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Park Hyatt or Excelsior Gallia Milan?

Park Hyatt or Excelsior Gallia Milan?

Old Dec 3, 15, 4:22 pm
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Park Hyatt or Excelsior Gallia Milan?

Hi friends! I am taking my mother and meeting friends in Milan for 3 nights in Oct 2016. Since I'm SPG Plat and Hyatt Diamond, I'm most interested in the PH Milan and Excelsior Gallia Luxury Collection hotels--both of which will allow me to spend less/nothing and even permit me a suite upgrade.

I know the PH is more central, but the newly refurbished Excelsior seems very highly thought of, as well. I'll be coming in by train from Venice, so the Excelsior is convenient in that one respect.

Otherwise, what are the pros and cons of each? Which has better suites? My impression is that both are excellent luxury hotels offering comparably high levels of service but with different styles.

FWIW, I am FLUSH with Chase UR points and Starpoints, and I have plenty of Hyatt DSUs and SPG SNAs to more or less guarantee me a suite upgrade at either. I'm already blowing 105K Starpoints for a free 3 night stay at the Gritti in Venice beforehand, and another 40K Starpoints for a free 2 night stay at the Park Tower Knightsbridge in London afterward. I can afford the MO Milan or Aman Venice or Halkin London, but it's too easy to use points for free stays (or cash and points at the PH Milan).

Thanks for any guidance!
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Old Dec 3, 15, 8:38 pm
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Excelsior Gallia has caught my eye, and I would like to give it a try at some point. Steam baths with chromo-lighting in the suites are a very nice touch.

As SPG Plat 100, with lots of points to burn, I imagine it would be the best value proposition. If you would have a good chance of getting a mid level suite, or even one of the larger suites, that's a lot better than the junior suite you would get with a DSU at PH Milan.

Sure it does not have the location of the PH, but it is a newly reopened hotel and looks pretty sharp. Also, as you have said, the location is convenient if arriving by train.

If you stay, it would be great to hear your review of the hotel
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Old Dec 3, 15, 8:42 pm
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Yes it is convienent when arriving by train to be at the Excelsior, but the area around the Central Station is not very appealing or safe at night and there is literally nothing around there. I would suggest staying there only for an early morning train departure. If you are staying some time in Milan, I would definitely stay at the Park Hyatt, you are by the Duomo, central squares, and nice places to walk around there. The rooms at the PH are beautiful and the service is superb.
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Old Dec 3, 15, 9:47 pm
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PH Milan has beautiful, spacious rooms. Diamond breakfast (assuming it hasn't changed since last year) was fantastic. Delicious meats, cheeses, and entrees made to order if wanted. Service was also impeccable. Not sure if this is of interest but hotel provides complimentary bikes which is great given the prime location.
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Old Dec 3, 15, 10:32 pm
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PH might also offer paid upsell to higher suite categories.
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Old Dec 4, 15, 12:13 am
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Originally Posted by dh01 View Post
Yes it is convienent when arriving by train to be at the Excelsior, but the area around the Central Station is not very appealing or safe at night and there is literally nothing around there. I would suggest staying there only for an early morning train departure. If you are staying some time in Milan, I would definitely stay at the Park Hyatt, you are by the Duomo, central squares, and nice places to walk around there. The rooms at the PH are beautiful and the service is superb.
Thanks for sharing--but I confess to laughing a bit at the "safe at night" comment--in Milan! You're talking to someone who walked around Antananarivo, Madagascar, a little at night last Dec, and who has been out walking around at night in Cape Town, Jo'burg, Rio, Mexico City, etc, all in the past year. Milan is not a place I'd fear at all.

Location is important but not critical, since both are not that far apart in reality. FWIW, we stayed at the PH Istanbul over the FS Sultanahmet, even though it was further from the main sights, and we absolutely loved the PH there despite its "less ideal" location (and it was totally free on points, to boot). It will take less time to get from the Excelsior Gallia to the center of Milan than it did for us to get from the PH Istanbul to the Sultanahmet/tourist area, after all.

I'm more concerned about value proposition and service/amenity differences between the 2 hotels themselves. As of now, the 2 hotels SEEM to have comparable service and luxury assessments.

How is the air con at the Park Hyatt or Excelsior if anyone knows? THAT would be a definite factor to push me one way or the other!
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Old Dec 4, 15, 12:19 am
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
Excelsior Gallia has caught my eye, and I would like to give it a try at some point. Steam baths with chromo-lighting in the suites are a very nice touch.

As SPG Plat 100, with lots of points to burn, I imagine it would be the best value proposition. If you would have a good chance of getting a mid level suite, or even one of the larger suites, that's a lot better than the junior suite you would get with a DSU at PH Milan.

