We need to stay overnight in Milan to catch an early morning flight. Family of 4. Can anyone recommend a hotel in Milan OR near the airport and offer advice on transport to the airport and how long it takes?
There is frequent bus service from Milan Centrale to Malpensa. The trip takes about 70 minutes. I don't know how early they begin their runs.
The other option, if you need to be at the airport before shuttle service operates, is explained in this link, read the replies in the link: click
We stayed at the Milan Hilton which is about two blocks from the train station and took the first Malpensa shuttle to the airport in the morning. It is 7 Euro for adults, 3.50 for kids 2-12. You pay when you get on the bus. The first shuttle leaves at 4:25 am and gets to the airport at 5:15 am. You can find all the details and the schedule at http://www.malpensashuttle.it. There is a secondary loading point in another neighborhood, if you can figure out where that is, you may have more hotel options besides what is near the train station. You may be able to find something near the airport too, but since there was a shuttle right by the train station, we opted for that.
We stayed at First Hotel Malpensa last year and are doing the same thing this year. From the train station in Milan you can take the Malpensa shuttle to the airport. Once you're at the airport, just call the hotel (or ask a cab driver to take you there, who will then just call the hotel for you b/c it's too close for him to be bothered! - that's what happened to us!) and they'll come pick you up at the airport. The hotel is probably 5 minutes away and they have a shuttle that you can schedule to take to the airport. The hotel is like any airport hotel, a little more expensive, but clean and business like- a good choice if all you're looking for is clean and convenient!