When Alessandro Rosso, owner of the sleek Italian hotel group Town House, decided to grace Milan with a new flagship hotel, the “best hotel” in the city wasn’t going to be good enough.
What he chose to do was create a hotel so outstanding, that an entire new rating’s system would be required to measure it. So, with a new ratings system, the official first seven-star hotel emerged.
Five stars is so 20th Century, and Six stars never officially existed (unfortunate for all those who visited Dubai’s Burj Al Arab, just don’t blame the hotel it was a termed coined by journalists and visitors purely as a method of describing the new level of opulence).
In order to stop the ratings becoming out of control to the point that they could no longer be relied upon, Rosso hired SGS, a Swiss company specialising in management systems, audits and certifications. It analysed the standard criteria and used their findings to establish detailed technical specifications. These specs became Rosso’s blueprint.
The Town House Galleria’s 20 rooms begin at $2035 US per night.
Just what is it that makes this hotel so special? I’ve studied some of the rating specifications. They state, among other things, that each room has to be individually furnished, there has to be a luxury chauffeur service and butler service available 24 hours a day. None of these is in itself a startling achievement – plenty of properties offer such services. So what sets Town House Galleria apart?
At first glance, the hotel entrance offers few clues. It lies inside a narrow, barely signposted courtyard that looks just like hundreds of others. The only touches of glamour are a stand of tall palm trees growing in one corner and, in another, an external glass-walled lift that provides a stunning view of said palms as you travel up to the hotel’s entrance.
Stationed outside the lift is a single uniformed doorman who checks names to ensure only guests make the journey, instantly making the guests a VIP. And, it is this aspect that is central to the Town House Galleria experience. It’s cool, it’s intimate and it’s luxurious.
Those that will enjoy the experience the most are those, unsurprisingly, for whom money is no object.