It's hard to recall a more entertaining hour than the one we spent in the lounge of the Bulgari Hotel Milan, just as the city's beautiful people were arriving for cocktail hour. Women in heels so high, and with legs so slim, you wondered how they stayed upright (and who actually made us feel a bit disgusting for tucking in to all the free sweeties), perky mini dogs in handbags, and men so handsome, you had a job to stop your mouth falling open in wonder.
If you're planning to go, make your wardrobe a priority because, as you might expect, this hotel attracts a crowd for whom looking good is a serious priority. A mecca for Italian design (think black marble plus lots of stone, teak and oak), with a buzzy bar and restaurant and unexpected 4,000 m square private garden, the Bulgari is located down a private street in a renovated 18th-century palazzo. From the fairly functional exterior, you'd never guess what awaits you inside - although a stream of luxury cars dropping off exquisitely dressed couples might give the game away.
A quick look at the services on offer is your next clue to the kind of clientele that stay here; you can hire a personal shopper, a private trainer, take a hydroplane trip around Lake Como, or travel anywhere else you fancy by private plane, limousine or yacht. The 'special room' - one of only 58 rooms and suites - is beautifully sectioned into functional spaces for dressing, sleeping and bathing. This is a hotel to feel truly fabulous in; and a couple of nights partying in its sexy surroundings will leave you feeling like you've just borrowed somebody else's (much more glamorous) life for 48 hours.
WOW FACTOR We've said it already, but it's worth saying again: the clientele. Seriously jaw-dropping.
GO A double room costs from £575 www.bulgarihotels.com