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Excelsior Hotel Gallia, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Milan, Italy [Master Thread]

Excelsior Hotel Gallia, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Milan, Italy [Master Thread]

Old Feb 7, 16, 4:15 am
  #106  
 
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Someone has asked long time ago how much is the price for parking.

In front of the hotel it is 40 €.
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Old Feb 8, 16, 9:46 am
  #107  
 
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I finally made it to the Gallia and the breakfast is indeed a step above other breakfasts at Starwoods I have had (in Milan or elsewhere), if not quite at the level of the Principe di Savoia down the street. My Signature suite is a nice space if a bit of an odd layout (lots of hallway space and a smallish sleeping area) relative to Junior suites at the Westin Palace. The high tech lighting etc. takes some getting used to but is a definite step forward and the wood floors are a nice touch. There is also much more attentive service than at the Westin though there is not yet the confident sense one gets from a longer-established hotel.

All in all I am enjoying my stay and if pricing permits I will stay there again.
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Old Feb 8, 16, 1:22 pm
  #108  
 
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Originally Posted by ckendall View Post
I finally made it to the Gallia and the breakfast is indeed a step above other breakfasts at Starwoods I have had (in Milan or elsewhere), if not quite at the level of the Principe di Savoia down the street. My Signature suite is a nice space if a bit of an odd layout (lots of hallway space and a smallish sleeping area) relative to Junior suites at the Westin Palace. The high tech lighting etc. takes some getting used to but is a definite step forward and the wood floors are a nice touch. There is also much more attentive service than at the Westin though there is not yet the confident sense one gets from a longer-established hotel.

All in all I am enjoying my stay and if pricing permits I will stay there again.
And did you enjoyed the superbowl tonight at the seventh floor?!
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Old Feb 8, 16, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Forstbetrieb View Post
And did you enjoyed the superbowl tonight at the seventh floor?!

Too tired after arriving that morning from the US to stay up....
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Old Oct 15, 16, 12:25 pm
  #110  
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Excelsior Gallia Milan: Amazing high design luxury hotel with service issues

Excelsior Hotel Gallia, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Milan

Piazza Duca D Aosta 9 Milan, IT 20124

Excelsior Gallia Milan: Amazing high design luxury hotel with service issues (26 Photos)

Excelsior Hotel Gallia, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Milan

I just returned from 3 nights at the Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan, after having spent 4 nights at the amazing Gritti Palace in Venice. I was meeting my mother and 2 friends in Milan, and we chose the Excelsior Gallia partly because I could use SPG points and partly because it's slightly less central location allowed our friends to stay at a less expensive Hotel Bernina nearby. 

The hotel is spectacularly gorgeous...with Art Deco high design done VERY well throughout. It is a very impressive hotel, from the lobby to the restaurant to the bar to the rooms. Everything looks luxurious and very modern and sopshisticated.

Service was the hotel's biggest letdown. There were many service lapses and let-downs, so much so that I finally had to get the GM involved. Despite those, the GM and several managers really did try very hard to please us and placate us when errors were made...but the overall impact was that the service team needs significant improvement to truly be considered a luxury hotel.

That being said, the staff did really try to make it up to me...in as many ways as other staff screwed the pooch. So I would be inclined to stay again should the location again suit me. The proximity to the Centrale station really made transit in/out of town very easy, both for me arriving by train from Venice and for my friends and mother arriving/departing by train from/for the MXP airport. 

In the end, the hotel really is amazingly beautiful.

Check In

Our 2 rooms were both booked using SPG points (20K per night). My SPG Ambassador had already confirmed my upgrade to an Atelier Suite a month before arrival, along with my mother's courtesy room upgrade to an Excelsior Room (a double upgrade). Because I got upgraded SO early, my 3 SNAs for my room were refunded back to my account--even though I did get a double suite upgrade. Very impressive.

