The Yard Hotel in Milan, Italy

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Updated: August 5, 2020

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Review of The Yard Hotel in Milan, Italy.

The Yard – A feast for the senses that infuses old-time glamor with modern comforts.

The Yard is much more than just a bar-restaurant with rooms. The word eclectic doesn’t begin to do the decor justice. Trying to capture its ‘more is more’ aesthetic in a phrase might look something like opulent art deco/faded Victoriana/rock-n-roll/shabby-chic/arty/retro-sporty with a dash of mid-century modern and a twist of Oriental glamor. Once you get over the wow-factor of the curios covering every surface (most are for sale), The Yard’s chops as a substantial boutique B&B shine through. Comfortable and cozy rooms, excellent service, and great food and drinks make for an excellent base to explore Milan, especially for those interested in exploring the world of bars, restaurants, independent stores, and markets along Navigli’s canals. Navigli is an unforgettable Milanese neighborhood, and The Yard is an unforgettable Milanese experience.

The Yard – Location

  • Address: Piazza Ventiquattro Maggio 8, 20123, Milan (sometimes written as Piazza XXIV Maggio). The Piazza spans both sides of the Darsena (dock). The hotel is on the north-westernmost edge, just before the road becomes Viale Gabriele D’Annunzio, behind the green buildings of the Mercato Comunale.
  • Nearest Metro: Porto Genova Metro station, an 11-minute walk (0.6 mile) away, is on the M2 line (green), from where you can get to Central Station or the Duomo (change to the M1 at Cadorna) in 15 minutes. Many tram lines and buses are available in the Piazza Ventiquattro Maggio, a 2-minute walk (0.1 mile) from the hotel; the number 3 tram will get you to the Duomo in around 10 minutes.
  • Area: The Yard is in the Navigli neighborhood, an area famous for its nightlife, with most of the city’s hippest bars and clubs clustered here. Navigli is named for the canals winding through the district, which are filled with quirky shops, chic boutiques, artist studios, and markets, and are great to wander around (don’t forget the insect repellant).
  • How to Get There: From Malpensa airport, it takes around 45 minutes (31 miles) to get to The Yard by taxi. By public transport, it takes around 1 hour 15 minutes; take the express train to Cadorna Station, then take the M2 Metro line 2 stops to Porta Genova, from where it’s an 11-minute walk (0.6 mile, or 1 stop on the tram) to the hotel. From Central Station, it’s 25 minutes via the M2 (8 stops) with the walk from Porta Genova, or 40 minutes on the number 9 tram, which goes door-to-door.
  • Handy to: Navigli’s canals, markets, and nightlife. Sant’Eustorgio and San Lorenzo basilicas. Museo delle Culture (MUDEC).

The Yard – The Basics

  • Ages: Guests tend to be hip couples or groups of friends. All ages are welcome and cribs are available upon request, but there are no specific amenities offered for children. Bar is 18+.
  • View: One of the Maison Suites has a beautiful view of the city skyline.
  • Kitchen: One of the Maison Suites has its own kitchen.
  • Parking: Available in private garage for €30 per day.
  • Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi throughout the property.
  • Extras: Evening entertainment (live music, movie screenings), board games, pet bowls and beds, library, bicycles (€10 per day or free when booking certain packages).
  • 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.
  • Phone: +39 02 8941 5901
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: theyardplaces.com

The Yard – Amenities

  • Pool: No pool.
  • Spa: No spa. The concierge can arrange in-room treatments on request.
  • Fitness Center: No fitness center.
  • Laundry: Laundry service available (extra charge).
  • For Disabled Guests: The hotel does not have an elevator, but one room has been made fully accessible for wheelchair users.
  • For Families: Interconnected rooms and toys are available. Extra beds, babysitting services, and special menus can be arranged on request.
  • Activities: Aperitivo hour, evening entertainment (live music), board games.

The Yard – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants: Gipsy – Located on the hotel’s ground floor, describes itself as “an eclectic and experimental experience”. The decor is as eccentric as the rest of the hotel. No kids’ menu. Open for lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday. • Dirty Gym – In an old gym locker room and honors this history with a boxing theme. It has a good-value menu of pizza, panuozzo, calzone, and focaccia. Open for lunch and dinner except on Mondays (lunch only) and Sundays (dinner only).
  • Lounge/Bar: The Doping Club sprawls over The Yard’s impressive courtyard and across most of the ground floor. In the evenings, the place comes alive with hip locals dressed to impress (luckily, the rooms, a few of which are situated around the courtyard, have soundproofing). Mixologists and waiters are proudly dressed like dandies: impeccably groomed, with aprons and waistcoats. Cocktails are inventive and classy (a strict “no Mojitos, Long Island Iced Teas, or energy drinks” policy is maintained). The bar is open to guests 7:30 am-1 am (2 am Friday-Saturday), but only opens to the public from 6 pm. Live Jazz Sunday Brunch: 12 pm-4 pm.
  • Breakfast: Complimentary buffet breakfast served 7:30-11 am. Additionally, on Sundays, The Doping Club opens noon-4 pm for a set brunch menu with live jazz (additional charge).
  • Room Service: Available 7:30 am-1 am (same hours as the bar) from the bar menu, which includes pizzas, tapas, and Gipsy’s menu when the restaurant is open.

