There's something inherently italian about this milanese five-star hotel, and the most lasting impression comes not from its central location or impeccably turned-out staff, but the waft of white blooms as you arrive, warmed by the city sun.
Located off Via della Spiga, one of Milan's most celebrated shopping streets, the Carlton Baglioni stands out like an oasis in a desert.
Inside, an eclectic mix of celebrity portraits and marble floors beckon you forward, while its 92 rooms are decadently dressed in draping. Think heavy brocaded silks in regal purple and deep burgundy, all classically matched with rich wooden furniture, elaborate crystal chandeliers and gold-finished fixtures.
The old-school feel of the decor is offset by some superbly stylish clientele. The wood-panelled Il Baretto al Baglioni (the hotel's legendary restaurant) is loved by this city's classiest set, while the Caffè Baglioni and Terrazza Brunelleschi both offer equally tasteful escapes.
And it would be a crime to visit the fashion capital and not visit Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino, Valentino and Armani - all are just a credit-card swipe away in the stylish square that is Quadrilatero d'Oro.
GO: The Leading Hotels Of The World (www.lhw.com/carltonbag) offers one night from
WOW FACTOR: Enjoy the sunshine (and indulge in a spot of people-watching) over prosecco at Terrazza Brunelleschi.
FLIGHT TIME: 2 hours