The Gritti Palace
Design & character
The hotel occupies a palace which dates from 1475 and was afterwards owned by Andrea Gritti, doge of Venice by 1523 to 1538. It emerged from a 15-month recovery in February, 2013, that revived the whole building, including the chambers, revived each of the hotel’s hundreds of precious paintings and other artefacts, also added a small (two double treatment rooms) but exquisite Acqua di Parma spa. Technology has been remodeled however, the palace’s romantic and historical character and appearance have been retained: digital alarm-radios and televisions are the only things which spoil the illusion you’re staying not at a hotel but at a 15th-century Venetian palazzo.
The marble-clad baths are relatively modest, as a result of legislation that limit the structural changes that can be created to Italy’s most historical building, but, assuming your taste is for Venetian period splendour, this is about the worst you can say about the sumptuous and totally refurbished 61 rooms and 21 suites. All are different but all are filled with precious antiques, paintings, frescoes, objets d’art and beautiful fabrics. Courtyard rooms would be the least appealing, view-wise; other price categories involve rooms that face the campo or small Rio delle Ostreghe canal on the palace’s west flank.
Food & drink
Located on the ground floor, it looks out over the Grand Canal, together with the option in summer of ingesting on an outside patio on the Canal itself. Food in Venice can disappoint, particularly in hotel dining rooms, but here chef Daniele Turco delivers sublime but unpretentious Venetian cooking that’s perfectly cooked and attractively, but not fussily presented. A nice breakfast buffet is served in the same dining area and the resort provides romantic cookery classes in an enchanting open kitchen off the restaurant.
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