It’s tempting, in a city as rich with history as Milan, to ignore the modern areas and just spend days whiling away the hours in narrow roads and museums in historic buildings. Milan’s iconic Duomo and the impressive Castello Sforzesco are the highlights of this city and no tourist should miss them (if it’s your first time in Milan, stay centrally at the NH Collection Milano President). However, someone here on business or someone who has visited central Milan before might try the NH Collection Milano Porta Nuova, situated in the up and coming Porta Nova neighbourhood, where it’s more about chic cafes, glass skyscrapers and confidently navigating the public transport system to see some less central gems.
That said, there’s no need to immediately rush out…
Accommodation at NH Collection Milano Porta Nuova
The rooms are as stylish as one would expect from Milan: neutral tones with splashes of red furnishings and metallic embellishments. On one wall there is a brass-coloured plan view of Milan, subtly done so that it almost just looks like the spines of a leaf, and the seating area features an enormous circular mirror, which reflects the circular shape of the rug. These little touches, in a city as obsessed with design, will have been carefully curated and are very pleasing.
Our Junior Suite overlooked the building opposite NH Collection Milano Porta Nuova, which houses the police dealing with financial crime; this very stern organisation is housed in a very pretty edifice. Behind this is a glimpse of the buildings that make up the leisure hotspot that Porta Nova is becoming (more on this in a moment). The facilities at NH Collection Milano Porta Nuova include a lobby bar and Timo Bistrot, where an ample and delicious buffet breakfast is served, as well as Italian and Mediterranean dishes throughout the day.
What to do near NH Collection Milano Porta Nuova
Just a five-minute walk from the front of NH Collection Milano Porta Nuova, you cross a park, a bridge and a road, and find yourself in the modernist Piazza Gae Aulenti. Here, high street shops surround a fountain that has a nighttime light show and there are myriad cafes and eateries. It would be quite easy to spend the day drifting among them with a friend or two, devouring panini and the odd spritz while relishing that commodity that Italians value more than any other: good company.
Another excellent place to visit within five minutes walk, especially if you’re looking for some goodies to take home, is the Eataly store. This retail giant is world renowned for exporting Italy’s most iconic produce to the USA, Japan, Dubai, Brazil and many more, including London. As well as a wide range of dining options, and of course the opportunity to shop to your heart’s content, Eataly offers tours, tastings, workshops and visits to experience Italy’s unique food culture. Luckily, your room at NH Collection Milano Porta Nuova has a fridge and all the cheeses you buy can be vacuum-packed for ease of transport.
If you are looking for more things to do a little further from NH Collection Milano Porta Nuova, my other top Milan recommendations include the obvious sights, such as the Duomo and Castello Sforzesco, but you must also make time to visit the aperitivo gauntlet that is Navigli area, where bars lining the canals provide drinks and nibbles late into the night. This might be one for the family in the daytime, but it’s certainly more of an adult hangout when the sun goes down – there are some serious partygoers around!
For a more artistic hit, head over to the Fondazione Prada, where regularly changing installations fill a labyrinthine network of buildings and open spaces. We wandered through the discombobulating spaces featuring works by Robert Gober and Louise Bourgeois, as well as taking in a far more disconcerting take on ecstasy by David Cronenberg.
Reaching all these places using Milan’s metro and bus network was very easy from NH Collection Milano Porta Nuova. Staff were also on hand to give us recommendations on all our plans, including calling ahead to check opening times. It was the perfect end to every packed day to sit in the lobby bar with an amaro before heading to bed, knowing that Milan always has more to offer in the morning!
NH Collection Milano Porta Nuova
Via Melchiorre Gioia, 6