Urban Luxury and Hospitality at Galleria Vik Milano
Synonymous with splendor and style, Milan’s grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II has welcomed a new luxury hotel to its heart. Vik Retreat, the private hospitality group known for its lavish location in South America, has inaugurated its first European opening with Galleria Vik Milano.
New ground for the group, this inaugural Vik Retreat on the Old Continent finds itself in the heart of an urban art capital, most precisely inside the iconic 19th century shopping arcade famous for its high-end boutiques, cafes and architectural beauty. Built between 1865 and 1877, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II dazzles with its glass and iron dome and its myriad mosaics of continents, animals and even the Savoy coat of arms – a location which makes the ideal setting for the majestic and contemporary Vik Retreat which is in itself a celebration of history, culture, art and architecture. It is the ideal stay for those looking to immerse themselves in refined sophistication, surrounded by the splendor of classical and contemporary artworks.
The retreat’s intriguing layout was achieved under the scrupulous vision of owners Alexander and Carrie Vik, who worked to redesign the interior spaces along with architect Marcelo Daglio, seeking to highlight the powerful relationship between art and design, a theme present throughout all of the Vik concepts. Upon entering the reception area, guests are immediately graced by a reproduction of Rodin’s famous bronze sculpture, The Thinker, and the beautiful dry frescos by Italian artist Alex Folla, of eight mythological creatures holding up the world.
Likewise, the theme of art and design extends to the 89 guest rooms as well, all of which have been conceived to take full advantage of the splendid views and styled with works of art and refined furnishings. No two rooms are alike at the Vik, with each room laid out and planned by an individual artist, creating a true sense of complete artistic immersion throughout the hotel.
Yet another special characteristic of Galleria Vik are the murals and hand painted frescos which adorn its walls and accent the architecture of the building. These frescos, inspired by Italian art, are accompanied by an international art collection together with carefully selected pieces of furnishings ranging from contemporary pieces from the mid 1900s to more vintage and antique pieces created by designers such as Gio Ponti, Franco Albini and Ico Parisi.
Ideated to give guests the sensation of living in an art exhibition, Galleria Vik Milano’s five floors house an impressive collection of the best of contemporary Italian art with the addition of several important artists from the international scene as well. A few of the names in the collection include Chinese artist Liu Bolin, painter and photographer Julian Lennon, Polish photographer Szymon Brodziak, Argentinian artist Nina Surel, and Spanish artist Felipe Cardeña, known for his use of floral patterns and employing multi-ethnic materials in some of his artworks. Other important artists with works at the Vik Milano include the Japanese Neo-Pop artist Tomoko Nagao, Russian artist pair Dubossarsky & Vinogradov, and other interesting works by artists from Uruguay and South America such as Vicky Barranguet, Eduardo Cardozo, Fernando López Lage, and Rita Fischer. In all, the hotel boasts the work of over 90 artists - their paintings, photographs, sculptures and murals gracing walls, hallways, rooms and bathrooms.
Visitors to the Vik can also find the hotel’s restaurant, Vikissimo, located on the first floor, with its panoramic windows looking out onto the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. With a menu created by Executive Chef German Bentancur, from Uruguay, Vikissimo’s delectable selections bring a South American influence to Italian dishes, all in a location which is both refined and at the same time laid back. Diners can enjoy choices such as crispy octopus with potatoes in a smoky creamed sauce with sweet peppers, black rice with marinated egg, or guanciale and shrimp, along with many other options from the menu and vegetarian and gluten free alternatives too.
In addition, the restaurant also offers an expansive cocktail menu and carefully selected wine list including Vik’s own wines, produced in Chile, which are all polished blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Vikissimo’s main dining area and lounges cover an area of 250 square meters and are all furnished with contemporary custom-made furnishings including the distinctive and diverse marble-topped tables by Antolini, sofas by Knoll and chairs by Calligaris, each personalized with upholstery created exclusively for Galleria Vik.
Keeping in theme with the rest of the hotel, the restaurant also incorporates art into its space. The interior of Vikissimo is home to a curated gallery, its walls and spaces decorated with works by artists from all over the world. The pieces on display are periodically changed, and patrons even have the opportunity of buying their favorite pieces.
Ultimately, travelers to the Vik will find themselves immersed in a world of art, design, history and luxury– from the individually decorated rooms to the extraordinary artworks adorning each space. A stay at this unique hotel is a voyage in itself, a venture into one of Milan’s most iconic structures, in a city which is already home to hundreds of years of history and culture. Benvenuto to Galleria Vik Milano.
By Liana Bicchieri