Check in was smooth, but did take a little longer than expected--maybe 10 min. Still, everyone was friendly and welcoming and my SPG Plat status was recognized. The VIP attention I got--name recognition, etc--suggested that everyone knew I was an Ambassador Plat. 

The lobby entrance:

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Concierge desk:

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Hallway to breakfast restaurant/lounge:

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Room

The Atelier Suite was beautiful.

The living room:

 

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Bedroom:

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The bed was extremely soft and comfortable. Loved it.

 

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There was tremendous room for storage and for putting away all my clothing (which wasn't much as I only had a carry on!). Anyone would have been pleased with the closet space, neatly and smartly hidden behind the smart design cabinetry.

The view out onto the Centrale train station was lovely:

 

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The bath was also spacious and beautiful:

 

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The air conditioning worked MIRACLES--was one of the best I've ever had anywhere. I like it COLD:

 

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Service

Service was the hotel's biggest letdown. 

First, I had trouble with the phone by my bedside; it didn't seem to work at all. I had to call down to the front desk to have them fix it while I went out for a late lunch. I returned and it still didn't work. I asked the front desk manager to have an engineer replace it or fix it while I was away at dinner. I returned after dinner and it still didn't work. It wasn't until the last day that I finally learned, with the GM In my room supervising 2 engineers, that the programming was wrong and that I had to dial 9 (no one ever told me) to get the front desk--but nothing else worked. I was pretty furious about all of the episodes where I couldn't use the phone.

Second, on our first visit to the top floor bar terrace, the heat lamps were way too hot (and were either all on or all off). I complained...and the server comp'd all of our drinks. Nice touch...but it seems ridiculous that they can't make the heat lamps one on, one off. That seems to be the necessary fix.

Third, on our second visit to the top floor bar terrace (our 2nd night), there was a function...and we were treated VERY poorly. The receptionist seemed flustered in what to do with us, and finally allowed us to sit in a private space inside--since there wasn't much space otherwise available. Then no one would servve us. After 15 minutes of people walking by and no one heeding my calls, we left. I was pretty pissed...and complained. On our 3rd night, the GM picked up our drinks again. But it shouldn't have happened in the first place. This disaster felt like this was the W Hollywood where we weren't important enough--something I rarely feel and that I had never experienced at this property. BAD.

Finally, I had made arrangements in advance through the concierge for a private Milan tour for my group. That morning, we arrived downstairs and no one seemed to have a clue. Then we were advised their private car would take us and drop us at the Duomo...but that we'd have to walk to the Castelo to meet our guide. First I'd heard of it...and I insisted we be dropped off where our guide would meet us! We got dropped at the Park Hyatt...and our guide met us there about 15 minutes later. The tour started about 30 minutes late for a scheduled tour. I was pretty pissed about it...but the guide was lovely. No discount was ever offered for this mishap. The concierge apologized sort of the next day...but this was as bad an error as a concierge team can make IMO.

Together, my impression of service here was NOT positive. The GM went above and beyond to try and repair the damage. But the fact remains that the hotel has a poor service experience when there should no excuse for any of them...not to mention the recurring issues with the phone for which there is no excuse. The GM did give me a lovely gift of a Panerai passport holder, and my mother a lovely gift of spa products. He definitely tried. Others tried, too. But the service needs work, to be sure.

Dining

We dined here only for breakfast...and what a spread they offer. They DID offer me room service gratis as part of my Platinum benefit--which is very generous and not an entitlement. I didn't partake of that until my day of departure--and had great room service.

Our other 2 mornings, I had breakfast with my mother in the restaurant. It's spectacularly beautiful.

 

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Service was a little slow but otherwise friendly and nice. The selection was tremendous as you can see from the photos above.

Concierge

I mentioedn in service that we had issues with meeting up with our guide for the start of our private Milan tour. Otherwise, however, the concierge team was quite helpful. They booked all of the Michelin restaurants we wanted, and they also made great recommendations for lunch in town. The team was quite responsive with me even before our arrival. 

