The La Cordata hostel, located in central Milan, is a twenty- or twenty-five-minute walk South of Piazza Duomo. It can also be reached by Tram 15 and the stop is a one-minute walk from the hostel. From Milan Centrale, take the Yellow Metro Line to the Missori stop where you can catch Tram 15. There is parking available on the street and there are grocery stores nearby.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The hostel has simple, six-bed dorms, and private rooms. Maybe it is the mural of a tent on the hallway wall, but it reminds us a lot of the rooms in girl scout camp -- white walls, plain bunk beds, simple bathrooms, and mismatched common room furniture. It has functionality without character.
Each room has its own bathroom complete with a toilet, bidet, excellent shower, sink, and lots of shelf space inside and outside the shower to set your belongings. While the doors to the rooms do not lock, the rooms do contain massive lockers that can be shut with your own padlock. Each locker stretches from the floor to near the ceiling and can hold even the largest backpack plus some. One thing we particularly liked about this hostel is that our room had a ceiling fan, which wasn't as effective as air conditioning, but did help.
A highlight of this hostel is the free internet. There are two computers in the common room that are usually available, but since we have a laptop, we took advantage of the excellent, free wireless internet. Other amenities include a pay phone, free luggage storage until 8 p.m. of the day of checkout, vending machines, and televisions in the common room.
The kitchen is large and industrial-looking with ample refrigerator space and almost any dish, pot, utensil, or kitchen item you would need. However, there is no microwave or oven so you have to use one of the eight stove-eyes. The kitchen is cleaned daily but guests are asked to wash their own dishes after use. We also suggest putting your entire grocery bag in the refrigerator to deter theft, as we left some mozzarella out of our bag on the shelf one day and it was taken.
You might run into other guests in the kitchen, but the common rooms were empty during most of our stay. During the day it did not seem like an overly social hostel, but at night you may run into the happy, talkative, post-partiers.
Curfew and Lockout
The hostel has no curfew, only a keypad at the entrance door (since the La Cordata contains hostels and budget rooms, reception is downstairs in the budget rooms part) where you are required to type an entrance code every time you enter the hostel, regardless of what time it is. The only disadvantage of this is that between 11:30 p.m. and about 6:30 a.m., a horribly piercing alarm goes off if the door is left open for more than twenty seconds. While signs on the door do warn of this, people are always exiting the hostel to smoke cigarettes and drunk groups don't read the signs and then cause even more noise by running through the halls screaming when they inadvertently set the alarms off. (After that incident, a staff member came up and threatened to call the police if they didn't quiet down. We were more amused than annoyed.) But altogether, the alarm is rather muted in the dorm room and only goes off one or two times a night -- not enough to wake us from a deep sleep. And besides the alarm, there was no other noise at the hostel.
The only thing we truly dislike about the hostel was the lockout. Between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. everyone has to leave the hostel so it can be cleaned. But beginning at 10:45 or 10:50, the staff will come around and open the doors telling everyone they have to be gone in ten minutes. One day though, we did come back around 1:30 because we had groceries and the hostel was open and cleaning was finished. Checkout is at 11 a.m.
Overall, we are quite pleased with the La Cordata. It is very clean, safe, and a good place to relax for a few days. The staff is polite and the other guests are a mix between young partiers and older guests who need a cheap place to stay. We would definitely return.