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With many acclaimed hotel designs already to his name, the French style guru Philippe Starck has made his debut in Venice with the astonishing and opulent hotel in a 16th-century Canal Grande house. Designed to make guests feel ‘temporarily Venetian’, housed in a 2,800 sq m 16th-century aristocratic house, the Palazzina Grassi brings a long-overdue contemporary edge to Italy’s floating city. Here are all the recommended hotels in Venice, Italy!
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With no exterior nameplate nor any traditional front desk or concierge, the general atmosphere is somewhat like a private aristocratic Venetian home rather than a top hotel. This low-key appearance disappears in the lobby, with a long mirrored glass bar on one side and the open kitchen of PG’s restaurant on the other. With its seductive low lighting, mahogany paneled walls and plush armchairs it is a great place to come for cocktails, live music, and local fare. Here is a direct link to book Palazzina Grassi on your dates!
The interiors distill the essence of Venice, contrasting and harmonizing tradition and modernity. Throughout, there are floor-to-ceiling Venetian mirrors, multi-colored hallways in bright red to acid almond green, huge rugs in vivid colors, vintage and rare books, antique pieces, mahogany, and unique artworks, with Starck’s design signature all over it.
While the lobby is dark and romantic, the French designer has gone for a total contrast of bright white interiors in the bedrooms. The über-contemporary suites are white from the furniture to the walls and floors, while the tiny masked symbols here and there display typical playful touches from Starck.
A-LIST ARRIVALS at the Palazzina Grassi
The Palazzina Grassi experience starts with a vintage mahogany 1962 Celli speedboat, which can be arranged to collect guests from the airport (check-in taking place onboard). Dropped off directly at the hotel’s private jetty, guests get the impression of arriving in a private luxury property.
No wonder A-listers choose to call it home when they’re in town—Johnny Depp took over the best suite for three months while filming The Tourist, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are said to be fans too.
WHAT I LOVEd
- The aura and charm of an aristocratic Venetian home
- The super-stylish interior design by Philippe Starck, with the simplicity of the all-white themed rooms
- Great arrival experience including the pick-up service in the hotel’s 1962 Celli boat. Check-in happens en route to the city
- Great location: all of Venice’s main museums, art galleries, and attractions, including the Galleria dell Accademia, San Marco, and the Palazzo Grassi, are just a short walk away
- Private G Club overlooking the Grand Canal and featuring the first Krug Champagnerie in Italy offer a cozy space where hotel guests and their friends mix with Venetian society
- Breakfast can be served at any time or in any part of the hotel. A must for morning-afters
- The PG’s Restaurant’s wonderful show kitchen offers a contemporary unpretentious twist on classic Venetian dishes
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
- Many rooms are surprisingly small. Book one of the suites!
- The Krug Lounge is accessible exclusively for guests of the Suite Apartments and members
- There is no swimming pool and no spa
- A chic restaurant and bar are open to the public
In my opinion, overlooking the Grand Canal right in the heart of the “floating city”, the sophisticated and original Palazzina Grassi stands in refreshing contrast to the grande dames of the Venice hotel scene. Palazzina Grassi is quite perfect for a romantic get-away.
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