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Venice, Italy: Hotel The Gritti Palace

Venice, Italy cradles a rich cultural experience brimming with literary treasures, architectural wonders, and artistic masterpieces all carefully preserved for generations on end. The Gritti Palace, formerly the residence of Doge Andrea Gritti, has been a haven for opulence, historical elegance and exclusive indulgence for centuries. The hotel’s regal interiors, which have been graced by an impressive host of noble dignitaries, elite socialites and highly respected celebrities, underwent a complete renovation with its doors sealed for almost a year and a half. At the onset of 2013, the 15th-century palazzo presented a highly-anticipated re-opening ingeniously timed in unison with the city’s annual Carnival.

The property itself is not only a mecca for luxury and masterful restoration, but also a stunning iconic landmark that visually welcomes visitors to the region. Entry into the city by means of the Grand Canal is highlighted by the majestic presence of the Gritti Palace, framing a coveted snapshot for any savvy world traveler. It is perfectly placed amid the picturesque context for a smooth arrival and superb setting with unmatched accessibility to Venetian life.

Aside from the immaculate view, the prestige of the palazzo is absolutely breathtaking and the restoration is remarkably flawless. Every inch of the palace retains the refinement of its original grandeur from the Murano chandeliers, re-laid stone, luxurious textiles, to the immense intricate tapestries, making you feel like royalty yet masterfully designed to integrate an unpretentious air of comfort. 21 specialty suites of the 82 spacious accommodations are attributed to their tradition of esteemed loyal guests such as Guggenheim, Somerset, Ruskin and marked by enshrined original works from historic figures such as Hemingway, for which the quarters are aptly named. A crucial recommendation for our clients is to request a room oriented towards the renowned waterway. It is a momentous experience to witness the awakening of the Grand Canal as the aquatic flow of luxury wooden cruisers, classic gondolas, and glistening water transports quicken under the rising sun.

Amid the masterful re-invigoration of the hotel grounds, the revered Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Spa shines as a coveted benefit of being a palace guest. The facility is equipped with top-tier provisions, soothing services and stocked with the brand’s internationally worshiped product line. Whether planned as a precursor to an adventurous day of local exploration or after navigating through the quaint streets of Venice, this spa is widely known as the eminent source for mind-blowing pampering experiences.

The Gritti Palace is also lauded for its phenomenal Michelin-starred restaurant featuring an inspired menu steeped in traditional excellence that is absolutely divine. Hidden behind the decadent main dining room is a private area centered around a massive handcrafted wooden table capable of seating over a dozen guests, outfitted with high-end chef utilities within the room itself. This space is dedicated to a fully-customized culinary experience lending itself to cooking lessons or entertaining food preparation by the hotel’s resident Master Chef. In addition, the palace’s sister property, Hotel Danieli houses a scenic restaurant, which I highly recommend for a midday meal that is immaculately paired with astonishing rooftop views. At peak hours, it can be mesmerizing to watch enormous luxury cruise ships as they pass through the accommodating canal.

While in this romantic city, one of my favorite pastimes is going on a walk with no particular destination in mind. Being led by spontaneous inspiration and gracefully guided by curious pathways over and around the canals, the cobbled streets and bridges always seem to lead the way to discovering an intimate trattoria or café hideaway with phenomenal Italian treats. Surrounded by artistic performances, local artisan jewelry and fashion as well as a presence by prominent Italian designers, the enjoyable essence of Venetian life and abundance of entertainment will liven your journey and often present pleasant surprises.

This is a destination that I enthusiastically recommend for couples looking for a romantic getaway, small groups, or friends travelling together. Though there are many beautiful palaces, the Gritti represents the best in stylish accommodations where you can find rejuvenating recluse within the height of cultural significance all of which is exclusively seated at the doorstep of one of the most coveted cities in the world.

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