Hotel Highlights

  • Incredible location next to the Duomo
  • The hotel can arrange a personal shopper
  • Sleek, contemporary design

Overview

The Gray hotel looks glossy, with a solid, mirrored rectangle as an awning. On our left as we enter is a small cocktail lounge, boudoirish, with velvet banquettes; the reception area is replete with a giant fuchsia-upholstered swing. The Gray is precisely central, with the Duomo at the end of the street, La Scala and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele round the corner.

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Facilities

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The Gray Hotel - Milan - Italy

Need To Know

Rooms

21 individually designed rooms, two with private gyms.

Check–out

Midday. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $386.60 (€280), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €5.00 per person on check-out.

More details

Rates exclude breakfast.

At the hotel

High-speed Internet connection, hydro shower and/or hydro tub, valet parking. A personal shopper can be arranged.

Our favourite rooms

101, 201 and 301 have kingsize beds, round hydro tubs, and views of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.

Children

A babysitter can be provided with 24 hours notice. Beds are available for small children at no extra cost.

Food & Drink

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The Gray Hotel - Milan - Italy

Hotel Restaurant

The international clientele favours the cosy Le Noir for its Italian food and fantastic fish.

Hotel Bar

Il Bar, the jewel-like cocktail lounge in a corner of the ground floor, is open until 01h.

Last orders

Food, 10.30pm; drinks 1am.

Room service

The restaurant à la carte menu is available 12.30–2.30pm and 7am–10.30pm; otherwise, snacks such as smoked salmon and insalata caprese are available until 1am.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Informal but A-list.

Top table

Choose a round table for two.

Local Guide

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The Gray Hotel - Milan - Italy
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Local restaurants

Marino alla Scala on Piazza della Scala (+39 2 8068 8295) is well worth popping into for a cocktail and a bite of Italian food either in the restaurant,or in the café. The minimalist decor is a suitable backdrop for the fashionable folk who frequent it. You can even take a little of its cool home with you, after a visit to the adjoining lifestyle boutique and bookstore. Chandelier on Via Broggi (+39 2 2024 0458) is a place you’ll either love or hate, with red-velvet decor, chandeliers, crucifix-covered drapes and dressed-up mannequins; the food comes second but is tasty. Open for dinner, La Libera on Via Palermo (+39 2 805 3603) calls itself a beer cellar, but the food is also very good. Claudio Sadler prepares seafood with a nouvelle approach at Sadler on Via Troilo (+39 2 5810 4451). Giulio Pane e Ojo on Via Muratori (+39 2 545 6189), is good for Roman cuisine. Nobu on Via Pisoni (+39 2 7231 8645) does Japanese-Peruvian fusion like its global siblings, in a corner of the Armani mini-mall. Chatulle on Via Piero della Francesca (+39 2 342 008) is a sparkling-white restaurant, serving imaginative Italian cuisine. Gioia 69 on Via Melchiorre Gioia (+39 2 6671 0180) is a super-trendy combination of sombre Michelin-starred restaurant and black-velvet lounge bar. Osteria dell’Operetta on Porta Ticinese (+39 2 8940 7426) serves some of the best risotto alla Milanese in the world. The food is also recommended in Antica Trattoria della Pesa on Viale Pasubio (+39 2 655 5741). 360º on Via Tortona (+39 2 835 6706) is a great brunch stop for help-yourself salads, pasta and pudding.

Local bars

At aperitivo time, the Porta Ticinese area gets packed out; a few hours here is a quintessential Milanese experience. Roialto on Via Piero della Francesca is 700 square metres of restaurant, cocktail bar and cigar bar, with a rooftop pool. Executive Lounge on Via di Tocqueville is a candlelit Indonesian-style bar with cushions and low wooden tables, open until 02h. By the entrance to Parco Sempione on Via Luigi Camoens, Just Cavalli Café is as flamboyant and sexy as one of designer Roberto Cavalli’s clinging mini-dresses, all oriental fabrics and antelope furs, open until 02h. Gioia 69 on Via Melchiorre Gioia (+39 2 6671 0180) is a chic minimalist restaurant and lounge bar with a Michelin-starred kitchen, and a lounge filled with black velvet sofas; it’s great for either dinner or a drink.

