With its single entrance from largo Augusto, just steps away from the Duomo and Palazzo di Giustizia, the President is located in a highly strategic position. Boasting a subtle colour scheme and an elegant, unobtrusive atmosphere, it is both contemporary and reassuring. It features 274 stylishly furnished rooms equipped with all mod-cons, several of which have a view over the spires of the cathedral. It has a great restaurant for in-house dining and a large, spacious lobby where, among other things, guests can enjoy a quick, light lunch, a favourite with the many Milanese lawyers working at the nearby law courts.
In short: the President definitely deserves its 4-star ranking.
“However”, as its 40-year-old manager Giovanni Testa says with a smile, “the President is an NH Collection which means that at our hotel, in addition to finding everything that you would rightfully expect from a 4-star complex, guests always find something extra.”
In fact, the motto of the NH Collections, is “feel special”, referring to the choice of guaranteeing, at the Group’s premium hotels, i.e. those located in the centre of capital cities, distinguished by their style and elegance, a certain number of things designed to surprise guests.
Some examples ? At each check-in, guests are offered free ironing of one garment. Multilingual newspapers are available in each room. The ‘turn-down’ service is guaranteed without having to be requested. Every room has a coffee machine and thoughtful amenities, including a pick of mouth watering coloured candies, that go like hot cakes, are guaranteed for all guests.
“In short”, adds the manager, “we are a 4-star offering 5-star services while remaining in the 4-star price range.”
Forty percent of the President’s guests are business travellers while the remaining 60% account for families, couples or singles in discovery of Milan as a hub of culture and shopping. In addition to numerous Italians, the majority of guests include Arabs, Russians, Chinese, Brazilians and, by tradition, due to the origin of the NH brand, lots of Spaniards.
Despite fierce competition from a slew of top-notch restaurants in the centre, the Il Verziere restaurant, serving fine Milanese cuisine, even manages to keep guests from dining out in the evening.
Conversely, the hotel’s signature meal is breakfast, often lauded, even in reviews, as ‘outstanding’: in fact, the variety on offer is definitely above average. The NH Collections pay as much attention to health-conscious travellers as to gourmands, to traditionalists as much as to aficionados of trends: the offer is rich and fresh and designed to suit all tastes.
And, a propos of keeping fit, the hotel boasts its own personal take on wellness: the President does not have a gym. A minus? anything but!
“We have a range of wellness rooms”, explains Giovanni Testa, “i.e. rooms equipped to allow you to keep fit and work out in the privacy of your own room. In-room amenities include equipment for floor exercises, exercise bikes and treadmills: it’s an original idea of which we are particularly proud, because our guests find it extremely appealing.”
Furthermore, for those who prefer outdoor exercise, the President collaborates with a series of personal trainers who are authorized to take guests out. And, as confirmed by Front Office Manager Michael Redolfi, the personal trainer is always available to suggest tried- and-tested fitness itineraries featuring suitable, safe running routes that also give guests a chance to admire several of Milan’s most beautiful views.
The hotel’s focus on health and wellness also includes respect for the environment: in compliance with sustainability policies, the President has obtained ISO14001 environmental certification.
Customer care, as the manager likes to point out, is interpreted in a number of ways, from the most serious to the more playful, to satisfy all types of specific requirements: these include 15 rooms designed to host disabled guests to welcome kits for children, including smarties and special gadgets. And for those travelling with small pets, the restaurant even provides signature pet bowls.
But also and, above all, when it comes to special interests, customer care means offering guests the services of highly qualified personnel. And, for those staying at the President, fashion is undoubtedly a key interest.
In fact, it is not mere chance that Federica Bello, the person in charge of Guest Relations at the President, actually comes from the world of fashion: “Our guests ask for lots of information about where to find famous brands or where to go to admire the most beautiful window displays: we always try to point them in the right direction.”
“I am extremely proud of the way in which my staff works”, adds the manager. “Half of them are men and half of them are women. Although most of them are young, they are not inexperienced. On the contrary, they do their utmost to make customers feel at ease, handling all requests with professionalism, warmth and graciousness. Our aim is to select and foster the career paths of people who love their work.”