My 6 Favorite Affordable Boutique Stays In Milan (2023)

Milan is a bustling fashion and business city that offers countless accommodation options. There are super luxury hotels, such as Armani and Bulgari, and plenty of comfortable Airbnbs. But what I like are the boutique stays, usually smaller hotels that offer something a little different while at prices that are not as eye-watering as some.

Obviously, the selection of your home away from home is a very personal thing. So I put together a few of my favorites — in no particular order — that cover a range of styles, locations, and approaches, but each has something special to highly recommend it.

Will you be staying in the center or by a canal? Modern or historic? The choice is yours.

My 6 Favorite Affordable Boutique Stays In Milan (1)

1. B&B Hotel Milano Sant’Ambrogio

Honestly, when my taxi from the airport dropped me off outside the B&B Hotel Milano Sant’Ambrogio, I was really disappointed. I thought it was a modern, bland-looking building without any historical charm. Inside, the first impression was more like a hostel than a hotel. But when I went up to my room on the fourth floor, I gasped with joy: The huge terrace and the stunning view across the church opposite were in fact the reason I booked the hotel. Plus, the location was steps from the National Leonardo da Vinci Science and Technology Museum and the Sant’Ambrogio metro stop, a 10-minute walk into the center and to the lovely neighborhood of Navigli. It is a quiet yet central location within easy reach of everything.

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Favorite Amenities: The terraces alone are worth staying here. It is not a luxury hotel, but the rooms and bathrooms are comfortable and of a good size. But book a room with a terrace and church view and all you need is a bottle of wine and some snacks after a hard day of sightseeing, sitting on the comfortable outdoor furniture to feel so relaxed.

Pro Tip: My room was 403 and the best of the neighboring rooms — I checked! You’ll see both sunrise and sunset from there, with the pleasant church bells waking you on a Sunday. But remember to close the blinds on a sunny day before you head out in the morning; it gets hot.

My 6 Favorite Affordable Boutique Stays In Milan (2)

2. Palazzo Segreti

The Palazzo Segreti lies off the bustling shopping street of Via Dante, the connection between the Duomo and the Castello Sforzesco, within easy walking distance of all the important sights. However, it’s located on a side street that allows for peace and quiet. The building is an 18th-century townhouse, stunning and interesting, while inside you have a great mix of historic and modern styles. There is art dotted throughout and a great selection of black-and-white photographs of some of Hollywood’s greatest stars by a tiny, but perfectly formed and equipped bar.

Favorite Amenities: I know that many hotels offer robes, but these are especially cozy, and the embroidered logo makes them a very desirable souvenir. Buy one from reception, don’t steal. You can, however, steal the little notepad and pens on your bedside table; such a cute memento.

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Pro Tip: Some of the suites have a bathtub right next to the double bed, so, if you prefer privacy, make sure you get a bathroom door when booking.

My 6 Favorite Affordable Boutique Stays In Milan (3)

3. Maison Borella

Right on the main canal in the charming neighborhood of Navigli, you’ll find the old family home of the Borellas, now a beautiful boutique hotel. The building is historic and full of charm, with wooden floors, hefty beams on the ceiling, and many original stone walls. The rooms are set around the courtyard — which is lovely and shaded to sit in — and are all gorgeous. Some have beams on the ceiling and others a skylight, while some have a courtyard view and others look out across the canal. All have lovely individual features and a splash of color provided by modern chairs or a bright orchid on the desk.

Favorite Amenities: There is the wonderful Bugandé restaurant, which is not only beautiful but also serves great food.

Plus, the hotel offers a couple of maison privees, which are private suites with their own separate entrance set apart from the hotel itself but only steps away, where you can enjoy utter privacy amongst the hotel’s amenities.

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Pro Tip: On the weekend, it can get noisy. If you have a canal view, the market stalls are set up early in the morning, and at night, you have revelers, although not generally rowdy ones. While the courtyard can occasionally echo a little, it is generally quieter.

My 6 Favorite Affordable Boutique Stays In Milan (4)

4. Art Hotel Navigli

Not far from Maison Borella, on the same side of the canal but on a little side street, lies the Art Hotel Navigli. Compared to the previous hotel, it is utterly modern, but nonetheless really nice. It is light, airy, and full of color, and, you’ve guessed it, art. Downstairs there is always an exhibition of contemporary art going, and throughout the hotel, there are sculptures and pictures complementing the building and rooms. The rooms themselves are spacious, plain but comfortable, with all the amenities you could wish for — from robes and slippers to a kettle and Nespresso coffee machine and all the usual suspects. Because it is a modern hotel, it also offers accessible rooms and facilities.

