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Gritti Palace on the Grand Canal in Venice

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Gritti Palace on the Grand Canal in Venice

Exterior of the legendary hotel along the Grand Canal.

The Gritti Palace.
Gritti Palace on the Grand Canal in Venice

The Dongia Suite, named after designer Angelo Dongia.

The Gritti Palace.
Gritti Palace on the Grand Canal in Venice

Terrace of the Club del Doge restaurant.

The Gritti Palace.

The Gritti Palace is Magical:

The Gritti Palace has held the premier location on Venice’s Grand Canal since 1525, when it was built as a dazzling private residence. Now, after a major refurbishment –- plush Rubelli fabrics in all guest rooms and suites, dramatic Murano chandeliers, intriguing installations of both modern and antique art -- the hotel exudes even more glamour.

Thanks to impeccable service, starting with a staff member greeting guests at the train or airport then escorting them on a private boat to The Gritti, to hotel rooms that look straight out of the pages of Architectural Digest, The Gritti Palace is one of the most magical places for couples in the world.

Guest Rooms at The Gritti Palace:

To experience the hotel’s majestic grandeur, book a room with a Grand Canal view (although alternative views of Santa Maria del Giglio Square also enchant). While all rooms have soaring ceilings, Murano lighting, and marble bathrooms, the “it” accommodation to score is the Donghia Suite -- a stunning, 1970’s-inspired space that echoes the disco days of Studio 54 and comes complete with a selection of vinyl that includes albums by The Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder.

The Hemingway Suite, the hotel’s largest and most distinguished suite, pays homage to the author with his framed signature at the entrance and a bookcase of his work. Hemingway adored The Gritti Palace and even mentions it in Across the River and into the Trees, which was partially written in Venice.

Dining at The Gritti Palace:

The Club del Doge restaurant and Bar Longhi are exceptional spots, thanks to their gorgeous Grand Canal setting -- and the food holds up to the view. Venice is famous for risotto, so try any of the seasonal options (aged risotto with lemon and basil is sublime). Sea bass was exceptionally fresh and light. Save room for tiramisu, and toast your good fortune to be here with crisp, sparkling Champagne or an Aperol spritz.

Destination Weddings at The Gritti Palace:

Most weddings take place here on the ground floor of the palace in a gracious, nearly 1,300-square-foot salon that holds 80 guests. The commanding Gritti Terrace on the waterfront may be reserved as well, and it can host seated receptions for up to 70 guests. The most dramatic option is the hotel’s rooftop, with a sparkling Jacuzzi and unobstructed views of Venice; this space holds 60 guests. An events team is available to assist with flowers, design, music, and lighting. Catering is provided by the Gritti Palace and couples may avail themselves of vintage champagnes and wines from the historic cellar.

Honeymoons/Romance Packages at The Gritti Palace:

Venice is arguably the most romantic city in the world. That said, this hotel is a lover’s paradise; in fact, if you’re not in love, don’t visit until you are. The Gritti’s Luxury Romance Package includes two glasses of champagne, in-room flowers, and breakfast in bed each morning. Couples massages at the Acqua di Parma spa are another sensuous perk, as Acqua di Parma products and services are uncommonly fine.

Activities at The Gritti Palace:

If you’re staying in the Donghia Suite, it will be hard to tear yourself away from the vintage record player and oversized sun-drenched windows overlooking the Grand Canal. But one reason to escape is to attend the cooking school downstairs, where classes are offered to those who arrange in advance.

Nearby The Gritti Palace:

Piazza San Marco is, of course, a must, but make sure to pop in and out of as many art galleries as possible on the way. The historically rich Jewish Ghetto is a pleasant walk away, and for couples who keep kosher (and even those who don't), the renowned Gam Gam is a delectable choice. Finally, no luscious trip to Venice is complete without a peach Bellini at Harry’s Bar.

Drawbacks at The Gritti Palace:

Honestly, a stay at The Gritti is the ultimate hotel experience. One tiny frustration was that the buffet breakfast seemed a bit uninspired. Also, it should be noted that The Gritti is for the wealthy, so it is simply (and sadly) not affordable for everyone.

The Gritti Palace Vibe:

The crowd is sophisticated and international. Everything is extremely high-end, the best of the best, yet the property manages to come across as unpretentious. The staff is warm, welcoming, and very helpful. The only problem is, if you score the right room, you may never want to leave.

The Gritti Palace Info and Reservations:

The Gritti Palace
Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, 2467·30124
Venice, Italy
Phone: +39 041 794611
Official Hotel Site

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As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation and meals for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy .

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