Venice, Italy (MaDeRe). On Venice’s famous main thoroughfare, the Grand Canal, a few blocks from the Rialto Bridge, stands a 16th-century palace worth its own trip. Palazzo Papadopoli is a Venetian patrician palace from 1560, which Aman Resorts has refined into one of Venice’s most luxurious hotels.
Relaxing in The Ballroom, the extravagant ‘Hall of Mirrors’ of the hotel Aman Venice, is an experience worthy of a king. This splendid palace room was decorated in 1864 by the star designer of its time, Michelangelo Guggenheim, three hundred years after the construction of the palace.
Murano glass chandeliers on the ceiling, exquisite rococo stucco, tall wall mirrors, frescoes by Cesare Rotta and Tiepolo on the walls and ceiling. The original Baroque style was renovated with elements from the Renaissance.
This magnificent private white marble palace was built by the Coccina family in 1560 and hence called Palazzo Coccina. It changed hands after two centuries, in 1748, to the Tiepolo family, and in 1864 the Papadopoli of Corfu took over. Although more owners followed, it is still called Palazzo Papadopoli.
Aman Venice’s guest list shines with names such as Bill Gates, Barbara Streisand and Mick Jagger, who all have stayed here. And at a celebrity wedding here on the last weekend of September 2014, George Clooney married his Amal Alamuddin. Their party and guests‘ accommodation were organised here at Aman Venice. A clip on YouTube shows the couple arriving in a shiny wooden boat, royal style.
The Arva restaurant next to The Ballroom will remain a particularly strong memory with Chef Matteo Panfilio’s culinary art, under consultancy of 3-Michelin starred Norbert Niederkofler. Here, local, sustainable ingredients are processed into uncomplicated, delicious dishes. This confirms both the starter sashimi on St. Persian fish with tahina salsa and crispy tapioca, as well as the main course of tender duck breast with black truffle, porcini mushroom and leek. Chef Norbert himself visits Aman Venice regularly presenting top culinary experiences to the guests.
The walls of the intimate restaurant have a yellow silk covering by Rubelli, often called the Yellow Salon. Oil portraits of some members of the Papadopoli family watch us during the meal, and a magnificent Murano glass chandelier hangs from Cesare Rotta’s ceiling fresco.
The Arva menu quotes Lord Byron: “Wine cheers the sad; revives the old; inspires the young; makes weariness forget its toil.” The wine list is a beautiful forest of oenological diversity to wander through. We choose a Campo al Sassi from Frescobaldi.
Next door to Arva is the well-stocked bar, where one can enjoy an aperitif or a digestif. I am sipping an Irish Coffee, perhaps a little surprised to have it served in a wine glass for reds.
The rooms are beautifully spacious, all suites with built-in wardrobes and a feel of nobility. The double bed could accommodate a whole family and the bathroom has plenty of room to maneuver, with two wash basins, a shower cubicle and tub. The hotel has a very competent wellness team and a menu for various treatments, and you are also welcome to have your massage in your room, all to your preference.
The grander suites have beautiful views of the Grand Canal. The walls in the old building often have silk coverings, antique paintings, and an open fire place, all of which go very well with the contemparary furnishing. The grandest suite of all is The Coccina Apartment with three bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, and unsurpassable views of the Gran Canal and the garden. This was the first owners’ apartment.
Aman’s concept aims at getting intimately close to the local culture and history. By preserving the uniqueness of Palazzo Papadopolis, Aman Venice has succeeded better than many other of the company’s properties in keeping present the ambience of the heyday of the city’s glorious history.
Another feature rare for Venice hotels is the spacious garden by the canal. An area of breathing green in the bustling centre of this tightly built city, is a unique and highly treasured sight. There are tables for dinner, lunch or a cocktail overlooking the Grand Canal.
Aman Venice is certainly a place not to miss out on. Here we sit in the morning in the middle of the Italian High Renaissance, eating a healthy breakfast of locally produced eggs, fruit and berries in its ‘Hall of Mirrors’, while resting our eyes on the Grand Canal through the ceilinghigh terrace windows.
Other Venetian palaces from different eras line the opposite side of the canal as gondolas glide past in the same relaxed manner as they did at the time when the palace was newly built, half a millennium ago.
Adress: Palazzo Papadopoli, Calle Tiepolo, 1364, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
Contact: Phone: +390412707333, Email: email@example.com