Known as the ‘City of Love’, Venice is the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region. Its mix of Italian Renaissance art, distinctive Byzantine-influenced architecture and interconnected canals make it a truly enchanting place to explore.
Set across from the magnificent Santa Maria Della Salute – one of Venice’s grandest Roman Catholic churches – sits the historic building that houses The Gritti Palace; a 15th century palazzo hotel. After a scenic gondola ride along the Grand Canal, past the Rialto Bridge and buzz of tourists, we had arrived… and what a welcome.
As we walked into The Gritti Palace, the attentive concierge greeted us with such kindness, accompanied by a fragrant bouquet of yellow mimosa flowers to mark International Women’s Day (an occasion proudly celebrated by the hotel each year).
As the Interiors Coordinator at YOU Magazine, my attention instantly turned to the décor. Inspired by Ernest Hemingway, Somerset Maugham and Peggy Guggenheim, every detail has been carefully considered – it really is designed to perfection.
The Gritti Palace features 61 luxurious guest rooms and 21 private suites. As we entered our home for the next few nights, we were welcomed with warm, rich colours and exquisite textiles – not to mention the spectacular view of the Grand Canal, lined with palaces and traditional gondolas.
Elegantly decorated in true Venetian style, from the Murano glass chandeliers to the antique ornaments and soft furnishings, our suite exceeded all expectations. Named after the renowned artist John Ruskin, who was once a regular visitor to The Gritti Palace, an oil painting hangs on the wall in his honour. The exquisite en suite is decorated in floor-to-ceiling marble and features a huge shower and bath – complimented by your own fluffy bathrobe and slippers, and products by Aqua Di Parma.
After exploring all corners of our suite, we made our way to the private lounge. For me, this was a particular highlight – a plethora of antiques are seamlessly arranged to provide a space that makes you feel like a princess. The attention to detail was evident with a welcome bottle of champagne and platter of fresh fruit.
The decadent interior was cohesively reflected throughout the hotel, walking to dinner via what’s known as the ‘Explorer’s Library’, we seized the opportunity to take a seat and revel in the sumptuous surroundings.
Our evening meal in the Club del Doge restaurant was a special experience, with the large windows slightly ajar and excellent views towards Santa Maria della Salute Church, we were able to just watch the world go by from the table. The standout dish that would have me returning again and again is the stuffed mozzarella ravioli in beetroot sauce with cheese and grated truffle – a definite must try.
With its winding waterways, architecture and endless experiences – Venice certainly lives up to its romanticised reputation as the ‘City of Love’. The Gritti Palace provides a slice of history in the city without compromising on luxury and the staff, décor and location made it a trip I will be talking about for a very long time.
The hotel offers a unique spa experience, as well as a 24 hour fitness centre. Walking around the winding streets of Venice can be tough on your feet, so why not treat yourself to an Aesthetic Pedicure to rejuvenate and revive your soles for a new day of adventures.
Experiences outside of the hotel, where do I start! Other than the obvious, Rialto Bridge, Saint Mark’s Square and a famous gondola ride. I would definitely recommend a boat trip to the three islands, Murano, Burano and Torcello. And you can’t leave without trying the most unbelievable hot chocolate that I have ever tasted – visit Caffe Florian, it’s a must.
Low Season 570 €, High Season 850 €, Rates include buffet breakfast and VAT. Venice City Tax 5 euro per person per day (max 5 days), is additional. Go to www.luxurycollection.com/grittipalace.
British Airways, a full service global airline, offering year-round low fares with an extensive global route network flying to and from centrally-located airports. Flights from London Heathrow to Mykonos from £255 one way (£510 return). For further information or to book British Airways flights, www.britishairways.com.
Review by Charlotte Page