Favorite Amenities: This is where this hotel shines: with in-house, safe parking, a gorgeous spa with a sauna and swimming pool, and a superb roof terrace. It’s all right by the canal and within easy reach of the center of Milan.

Pro Tip: Here, you have plenty of room options: from rather lovely little single rooms with a private terrace to large and potentially adjoining rooms for larger families or groups of friends.

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My 6 Favorite Affordable Boutique Stays In Milan (5)

5. Aethos Navigli

Steps from the bustling Piazza Ventiquattro Maggio and the Arco di Porta Ticinese, the gateway to Naviglio and the canals, this trendy hotel (formerly The Yard Milano) is both a quiet oasis within, as well as being on the doorstep of countless restaurants, bars, and fun to be had. A 20-minute walk, or 10-minute tram ride, from the Duomo, this is a good location for all of Milan’s sights. The hotel is a quirky mix of styles, ranging from industrial chic to historic to hyper-modern and artsy. There are so many little lovely touches and gorgeous bespoke furniture, with my favorite being the travel-trunk-inspired bedside tables in one of the suites.

Favorite Amenities: Although the neighborhood is full of restaurants and bars, in this hotel, the restaurants are the draw for the locals. With restaurants, the terrace and bar are so tempting, you will need to make a concerted effort to eat outside of the hotel.

Pro Tip: If you can splash out, book yourself into The Loft. Around 1,300 square feet of space include two bedrooms, a wrap-around balcony and roof terrace with amazing views, a library, and a walk-in closet.

My 6 Favorite Affordable Boutique Stays In Milan (6)

6. Sina Hotel De La Ville

With 227 rooms, this hotel may be teetering on the brink of no longer being able to classify as a boutique hotel, but its location and old-world charm make me want to include it anyway. Located within the triangular of the Duomo, La Scala, and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, you are in the heart of Milan, right in the shopping district, and will struggle to get your 10,000 steps in because everything is on the doorstep. The hotel dates to the 1950s, and stepping through the revolving door is a little like a time warp, with the décor not having changed much, but that is exactly the charm of this place. The rooms vary from stuck-in-the-1950s to having classy antique furniture and silk tapestries, to modern and funky with views of the Duomo, so choose wisely.

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Favorite Amenities: Enjoy breakfast in bed and the roof terrace with grand views and sun loungers by a little pool.

Pro Tip: The hotel lies within a traffic-restricted zone, so, should you be driving yourself, check with the hotel about access.


Why do people stay in boutique hotels? ›

Lack of a lengthy corporate structure and guidelines allow boutique hotels to offer a personalized experience. Owners can change interiors or upgrade amenities when they see fit. Good boutique hotels also know how to take advantage of the surrounding area.

What is distinctive about the boutique hotel? ›

A boutique hotel is a type of hotel that feels small, intimate, and quaint. It typically has less than 100 rooms and offers guests an ultra-personal service. Unlike the way most other hotel brands are perceived by the public, a boutique hotel stays true to the local culture.

What can I expect from a boutique hotel? ›

A boutique hotel is a type of hotel that has less than 100 rooms, personalized services, and a stylish aesthetic. Although boutique hotels are smaller than regular hotels, guests do not feel like there is any shortage in amenities offered at these quaint getaways.

What is the difference between boutique hotel and 5 star hotel? ›

Boutique hotels offer fewer customized and often cozier rooms compared to standard chain hotels, where the rooms are larger but uncharacteristic. The boutique hotel rooms focus on unique guest experiences, emphasizing comfort and elegance oversize.

What is a boutique hotel meaning? ›

A Boutique Hotel is small. It should not have more than 100 rooms, because it has to offer a personal touch to every guest. It is an independent hotel, or part of an “only-boutique” chain. It is located in the city center or in a very trendy area, usually the main shopping one.

What is the best way to describe a boutique? ›

a small shop or a small specialty department within a larger store, especially one that sells fashionable clothes and accessories or a special selection of other merchandise.

What makes a boutique special? ›

Boutiques are specialty shops that sell limited types of products. A large retail chain may offer clothing, makeup, hair products, and possibly even food all in one place. Boutiques operate in small spaces, so they must be more selective when ordering inventory.

What makes a boutique different? ›

If anything, think of boutiques as a specialized type of retail store that fits a niche market with specialized products and more personal customer service. Though there is less variety at a boutique, the products will usually be of higher quality and price.

How much do you tip at a boutique hotel? ›

Tip $1-5 per night. The tip should be left daily (preferably in an envelope or with a note so that it's clear it's for housekeeping). For special requests (like an extra blanket), tip $2 for one item, $1 for more. Tipping is not required for someone fixing something broken or bringing something missing.

