The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice
What We Love
- Prime location near San Marco at the mouth of the Grand Canal, with views of the lagoon, the iconic Salute church and the Punta della Dogana museum
- The decor, entirely redone in high Venetian style, dripping with Rubelli silks and damasks and Murano glass chandeliers
What To Know
- The Baroque opulence may not appeal to those with a more modern aesthetic
- On-site gym is small
- The hotel is pet-friendly, though fees may apply
- Free WiFi
- Room Service
High Venetian Baroque. Designer extraordinaire Chuck Chewning (creative director of the Italian furniture and textile house Donghia) respun the 15th-century palazzo’s storied past, refurbishing and repurposing its invaluable collection of art and antiques everywhere, from the spacious canal-side lobby and reception areas to the dining room, library and iconic Bar Longhi. The result is a space that doubles as a curated art museum fronting the Grand Canal, with rich colors and textures such as silk, marble and glass, and overstuffed Old World furniture.
Bed and Bath
From the upholstered walls to the plush kingsize beds and shimmering draperies, all 82 guestrooms are sheathed in custom-made Rubelli silks. Designer Chuck Chewning selected different pieces from the hotel’s extensive art and antiques holdings to embellish the rooms, which have Murano glass light fixtures, high ceilings, oak parquet and original terrazzo floors and oil paintings and — perhaps the best feature — canal views. Opulent bathrooms are clad in marble, and those looking for a touch of the contemporary will appreciate free high-speed Internet access and 40-inch Bang & Olufsen flat-screen TVs.
The hotel’s ground-floor Bar Longhi, which takes its name from the paintings by 18th-century Venetian master Pietro Longhi that hang within, and its adjacent restaurant, Club del Doge, have been glam gathering places for decades, not just for their cuisine and cocktails but for their Grand Canal views and chic clientele. Since the redo, these public areas have been augmented with a living room and library space with books and curiosities curated by jewelry designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia. There’s also a cooking school that brings back to life the hotel’s famed epicurean academy of the 1970s and 1980s, as well as a small Acqua di Parma spa done up in blue, white and yellow mosaic glass tiles.
In the Area
The Piazza San Marco, which is home to the eponymous basilica, the adjacent Campanile bell tower and the Doge’s Palace, is less than a 10-minute walk from the Gritti Palace. Take a gondola across the Grand Canal to see the Santa Maria della Salute church, the Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi contemporary art museums, as well as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection of Modern Art. And if you’re looking for some retail therapy, high-end shopping is ubiquitous, with international brands and artisanal crafts boutiques everywhere you turn.
How to Get There
From the moment you stay here until you leave, one gets the feeling of being at an iconic property that matches the grandeur of the city it is in. Venice is not for everybody and even I have my limits as to how much of it I’ll endure. But once you get past the price gouging and annoying tourists, there is much about the city to love and enjoy. The hotel is the same. It is not cheap or for those that want value for their money. There is no value to be found at rooms starting beyond $1,500 per night.
To enjoy Venice, one must surrender to its opulence and be prepared to spend out the nose. Once you embrace that aspect, the whole experience becomes easier. And if you’re spending a night or two in Venice, this hotel lives up to the standard one would expect from prices this high. The breakfast service was amazing and elegant. Like dining at the Ritz in Paris, just on a much smaller scale. From the wall decor in the rooms to the marble flooring and the old lift elevators, this really does feel like a stylish, older boutique hotel fit for royalty, be they celebrities or otherwise (and both have stayed here). The canal view from the bar terrace during good weather is second to none.
The service is highly professional. The concierge staff can get annoying with their uppityness and curt ness at times, but they do know what they are doing and handle things very quickly so they can move on to the next guest. They are not there to be your buddy or talking companion. One slight critique is that they do steer guests to the highest cost, Michelin star rated type restaurants, probably out of some reciprocal deal. But then again, considering the cost of this place, they likely assume their guests, which include an assortment of Hollywood celebs and political types, would have it no other way.
Like I said, don’t come here if the aim is to save money. Come if you want a taste of living in elegance for a night or two. If you prefer to spend Marriott points here, they do take them and it is worth the steep premium. Might take the sting off paying in cash and help folks enjoy the place more. It truly is a grand hotel that works to live up to its name and not reputation.
Beautiful in every detail and the service is excellent. Breakfast on the Grand Canal is a treat for the senses. Housekeeping is excellent and the concierge desk is there to assist you with all your questions and reservations. Each time we visit Venice it is heartbreaking to see the water damage to the buildings, but still perhaps there is hope.
We’ve stayed here many times over 20+ years and it never disappoints. We recognize the same staff as all of us have aged, but it must be a great place to work as it shows in their attention to guests as well as their longevity.
Prices are high but top hotels in Venice do not exist.
This hotel has a lot of history and is an amazing hotel. It’s centrally located with quick access to the canal, St. Marks Square and other points of interest. It’s very well appointed and great staff to take care of all your needs. Breakfast on the canal has an amazing view....we loved every moment of our stay.
First Class hotel directly on the Grand Canal. Breakfast is great - you sit overlooking the canal. Morning Delivery boats and Gondolas to watch. Room large and clean, heavily decorated with full marble bath. See Photos. This is a great choice when in Venice. Dinner are pricey but many close restaurants and enjoy the walk. Very Kind Staff.