excelsior hotel gallia, a luxury collection hotel, celebrated its one year anniversary since its grand opening on may 13th, 2016. designed in 1932, the accommodation situated in the heart of milan — neighboring the city’s central station — has been completely renovated by renowned architect marco piva, who has transformed the architectural jewel of the belle époque era, into a new destination in the fashionable italian city.
entrance to the excelsior hotel gallia
the original hotel was designed and built by giuseppe laveni and aldo avati, and was completed in 1927, when instead of the present day piazza duca d’aosta (today, the headquarters of the central station), there was simply countryside and the outskirts of milan. the hotel and central station scheduled to be inaugurated simultaneously, but due to delays in railway construction, the hotel opened its doors well before. this saw the luxurious accommodations, expressing an elegant liberty-style façade — and which today is still under the protection of the italian institute of fine arts — stand out in all of its majestic splendour.
exterior façade detail
since its official grand opening on february 29th, 1932 the excelsior hotel gallia has remained one of the most prestigious hotels in italy, frequented by the country’s refined social elite. today, it continues to enchant with its illuminated façade and new wing conceived by marco piva, who, while maintaining the historic panache of its architectural authenticity, has added a touch of sophisticated modernism.
katara suite – master bedroom
piva’s milan-based studio was involved in the extensive renovation and interior design, marrying contemporary aesthetics with the hotel’s belle époque style. a glittering reflection of the city, one is invited into a world that captures the milanese lifestyle with the timeless elegance of the art deco era, all brought together in a harmonious scheme that is animated by carefully selected furnishings made by italian craftsmen. one of italy’s luxury furniture makers, poltrona frau, created beautiful custom pieces for all guest rooms. cassina has also played a role in fitting out rooms and even hotel corridors. the stunning table lamps throughout the rooms have been designed by luceplan, and fendi casa was selected to furnish mores prestigious areas of the hotel. you can also discover a unique collection of more than 500 art pieces designed by studio marco piva especially for the excelsior hotel gallia, including paintings, sculptures and pictures.
katara suite – living room
the excelsior hotel gallia boasts 235 extraordinary rooms and suites, as well as a collection of 51 themed suites. among theses are the exclusive gallia suite on the fifth floor with its elegant living room with dining area, guest room and connecting room boasting panormaic city views, overlooking central station’s main square; and the unique katara suite which has two dedicated terraces, one of which has an exclusive solarium, along with a private pagoda spa, and four bedrooms spanning an area of 1000 m2 — making it one of the largest of its kind in italy. each suite is complete with a butler service, and conceived and design to meet different guest’s need…
in addition, five suites have been dedicated to renowned milanese designers or architects: franco albini, luigi caccia dominioni, achille & pier giacomo catiglioni, vico magistretti, giò ponti.
katara suite – pagoda private SPA
katara suite – terrace
design suite – bedroom
atelier suites have been designed to recall the mood of creative workshops, and signature suites have been conceived as galleries outfitted with a theatrical use of illumination, colors and artwork. art suites feature spectacular large sliding panels with beautiful photos of the hotel’s historic façade, bringing a unique dimensions to these suites.
design suite – living room
design suite – living room
gallia suite – bedroom
art suite – living room
atelier suite – bathroom
gallia lounge and bar
the gallia restaurant and gallia lounge & bar have been designed as a contemporary reinterpretation of the 30s. guests can relax in the bar area where there is also a library and cigar room offering a warm ambiance amidst silk screened glass with patterns influenced by the art deco movement.
the restaurant has been created as a theater. food is the main character surrounded by black, matched with bronzed steel which recalls the art déco style of the hotel. admire chandeliers from la murrina and the tattoo lamp by architect marco piva projecting a dramatic play on light.
gallia lounge and bar
B&B italia has furnished the public spaces using various special materials such as aluminium, glass and marble. this includes an expansive 3000 square meters of brown antique granite with silver accent paving the floor of the reception and lobby areas. the lobby pays tribute to outstanding milanese architectural landmarks of the 30s such as la scala theatre and the galleria vittorio emanuele.
the excelsior hotel gallia has a refined partnership with the havana club distillery and the finest cohiba cigars. guests can delight in the taste of famous liquors and the finest tobacco within the cigar room.
guests can relax and unwind at the shiseido spa milan which features extraordinary light effects and super modern facilities, met by shiseido’s quality, offering moments of relaxation within the hustle and bustle of milan. extending over the sixth and seventh floors, it covers 1000 square meters with a wealth of natural light.
indoor swimming pool
rooftop bar and restaurant
one can indulge in splendid views from the from the seventh floor rooftop restaurant and bar, overlooking milan’s central station. here, one is offered the latest in culinary innovation, led by 3-star michelin chefs enrico and roberto cerea, providing guests with a gastronomic offering that celebrates the very best of italian cuisine, with a focus on the lombardy region.
terrazza gallia has been outfitted with the finest details by B&B italia. from the bar counter – a stand-out piece created from melted aluminium – guests may walk out onto the terrace to admire the elegant design of fendi outdoor, knoll and varaschin, overlooking the milanese skyline.
excelisor hotel gallia façade
approach to the excelisor hotel gallia
‘I wanted to create the place that is linked to milan’s history of excellence, a special venue that integrates and enhances the values of architecture, design and fashion.
my project pays homage to the city of milan and offers travelers from all around the world an example of the city’s style and elegance, a distinct class of welcome and refined hospitality.’ – marco piva
read designboom’s interview with marco piva who discusses his architectural influences, and elaborates on the realization of the excelsior hotel gallia here.
specially commissioned light installations have been uniquely created for the hotel. an extensive selection of bespoke design lighting can be admired throughout the interior. zonca illuminazione, fabbian and la murrina have created collections for the rooms and suites and de majo has produced the staggering 30m murano glass staircase chandelier which produces a waterfall of lights spanning all floors of the hotel.
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