How many rooms is considered a boutique hotel? ›

Boutique hotels, usually offering between 10 and 100 rooms total, are smaller in size but come with an unequaled level of hospitality and original array of aesthetics that adds to the flavorful atmosphere.

Are boutique hotels more expensive? ›

Generally speaking, boutique hotels cost roughly 10 to 20 percent less than the larger branded properties; depending on the location and amenities offered. With boutique hotels, you will get more value for your money, with luxurious experiences at a lower cost.

What do you call a boutique hotel? ›

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a boutique hotel is “a small stylish hotel, typically one situated in a fashionable urban location.” A boutique hotel has a distinct character, intentional design and decor, and personalized service.

What is the difference between guest house and boutique hotel? ›

The main difference between a guesthouse and a boutique hotel is that a guesthouse usually has fewer rooms, and the owner of the house usually lives there as well. Guesthouses and boutique hotels in The Boutique Vibe Collection offer upper-scale services and care about the experience of every guest.

What is the difference between boutique and lifestyle hotel? ›

Boutique hotels offer a more personalized experience that is targeted at a unique clientele who are less price-dependent, whereas lifestyle hotels target those looking for an incomparable experience but with the price and dependability of a chain hotel.

What are the five most important qualities for a business hotel write them in order of importance? ›

The 5 traits that make a hotel excellent
  • Customer-driven. Great hotels know that one of the secrets of excellence is being customer-driven and understanding and fulfilling clients' needs and expectations. ...
  • Creating experiences. ...
  • Service quality. ...
  • Loyalty. ...
  • Human resource management.
Oct 10, 2019

What is boutique style? ›

: a small shop dealing in fashionable clothing or accessories.

What is the purpose of a boutique? ›

Boutiques are small, independent retailers managed by entrepreneurs. These establishments specialize in selling high quality, stylish products, including clothing, shoes, and jewelry. While they carry smaller inventories, you get a unique shopping experience at these outlets.

What is a boutique style room? ›

Boutique bedrooms are often eccentric and highly individual. So start adding your own touch with quirky accessories and a large mirror to bounce light around the room. Go as simple and elegant or eccentric as you want to.

What is a good sentence for boutique? ›

She launched her first boutique selling her own designs after taking a fashion course in Paris. These designer fashions are available only in the most exclusive boutiques and high-end outlets. A boutique is a small retail store selling fashionable clothes, gifts, and accessories.

What words go with boutique? ›

  • bazaar.
  • boutique.
  • chain.
  • co-op.
  • cut-rate store.
  • discount store.
  • five-and-dime.
  • flea market.

What is someone who owns a boutique called? ›

shopkeeper. noun. someone who owns or manages a shop.

What are the types of boutique? ›

Types of Boutique
  • Jewelry Boutique − It is the boutique specialized in selling differently designed local and imported jewelry products.
  • Make-up Product (Cosmetic) Boutique − It is a store specialized in selling different make-up products exclusively for females.
Oct 13, 2022

How do I make my boutique stand out? ›

10 Must-Know Methods to Make Your Boutique Business a Success
  1. Try New Marketing Strategies. ...
  2. Participate in Local Events. ...
  3. Create a Loyalty Program. ...
  4. Get Active on Apps. ...
  5. Location, Location, Location. ...
  6. Apply for Additional Working Capital. ...
  7. Hire the Right Employees. ...
  8. Ask for Customer Feedback.

What do you call a boutique that sells everything? ›

megastore. noun. a very large shop, especially one that sells many different types of products.

What is a boutique experience? ›

Boutique retail experiences, also known as bespoke services, offer personalized shopping experiences.

What is included in a boutique? ›

A boutique is a small retail shop selling fabric, clothes, accessories and other goods to a specific segment of people. A boutique business does not require much capital and can be managed by even one person.

What makes a brand boutique? ›

The primary aspect of a boutique brand is that it derives strength by basing itself on a very strong idea or design concept. It may be argued that all brands are based on differentiating ideas and design concepts.

Is it rude not to tip hotel housekeeping? ›

You don't have to tip your hotel housekeeper, but these hardworking staff members are often forgotten when it comes to tipping, so the money can go a long way for them.

Do you tip housekeeping daily or at end of stay? ›

Some travelers like to leave one tip for hotel housekeeping at the end of their stay. But most experts say it's better to leave a tip every day of your trip. “We recommend tipping nightly, as your room may be serviced by different people,” said Ten Eyck.

