I feel like Venice has travelled with me, both in my mind and in my heart since I left it just a couple of months back. I’m still getting over the magic of this incredible city and all I can think about is returning. The food, the people, the hotels – gosh what a place. If you’ve never visited Venice before then I highly recommend it. Our latest and last visit on our trip to Venice was the Splendid Venice Hotel and the arrival port was a gasping moment with those candy cane like posts poking out of the water.
The Splendid is situated right in the heart of Venice and is just moments from the biggest sites such as Piazza San Marco and Saint Mark’s Basilica. The hotel was first mentioned in the sixteenth century when it was known as the Black Hat Inn. Over the years, various owners have expanded the hotel and turned it into what you see it as today – spread over two separate buildings. We entered into the first building where the check-in process happens, before heading back outside next door into the main part of the hotel where the above lobby area resides.
The hotel has a total of 165 rooms and suites of Venetian elegance at its finest. We were staying in one of the hotels junior suites which offers some truly magnificent views out over the canals. A little on the small side perhaps for a suite compared to other cities, but then you must remember this is Venice and space is competition. Our bed was incredibly comfy and during the day we could hear the sound of the bell towers from the square and chatter from the roof terrace this hotel offers.
Step a little further into the room and you’ll discover the lounge area, something you won’t always find this central in Venice. All rooms are packed out with refined furnishings and local details, where silver, brown and lilac set the tone for the wallpaper and damask designs that evoke the Serenissima’s textile tradition. All of the necessities are here too, such as coffee machine, snacks and one very well stocked mini bar. The wardrobe was incredibly generous too, with enough room to walk-in and still have room to change.
Our bathroom was floor-to-ceiling in Italian marble and fitted with a nice large bath and sink area. In fact it looked far too much like my own bathroom at home, which made it even more comfortable. I also really enjoyed the colourful spa products from Etro, a brand I’d not come across before.
And these were the views from that balcony on the roof. The colours were so stunning from the buildings either side and watching the gondolas below pass by was mesmerizing. I don’t think I’ll ever forget such an experience.
The city of Venice surprisingly wasn’t as busy as I’d imagined it to be, but instead had such a buzz in the air and watching the gondolas pass by is rather serene and relaxing. You also don’t realise just how intricate all of the boats are and for tourist thinking it’s just an attraction – it’s really much more than that. To have your own gondola and be trained in the art comes through generations of family history. Outsiders can’t become a gondolier and so it’s lovely to hear the tradition is so regulated and kept close to home. The smell of pizza wafts through the streets and everywhere someone is enjoying a glass of wine or two.
One of the things I loved was the bridge directly outside the hotel. In true fashion it’s become a bridge beginning to be filled with keepsake locks. I was so happy to leave a piece of me on the bridge. If you ever visit the same place – look for the very bright green one and drop me a photo!
As the sun started to set, we popped back to our room for a quick relaxing bath and change of clothes, before taking the in the sunset views on the terrace and heading back downstairs to the bar. I felt service here was very lacking, but when we did get it – it was perfect. A glass of Prosecco at the bar and we couldn’t wait to get into the restaurant for dinner.
That evening we enjoyed a lovely dinner in the hotels main restaurant, Le Maschere. It’s such a romantic place and as day becomes night it really comes into its own. Expect delicious cuts of seared tuna, perfectly cooked racks of lamb and a trolley of home-made cakes. Read my full review of Le Maschere.
Leaving Venice was such a hard task but what I do recommend to anyone visiting is hiring a water taxi back to the airport (or from) as it will really leave a lasting impression. The water bus is another alternative but will take you double the time (and rather cold in the Winter). We had such a lovely time at the Splendid Hotel and if you’re looking for one of the most central hotels in Venice, this is most certainly it. Venice – we’ll see you again one day soon!