“A beautifully restored Baroque palace with a peaceful walled garden and private jetty”
A horseshoe staircase sweeps you up to the tall-windowed piano nobile (literally 'noble floor'), where the suites and 1 of the Superior Rooms are situated. The Suite, where we were lucky enough to stay, had a balcony over the canal and a raised mezzanine with bathroom, chaise longue, cupboards and second double bedroom. Grand, high-ceilinged and spacious, these are stunning rooms and it's really worth splashing out on one if you can afford it. Most can sleep 3-4 people and some interconnect. Expect large ornate glass chandeliers, baroque bedsteads and prized pieces of painted furniture from Bassano. Even the floors are special: Venetian marquetry or flexible pavimento - a 'mosaic' made from shards of coloured stones set into elastic calce cement, designed to avoid cracking with tidal movement.
Situated in another part of the hotel, the Classic and the rest of the Superior Rooms are carved out of a mezzanine floor, whose low ceilings make them feel a bit cramped by comparison - we wouldn't really recommend them. Still, you do get 16th-century painted beams (low enough to examine in detail!), handmade silk-lined walls, and late 18th- and early 19th-century furniture. Two of the Standard Rooms are wheelchair accessible , a rarity in Venice.
All rooms have a safe, mini-bar fridge, WiFi, air-conditioning and a hairdryer. The one disappointment - even in the top rooms - was the ensuite bathrooms. Most are on the small side with shower only and, considering the room price, the toiletries are uninspiring.
As the hotel doesn’t have a restaurant licence, the only meal served is breakfast though it is one fit for a Doge. A feast of cereals, yogurts and fresh fruits, cheeses, parma and other hams, croissants, rolls, pastries, toast and jams… the table was groaning and I returned for at least 5 glasses of their delicious blood-orange juice.
You can ask for breakfast in bed or eat in the low-beamed dining room; but we took our piled-up plates out to the parasoled tables in the sunny garden every time. You can also sip Venetian champagne and cocktails in the garden or in your rooms, before being swept away in a water taxi from the palace's private jetty to dinner.
There’s a massive number of restaurants to choose from although, as everything in Venice has to be brought in from the outside, it is one of the priciest places to dine in Italy. If this all sounds like fun to you, splash out on a wildly expensive meal at the famous Hotel Cipriani or Harry’s Bar, where you can rub shoulders with the seriously rich and famous.
Well behaved kids are welcome and extra beds, cots and babysitting can be arranged. That said, the place is full of valuable furniture and ornaments, so they prefer to keep it fairly quiet and civilized and not to have too many children staying at any one time.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)