The Yard – Rooms

  • Room Types: Junior Suite • Suite • Dependance Suite (delux) • Maison Suite (luxury)
  • Smoking Rooms: Rooms are 100% non-smoking, but smoking is permitted in the courtyard and terraces.
  • Best Room: All rooms are decorated differently, most with a sporting theme ranging from cars to surfing, so that’s one way of picking the one you want. Otherwise, for luxury, the Maison Suites are the biggest rooms, all with clever partitioning to create living areas replete with huge, sumptuous sofas. Choose according to your needs – Maison Inning has a kitchen while Maison Stars and Stripes has a terrace with city views. All 5 Maison Suites are designed very luxuriously.
  • For Families: The best rooms for families are the Dependance or Maison Suites, which are all big enough for extra beds. Some of the Junior Suites and Suites have interconnections. Regardless of which room you pick, the sports themes are sure to please kids.

The Yard – Local Transport

  • Walking: Everything in Navigli is easily walkable, and the Duomo is a 23-minute walk (1 mile). You’re also well-placed here to explore the down-at-heel but trendy Zona Tortona, as well as the Porta Romana neighborhood, where all the major interior designers have their studios.
  • Metro and Bus: Porto Genova Metro station, an 11-minute walk (0.6 mile) away, is on the M2 line (green), from where you can get to either Central Station (direct) or the Duomo (change to the M1 at Cadorna) in 15 minutes. Additionally, many tram lines and buses are available in Piazza Ventiquattro Maggio (0.1 mile, 2-minute walk): the number 3 will get you to the Duomo in around 10 minutes.
  • Taxis, Uber, Lyft: City taxis are white and can be hailed from the street. Ubers are widely available.

The Yard – What’s Nearby?

Recommended Nearby Tours

  • Canal Boat Tours – See Navigli from the water with a Navigazione Navigli guided cruise. The boat is easy to find. Simply head south from the dock (Darsena) down Naviglio Grande along the right-hand towpath and you’ll see the company’s jetty as soon as you get down to the water level. 5-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Segway Tour Milan – This company’s 2-hour tour covers all of Milan’s main sights, as well as Navigli. The tour starts from Via Rovello 1/A at 11.30 am every day. 15 minutes (1.5 miles) by tram #3.

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.

  • Sixième Bistrò – Tucked away down a side street, the Six Gallery provides this top-end restaurant with one of the most beautiful and romantic gastronomic settings in the city. 5-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Mieru Mieru – Beautiful family-run Pugliese restaurant that many locals will tell you does the best seafood in Milan. Reservations needed. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Al Coniglio Bianco – Cozy and friendly traditional Italian restaurant that comes highly recommended by locals. 20% discount if you sign up for their newsletter. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Restaurante da Giordano Il Bolognese – A place where time has stood still since the 1950s, but the food is fresh. Offers Bolognese specialties. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • 28 Posti – This intimate place focuses all its attention on simple, high-quality cooking for its ‘28 seats’. Recommended by Michelin. Reservations advised. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Tokuyoshi – Michelin-starred Italo-Japanese fusion haute cuisine by Yoji Tokuyoshi. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).

Best Nearby Cafes

  • GUD Milano – As the names suggests, this is good food, focusing on fresh ingredients and healthy eating (as well as some alcoholic beverages). This outpost on the Darsena has fabulous views. Open daily 9 am-2 am. 1-minute walk (75m).
  • Pasticceria Gattullo – A beautifully preserved 1960s patisserie that has stayed true to its family values and has great offerings for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and happy hour. 7-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • LatteNeve – Gelato with amazing flavor combos like poppy seeds, cardamom, and peanuts. Lots of milk-free options. 8-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.

