (0.5 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.
  • 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).
  • 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. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Il Cirmolo – Vintage and retro curio emporium. An excellent selection of Disney collectibles, especially. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • 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. 9-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Wait and See – A hip lifestyle concept store selling women’s wear and accessories. 9-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • One Block Down – Mainstream and cult streetwear brands with innovative displays, a block from the Duomo. Small cafe inside sells healthy food bowls. 9-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Libreria Internazionale Hoepli – Big bookstore with a great selection of books in English and other languages. 10-minute walk (0.5 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. 14-minute walk (0.7 mile).
  • Borsalino – Make like Humphrey Bogart and head for this luxury hat-maker, whose name has long been shorthand for a felt fedora. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile) to the Galleria store or 15-minute walk (0.8 mile) to the main shop in the Quad.

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. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Ambrosiana – Grand library and art gallery featuring many great Old Masters, including da Vinci, Titian, Raphael, Botticelli, etc. Helpful website. Closed on Mondays. 6-minute walk (0.3 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. 6-minute walk (0.3 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. 7-minute walk (0.3 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. 7-minute walk (0.3 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. 8-minute walk (0.4 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. 8-minute walk (0.4 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. 9-minute walk (0.5 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. 10-minute walk (0.5 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).
  • 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. 10-minute walk (0.5 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. 16-minute walk (0.8 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. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Carrefour Express – Several outlets dotted around the city. The closest one isn’t far from the Duomo and is open 24 hours. 15-minute walk (0.8 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. 22-minute walk (1 mile) to the Smeraldo branch.

Palazzo Segreti – The Hotel

The hotel is located in a quiet street.

The hotel (right) is almost as secretive as its name, tucked just off Via Dante, a major shopping street bursting with popular international chain stores.

The hotel has a very simple entrance.

Blink and you’ll miss it. Look out for the subtle sign.

The reception, bar, and breakfast room share the common area.

The hotel’s main common area, which includes the reception, bar, and breakfast room, is spacious and open-plan.

The common area is divided into different spaces.

Clever room dividers provide different areas within the shared space.

Quirky contemporary art decorates the hotel.

There are quirky contemporary art pieces dotted around that add a pop of color or surprise.

The elevator is bright red.

The building’s original elevator may not be spacious, but it adds a huge amount of character and color.

The hotel mixes traditional with modern design.

A hallway provides another space to relax and admire the eclectic clash of the old building with modern minimalistic design.

Superior rooms are spacious and modern.

Superior rooms are around 15 sqm, whether they are in bright white brick or moody grey stucco.

The minimalist rooms have pops of color.

Pops of color and retro or antique touches stop the minimalist rooms from feeling sterile.

Light rooms have dark bathrooms and vice versa.

Lighter rooms have darker bathrooms and vice versa to provide sensory stimulation.

Superior rooms have small sitting areas.

This Superior has space for a slightly larger sitting area than others, so it gets a second TV for convenience.

Some Superior rooms have small balconies.

This Superior room has huge windows that flood the room with light. It even has a small balcony.

The Junior Suite has a free-standing bathtub.

This Junior Suite serves minimalist-baroque with its 4-poster bed, freestanding bathtub, and antique wood furniture…

The Junior Suite has a minimalist bathroom.

…juxtaposed with a minimalist white and grey bathroom.

The Unique Design Suite has a huge bath tub in the bedroom.

The Unique Design Suite has space for an enormous bathtub next to the bed.

The suite has a red armchair.

The suite is divided into 2 rooms with a central panel. The bedroom has an armchair and television.

The suite's living room is large.

The living area has a big sofa and spacious closets.

The suite offers street views.

The suite’s balcony has a view of Via Dante.

Sforza Castle is just steps from the hotel.

The huge Sforza Castle (aka Castello Sforzesco) dominates Via Dante, seconds from the hotel. Cairoli Metro station is at the top of the shopping street before the roundabout.

Sforza Castle has several good museums.

Inside the Castello are many noteworthy museums and galleries, including the Musei d’Arte Antica showcasing a Da Vinci fresco.

