Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The trick to traveling and business is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! I planned our hotels near the train station so that it will be easy to get in and out of town. Of course it would be great to stay near all the tourist items but sometimes that will put you very far away from the main transport from city to city. So when you plan, make sure you make a good compromise. Map out where the hotel is and compare prices. Sometimes it is better to pay more so that you will have a more enjoyable stay. The Hotel Mediolanum is a 4 Star hotel. Ms. Lin and I have come to an agreement that the ratings for European hotels are -1 Star when compared to American hotels. So it is really a 2 Star, but still good. Just don't be fooled by their Star rating system.
Being that we were a party of 3, there were a lot of limiting factors. As space in Europe is tight like the places you find in New York. Not many will accommodate a party of 3 and there would be no reason to get a separate room just for one person. If you can, travel in pairs so that 2 of you are in a room and it will definitely be easier to find places to stay. I made sure to double check that they actually offer a triple and not just a tiny room where you will barely have any room to walk after they add another cot.
Most of the time they push another bed into the room but you just have to make sure that they have a spacious room. So research is very vital to scouting out the perfect place to stay. I cross check many sites to verify the information stated and it is best if I can find a nice picture of their rooms. Hence, I have made it my goal to help out fellow travelers by providing real pictures and update them on the hotels before they make a reservation.
After a long debate on where to stay in Milan, Italy I decided to book Hotel Mediolanum. It doesn't help that I have one companion who is super cheap and would be happy with anything that is cheap, regardless of the hotel's condition. Then we have the other companion who thinks she is the Queen of Sheba and refuses to stay anywhere dingy. So what is a girl to do when I get caught between two crazy people? Well, I look hard for a compromise. Detailed research must be conducted to make sure that the price is competitive yet a nice place to stay.
The Hotel Mediolanum looked like a good compromise. They looked clean and had a very kooky modern feel. From the pictures I saw of them, they have a very vibrant and peculiar color decor that will leave an impression. The hotel is pretty close to the Milano train station. It is not close to the main tourist attraction but it is minutes away from Courso Buenos Aires. However there is a supermarket nearby that we found out way later.
When traveling, especially in Europe, it is always good to scout out where the local supermarket is so that you will be able to purchase bottle water for your stay. Unfortunately we didn't start out the plan right and was forced to buy water while by the Duomo. Needless to say, we were gouged for the convenience. Always carry a bottle with you when you leave the hotel room so that you won't be forced to succumb to the high prices all the time. Although the bottle of water I bought by the Duomo was a great container and I continued to use it throughout the rest of the trip.
Now back to information about the hotel. I thought they were friendly and helpful. At times I thought that they had a snooty attitude but nothing that was offensive. They were all dressed up in nice suits and very professional. After I checked in and they copied our passports, we were given a huge key to our room. Most of the European hotels used large keys that were meant to be kept at the front desk. Very few of them had the digital keys that we are used to in the US.

I enjoyed their lobby and the crisp modern decor. Even the hallways were painted brightly. The rooms are a little bit different. It isn't as loud as the hallway, but still had a nice modern feel. Our walls were a bright white and the bed was colorful.
Keep in mind that their elevator is a little tight and fickle. With luggage, it is hard to fit the 3 of us inside and at time we would have to split up. Even though they clearly label the weight limit and occupancy, there were times when it would randomly not move. So at those times just have one person step out and try again until it works.
The first thing I noticed were the candies on our pillows. That was a nice simple touch to the room. They were also great to keep in the pocket for emergencies later.
One thing that they really enjoyed was the complimentary tea and coffee provided. After a long day they can come back and enjoy a variety of drinks. They began to miss this extra feature that the Hotel Mediolanum provided.
This hotel does not provide free internet. It can be purchased at the front desk but I thought that the prices were a bit high so I decided to live freely and forgo the internet.

The beds are on wheels so be careful as to not slide around or fall off the bed. Sometimes when I jump on, all 3 beds tend to move in one direction. If you are not laying down correctly then you might move the two beds apart and fall through the crack so be sure to be careful. I didn't quite like their cover. The beds were fine and did the job. They weren't soft and I wouldn't say they were a nice firmness, but I did not wake up feeling soar from a bad mattress so it was fine.
If you take a look at the bathroom you will notice that it is quite narrow. I did like that it was very clean. As usual, in Europe you will always find a bidet. If you take a close look at the showers you will also notice that rope. We were all curious about the significance of that rope. Luckily my companions didn't pull it! They use it more for an alarm to call the hotels attention if something happened to you while you shower.

All in all the hotel was not bad and a good place to stay while in the city. Coming up on another post is about the complimentary breakfast provided. At the time, I didn't know that this would probably be the best complimentary breakfast provided by the European hotels. So be sure to stay tuned for the review and pictures.

Hotel Mediolanum
Via Mauro Macchi, 1 (Central station - Piazza Repubblica Area)
20124 MILANO
Telephone: +39 02 6705312 - Fax: +39 02 66981921

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