Primely positioned in Piazza Cordusio, one of the city’s most iconic squares, the luxury hotel,Palazzo Cordusio, is housed within the historic Palazzo Venezia – jewel of the Assicurazioni Generali heritage and for over a century the company’s Milanese headquarters – and marks Gran Meliá’s Milanese debut, joining its Italian sister property in Rome, Villa Agrippina.
Originally constructed between 1897 and 1901 by Generali, Palazzo Venezia’s eclectic design sought inspiration from the architect Luca Beltrami and played a pivotal role in the restoration of the area between the late 19th and early 20th century. The reopening under the aegis of Meliá Hotels International (MHI) will be the driving force behind today’s redevelopment of Piazza Cordusio, which promises to hand back one of the city’s key cultural hubs to the Milanese people.
Following the transformation of the building’s internal spaces, 84 guestrooms and suites have been created, each of which preserves protected elements, whilst elevating the areas for their new intended use. The luxury accommodations are characterised by imposing windows and in some cases private balconies which provide abundant natural lighting and unique views of Piazza Cordusio, via Orefici, via dei Mercanti and the Duomo.
Studio ASAH by Alvaro and Adriana Sans, MHI’s long-standing partner, was entrusted with the general architecture and interior design, favouring a sophisticated and contemporary flair to provide the perfect base for a truly memorable stay in the heart of Milan. ASAH’s approach unfolded in the conceptual design, ingeniously liberating the ground floor for retail spaces while maintaining the hotel’s secluded elegance.
Each room and suite, along with select corridors, is adorned with luxurious Rubelli fabrics, to pay homage to Generali’s Venetian heritage. The plush interiors boast iconic furnishings from Italy’s prestigious brands, including Molteni, Cassina, Fornasetti, Flos, Oluce and Foscarini, enhancing the hotel’s aesthetic appeal with a touch of elegance and cultural resonance.
The rehabilitation project of the building was managed by Generali Real Estate and MHI with the support of Studio Marco Piva, who handled the design and the artistic direction of the external facades and of all portions subject to monumental restrictions, the interior architecture and courtyard.
In an effort to consciously conserve as much of the building as possible, the grand staircase became the protagonist, and its marble walls and floors maintained and restored to their former splendour, as were the original portal with the Generali Assicurazioni heading and the mosaic lunette with the Providence allegory. These are precious evidence of the previous function of the building. The renovated building is now part of Generali’s European real estate portfolio.
Renowned for creating unique experiences worldwide, Sunset Hospitality Group has grown to become a leading lifestyle hospitality, currently operating across 16 countries and will oversee the hotels culinary offerings to bring guests together through food. The group will introduce four exceptional home-grown concepts to the hotel’s dining scene with the debut of Gioia Pasticceria, Giardino Cordusio, Isola Restaurant, and SACHI.
Located on the ground floor with views overlooking the Square, Gioia Pasticceria is created in collaboration with master baker Fabio Bertoni to offer the experience of an authentic Pasticceria. Giardino Cordusio is the Italian cocktail bar located in the internal courtyard of the hotel and is a joint project with Giancarlo Mancino, award-winning consulting barman and official partner of The World’s 50 Best Bars.
Isola is led by Brand Chef Francesco Bagnato, and will bring a unique dining experience to Milan offering Italian favourites inspired by the Southern islands of Italy, along with an extensive selection of wines. The restaurant boasts a spacious terrace overlooking Palazzo della Ragione and Piazza Mercanti. The brand was recently recognized in the Michelin Guide and has established global presence in key destinations including Dubai, Bodrum, Marbella and Morocco.
Finally, Sachi, already well established in London, is set to take centre stage on the Milanese dining scene under the guidance of acclaimed Chef Moon Kyung Soo, whose impressive career includes leading award-winning concepts such as SUSHISAMBA Dubai and Attiko.
Guests can also access an intimate wellness area with an indoor swimming pool, sauna, Turkish bath and relaxation lounge alongside a state-of-the-art gym complete with Technogym equipment and a full-width view of the Palazzo della Ragione and Piazza Mercanti.
The arrival of the first Gran Meliá branded hotel in Milan and second in Italy after the success of Villa Agrippina in Rome, represents an important milestone for MHI. The opening further solidifies the country’s importance in the group’s luxury development pipeline, which includes the addition of a fifth hotel in Milan by 2024, as part of The Meliá Collection.
Main image credit: Meliá Hotels International