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Monday, November 7, 2011

A Stellar Find in Milan


We just happened to be going to Milan at the time of their Fashion Week.  Although I was looking for accommodations several months in advance, there was absolutely nothing available.  Then, an Italian friend recommended Hotel Star.  “It’s only a five minute walk from the La Scala Opera House and a few minutes more to the Duomo and Galleria” she wrote.  Bingo…minutes later I found on the Internet that Hotel Star had availability!

I wasn’t expecting much as the special Internet prepayment rate (no cancellation) cost was $185 US per night.  (Considering its location that’s a miracle).  Our taxi turned off a busy road onto a small side-street and moments later we were at the front door of Hotel Star. As we entered I was surprised at the rather grandiose, marble lobby…after all, it was only a 3 star property.  When we opened the door to our room, I was shocked again, this time at the large, beautifully appointed space:  highly polished parquet floors, attractive wood paneling, gorgeous light fixtures and faux finished walls with a hand-painted mural. 

The bed proved to be extremely comfortable.  A marble bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub completed this perfect escape. The quality of the towels was excellent.  And, the tiny street proved to be a blessing in noisy downtown Milan as our street-facing room was perfectly quiet.  

Hotel Star (http://www.hotelstar.it/) has only 30 rooms and has been owned by the same family since the 1930’s.  Be sure and ask for a SUPERIOR room on the first or second floors, all of which have been refurbished and are well worth the extra small cost.  The only liability is the hotel does not have parking (although I was told there are parking lots within walking distance). 

Skip breakfast at the hotel (not included in the above rate) and head down the street one minute’s walk to Bar de Bossi.  The place was packed with well coiffed business men and woman stopping for an espresso or cappuccino before work in the nearby financial district.  We had a superb cappuccino made with Illy Coffee (our fave) for $2 each, and a delightful warm pasty ($1.50)…brilliant bargains in super pricey Milan.

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