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Interview with Ido Gelber, General Manager at Hotel Milu from Florence

When you enter through the doorway between the Fendi and Giorgio Armani stores in Via de Tornabuoni, which is the most beautiful and luxurious street in Florance, Hotel Milu welcoming you. I talked with Ido Gelber about Hotel Milu.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Hotel Milu

Hotel Milu


by Melisa Kaya

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Hotel Milu is not only a hotel with comfortable rooms, but also an art gallery. The history of the building that hosts Hotel Milu dates back to 14th century and it is located in the heart of Florance. Hotel Milu offers a different experience to its guests with 22 individually designed rooms, hallways and living spaces filled with artworks, the rooftop terrace, and a library. In order to learn more about Hotel Milu and The Open Gallery, I talked with Ido Gelber, General Manager at Hotel Milu.

Ido, before talking about the Hotel Milu, could you tell us about yourself? Who is Ido Gelber?

Simple guy who likes his own time to think and be in the sea.

Hotel Milu

Hotel Milu

How does it feel to be a general manager, who is currently responsible for managing the Hotel Milu as well as protecting a historic building and managing an art gallery?

Feel great. Milu is a rare combination of 4 stars hotel with personal service in the highest level, Live art gallery and all this in a historical building, this unique combination helps us to create special guests experiences.

Hotel Milu is located in Via de Tornabuoni. Could you tell us about your location and the advantages of being there?

If you will tell to every Italian that you are staying in Via Tornabuoni he will say WOW. This is one of the 5 most luxury and beautiful streets in Italy and the most beautiful and luxuries in Florence. It's in the center of the city, less than 5 minutes walk from all the main sites like Dumo, Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio etc. the streets are very quiet and completely magical.

Hotel Milu

Hotel Milu

Please tell us about the history of the elegant 14th-century building that hosts Hotel Milu in the heart of Florence’s historical center.

The documented story of Milu Hotel begins in the year 1400. The property, as it stands today, once housed several private residences belonging to numerous aristocratic and bourgeois families of Florentine, such as the Strozzi and Minerbetti families. The current name of the conjoined buildings Palazzo Altoviti - Sangalletti derives from the final bequeathing to an heir of the Altoviti and Sangalletti families. The structure of the modern day building was altered in 1835 by architect and es-teemed painter Giovan Battista Silvestri, combining the adjacent Palazzo Gherardi - Uguccioni with Palazzo Altoviti - Sangalleti. From the exterior, the conjoined buildings are identical. Both share symmetrical arched windows, uniform finishing on the façade of the ground floor along with large stone slab work.

The ground floor of the property once housed Café Doney, an important meeting place for aristocrats and socialites living in the area. The prominent Café Doney was a fixture of the neighbourhood from the time that it opened in 1870 until it shut its doors in 1989.

Could you tell us about Hotel Milu and the overall concept?

Milu concept is the New Luxury hospitality. The world has changed and we are changing with it. In Milu all the staff are young people which speak Italian, English fluent and another language. The service in the hotel is the best. there isn't a request that we cannot do. We will find the way to do it. We RETREATING OUR Guests like they are important guests in our home and city and we are responsible that they will see and explore each and every cool destination according to what they looking for.

Hotel Milu

Hotel Milu

Hotel Milu has 22 uniquely decorated rooms. Could you tell us about the design concept of these rooms?

The design concept is to Mix between the old world and the new world. Historical building with colorful modern design. The classic art of Florence with the contemporary art gallery inside the hotel.

What type of different rooms do you offer to your guests? Could you tell us about your rooms and their features?

Each room and each corner in Milu is different. No copy paste of the rooms. each room has different colors, different furniture, and shapes.

What would you want to say about the gastronomic diversity of Florence? How could your guest experience this?

The gastronomic in Florence is the best in Italy. One can find everything you can dream on while thinking of Italy. From Pizza to pasta, the famous Bisteca Fiorentina. Amazing Tartufo and truffles, ice cream, handmade chocolates. The most important thing is to know where to go. Our concierge service will send you the coolest, tasty and unknown places in the city.

Hotel Milu

Hotel Milu

Your guests can find different artworks in every space of Hotel Milu. Could you tell us about The Open Gallery concept?

The live art gallery in Milu is part of the hotel concept. People are coming to Florence to see art and history so why not give it to them also inside the hotel. The only difference is the type and year. Instead of the classic, we are presenting Contemporary and instead of the Renaissance, we are presenting art from our days. In addition, we are changing all the artworks in the hotel every few months. The idea is that if a guest come back to the hotel twice he will not see the same artworks.

What can your guests find at the rooftop terrace?

Nice chairs, good view, nice music, and amazing vibes.

How could your guests spend time at Hotel Milu?

Seating in the terrace with Aperol spritz, reading a nice book in our special library and enjoy our in-room spa services.

Hotel Milu

Hotel Milu

Which services and features of Hotel Milu make it different from other hotels in Florence?

The gallery, the location, and above all is the staff. We have the best staff in the world. Take a look whats the guests writing about it in Trip advisor.

What kind of additional services and collaborations do you offer for leisure and business travelers?

Car parking. free wifi, and in-room spa treatment.

How can travelers make their individual or business/group reservations? Do you have any advantage packs that you offer to your regular and long-term guests?

Last month we finished our new Website. On this website, we have the best rate online and we guarantee that if someone found a better rate we will match it immediately. For groups, I think the best things to do is to send us a mail to or to talk with our staff in the online chat on the website. Our response time is instant.

Hotel Milu

Hotel Milu

What can your guests do when they step out of the Hotel Milu and step into the streets of Florence?

To experience the most amazing part of Florence.

What are the most famous attractions near you?

The main atractions of Florence: Dumo, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Strozzi, Uffizzi Gallery, Palazzo Pitti, Piazza Santa Maria Novella, Piazza Republica etc.

If you have only one weekend in Florence as a first-time visitor, in this limited time, what are the best things to do?

To see the view from Piazzale Michaelangelo, Eat pizza borgo in Tratorria Borgo Antico, Dring some Sprita next to the Arno and sleep in the deluxe room of Milu Hotel.

How do you describe Florence in one sentence?

The most Magical place in the world.

Thank you Ido for this enjoyable interview.

For more information, please visit the website of Hotel Milu

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