The world’s first seven-star hotel
For many hotels, a four or five star rating is a huge pat on the back, an excellent boon for an excellent hotel. For Italian hotelier Alessandro Rosso, five stars just wasn’t good enough. When he opened his flagship Town House Galleria in Milan, he went out of his way to ensure that the hotel would be the official first ever seven-star hotel.
Behind the News
If you’re like me, you probably think this ridiculous. Why have a rating system at all if you can just transgress it? Isn’t this akin to turning your amp up to eleven? Well for Alessandro Rosso, the answer would be no. Town House Galleria has taken every step to ensure unmatched luxury and accommodation, and it insists on being recognized for it (in a tangible, star-based fashion).
Granted, there are many hotels in the world that claim a six or seven star rating, but these rankings are unofficial. Rather than settle for a “high five” rating, Rosso actually hired the Société Générale de Surveillance (a Swiss auditing and certification company) to create a whole new ranking system, with Town House Galleria, of course, the only hotel with the highest possible rank. This may seem petty and esoteric, but the ranking system is official and includes a whole set of detailed specifications that determine a hotel’s rank. Thus, while Town House is currently the only seven-star hotel, any other hotel could apply for the rating. Indeed, there are already plans a seven-star hotel in the city of Tabriz in Azarbaijan.
So what makes Town House Galleria so special that it deserves an extra two stars? Well for starters, Town House is the only hotel in the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II, a spectacular Bell Époque construction that acts as a shopping arcade, thoroughfare, and palazzo. Rather than, say, hiring Philip Starck to create a cutting-edge interior, the hotel is built around its existing historic design. In addition to four-metre-high ceilings and windows, some rooms have ceiling frescoes, while others have stone angels.
What really sets the Town House apart, though, is its absolute attention to each individual guest. Before your arrival, the hotel asks guests to fill out a form indicating their preferences and a number of details about themselves. This is used to determine everything from the type of bed linen and pillows to what kind of cuisine you’ll enjoy. Each of the 24 rooms includes a separate loft space that changes identity based on the guest. It could be anything from a playpen to a private gym.
Add in such luxury amenities as a leather-bound laptop with free wi-fi, limo service, and private 24-hour butler service and you could see why five stars might seem like a slap in the face for Town House Galleria. It certainly has established an intriguing precedent: apparently you can be better than perfect.