Haute Hotel

Beauty in the details

Tucked away on Via San Raefelle, mere steps from Milan’s breathtakingly ornate duomo, the Hotel Straf offers a mélange of fashion, art, and hospitality that is truly one of a kind. Vincenzo de Cotiis, the pioneering architect and multi-disciplinary sensation behind the exclusive Brescia-based fashion house HAUTE, has transformed a 19th century Milan palazzo into an international hotspot renown for its stellar service and bold, elemental design.

Like any good couturier, de Cotiis recognizes that beauty is in the details. Every inch of the luxurious rooms are hand-chosen and made to measure and the design’s emphasis on repurposing salvaged materials is both aesthetically pleasing and socially conscious. As if the designers were going for an “industrial Zen” motif, simplicity prevails throughout the rooms and suites, with texture paramount. Hand-torn gauze is used to create striking patterns in glass. Richly textured paintings of orange and red add warmth and depth to the cool industrial interior: a raw, eclectic mix of cement, bronze, burnished brash and gunmetal.

The hotel is conceived as a work of art—a grand scale installation. While the conceptual design elements of the Straf offer plenty of cerebral delights, there are still many creature comforts to appeal to the senses. The hotel also offers several “relaxation rooms,” which include massage chairs and aromatherapy treatments.

The Straf also offers a little something for those looking to indulge their Bacchic sides. One of the hippest lounges in Milan, this lavish gem continues the textural interplay of its sister hotel with intellectual, yet tactile design. Its apertivo service, the Milanese version of happy hour in which complimentary appetizers accompany pre-dinner drinks, is indisputably one of the best in the city.

– Jesi Khadivi