Do you tip housekeeping if they didn't clean your room? ›

As a result, some guests might think there's no need to tip housekeepers. But even if you never opt for room cleaning during your stay, you should leave a tip on your departure day, as housekeeping staff will be coming in to clean up after you and disinfect the room before the next guests arrive.

What is the standard size of a boutique? ›

While most boutiques are less than 1,000 square feet, you'll want to ensure that you have enough square footage that your boutique won't be too crowded. You'll also want adequate room for seating for those waiting for the fitting room and plenty of room for displays.

What is a boutique B and B? ›

In general a boutique B&B can be described as: 'Boutique B&B's are characterized by their intimate atmosphere and personal style. They distinguish themselves from chain hotels by offering personalized attention and styled accommodations. ' Small size.

What is the average size of a boutique hotel room? ›

Boutique hotels: Boutique hotels are typically smaller, with rooms that range from 150 to 400 square feet (14 to 37 square meters). These hotels often feature unique decor and personalized service, with amenities that may include a small bar or restaurant, a fitness center, and complimentary breakfast.

How many bags are in the boutique hotel? ›

Inside the box are 20 numbered part bags spanning 14 building steps. There is also a loose 32×32 baseplate and a final bag containing the instruction book.

What is the difference between inn and boutique hotel? ›

Inns are generally located in smaller towns and are often housed in historic buildings. Some may have a more unique style but Inns are not as focused on uniqueness and brand as a boutique hotel. They tend to focus more on luxury and comfort and less on providing a homey bed and breakfast feel.

How many star is a boutique hotel? ›

In the simplest terms, boutique hotels are small, intimate hotels that offer personalised services and expansive amenities. They combine the sophistication and luxury of a 4- or 5-star hotel with the personalisation capabilities of a regular BnB (bed and breakfast).

Why boutique hotels are better? ›

A boutique hotel can offer anywhere between 25 to over 100 rooms to its guests. This allows them to enjoy a more cozy experience that lacks the vastness of a chain hotel. Travelers looking for a unique, one-of-a-kind stay the most likely to benefit from a stay at a boutique hotel.

Why choose a boutique hotel? ›

A boutique hotel is smaller than a standard hotel to allow for a themed environment. These hotels have 10 to 100 rooms which are easier to maintain in perfect shape. Hotel managers are able to maintain these hotel spaces in mint condition and this is an experience you want to enjoy as a traveler.

What is the difference between luxury hotel and boutique hotel? ›

A boutique hotel is a smaller, upscale, luxury hotel that offers a distinct personality, intimate experience, and personalized service. They tend to be located in trendy neighbourhoods in large cities, have luxury amenities, and unique, modern design throughout the hotel and individual rooms.

What does AB and B stand for? ›

A bed and breakfast or B&B or BnB is described by Wikipedia as lodging providing overnight accommodation and breakfast. This is often in a private family home and there may be one, two or more rooms. The host usually lives in the house and you may share communal areas with the family.

What are the three types of hotel guest? ›

Below, we'll talk about three different types of hotel guests and what they look for in a hotel.
  • Tourists. Tourists are from out of town and want to experience a new place to the fullest, but what do leisure and tourist travelers want in a hotel? ...
  • Business Travelers. ...
  • Event Travelers.
Jan 21, 2019

What does stay boutique mean? ›

A boutique hotel is a type of hotel that feels small, intimate, and quaint. It typically has less than 100 rooms and offers guests an ultra-personal service. Unlike the way most other hotel brands are perceived by the public, a boutique hotel stays true to the local culture.

What is a small boutique hotel? ›

A Boutique Hotel is small. It should not have more than 100 rooms, because it has to offer a personal touch to every guest. It is an independent hotel, or part of an “only-boutique” chain. It is located in the city center or in a very trendy area, usually the main shopping one.

When did boutique hotels become popular? ›

Any way you look at it, boutique, designer, and lifestyle hotels think differently. And despite the existence of spaces like this for centuries, the trend took off in the 1980s.

What is the difference between a boutique hotel and a lifestyle hotel? ›

According to a Delphi study (responses from diverse experts from the lodging industry) 'boutique hotels are best characterized as small, stylish hotels that offer high levels of service. Lifestyle hotels are described as innovative and provide more of a personal experience than so-called “branded” hotels'.

How many rooms should a boutique hotel have? ›

Boutique hotels, usually offering between 10 and 100 rooms total, are smaller in size but come with an unequaled level of hospitality and original array of aesthetics that adds to the flavorful atmosphere.

What is the best size for a boutique hotel? ›

Fewer than 100 rooms

No one is going to take away your boutique status if you have 102 rooms, but as a general rule, size does matter. Keeping your hotel under 100 rooms is a way of controlling quality, and being able to offer a more personalized service.


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