  • Al Coccio – Fabulous canal-side beerhouse where you can order the many draft beer options by the liter. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • La Bodeguita del Medio – The Latin American food can be hit or miss, but if you love rum and Cuban music, you’ll have a good time. 5-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • El Brellin – Picturesque bar-restaurant in an 18th-century building, next to a little canal off the Naviglio Grande where washerwomen used to congregate. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Mag Cafe – Exquisite, well-thought-out cocktails in an eclectic vintage bar. Canal-side. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Ugo – Quirky bar that has the feel of a historic English country home with delicious circus-themed cocktails. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Tongs – Popular and fun bar with books hanging from the ceiling. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Le Biciclette – Long-established bike-themed, art-obsessed bistro-bar with specialty burgers. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Tutti Fritti – Craft beer and fried food in a quirky, grungy-camp bar with plenty of strange objects to gaze at. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • RAL Cocktail Bar – New York-inspired cocktail bar with a record store featuring a live DJ and radio station. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Bodega del Tasca – Spanish tapas bar-restaurant that heaves with locals for the aperitivo. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).

Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops

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.

  • Basilicas – A pleasant park connects the important churches of Sant’Eustorgio and San Lorenzo Maggiore nearby. The former has a decent museum set around a beautiful cloistered courtyard with a bistrot, while the latter has dramatic columns and dates back to the 4th century. 3-minute walk (0.1 mile) to Sant’Eustorgio, 9-minute walk (0.4 mile) to San Lorenzo.
  • Ambrosiana – Grand library and art gallery featuring many great Old Masters, including da Vinci, Titian, Raphael, Botticelli, etc. Helpful website. Closed on Mondays. 18-minute walk (1 mile).
  • Museo delle Culture – Many visitors who stick to central Milan might miss this gem of a museum in Zona Tortona. It’s one of the only museums in Milan open on a Monday and features permanent and temporary world-class exhibitions, as well as Enrico Bartolini’s Michelin 2-Star restaurant. 21-minute walk (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. Everything here is approximately a 23-minute walk or 12 minutes by tram (1 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. 23-minute walk (1 mile) or 14 minutes by tram (1 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. 23-minute walk or 14 minutes by tram (1 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. 24-minute walk or 15 minutes by tram (1 mile).
  • 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. 16 minutes by tram (1.5 miles).
  • 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. 16 minutes by tram (1.5 miles).
  • 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. 17 minutes by tram (1.5 miles).
  • 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. 20 minutes by public transport (1.5 miles).
  • 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. 24 minutes by public transport (2 miles).
  • 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. 26 minutes by public transport (1.5 miles).

Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores

The Yard – The Hotel

The hotel's entrance is very small.

Blink and you might miss the hotel altogether. If the gate’s shut, just a small gold plaque announces that there’s a hotel inside.

Dirty Gym pizzeria is next door.

The hotel’s popular pizzeria, Dirty Gym, is next door.

The hotel has an underground garage.

The approach to the hotel is pleasant, with the entrance to the restaurant on the left and bar on the right; the garage is straight ahead down the ramp.

The courtyard is very tastefully decorated.

Finding the reception can be a challenge – there’s just so much to look at in the courtyard. The hotel’s mis-matched eclectic style somehow works when it’s all together.

The decor is unique and everything is for sale.

If there is one constant, it’s that everything is different, from the seating to the artwork. Pretty much everything is for sale.

The reception is on the first floor.

Turn left at the busts in the cabinet and go up the stairs towards the bar for reception.

The reception has a vintage salon-like decor.

The reception desk is opposite the bar, although you may mistake it for a salon with its vintage barber chairs.

The common areas are very spacious.

The hotel may not have many rooms but the common areas are extraordinarily spacious.

The hotel has its own dog.

After a while, nothing surprises. For example, the hotel is overseen by a very chilled out old dog.

Gipsy restaurant often features live bands.

The Yard’s restaurant, Gipsy, often hosts evening entertainment. A small stage with a glitter drum kit is just visible in this photo, under the flags.

The Rider suite has a horseback riding theme.

All the rooms are called suites, with the junior suites being the smallest. This one, Rider, pays tribute to horseback riding.

All bathrooms come with rain showers.

A saddle bag hangs in Rider’s bathroom. All bathrooms have rain showers.

The Jab suite has a boxing theme.

The Jab Suite is inspired by boxing. The hotel’s smartphones, free to guests during their stay, can be seen on the bedside table.

The Jab has a small terrace and full bar.

Jab features a small terrace in the courtyard, hidden from the bar by foliage, as well as a cocktail bar, complete with a shaker and fresh fruit.

All rooms have coffee machines, minibars, and desks.

All rooms have coffee machines, minibars, as well as desks.

The Wicket Maison Suite has its own entrance.

The Wicket Maison Suite is the hotel’s largest room. It has its own entrance off the courtyard. Thickly-carpeted stairs lead you up to the enormous living space.

The suite has a fabulous bar.

Shaken or stirred? Wicket’s bar has to be one of the best “minibars” in any hotel ever. It comes complete with cocktail-making guides.

The suite can sleep 4.

The bed is tucked behind the bar, giving the sleeping area a distinct feel. As well as this king-sized bed, there’s an enormous lounge area that is big enough for (at least) 2 more people.