Sure it does not have the location of the PH, but it is a newly reopened hotel and looks pretty sharp. Also, as you have said, the location is convenient if arriving by train.
As of now, I'm leaning toward the Gallia over the PH--partly because my Plat 100 status is likely to get me upgraded to a big suite without using SNAs and partly because the award rates are better (20K per night at Gallia vs 30K per night at the PH). I can get upgraded for free at the Gallia but can't use the DSU at the PH unless I do cash and points.

If you stay, it would be great to hear your review of the hotel
You can be sure I'll review whichever I choose, along with the Gritti in Venice and Park Tower Knightsbridge in London. It might be quite the Luxury Collection tour for me.

I will say that our stay at the PH Istanbul weights heavily on me...because it was so fantastic IMO.
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Old Dec 4, 15, 1:01 am
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
As of now, I'm leaning toward the Gallia over the PH--partly because my Plat 100 status is likely to get me upgraded to a big suite without using SNAs and partly because the award rates are better (20K per night at Gallia vs 30K per night at the PH). I can get upgraded for free at the Gallia but can't use the DSU at the PH unless I do cash and points.

You can be sure I'll review whichever I choose, along with the Gritti in Venice and Park Tower Knightsbridge in London. It might be quite the Luxury Collection tour for me.

I will say that our stay at the PH Istanbul weights heavily on me...because it was so fantastic IMO.
I think it makes sense to use the Plat 100 status as much as possible at the best properties before any possible devaluation of points or changes to the program that will unfortunately likely happen due the acquisition of SPG by Marriott.

PH will always be an option on future trips, but there is some risk that the 20k redemption rate (plus an upgrade to a large suite) may not always be possible at Excelsior Gallia in the future.

I'm looking forward to your reviews. How is Park Tower Knightsbridge by the way?
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Old Dec 4, 15, 1:08 am
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Thanks for sharing--but I confess to laughing a bit at the "safe at night" comment--in Milan! You're talking to someone who walked around Antananarivo, Madagascar, a little at night last Dec, and who has been out walking around at night in Cape Town, Jo'burg, Rio, Mexico City, etc, all in the past year. Milan is not a place I'd fear at all.
Safety is a very elastic term
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Old Dec 4, 15, 4:07 am
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Park Hyatt or Excelsior Gallia Milan?

I would say that the PH Istanbul ranks as one of my favorite, if not most favorite PH. Great rooms, excellent service, we loved the area that it was in. The PH Milan stay was less satisfying. The rooms are nice but not great. We did probably get the worse room in the building (Accessible by the elevator) We had trouble with our coffee machine and our safe during our stay, which the management did handle ok but was just annoying. They literally could not find us another coffee machine in the entire hotel but did comp all our coffee through room service. The location is excellent for seeing all that Milan has to offer. I do not recall of the AC goes to BHrubin levels. I had some trouble with the concierge who apparently only could get me tickets to the last supper if I bought a city tour package from them. I was able to find tickets through an online reseller at a minor markup pretty easily. All and all a hotel that's worth using points at but I wouldn't spend $$$ for. (For reference I did spend $$$ at the PH Istanbul).

Sorry I don't have any insight on the Excelsoir.

Fdw
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Old Dec 4, 15, 10:21 am
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post

How is the air con at the Park Hyatt or Excelsior if anyone knows? THAT would be a definite factor to push me one way or the other!
You are worried about the aircon in October, in Milan? Think heating and warm bedding.
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Old Dec 4, 15, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post
You are worried about the aircon in October, in Milan? Think heating and warm bedding.
I'm just as worried about air con whenever it's cold enough outside such that everyone else in a hotel is running their heat, which rises up to whatever high floor room/suite I'll be in! It never fails to be a concern...and rarely fails to be an issue at even the best hotels.
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Old Dec 4, 15, 10:37 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingDoctorwu View Post
I would say that the PH Istanbul ranks as one of my favorite, if not most favorite PH. Great rooms, excellent service, we loved the area that it was in. The PH Milan stay was less satisfying. The rooms are nice but not great. We did probably get the worse room in the building (Accessible by the elevator) We had trouble with our coffee machine and our safe during our stay, which the management did handle ok but was just annoying. They literally could not find us another coffee machine in the entire hotel but did comp all our coffee through room service. The location is excellent for seeing all that Milan has to offer. I do not recall of the AC goes to BHrubin levels. I had some trouble with the concierge who apparently only could get me tickets to the last supper if I bought a city tour package from them. I was able to find tickets through an online reseller at a minor markup pretty easily. All and all a hotel that's worth using points at but I wouldn't spend $$$ for. (For reference I did spend $$$ at the PH Istanbul).
Glad to know you think as highly of the PH Istanbul as we do. That also suggests I may not love the PH Milan as much as everyone else, despite its more central location. Your service issues are most concerning, since we had such fab service at the PH Istanbul.

