Hotel Viu Milan Calls Me Out on Age, Requires Parental Permission Form
Last week, I took the week off and visited Italy. The trip lasted a little less than a week, begun in Rome, and ended in Milan. For the majority of my trip to Italy, I stayed at a villa in the Tuscan mountains. That villa has been in our family for generations and is strictly private. Staying in a private villa, I knew I wouldn’t have much content for the blog. Knowing this, I managed to fit a one night stay in Milan to end my vacation.
The night before I was slated to arrive in Milan, I visited SPG’s website to book a room. There’s more than a few SPG properties in Milan most of which are Design Hotels. All SPG Hotels were priced similarly so I decided to book the Hotel Viu Milan. The rate was a little over $200 USD which I felt was reasonable given the location.
I arrived in Milan around 10:30 AM after a quick ride up on Trenitalia’s high-speed rail system. I hopped in an Uber and within ten minutes, was pulling up to the chic Hotel Viu in the heart of Milan.
I was dressed appropriately for the property. The Hotel Viu Milan is fairly upscale and I made sure to take note of this before I got dressed that morning. I waltzed into the quiet lobby and made my way to the check-in desk where I was greeted by one of the hotel’s professional staff.
I handed her my passport, American Express, and SPG Gold card. The Hotel Viu Milan is a Design Property so it’s not entirely an SPG property. Still, I requested an upgrade and made small talk. As she was about to activate the keys, she looked at my passport and said, “One second, Mr. Prosperi, I will be right back.” Right then and there I knew that this was going to be an ordeal.
My heart began to race as I waited for the front-desk agent to return from the back. After two minutes, she returned. She said, “I’m sorry Mr. Prosperi but when you get a chance, you will need to have your parents email the hotel as you are not yet 18. We need to send your information to the police and per Italian law, you must be 18 to stay in a hotel.” She was 100% right. Per Italian law, I needed to be 18. This was the first time in my travels I’d been called out at a hotel for age.
I actually chuckled at the time. I turn 18 in two weeks and this was the first time since I started staying in hotels alone, that I had been called out. Additionally, I was just relieved at the time that they weren’t going to cancel my reservation and make me look for a room elsewhere. The front desk attendant was very helpful, giving me the best email address for the hotel and the information that should be contained within the email.
What The Hotel Wanted in the Parental Permission Email
I was surprised that all of this could be taken care of via email. I originally offered to call my parents and have them speak to the general manager. However, the front desk agent said that wouldn’t be necessary and I should just have them send the hotel an email, “When they’re able to.” They were very clear that they didn’t want me to call home and wake my parents. However, I wanted to get this cleared up as quick as possible so I gave my parents a 4:00 AM wake-up call.
The hotel staff effectively communicated what they wanted in the email. They requested: a paragraph affirming my parent’s permission, a description of why I’m in Milan, and contact information. Additionally, the hotel wanted pictures of my mom’s passport. I was a little apprehensive when they requested images of her passport. I honestly didn’t want her information to get into the wrong hands. I suggested they use her driver’s license to which they replied, “Sorry, we will only accept a passport.” That said, I got over the (irrational) idea of them erroneously handling her passport details.
The Hotel Staff Handled The Ordeal Flawlessly
There were a few other mishaps that occurred during my stay, however, I’ll cover those in the full review. Those mishaps and this major inconvenience actually helped my cause. I was upgraded to a suite and was offered a complimentary in-room snack. I can’t help but imagine how this would have gone down if this would have happened in the US. I could easily see a front desk agent at an SPG hotel in the Midwest simply canceling my room and telling me to leave the hotel. The service at hotels in Europe seems much more professional and polished.
I was finally called out on my age. Wow. This could potentially have been disastrous. When the front desk agent made her way to the back office, I honestly thought that I’d be making my way to a different hotel that night. I would have never imagined a hotel accommodating an underage guest. However, I was accommodated and enjoyed my stay. The real reason this post didn’t turn out to be a rant is that the hotel staff handled the issue perfectly.
What do you think of this story? Are you surprised the hotel didn’t cancel my reservation?