STRAF hotel&bar (MI)

by Lavinia Colonna Preti
STRAF hotel&bar (MI) — Lombardia Secrets

Staying in the myth: the only hotel ever designed by Vincenzo de Cotiis and inaugurated in 2004, the STRAF hotel&bar, a few steps from Piazza Duomo, was the first design hotel in Milan, legendary, iconic and always evolving then as now.

Legend in the making. It was the beginning of the 2000s and the definition “lifestyle” or “art” hotel did not yet exist and even social networks had yet to be invented.

At that time Daniela Bertazzoni, the socialite manager of the Grand Hotel et de Milan, was responsible for changing the world of Milanese hotel industry forever, purchasing a fascinating late 19th-century building a stone’s throw from the Duomo with the dream of making it her “own” hotel.

STRAF hotel&bar (MI) — Lombardia Secrets
STRAF hotel&bar (MI) — Lombardia Secrets

We love music, musicians, DJs, artists, performances and all spaces that challenge convention, like our rooms. We are the hotel you don’t expect, a stone’s throw from the Milan Cathedral.

(Bertazzoni family)

To carry out the project she turned to the architect and designer Vincenzo De Cotiis and here, as happens when talent is left free to create, magic was born: the first hotel in Milan conceived as a large artistic installation, a “design hotel” before the definition was even known in Italy, the only one with 64 rooms each different from each other, some with private terraces and views of the Milan Cathedral, and a “next door” cocktail bar open all day.

STRAF hotel&bar, a fusion of “San Raffaele” from the street where it is located, opened in 2004 and was a success. De Cotiis plays in a sexy and original way with different materials, such as concrete contrasting with slate or brass, and touches of bright color in the paintings and details. Rooms and walls open up to collaborations and performances, which was very original at the time, with artists of all kinds, from music to visual arts.

STRAF hotel&bar (MI) — Lombardia Secrets

The STRAF hotel&bar soon became “the place to be” and, since then, it has been constantly evolving, always one step ahead, a place of stylistic avant-garde or, as we would say today, an all-round lifestyle hotel.

In 2023 a new surprise: the H2O STRAF Wellness is born whose project is once again entrusted to De Cotiis who here had fun with new contrasts and materials giving life to an urban oasis, unique in its kind in the Duomo area, composed of a sauna, Turkish bath, emotional shower, relaxation area and a beautiful pool with counter-current swimming.

STRAF hotel&bar (MI) — Lombardia Secrets

On the ground floor of the hotel is the STRAF Bar, open from morning to after dinner, with a jazzy atmosphere and ever-changing musical offerings, a lounge that becomes very lively at aperitif time, populated by a vibrant international clientele.

Today, STRAF hotel&bar is managed by Sarah Mancino, Daniela’s daughter, supported by a young team attentive to satisfying the guests’ desires. The appearance may well be that of a smart hotel, but the soul is definitely 5-star, an experience gained in over 50 years at the helm of the luxurious Grand Hotel et de Milan, the other structure managed by the Bertazzoni family.

STRAF hotel&bar (MI) — Lombardia Secrets

The Secret

The Bertazzoni family created IN-VITA, a non-profit association whose objective is, among others, to build and restore water wells in rural villages in Mali and provide training to the inhabitants for their maintenance. Hotel guests contribute to this project with their stay as a percentage of the profits is automatically donated to the association. In the hall you can also find various accessories, such as t-shirts and jewellery, the proceeds of which are totally donated to the cause.

Useful Info

STRAF hotel&bar
Via S. Raffaele 3
20121 Milano
Tel. +39 02 805081

Rooms: from 350 euro with breakfast
H2O STRAF Wellness is available for hotel guests and exclusively for private events

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