Sempione Park outside the castle is a great attraction.

Walk through the castle and you come out in Sempione Park, which is great not only for people watching, but also to explore sights such as the Arco della Pace (Peace Arch) and the Triennale di Milano (design museum).

Pinacoteca di Brera art gallery is in Brera.

East of Via Dante and the park is the neighborhood of Brera, home to the Pinacoteca de Brera (left, with columns and flags), one of the finest galleries in Italy.

Pettinaroli & Figli is a superb stationery store.

It’s possible to spend hours wandering round Brera’s pretty streets filled with restaurants, bars, and independent stores such as map and stationery experts, Pettinaroli.

Il Cirmolo is a fabulous curios store.

Another classic Brera store is Il Cirmolo, a treasure trove of antique and reproduction kitsch.

N’Ombra de Vin has a beautiful cellar.

A renowned neighborhood bar is N’Ombra de Vin, a historically important wine cellar that serves great cured meats too.

Rovello 18 serves great meals.

Locals recommend Rovello 18 in Brera for a great meal.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the world's oldest malls.

From Palazzo Segreti, turn left instead of right on Via Dante (south) and you will come to Milan’s main square, Piazza del Duomo. To the left of the Duomo is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the oldest malls in the world.

Free walking tours start from the Museo del Novecento.

To the right of the Duomo are 2 worthwhile museums, the Museo del Novecento (pictured) and the Palazzo Reale (left). Look out for the yellow umbrella outside the Museo at 10 am if you want to take the free walking tour.

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

In the Piazza, to the right of the Galleria entrance, is the Mercato del Duomo food court, which houses the restaurant Spazio and also the 8-story department store La Rinascente.

Camparino has been serving guests for 150 years.

Camparino has been serving fans of the quintessential Italian liquor on the corner of the Galleria with views of the Duomo for over 150 years.

Cracco in the Galleria is a great restaurant.

A few doors down from Camparino into the Galleria is Cracco, a 3-story fine dining emporium. Expect tasting menus and deconstructed Milanese classics.

Luini sells amazing panzerotti.

For something a little more down to earth, check out Luini, just outside the Galleria, which serves dozens of varieties of Italy’s answer to a Cornish pasty, the panzerotti.

Hoepli is a great bookstore.

A block from Luini is the Hoepli bookstore; it has an enormous selection of English-language books and lots of Italian maps and guides.

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

Walk through the Galleria to find Teatro alla Scala, the world’s most renowned opera house. If you’re coming here straight from the hotel, it’s an easy walk.

T’a Milano is great for lunch or coffee.

An elegant spot for lunch or coffee close to the hotel is T’a Milano.

Pasticceria Marchesi serves excellent coffee and sweet treats.

On the southeast side of Via Dante, Corso Magenta and Sant’Ambrogio neighborhoods are just as worthy of exploration. Start at the city’s most prestigious patisserie, Marchesi, in its original store on Corso Magenta.

De Santis is known for its paninis.

A few doors down from Marchesi is De Santis, where you can choose from hundreds of panini fillings.

La Brisais is a very romantic restaurant.

Just off Magenta are Roman ruins and also the most romantic restaurant in the city, La Brisa.

Bar Magenta is a must-visit.

A stop at the impeccable Bar Magenta is a must, any time of day.

The Last Supper can be seen at the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie.

One of Milan’s must-see attractions is Da Vinci’s painting, The Last Supper. Find it at the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie.

Peck is a great deli-restaurant.

Closer to the Duomo is the outstanding deli-restaurant Peck, one of the city’s must-visit stores.

B Cafe is great for drinks.

B Cafe is a really nice spot to enjoy a drink thanks to its friendly staff and lively atmosphere (as is it’s sister restaurant, just around the corner).

Pinacoteca Ambrosiana exhibits some real Italian treasures.

One of the other main sights in this part of town is the Ambrosian Library and Gallery (Pinacoteca Ambrosiana), which houses some real Italian treasures.

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