The bathroom has separate toilet and shower areas.

The bathroom features a separate toilet with classy cool gray tiles.

There is a fireplace and leather chair in the shower.

What could be more luxurious than a leather chair and fireplace in your shower room?

Piazza XXIV Maggio gets very busy in the evenings.

The magnificent Porta Tichinese stands in the middle of Piazza XXIV Maggio. In the evenings, the square is filled with activity. The Yard is on the northwesternmost edge of the Piazza.

Mercato Comunale is opposite the hotel.

In the Piazza is the Mercato Comunale, a great place to pick up fresh meat, fish, and produce. You can’t miss it; it’s literally opposite the hotel.

Market stalls specialize in Latin American products.

Lots of the market stalls specialize in Latin American products like dried chilies, maize flour, and seasonings.

Piazza VVIV Maggio is popular with youngsters.

Piazza VVIV Maggio stands on one edge of the Darsena (dock), with the navigli (canals) branching off. It’s a major hangout spot for young Milanese.

The nearest tram stop is just a minute away.

You’re likely to get familiar with the trams if you stay in this part of town as they are more convenient to get into central Milan. The nearest tram stop to the hotel is just steps away.

Gud is very popular in the evenings.

This cafe, Gud, is set into the western edge of the Mercato and is good for food and drinks any time of day or night. It gets packed at nighttime thanks to its pretty lights and waterfront position.

Pasticceria Gattullo is good for light bites or meals.

A quick walk east of the Piazza, Pasticceria Gattullo is a classic spot for breakfast, lunch, aperitivo hour, or simply an espresso and pastry to go.

Carrefour supermarket is open 24/7.

Opposite Gattullo is a small Carrefour supermarket, open 24-hours.

La Bodeguita is a great bar.

On the road that leads from the Piazza to Gattullo is the characterful La Bodeguita, a great place to start a night out on the town.

Al Coccio has beers on tap and great burgers.

Al Coccio stands at the top of Naviglio Pavese, where it meets the Darsena. It has 18 beers on tap and good burgers.

Mieru Mieru is known for its seafood.

Mieru Mieru is frequently cited by locals as the best fish restaurant in the city. It’s just off the Pavese canal.

Naviglo Grande has a lot of shops, bars, and restaurants.

The other canal leading off the Darsena is the Naviglo Grande, the great canal. It’s full of cool shops, bars, and restaurants, which makes it a great place to explore day or night.

Canal boat tours are fun.

If you walk south along the right hand towpath, you’ll see the sign for canal boat tours which are a pleasant way to get to know the area.

Small art studios dot the canal.

Don’t forget to poke your head into the little courtyards along the canal; you’ll be delighted by the little artist studios and artisan stores selling unique stuff.

Osteria Al Coniglio Bianco is popular with locals.

Also along the right-hand towpath is Osteria Al Coniglio Bianco, a favorite for locals looking for traditional Milanese fare.

El Brellin bar-restaurant is located beside a small waterway.

Just down from Al Coniglio Bianco is El Brellin bar-restaurant. Look out for the little waterway down the side; it’s where washerwomen used to do laundry by hand.

Mag Cafe is known for its excellent cocktails.

Across the water is Mag Cafe – actually a bar – where the mixologists come up with truly outstanding cocktails in antique-chic surroundings.

Via Corsica has a lot of interesting shops.

Don’t miss Via Corsica which runs between the Naviglio Grande and Via Vigevano. It has excellent shops, including SuperGulp and Brand Storming, as well as some of the coolest bars…

Ugo bar has splendid old English decor.

…of which, Ugo, with its splendid old English decor, must come top of the list. RAL8022 comes a close second for its friendly bar staff and funky live radio station down one end.

LatteNeve is a great gelato place.

Just around the corner on Via Vigevano is LatteNeve serving unmissable gelato.

Porta Genova is the closest metro station.

Porta Genova is the nearest metro station to The Yard.

Biffi sells designer clothes.

From here, Corso Cristoforo Colombo leads back up towards the center. It’s a popular shopping street and the Biffi sisters have their flagship store here. Just around the corner from Biffi is the outstanding restaurant Tokuyoshi.

La Tasca tapas bar and Tutti Fritti are near Basilica di Santo Lorenzo.

Winding east from here will take you back to Corso di Porta Ticinese, bringing you out by Basilica di Santo Lorenzo, near La Tasca tapas bar and the rather more grungy Tutti Fritti.

Basilica di Sant’Eustorgio is very beautiful.

Head south on Corso di Porta Ticinese to return to Piazza XXIV Maggio, but not before peeking into the beautiful cloisters of Basilica di Sant’Eustorgio.

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