These gift ideas are functional, frivolous or fanciful, but all fabulous!!!


I’m writing you from Milan as a guest of the gorgeous Hotel Armani Milan.  As soon as we landed we were escorted and greeted at the hotel by the lovely Anna Bartko, Director of Sales and Marketing who treated us to breakfast and a warm welcome.

I was impressed by the attention to detail and the branding strategically placed in the most clever places! What do you ask?  Well, the hotel itself is in the shape of the letter A… I’m telling you – in my next life – I am doing the SAME…note to self : must keep the letter J.


Also the sugar packs, which the hotel packages, have an A stamped into the cubes.  He is like Zorro. Loooove it!


I couldn’t come to Milan without visiting more friends in nearby fabulous properties… one person being the handsome charming and always gracious Ezio Indiana.  Don’t you just love his name?  Ezio is the General Manager of the newly redone Principe di Savoia.  
If you have never been you must stay here!  Ezio and his staff will take care of you.  You can go to the link and get a sneak peak if you click here.


Did I mention I only had two hours of sleep of the plane? I was a bit excited about this trip and had to plan my itinerary down to the wire. Thankfully, the jet lag had not kicked in so I paid a visit to my friends at the Bulgari Hotel Milan.  (Guests get to pamper themselves with Bulgari products which are standard in every room.)  Right now, the hotel staff has decked the halls with candy jars throughout the lobby.  I was in need of a little sugar to keep me going so I snacked on the gummies and licorice. E A T   Y O UR   H E A R T   O U T….Speaking of which Bulgari Hotel Milan is offering a new year celebration with a two-day gourmet feast in the hotel’s restaurant. Also, look for the Knightbridge property to open April 2012.  The Knightbridge property will be so close to Harrods you could walk over there in your Bulgari Hotel Slippers. A stone’s throw away!  That’s going to be serious competion for the Mandarin Oriental.

It’s alway Christmas at the Bulgari Hotel Milan. Candy 24/7. My dentist is going to kill me.


Back in my room again – it’s getting late but I’m still on New York’s clock so I thought I would say a little more about my day:  I stopped by to pay a visit to the GM of Four Season Milan, Vincenzo Finizzola.  How could I not?  The property was intially a convent erected in the 15th century. Though the outside is old world, there is nothing in the interior that is dated!  A top of the line spa and pool is scheduled to open Spring 2012.  Vincenzo told me they spent 2 years drilling underground for this project. I wonder if they found any fossils or oil.

The photo to the left is from their official website.  Look at this courtyard.  Imagine yourself sitting there after a proper Italian meal.  Right now this courtyard is tastefully decorated in Christmas lights.  These decorations would get any Scrooge into the holiday spirit.

I sat and chatted with Vincenzo Finizzola, the Four Seasons Milan General Manager.
As you can tell I had chock full day and worked up quite an appetite.  As I said before, I planned this trip down to the specifics and could not wait for dinner.  I am a travel consultant by day and a foodie by night.  I needed veal milanese, right away (FYI: it’s called veal milanese there too). Who could resist dining at the newly opened Osteria Del Corso?  Believe me, the hype is well founded.

Deliciously crispy yet juicy veal with a perfect salad of fresh tomatoes and arugula in a light squeeze of fresh lemon.  What a perfect way to end the evening. It doesn’t get any better than this.  Mangia!

And with that thought I leave you.  I have another full day tomorrow.  Truly a wonderful first day in Milan. I cannot wait to see what surprises tomorrow brings. Ciao!