Spice Hotel - Milan

An urban-style welcome

Contemporary design and continuity in materials create a refined but welcoming atmosphere in the refurbished Spice Hotel in Milan
Silvia Airoldi
Roberto Pellegrini - Studio Architettura Savorelli
Year of completion

There is something special about this hotel, as its «aromatic» name suggests. Situated in one of the busiest and most central areas of Milan, near the city’s central station, Spice Hotel occupies an elegant, historic building, recently refurbished by Studio Savorelli. «The client asked us to add value by making the building stand out from all the others nearby, as the area is so important in receiving tourists and visitors,» the architect explains.
Structural work on the four-storey building, once known as Hotel Amadeus, involved the addition of a harmoniously integrated fifth floor. This additional level, especially constructed to house the new Spice suites, stands some distance away from the front of the building to leave space for a terrace. This separation between the new and old parts of the structure gives the raised section a less massive appearance. The façades were repainted in anthracite grey to contrast with the white window surrounds.
The search for refined solutions and finishes led to the contemporary interior design developed by the Milanese studio of Antonio De Martino, who also directed work on the hotel. The interiors of the Spice Hotel feature metropolitan atmospheres in line with the structure’s «smart» character and Hotel 2.0 welcome. Ceramic tiles are the undisputed protagonists of the decorative concept and are used in a variety of ways, not just to achieve different material effects. Large porcelain tiles cover the floor and the full height of the walls in the rooms and common areas, creating a striking sensation of stylistic continuity.
Above all, the choice of ceramic tile minimises the hotel’s cleaning and maintenance problems compared to alternative coverings such as plaster or wood panelling. «In a refurbishment project like this, the extensive use of brick, plaster and tile helped speed up the completion of work. On top of this, over the years, the technical characteristics of ceramic tile mean lower maintenance costs — one of the highest operating expenses hotels have to sustain,» De Martino adds.
The floors and walls of the entrance hall, corridors leading to the rooms and the bathrooms are decorated in 80×80 cm, Smoke colour tiles from Cir’s Mat collection, whose concrete-effect surface creates a modern, industrial look. Serenissima’s Norway series tiles, on the other hand, reproduce the warmth and natural grain of Nordic wood. A 20×120 cm format in Nordic Land was chosen for all environments that needed to convey a feeling of welcome, such as the breakfast area and some of the rooms. Walls were again tiled from floor to ceiling. The remaining rooms and corridors were finished in Cercom’s Gravity, Walk, In Out & Reverse collections, creating eclectic combinations of material effects, from concrete to natural stone. As a result, the hotel’s interior design, chosen in collaboration with the ownership’s own design office, creates different welcoming atmospheres depending on the type of room.

Serenissima, Newport 2.0 Wild Wood Riabita Il Cotto Àcanto Norway
porcelain stoneware
15x90, 40x40,20x120, 30x120, 60x120, 20x120 cm
Grey, Industrial, New Ash, Miele, Natural feeling
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,3%
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): Classe 5
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): R ≥ 0,35 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9-R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
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