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Townhouse 31, Milan 

31 Via Goldoni
Italy 20129
Tel: 39 02 70 156
view web site ›'s insider take:

This lemon-yellow late-19th-century palazzina, with 18 rooms and suites, is located in a residential neighborhood in the eastern suburbs, but it's thankfully only a 20-minute walk or quick cab ride from the commercial center and fashion district, because the denizens of that world make up the hotel's core clientele. Interiors (by Italian Architectural Digest editor Ettore Mochetti) are suitably chic, in monotone cream with black-stained wood, palm trees in clean ceramic pots, and occasional Oriental artifacts. Overall, the vibe is hip, young, and friendly: The staff may not be trained in the grand-hotel school, but they're eager, helpful, and multilingual. The lobby lounge doubles as a breakfast room, with a communal long, high table (à la Schrager), and also doubles as a favorite local aperitivo venue in the evening—especially in summer, when the entrance courtyard becomes a tented chill-out space, halfway between the Arabian Nights and an Argentinian gaucho camp. The shabby-chic rooms can seem quite subdued after the downstairs styling, but they're comfortable and—for such a fashionista place—surprisingly good value. The Town House empire has recently expanded to include Town House 12, a more business-oriented option in the northern suburbs, and the Town House Galleria, opened in February 2007, which is the first hotel to be located (at least partly) inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

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