Senato Boutique Hotel is the perfect address for Milan Design Week guests. Here, at via Senato 22, the fourth generation of the Ranza family is in charge. Famous entrepreneurs, in the concept of the hotel they emphasized local resources and traditions. Milanese architect Alessandro Bianchi was invited to design the interiors.
The hotel quickly became the main attraction of the street on which it is located, along with the Palazzo del Senato, a Baroque palace built in the early 17th century by Cardinal Federico Borromeo. The main cathedral of the city of Duomo, La Scala Theatre, Brera Pinacoteca, as well as Montenapoleone shopping street – everything, and shopping and cultural program, within walking distance.
The owners and author of the project, patriots of their small homeland, used the resources of Lombardy and its capital to the maximum when choosing performers. The lobby was designed by Milanese florist Rosalba Piccini. Brass decorations, lamps, and bedside tables are made by the artisans of the Milanese workshop Bottega Gadda according to the sketches of the new star of made in Italy design – the incomparable Cristina Celestino.
Ergonomic mattresses were supplied by the Lombard brand Dorelan. The only obviously non-local element is the Carrara marble in the bathrooms. Guests are offered (and free of charge) bottled water from a spring near Bergamo. In a room called Chesterfield, furnished with comfortable armchairs, films in which the action takes place in Milan are played non-stop. Among them are “A Bitter Life” by Carlo Lizzani and “Rocco and His Brothers” by Luchino Visconti.
The five-story building, built at the beginning of the 20th century, has long been the residence of the Rantz family. From the outside, the building looks like a completely traditional neoclassical Lombard palace – if not for the gilded ginkgo biloba leaf above the front door. It is both the emblem of the hotel and the leitmotif of its decor.
Authentic luxury is defined not only by marble and gilding, and not even by snow-white sheets on king-size beds. Luxury appeals to all senses. The rooms are scented with delicate scents of sweet orange, rose, white clay and vanilla. They were created especially for the hotel by the family company Tonatto Profumi, whose clients include the British Queen. Unobtrusive music plays in the background in public areas, accompanying every moment of the life of the hotel, from breakfast to evening digestif. The soundtrack (five playlists) was created by Australian DJ and sound designer Kitten Jam. As the creators emphasize, Senato Milano is the first hotel where future soul music is played. In the rooms, on the contrary, there is a special silence thanks to a special soundproofing system. If you wish, you can listen to music here.
Alessandro Bianchi adhered to a monochrome palette and used expensive finishes. Main materials: copper, wood, brass, marble, velvet. The result is a clean yet luxurious aesthetic, very Milanese in character. It is curious that the author himself calls his project “a little anachronistic.” Like the classics of modernism, he dealt with all the components, from planning to furniture – beds, armchairs, and lamps, made according to his sketches specifically for the project. Bianchi’s landmark was, in particular, Gio Ponti and his hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento: Ponti not only designed the architectural volumes but also thought out furniture, decor, and utensils. Another guru of Alessandro Bianchi is Piero Portaluppi. In addition to the general atmosphere, there is also a direct reference to his work: the entrance door ornament reproduces the Portaluppi drawing for one of the buildings in the Porta Venezia area. In the spirit of the times, it is made using modern laser-cutting technology.
A separate topic is the menu. Northern Italian delicacies are served for breakfast. Fruit tarts and yeast-free bread, croissants from Valentina in Milan, prosciutto from Baganza, cheese from Arona from Luigi Guffanti – this brand is among the top ten shops in the world selling cheese. The restaurant menu was compiled by renowned food critic and journalist Madelena Fossati. Peaches in syrup from Lake Monate, bresaola made according to the method of Piero Poretti, the famous farmer, whom the Italians call only “the master of bresaola”, Coda Nera Riserva salmon are just a small part of the exquisite dishes. Senato has the world’s first Franciacorta-bar: here you can taste 15 types of sparkling wine from the Lombardy region of Franciacorta.