Local cafés

Marchesi, Via Santa Maria alla Porta, is legendary for its coffee and cake. An institution for breakfast and aperitivi. Taveggia on Via Visconti di Modrone, appeals for its original furnishings and great panini. Cova on Via Montenapoleone is famous for its rice pudding – stop here for post-shopping star-spotting.

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Centralissimo

The Gray

6 Via San Raffaele, Milan, 20121

Planes

Milan has three airports: Linate (30 minutes from Bulgari Hotel), Milan Bergamo (45 minutes) and Malpensa (50 minutes). There are no trains from Linate, but the 73 bus will drop you at Piazza San Babila, just a 10-minute walk from the hotel. There are trains every half hour (until 11.10pm) from Malpensa to Piazzale Cadorna (also five minutes away). From Linate, your only option is the Terravision express coach, which will take you to Milano Centrale station in 60 minutes (around 10 minutes from the hotel).

Trains

The hotel is a 10-minute taxi journey from Milano Centrale station, where you can get local and regional trains to the rest of Italy and elsewhere in Europe. Be warned, express trains cost more than the regional equivalents which make more stops; see Trenitalia (www.trenitalia.icom) for details.

Automobiles

The hotel's right next to the cathedral, so once in Milan, simply follow signs to the centre or ‘duomo’ to find it and then leave your car to be taken care of at The Gray (valet parking is available). You probably won’t need to drive within the city; plus, Milan is well-served by public transport, with both a metro and tram system. Although, you may well want a car to visit Bergamo, one of the most beautiful cities in Northern Italy and just under an hour’s car drive away.

Reviews

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The Gray Hotel - Milan - Italy

Anonymous review

by Jason Alper , On-set stylist

What do you take to wear on a two-day trip to Milan? Black, obviously: arriving at Malpensa airport, we encounter a sleek army of northern Italians, milling about, talking, embracing and looking stylish. Apart from the odd Missoni stripe and Marni floral, they’re dressed in black. At least we’ll blend in – don’t you hate looking like a tourist?

The Gray...

Read more

The Gray

Anonymous review by Jason Alper, On-set stylist

What do you take to wear on a two-day trip to Milan? Black, obviously: arriving at Malpensa airport, we encounter a sleek army of northern Italians, milling about, talking, embracing and looking stylish. Apart from the odd Missoni stripe and Marni floral, they’re dressed in black. At least we’ll blend in – don’t you hate looking like a tourist?

The Gray looks glossy, with a solid, mirrored rectangle as an awning. On our left as we enter is a small cocktail lounge, boudoirish, with velvet banquettes. We’re greeted by the friendly black-clad staff in a reception area replete with a giant fuchsia-upholstered swing and, without too much messing about, we’re taken up to our room for the unveiling.

Blimey. It’s perfect. The white walls are broken up with two-tone wood veneer. The ivory silk curtains are button-operated, as is the lighting. The first thing we notice, as we play with the curtains twice, is the scene outside. The Gray is precisely central, with the Duomo at the end of the street, La Scala and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele round the corner, and all the fun bits of town – Via Montenapoleone, La Brera, Porta Ticinese – a walk away. So we’re perfectly positioned for playtime.

After the view, the bathroom: there’s a huge, round Jacuzzi bath with a TV, and if you haven’t got time for the tub (you’ll need 20 minutes to fill it), there’s the option of a big shower room, all marble, wood and glass. Back in the bedroom, we look around to see what other buttons are worth pressing. The stereo has the Kill Bill Vol 1 soundtrack sitting next to it. As the dulcet tones of Nancy Sinatra ring out, we survey the plasma TV, DVD player and fully stocked mini-bar. Finally, the bed. The inner sanctum of our weekend. It’s vast, with a seven-foot leather bedhead, Egyptian cotton bedlinen and duckdown pillows. You could say we’re up and running. I can’t see myself leaving this room for the next two days.