Bar terrace

The bar area on the top floor...and in particular, its outdoor terrace, are spectacular. We really enjoyed meeting every night for cocktails...and they provided amazing appetizers gratis to accompany those as a matter of course. It really was quite well done.

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Location

The hotel is literally across the street from the Centrale train station. It was VERY convenient for us, as it allowed me to arrive by train with ease from Venice, and allowed my mother and friends to arrive and depart by express train from/to the MXP airport with ease. It was a 45 min train ride to/from the MXP airport. It was a 20-30 min drive to the LIN airport from which I flew out to London on my check out day.

It was a 20 min drive to the central area where we did our private tour, starting at the Park Hyatt Milan hotel. While it might be more convenient for a tourist or shopper to be at the Park Hyatt or Four Seasons, both of which we saw and toured, we found the Excelsior to be far more striking in design and more convenient for arrival/departure. That being said, I usually had no trouble finding Uber (black) even though it's apparently illegal, and there is NO trouble finding cabs in the city otherwise (which we did a few times when we couldn't get Uber). 

 

Overall

Overall, I confess that I still loved the Excelsior Gallia Milan--even with its service shortcomings. The effort the GM and a few of the managers made in trying to rectify the mistakes that were made did leave me with a more positive feeling, and the fact that it was free on points probably helped a bit, too. The absolutely striking architecture and interior design of the Gallia is what I most remember, however. 

Also helping was the fact that we toured both the Park Hyatt and Four Seasons, both of which seemed to have a higher service standard but which didn't impress me as being nearly as striking or beautiful in design or layout. The FS courtyard is lovely, but I didn't love the rooms. The Park Hyatt lobby I hated, and the decor in rooms and suites seemed surprisingly dated. We had lunch at the FS, and it was delicious (and pricey!). If I had to choose between those, I would prefer the FS overall...but still would consider the Gallia. 

I would consider the Gallia again if ever I return to Milan. It was so beautiful that I cannot ignore it.

I also must confess that I loved Milan far more than I expected--considering how few people talk about it as a tourist mecca or major destination in Italy. Obviously, there is tough competition in Italy, but I really liked Milan. It has its own charm...and amazing shopping...and some surprisingly impressive sights (e.g. the Duomo, the Last Supper, and several surprising churches and even La Scala). 

Excelsior Gallia Milan: Amazing high design luxury hotel with service issues

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bhrubin is offline  
Old Oct 16, 16, 4:46 pm
  #111  
 
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Just a note that I had similar issues when several bars were closed and I was sent from bar to bar before ending up on the first floor when looking for a drink. One of the issues at the hotel seems to be that they can't quite span being a hotel for individual guests and hosting group events. During my last visit there were large groups of visitors from various companies taking over parts of the hotel leaving few areas for guests.
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Old Oct 16, 16, 6:35 pm
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I appreciate the detailed review. It's never quite the same as being there, but a phone that didn't work and slow service at a bar wouldn't lead to 'furious' for me. Thanks for all of the awesome information on what I believe to be a fabulous hotel in a great (and under appreciated) Italian city.
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Old Oct 16, 16, 10:00 pm
  #113  
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Originally Posted by dingo View Post
I appreciate the detailed review. It's never quite the same as being there, but a phone that didn't work and slow service at a bar wouldn't lead to 'furious' for me. Thanks for all of the awesome information on what I believe to be a fabulous hotel in a great (and under appreciated) Italian city.
A phone not working didn't make me furious. Having to ask 5 times over 3 days to get it fixed and in working order did, though. As did a manager telling me he'd be up with an engineer soon...and not have anyone come in 30 min.