My experience has almost always been that SPG luxe hotels (StR, especially, but also Lux Collection and some Ws) are usually more generous with suite upgrades and double upgrades for SPG Plats more than PH hotels are for Hyatt Diamonds. I find that as an SPG Plat 100, my suite upgrades and overall service has been even more extraordinary and consistent with SPG luxe properties...something which Hyatt can't quite delineate or match with its simple Diamond designation. (I don't think this necessarily extends to Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien, and most W properties, FWIW.)

I was leaning towards the Excelsior Gallia already. Your comments make me further believe that is the right direction for me...at least, until I get better reviews of the air con between the 2 hotels!

Sorry I don't have any insight on the Excelsior.
If this holds, I'll be able to share mine with you and everyone else. I think most know I'm pretty discerning!

In the end, I'm sure both the PH and Gallia are excellent choices. I just think with the lower award redemption and prospect of Starpoints losing value that using my Starpoints for the Gallia, along with the last possible chance benefitting from Plat suite upgrades and Plat 100 service because of the Marriott merger, the Gallia is the best option for me in Oct 2016.
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Old Dec 4, 15, 6:49 pm
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I stayed at Excelsior Gallia this past October and was pleasantly surprised. I was there with family for one night as we were heading to Modena. Given the short stay, EGM had the best rates when choosing between EGM and Park Hyatt.

The renovation of the hotel is a success and those who like Art Deco will be very pleased.

We were in Premium King Rooms which were nicely decorated but definitely smaller than a comparable room at PH Milan. The bathroom is nicely fitted, however, the water pressure in the shower is weak and I think defeats the purpose of having a rain shower head. The water pressure at PH Milan is definitely better.

Front desk staff are very good and one of the Concierge staff is ex-Palazzo Parigi.

Breakfast at Gallia Restaurant was very good. Food quality, selection and quantity were excellent as was the service.

Given the very short stay, we didn't really get to use the pool, fitness center or spa.

We returned to Milan after Modena and Bologna but stayed at the Mandarin Oriental.

Park Hyatt is nice and it's location is a huge advantage but after multiple stays there in the past 3 years, I'm of the view that it's a great hotel but not an excellent one. That said, service at PH Milan is miles ahead of PH Paris Vendôme and PH Hamburg and it's slightly ahead of PH Vienna and PH Zürich.

From experience and personal tastes my hotel preferences when in Milan are:
Mandarin Oriental
Palazzo Parigi
Park Hyatt
Excelsior Hotel Gallia
Armani Milano

W/R/T safety in Milan at night, I'm generally not worried. However, my Milanese friends have commented that they've noticed an uptick in more brazen muggings day and night, mostly thefts of cell phones and purses.
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Old Dec 4, 15, 7:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Mr. Strong View Post
I stayed at Excelsior Gallia this past October and was pleasantly surprised. I was there with family for one night as we were heading to Modena. Given the short stay, EGM had the best rates when choosing between EGM and Park Hyatt.

The renovation of the hotel is a success and those who like Art Deco will be very pleased.

We were in Premium King Rooms which were nicely decorated but definitely smaller than a comparable room at PH Milan. The bathroom is nicely fitted, however, the water pressure in the shower is weak and I think defeats the purpose of having a rain shower head. The water pressure at PH Milan is definitely better.

Front desk staff are very good and one of the Concierge staff is ex-Palazzo Parigi.

Breakfast at Gallia Restaurant was very good. Food quality, selection and quantity were excellent as was the service.

Given the very short stay, we didn't really get to use the pool, fitness center or spa.

We returned to Milan after Modena and Bologna but stayed at the Mandarin Oriental.

Park Hyatt is nice and it's location is a huge advantage but after multiple stays there in the past 3 years, I'm of the view that it's a great hotel but not an excellent one. That said, service at PH Milan is miles ahead of PH Paris Vendôme and PH Hamburg and it's slightly ahead of PH Vienna and PH Zürich.

From experience and personal tastes my hotel preferences when in Milan are:
Mandarin Oriental
Palazzo Parigi
Park Hyatt
Excelsior Hotel Gallia
Armani Milano

W/R/T safety in Milan at night, I'm generally not worried. However, my Milanese friends have commented that they've noticed an uptick in more brazen muggings day and night, mostly thefts of cell phones and purses.
Thanks for that! Any chance you have a comparison on the air con at the PH and EHG? I love air con and to be quite cold...
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