During my latest business trip to Milan, Italy I decided to try the "new" Starwood hotel in town. Milan has a Westin, a Sheraton and a Luxury Collection hotel, all of them priced above what my company would consider reasonable in a city like Milan. And now it has a Four Points, less expensive but not a good value for the money.
The hotel is within walking distance of the train station and of the subway. The location is good, and one of the few good things of this hotel.
I tried to make a reservation through the Starwood web site but I was not able to complete the reservation. I called the hotel directly since I was already in Italy and tried to get a reservation. The rate they quoted me over the phone (160 Euro) was higher than the one I could see on the site(130 Euro). We settled on 150 Euro including breakfast.
Check-in was possibly the worse I have ever seen in any of my hotel stays in years. The young man at the desk was puzzled by my SPG gold card that I gave him along with my Starwood Amex card and my passport. He looked at the front and at the back of the card not quite knowing what to do with it. And for some reason he could not simply make a copy of the passport like I have seen at other hotels in Italy.
The magnetic room key card that he gave me would not open the door of my room and when I went back down to let them know, the same young man did not believe me or did not understand the concept. He gave the card to a colleague (without programming it again) who walked with me to my room and verified that indeed the key did not work. He let me in with his key and told me he would be back with another room key. Nobody came. It was 10 PM so I waited until the morning to go back down and try again, hoping to find someone who had a clue. The next day I get a new key and again it does not work. I go back down and ask for another room this time. They give me the identical twin room next door. A maintenance man comes with me and lets me in with his key so that I can move my stuff next door, while he tries to figure out why the door does not work. A second man in hotel uniform is also there while I move my stuff. I ask him and he tells me that he is there just to make sure I close the door behind me on the first room. He does not volunteer to help, by the way.
I was under the impression that the hotel had been renovated or remodeled before changing name from Hotel Royal Mercure to Four Points Sheraton. Overall the hotel looks rundown and in need of a lot of work. The door to my room looked like it had been forced open with a crowbar at one time (by the hotel management or by thieves) and it had not been fixed, just painted over with a different paint color to highlight the damage. The window in the room did not open and a sheet of paper taped to the glass warned the guests that the window was broken and that they should not attempt to open it.
The room was very small but that is not uncommon in Italian hotels. No gold upgrade to a preferred room here. The hotel has a parking garage but it is not open because it is being repaired. You can park for about 10 Euro per night in a garage of a nearby hotel or for free in the street like I did.
The room description on the reservation page on the web site talked about Internet access for a fee. I did not see any sign of high speed (or low speed for that matter) Internet access available in the rooms. There is also no business center and no fitness center in the hotel and no alarm clock in the room. There is a safe in the room but it is not big enough for a laptop so it is useless to me. The carpet looked faded and worn in the first room, much better in the second room.
The furniture in the room was old and worn out - looked like hand-me-down Ikea - and there was also a little round table made of particle board and draped with a piece of cloth. There were no drawers to put clothing or other stuff in and there was just enough space in the closet to hang two shirts and two pairs of pants. I kept most of my clothes in the suitcases for lack of a place to put them.
The bathroom was OK, but the toilet cover and seat would not stay in the "up" position without holding them with one hand. The tile floor had some dirt spots, maybe mud or who knows what, as well as chips missing here and there.
Overall I would recommend to stay away from this hotel. I have been in much better category 1 and 2 Starwood hotels in Italy and in the USA. The Four Points Milan Center is not in the same class as your average Motel 6. You should be able to find better accommodations for the same price at one of many other hotels in the area.
I was originally planning to stay for a week but after the first night I decided stay just for the weekend and then go elsewhere.
Was there for one night in May. I found both check-in and -out to be made quickly and efficiently. I do however speak Italian and am not sure if that had anything to do with it. I was even asked if I had an airline member card.
My room was tiny and somewhat noisy (there were some gang people playing loud music down in the streets at night), but apart from that comfortable and fitted with every amenity I needed.
Breakfast was OK (but don't order tea as I did, go for espressi instead!).
I made a reservations for my younger sisters to stay at this hotel in May and June. Their first stay (2 nights) they deemed "fantastic". Speedy and friendly check-in, upgrade to suite, amenity of bottle of red wine and munchies. The hotel staff was very accomodating with regards to holding luggage, etc. Their second stay was termed "great", despite no upgrade to suite. They didn't mention the condition of the room (worn or otherwise) but I'm sure I would have heard about it if it wasn't up to snuff . I just checked rates for an upcoming stay in October but rates were crazy throughout Milan (200E at the 4 Pts, 350E at the Sheraton, and up from there).
One night stay on points. 2 rooms. Clean. Upgraded to balcony rooms but wasn't there long enough to use them. Rooms a bit small but bigger than some I've been in while in Europe. Front desk service was hit or miss depending on who waited on you. Good recommendation on a restraunt nearby. Once terminal available for free internet access.. Good workout facilities.