Over the years I’ve stayed in some of the most incredible hotels around the world. Some small and luxurious, others sparse and modern and some with such a story to tell. While I’ve fallen in love with may of these in the past, never have I stayed anywhere quite like The Gritti Palace in Venice. An exclusive Venetian hotel tucked away on the Grand Canal.
The hotel really is tucked away just on the edge of the canal and only recognised by a small door if on foot or if arriving via water taxi a beautiful blue carpeted water jetty. We pushed the door opened and gasped for a moment, not realising just how beautiful this hotel was going to be. The photos online really don’t do it justice.
The reception area gives away nothing to the rest of the hotel, but reveals everything quietly. The first small sign of that was from the service when checking in. Everyone here makes you feel just as special as the hotel looks. We were handed our key and made our way through the lobby and towards our room. En-route we gazed over the current art instalment of two polar bears by artist Paola Pivi.
Decorated in true Venetian style our bedroom featured a large king sized bed, chaise longue, separate writing area, views out over the grand canal, stunning Murano glass chandeliers and more art a& antiques in a room then you could ever hope for.
Beginning to describe just how beautiful the room we checked into was will never be an easy one, but I’ll try. Perhaps the most stunning suite I’ve ever stayed in this was one of the patron grand canal suites, also known as the John Ruskin suite which bears an authentic oil painting of the renowned art historian himself who used to spend a lot of time here once upon a time.
But the magic only continued as we entered into the large en-suite bathroom. Floor to ceiling marble with the most incredible bath taking centre stage. Two basin areas, one for him and one for her (or him/her visa versa), both equipped with all the amenities you could possible think of and all from the prestigious Aqua di Parma brand.
In fact the bathroom was littered with spa products, making it feel more like a spa. To the left of the bath was one one of the most largest walk-in showers I’ve probably ever come across and to the right a large toilet area. Gowns and slippers are of course provided. We may have only stayed at the Gritti Palace for one night, but I felt as if I’d spent two of them in this bath alone.
The most show-stopping feature of the John Ruskin Patron Grand Canal Suite is the immensely impressive private lounge. We were lost for words as we stepped into the room and it felt more like we were stepping into a palace rather than a hotel. A large seating area, separate writing desk, more of that gorgeous Murano glass an a vast array of art which adorns the walls throughout. The views were spectacular from this room too.
The attention to detail and amenities this room offered were second to none and helped turn this into a hotel stay we will never forget. A bottle of chilled Prosecco was waiting for us in the lounge, along with fresh fruits and mineral water. A lovely rose scented bouquet filled the room and a mini bar offered an extensive selection of drinks and snacks. The full-sized spirits were a little dangerous perhaps (in a good way).
The suite even had a separate powder room for when the master bathroom was occupied. Again floor to ceiling in Venetian marble, a stunning black marbled sink, more of those Aqua di Parma spa products and a toilet concealed behind the door.
Not wanting to leave our room, we reluctantly went on to find out what else this fabulous hotel had to offer. It wasn’t until this part of our stay that we realised the property was is fact a former palace once and wasn’t just its name. There is so much glamour here you can’t helped but be impressed at every turn. The main lounge area in the hotel is known as the Explorer’s Library and is such a lovely place to watch the world go by. On a Summers day you can even watch out through the direct-access water jetty as the gondolas pass by.
Having woken up at 3am that same day to catch our very early flight to Venice, we were feeling in need of a little indulgence and no better can that be had on the Riva Lounge terrace. Tailored around the materials used in the design of the Riva Yacht (which can be experienced in the Summer months), the entire terrace looks out across the Grand Canal with boats seemingly pass by right before your eyes as you sip on a cocktail (or two). During the colder months guest can head into the Murano adorned Longhi bar.
Refreshed and feeling a little more alive we went on to explore Venice. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Venice and if its photos would live up to the hype, but it did in every sense. The food, the people, the cobbled streets, the stillness of the canals and the bright turquoise waters. It’s also a truly fantastic place for shopping.
After a day of exploring we popped back to our room to prepare ourselves for dinner in the hotels fine dining restaurant. With the sun setting we couldn’t resist an opportunity for one final pomegranate martini and to see Venice at night when it really comes alive. The Riva Lounge terrace is the perfect place to see it all.
After enjoying the sunset on the terrace we came into the hotels fine dining restaurant, Club del Doge. The restaurant is looked after by the very talented executive chef Daniele Turco and is a true Venetian gastronomic experience. Read all my about my very memorable dining experience HERE.
Pictured above are actual photos taken from the window of our room the following morning and it really shows you just how lucky we were and what such a glorious day it was for such a usually chilly October. We didn’t want to say goodbye.
Before departing we divulged in what was probably the most indulgent breakfast you’re likely to ever experience. A choice of a buffet or a la carte option, though you’ll probably not need the latter as the buffet spread offering here is incredibly large and housed in the most beautiful room. We started with a glass of Prosecco and selection of fresh fruit juices.
Plentiful cakes, delicious tarts, golden glazed pastries. Everything is home-made here and the attention to detail of each is immaculate. My piece of apple pie was a slice of heaven.
Fresh fruits, charcuterie, smoked salmon, salads, local cheeses and fresh bread selection. Everything was of the highest quality.
We said our goodbyes and departed, with great reluctance. Having stayed in what has so far been the most magical hotel experience of mine ever, I’m not sure how anywhere else will ever compare. All I can say is hand on heart I will return to The Gritti Palace someday and I can’t wait for that time to come again.