Slow service at a bar didn't make me furious. Not having any service for us at all because of a special event--with no notice and no posting anywhere--did, though. Especially after they couldn't fix a darn phone!
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Old Oct 17, 16, 1:33 am
  #114  
 
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
A phone not working didn't make me furious. Having to ask 5 times over 3 days to get it fixed and in working order did, though. As did a manager telling me he'd be up with an engineer soon...and not have anyone come in 30 min.

Slow service at a bar didn't make me furious. Not having any service for us at all because of a special event--with no notice and no posting anywhere--did, though. Especially after they couldn't fix a darn phone!
I fully agree and I feel your pain . I've had very similar issues at other "stellar" SPG properties, for some reason however it's always a St Regis in my case.

Thank you very much for your detailed review although I am slightly worried now because I have an upcoming stay at the Gallia next weekend. I've also invited friends (locals!) over for drinks (and maybe dinner, depending on what I could expect from the inhouse restaurants) and we still need to arrange private transportation to San Siro. Would you mind to send me the email of the GM via PM please? My husband insisted on booking the PH or the FS and I am getting worried that he was right. Many thx!
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Old Oct 17, 16, 7:53 am
  #115  
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Originally Posted by Epicura View Post
I fully agree and I feel your pain . I've had very similar issues at other "stellar" SPG properties, for some reason however it's always a St Regis in my case.

Thank you very much for your detailed review although I am slightly worried now because I have an upcoming stay at the Gallia next weekend. I've also invited friends (locals!) over for drinks (and maybe dinner, depending on what I could expect from the inhouse restaurants) and we still need to arrange private transportation to San Siro. Would you mind to send me the email of the GM via PM please? My husband insisted on booking the PH or the FS and I am getting worried that he was right. Many thx!
I am sorry to say that I cannot find the GM email as I'm on the road even now. I recommend contacting the hotel and asking for the GM contact info so you can reach out--and I certainly recommmend it.

We visited both the FS and PH, and had a fantastic lunch at the FS. I will say again that I far preferred the look and style of the Excelsior Gallia over both the FS and PH...and especially the PH which I found looking surprisingly dated! The EG terrace bar and bar and lobby public areas are spectacular, but so is the FS central courtyard. The rooms and even suites at the FS were fairly mundane, though, IMO, and the PH rooms and suites looked very dated...and the PH lobby was oddly enclosed and not at all inviting IMO. But we did find the service standard high at the FS and PH...perhaps higher than the EG.

Everyone at the FS and PH asked us tons about the EG because they knew how much had been spent to renovate it...and thought it was now the most beautiful property in town, suffering only for its location. But we liked the location, though the FS and PH are better if you definitely want to be more central to the historic district.
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Old Oct 17, 16, 9:33 am
  #116  
 
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Originally Posted by Epicura View Post
I fully agree and I feel your pain . I've had very similar issues at other "stellar" SPG properties, for some reason however it's always a St Regis in my case.

Thank you very much for your detailed review although I am slightly worried now because I have an upcoming stay at the Gallia next weekend. I've also invited friends (locals!) over for drinks (and maybe dinner, depending on what I could expect from the inhouse restaurants) and we still need to arrange private transportation to San Siro. Would you mind to send me the email of the GM via PM please? My husband insisted on booking the PH or the FS and I am getting worried that he was right. Many thx!
I had dinner and drinks at the hotel and had pretty good service both times. It's not the level of service you'd get at a five star hotel in the US, but you wouldn't get that at the PH either (never stayed at the FS). Service is just slower in Italy and there are typically fewer servers so they come around less often. That said, I think you'll enjoy it here. The suite we received blew away our room at the Park Hyatt, and I can only imagine that it's much nicer than the FS as well. The spa and gym area was very nice too and definitely a step above the PH.

