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The New Magna Pars Hotel in Milan is a Welcome Sanctuary in the Heart of a Modern Day Metropolis
March 17, 2014 Nicolas Shammas

Forgive me, but the idea of reinventing the concept of a hotel makes me cringe. Literally. Such statements immediately make me think of pernickety PR people so wrapped up in their own hyperbole that it’s patently obvious they have no idea what the customer really wants. So when I first heard of something called a “hotel-à-parfum” opening in Milan, I was suspicious to say the least.

“The entire hotel represents the world of perfumes,” explains Giorgia Martone, daughter of the owning family, who oversaw every element of the hotel’s design and construction. “This is, after all, the site of our old perfume production plant.”

That would be the old ICR premises, which Giorgia’s father, Roberto set up in the 1970s and which went on to make fragrances for many of Italy’s most renowned luxury labels. As business blossomed, the factory became increasingly cramped and when ICR eventually relocated, rather than selling the premises, they decided to turn it into a hotel.

Finished earlier this year, Giorgia’s intervention has been nothing short of fabulous. The Magna Pars isn’t some style-over-substance establishment. It’s a back-to-basics luxury hotel that delivers style in spades. Yes, some may be put off by its location – the hotel is a 15-minute drive from Milan’s high-end shopping streets – but even more will be attracted given it’s in the heart of the city’s design district, just a stone’s throw from Tadao Ando’s stunning Teatro Armani, the luxury brand’s new HQ.

The Magna Pars is comprised of two rectangular wings dissected by a luscious green inner courtyard straddled by an open-air lobby. The buildings are wrapped
in a modern glass and aluminium skin but glimmers of the past, in the form of postindustrial elements, original walls, as well as exposed brick internal corridors abound.

So what about the perfume part? Well, apart from the industry-related plants in the verdant garden, all 28 suites take their names and identities from various floral or wood olfactory notes.

“Key to the hotel is the fact it’s an expression of Italian excellence and all the interiors are completely furnished with products made in Italy,” adds Martone. These include high thread-count Frette sheets, Flos lamps, Poltrona Frau leather sofas, Viabizzuno lighting systems and decorative pieces made by Milanese artisans. Even the dark parquet wood that floors each suite – including the bathroom – is sourced from Italian forests.

“The thing we’re most proud of is the fact the hotel combines environmental sustainability with high technology in an advanced eco-compatible, energy-saving, innovative and beautiful project created to respect the environment and the local area.”

Hotel-à-parfum? I must admit, this is a new hotel concept that does make scents.

WHAT Magna Pars Suites Milano
PRICE From 300 Euros (400 USD) a night
FACT The curtains, shades, lighting and airconditioning are all controlled from an iPad-style home automation unit
WHY More than anything, this beautiful, modern, clean and functional hotel succeeds in being a home away from home.

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