Among today's trendy "design hotels," NHow
Milan takes avant-garde to a higher plane. The hotel's cutting-edge
art and design is so bold it sacrifices comfort, perhaps putting
off baby boomers, but still effortlessly attracts its desired
demographic of artists, trendsetters and fashionistas alike.
property of its kind -- NHow is the latest offspring of the
Spain-based NH Hotels boutique hotel chain -- NHow Milan is quirky,
with a tunnel-like catwalk for a main entrance; playful, thanks to
pop art rubber/foam chairs scattered throughout the lobby; and far
from modest -- an original painting by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
in the lobby prompts 24-hour security.
"now") is a hybrid of postmodern, retro and glam and seems to
thrive on being unique, which staff credits to the collaboration of
designer Matteo Thun, architect Daniele Beretta and president of
DHT (owner company of NHow) Emanuele Garosci. According to Beretta,
the project, four years in the making, was quite a challenge: The
development team had to convert a former General Electric factory
into a dynamic, captivating space while retaining original elements
of the industrial building.
The hotel opened
its doors for Fashion Week last fall in Milan's burgeoning Tortona
district, mostly known for modeling agencies, galleries and
showrooms, but now also jammed with trendy cafes and
Elements of the
hotel capture the urban appeal of both the neighborhood and all of
metropolitan Milan, such as that long tunnel as the entrance
hallway, wrought-iron columns and graffiti on the doors as a
pervasive aesthetic. At the entrance of the elevator is 6,500 feet
of excavated exhibition space displaying, through tempered glass,
the roots of the factory and more artwork.
embraces the concept of what's called "fluid design," whereby
furniture, wall art, lighting and other furnishings are rotated
regularly every three months. A partnership with art gallery
Triennale enables Nhow's management to change prominent art pieces
by famous artists and up-and-coming designers once a
In essence, the
hotel becomes a showroom itself, with furniture for sale designed
by Poltrone Frau, Knoll, Zuchetti, Artemide and others.
The hotel's 249
rooms comprise three of the four floors. There are 77 standard
units, 73 superior rooms, 14 rooms specially designed for the
handicapped, 23 junior suites, 52 executive suites, nine suites and
the creme-de-la-creme Nhow Suite.
Guest units have
been designed as autonomous, modular "open-plan" spaces with
practical details. For instance, "guide lights" glow under beds, so
insomniacs do not disturb sleeping partners; floor-to-ceiling
curtains divide different areas of the room; and all showers in the
spacious bathrooms -- which, by the way, are stocked with Molton
Brown amenities -- feature light trickling from the ceiling shower
heads, which creates a curious optical effect.
This summer, NHow
Milan will introduce a Beach Club on its third-floor private
terrace. The open-air solarium will feature a "beach" of imported
sand as well as restaurant service. The hotel will also open its
wellness center, comprising three floors of treatment rooms, a spa
With the success
of NHow Milan, NH Hotels plans on opening its next "laboratory of
trends," as it refers to the NHow concept, in other fashion
capitals of the world, including New York and Buenos
For more on NH
Hotels, visit www.nh-hotels.com.
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