MILAN — Carla Sozzani, never content with the status quo, is at it again.
After altering Milan’s retail landscape more than a decade ago with the opening of her designer boutique 10 Corso Como, she’s now turning her eye toward an intimate hotel project located in the same sprawling space as her store, gallery and restaurant.
This story first appeared in the February 24, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Only don’t call 3Rooms a hotel.
“It’s a bed and breakfast,” Sozzani says. “I’ve always been attracted to doing something like this because I really like the concept of a personal retreat — a home away from home.”
Like its name, the so-called B&B is made up of three apartments spread over three floors in a traditional Milanese-style palazzo, with the entrance to each apartment located on an outdoor balcony overlooking the store’s courtyard.
Private and spacious, each apartment consists of a bedroom, bathroom, living room and ample space for clothes, shoes and, of course, any large shopping bags accumulated during the stay. The layout of each suite may be identical, but that’s all the three have in common.
Sozzani designed each space and handpicked the apartments’ unique furnishings, like Kris Ruhs baths, Sebastian Matta divans, Arne Jacobsen chairs, as well as vintage pieces, such as a steel chain-ring hanging light on the third floor and a Sixties Op Art throw rug on the second.
The palette changes from floor to floor, with red and black and beige and creams the most dominant. Overall, the aesthetic is late Sixties modern with a touch of kitsch.
“I chose pieces that I liked, that spoke to me,” Sozzani says. “I also wanted to give guests the opportunity to pick a style that spoke to them — that’s why there are different colors, some cooler, others a bit warmer in tone.”
Amenities include surround-sound stereos and TVs by Bang and Olufsen, as well as ISDN Internet connections. But one of Sozzani’s favorite extras is far from high tech. It’s 3Rooms’ “slow breakfast” concept. Depending on the season, guests can enjoy a specially made breakfast in their apartment, the garden or in the 10 Corso Como tearoom.
“It’s not that the service will be slow, it’s just that I’m against the Italian standard of standing at bar to have a quick café and brioche,” Sozzani says. “This is a way for guests to enjoy probably one of the only quiet times during the day.”
Sozzani is currently working with designer Azzedine Alaïa to open another 3Rooms in Paris. No other sites are set yet, but Sozzani says she’s always interested.
“It would have to be the same concept — three rooms — and I would only go in on it with friends.”
NO-TELL MOTEL: Sunday nights in Milan just got a little wilder, thanks to Antonio Coppola’s latest entertainment concept: Chandelier Motel. It’s a lounge, exhibitionist playground and all-out romp that comes alive only on Sundays, when Coppola and his staff transform the club Amnesia into a decadent discotheque, spiked with velvet gilded beds and a rotating group of international DJs. “I wanted to create a place where I would have fun,” says Coppola. “And I wanted to create a place where people would smile as soon as they walked in.” And smile they will, if not smirk. Party themes have included Fetish, Like a Virgin and Kama Sutra.
(Via Gatto, at the corner of Viale Forlanini; Tel: 39 02 20240458.)
MILANO MODERN: Restaurateur Giuseppe Scalise’s Chatulle offers a modern alternative to Milan’s traditional, albeit sometimes stuffy, dining locales. Its whitewashed walls, arched ceilings and pale wood details provide an airy, relaxed space for dinner or having a drink. Rosemary-marinated steak, carpaccio served with arugula, white celery and grana cheese and risotto made with radicchio and stracchino cheese are among the best of chef Roberto Rundini’s reinvented classics, though he also serves more conventional Mediterranean fare. Meanwhile, Scalise handles the exceptional wine list, which includes such rarities as a Chateau Margaux ’64.
(Via Piero Della Francesca, 68; Tel: 39 02 342008.)