No such luck. Not even time to check out the stripping housewives on Italian TV. Maybe later, I am promised; we have a supper reservation in the hotel restaurant, Le Noir, so we just have time to splash about in the rock-star bath. Interesting. Let’s hope Le Noir will be half as good. With the name, we imagine it might be a little pretentious, which isn’t the case. It could have been a Quentin Tarantino set in a past life: it’s a black box with opium-den lighting, and black velvet chairs round tables sporting squares of grass (the green, growing stuff). As in reception, with its Alice in Wonderland does Dallas swing seat, the feel is two parts opulence, one part humour. There are spoons and forks hanging from the light fittings: strange, but it looks bold and quirky rather than contrived. The staff are dressed in black. So are we.

The menu takes a firm Italian stance: we kick off with a Barolo, octopus carpaccio and lobster spaghetti. It was all excellent, as was the service – as was the second bottle of Barolo. Waking up the next day, we both feel like a million lira, ie: the price of a second-hand Vespa, and probably both look it. How can wine be legal? With a bathroom like this one, though, surely we can sort out our hangovers. Within an hour, we’re out on the streets of Milan, having power-showered ourselves better, breakfasted in the hotel and dressed again in his ’n’ hers black. The hotel is superbly positioned for a couple of hours of culture at the cathedral.

The Piazza del Duomo is basically Trafalgar Square with no Nelson’s Column, just loads of pigeons and conspicuous, non-black-wearing tourists. The Duomo, on the other hand, is truly breathtaking: a vast gothicky pile with spires and flying buttresses, which towers over the piazza. It has to be seen. There is a steep winding staircase leading to the rooftop, where the 360-degree view gives our newcomers’ eyes a sense of Milan’s topography. We walk among the stone saints freely, ponder the merits of bringing a picnic, as some others have done, and take the lift down. We decide not to explore inside, but instead join the throngs of shoppers worshipping at the temples of Via Montenapoleone, Milan’s premier shopping thoroughfare, and the surrounding stylish streets. Prada, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton – retail doesn’t get more serious or spend-spend-spend than this.

We cross back past the Duomo and stop at Zucca, just inside Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, a great place for a Campari and soda. It’s weird: Milan is full of men buying shoes for the women in their life. Sitting next to us is a couple who must have done just that. Hmmm – he’s in his fifties and she can’t be older than 25. Father and daughter? Husband and wife? Or a forbidden liaison – there are at least two shoe boxes visible at their feet. I suppose we’ll never know…

After the cosy contemporary of Le Noir, we decide to go traditional for our last evening. There’s an incredible array of choice in Milan; they love the ‘next big thing’ thing. At Il Coriandolo, the decor is very simple, unlike the food, which is sophisticated and delicious. One thing overshadows the menu, though. Believe it or not, the man we saw earlier near the Duomo, entertaining a very young lady, walks into the restaurant with his companion. But this time, she belongs to his own age group, and is obviously his wife. Her shoes are great. They sit next to us, and he recognises us. He glances over at us again and again, shifting in his seat. I can’t bring myself to wink. Maybe he thought I was a private investigator. He’ll never know.

We’ve had a funny, free-flowing, easy time in Milan. The Gray is a sexy, intimate-opulent place to hang out, and the city is fantastic for eating and shopping (and drinking). It’s a great escape from all the nonsense we put up with at home. Final thoughts: it’s a small world, but I wouldn’t like to paint it. Don’t cheat on your wife. Oh, and keep buying shoes for the one you love. It certainly works for the Italians. Finally, I believe they’re about to bring in a law that bans people from public places if they’re not smoking.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Gray's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on 22 Dec 2013

We loved

I liked the fantastic room – large, stylish and very classy – which had one of the best bathrooms I have ever experienced in a hotel. The location is also fantastic: so close to the Duomo, galleries and great shopping. It is all at your doorstep.

Don’t expect

It's very noisy with delivery trucks and construction work if you are in a room facing the street.

Rating: 8/10 stars