If I were bringing people to Milan to only do sightseeing, I'd probably choose the PH just because it's so nice to step out of the hotel and be right in the middle of everything, but other than that I'd choose the Excelsior Gallia every time as an SPG platinum member. I thought the hotel and rooms were much nicer, and it's typically several hundred Euro cheaper per night than the PH. Not to mention, the free breakfast at the hotel was probably the best breakfast we had on our entire trip (which included the first class terminal in Frankfurt, the PH Milan and Gritti Palace). Only taste wise of course, the views certainly couldn't compare to the Gritti.
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Old Oct 17, 16, 9:53 am
  #117  
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Originally Posted by spgplat21 View Post
I had dinner and drinks at the hotel and had pretty good service both times. It's not the level of service you'd get at a five star hotel in the US, but you wouldn't get that at the PH either (never stayed at the FS). Service is just slower in Italy and there are typically fewer servers so they come around less often. That said, I think you'll enjoy it here. The suite we received blew away our room at the Park Hyatt, and I can only imagine that it's much nicer than the FS as well. The spa and gym area was very nice too and definitely a step above the PH.

If I were bringing people to Milan to only do sightseeing, I'd probably choose the PH just because it's so nice to step out of the hotel and be right in the middle of everything, but other than that I'd choose the Excelsior Gallia every time as an SPG platinum member. I thought the hotel and rooms were much nicer, and it's typically several hundred Euro cheaper per night than the PH. Not to mention, the free breakfast at the hotel was probably the best breakfast we had on our entire trip (which included the first class terminal in Frankfurt, the PH Milan and Gritti Palace). Only taste wise of course, the views certainly couldn't compare to the Gritti.
^^^

I agree wholeheartedly. Though I might give the FS a try because of its proximity to the Global Zegna store, where I certainly did some damage on this visit, I also would gladly stay again at the Excelsior Gallia. (Though I'd want to have elite status so I can contact the GM in advance to assuage any service concerns.) I'd most certainly not choose the PH over the FS unless I were using points and a DSU--but even then, I'm not a big fan of this PH. (As opposed to the amazing PHs in Istanbul, Sydney, Buenos Aires, Shanghai, Tokyo, etc.)

Last edited by bhrubin; Oct 17, 16 at 9:59 am
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Old Oct 17, 16, 10:44 am
  #118  
 
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I used to stay regularly at the FS and the service is a level above what I got at the Gallia. The major problem with the FS is getting there via taxi (from anywhere outside the center). To get to the FS in a taxi you must go through a maze of narrow streets that are vulnerable to the slightest disruption. And if you want to leave the FS, via taxi, at peak hours, you can wait quite a while if there are no taxis available in the center.
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Old Oct 22, 16, 3:27 am
  #119  
 
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So far so good :)

Checked in late last night. So far we are experiencing a very pleasant stay.

I reached out to the hotel prior to our arrival, also because of the sudden closure of the pool (not announced when I made the reservation).

We were "comped" with a guaranteed upgrade to a signature suite with a connecting prestige room for our children (reservation was for 2 prestige rooms) and extra breakfast.

I will report back after the weekend but so far we are pretty happy!
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Old Oct 22, 16, 9:37 am
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I stayed here last year, checking in early (around 11am) and as a 'lowly' Gold was given the option of an immediate 'standard room' or if I wanted to wait until mid afternoon, I could be upgraded to a suite. (As I had reservations for The Last Supper at noon, I opted for the upgrade). I took the metro, as there was no car waiting outside, which was fine--fast & easy. Upon returning I was escorted to an Atelier suite (alas, not overlooking the Station!), but beautiful anyway, I was also advised that as a SPG member (not just Platinum), the full buffet breakfast would be included. Echoing what has been stated previously, I found the hotel to be wonderful, I had previously stayed at both the Westin & Park Hyatt, and found this to be the perfect spot for me in Milan. Coming in from MXP, I generally take the bus to Centrale, and the bus stop is a short walk across the station. I had dinner in the restaurant and can highly recommend the bone marrow risotto (one of the main reasons I am returning ). The breakfast buffet is fantastic, and I had no complaints regarding service and am glad to be returning next March.
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