“ Address: Via Vitruvio 48 / 20124 Milano / Italy „
As 2008 drew to a close I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to pay a flying visit to Milan, the purpose of which was twofold - to soak up some culture in the fine city, and also take in a football match at the famous Stadio San Siro. Because the trip was part of a package we were unable to specify flight companies or hotels of our own accord, instead relying on the powers that be that put these all inclusive city breaks together. So it was we found our party of three transported from Malpensa airport to the hotel Amadeus in the fashionable shopping district of Milan, a clean looking three star hotel, boasting eighty rooms.
Location, Location, Location
Little doubt that the location of the Amadeus is one of its strengths. Although it is a good hour's drive from Malpensa airport it is - quite literally - a stone's throw from the Stazione Centrale. Widely slated as one of the main - and most architecturally stunning - train stations in Europe, it can whisk you to the great Lakes of Garda and Como in well under two hours, or Venice in a little over three. In relation to sightseeing in Milan itself the Amadeus is a pleasant twenty minute stroll to the centre of Milan, and the Duomo (cathedral). If the stroll doesn't appeal there is a tram stop outside the hotel, while the nearest Metropolitana station is at the end of the road, less than five minutes walk away. While in Milan we used a mixture of Metro and legwork to get around; the Metro is clean, prompt and cheap, with tickets purchased from any of the many newsagents and coffee shops on street corners allowing you to travel all day for just a few Euros. Unfortunately for us the hotel was on the opposite side of town to the San Siro Stadium, which can be a problem as the nearest Metro station to the hotel seemed to close very early, around 10pm.
The check in receptionist was polite, professional and soon had us speeding to our various rooms; rooms that were spotlessly clean, large and well decorated. The bathrooms held a shower, toilet and sink, and again were spotlessly clean and well stocked with soaps, potions and shampoos. Such was the timing of our trip that we needed to be at the football stadium in the evening, and as such we missed the evening meal, but the staff did offer to keep some food for us which we thought was a nice offer, although to our shame we declined in favour of the local Burger King! The rooms all had televisions offering the usual staple of channels for the traveller - CNN and BBC world service to name but two.
My first gripe was that the windows of my room were shuttered, not necessarily a problem but for the fact these dark, wooden slabs were immovable in every way. This meant the lack of natural daylight cast a perpetual gloom as I had to rely on one overworked light bulb at all times. I wanted to gaze upon the hubbub of Milanese folk going about their business, instead I had to get used to an almost prison like existence as I stared blankly at the austere wooden slabs of solitude cutting me adrift from civility. No matter, I was only there for one night, and no doubt those shutters would prove excellent at diffusing the city noise as I slept the sleep of angels. How wrong can a man be! - At around 3am, I was awoken from my slumber by what sounded like a full scale earthquake. For reasons known only to themselves, those in control of the tram network of Milan decided to rearrange and shunt every available tram back and forth beneath my window. Of course I only found out this was what the noise was, having wandered down the corridor to find that rarest of things in the Amadeus, a window you could look out of! You've not known noise until you've heard assorted tram drivers, operators and god knows who else slam, shunt and otherwise make as much noise as possible as they argue and bellow in their inimitably Italian way. Bleary eyed and a little irked I asked the hotel receptionist if this was normal, he said it was, and that it would be over in about half an hour, deep joy! This gave just enough time to return to the room and curse the bloody shutters that seemed great at blocking light but did little to dull the cacophony below. I have to say I slept well once the noise had abated, so well in fact I missed breakfast entirely, making it to the dining room just in time to grab a pastry and some coffee to see me through the day.
A quick look at the hotel website boasts "soundproofed windows, protecting guests from the hive of activity outside" - all I can say is they are either a very recent addition to the hotel, or the person that fitted these magical windows in my room was having an off day. If you can guarantee a room away from the front of the building and with windows then I could possibly recommend the Amadeus; but based on my stay I cannot do so, and award it three stars out of five. This may seem generous bearing in mind I do not recommend a stay, but the three stars are mostly due to the excellent location the hotel possesses and the competent and friendly staff. At around sixty Euros a night out of season the price is fair, but if you plan on going use a couple of Euros to buy some earplugs.