Decadence on the Canal Grande

As any visitor to Venice knows, it is a captivating realm of small cross bridges, mysterious lagoons and an intricate labyrinth of dark passageways and narrow alleys where the simplest footfall can echo off the aged stone walls, breaking the silence of the Venetian night. What better setting for a drama to unfold than in the conversion of a 16th century aristocratic home into a magical world of mirrors, glass sculptures, rare books and vintage objects housed in what can only be regarded as a homage to by-gone era.

Hidden behind a door marked only by a bull’s head is the Palazzini Grassi, the first Italian hotel designed by famed French creator Philippe Starck, an imaginative five-star accommodation with 16 bedrooms, 6 apartment suites …

… a cosy private members-only club and a stunning restaurant.

Designed to make guests feel ‘temporarily Venetian’ this former residence captures the sophistication, charm, magic and beauty of this most beloved of cities.

As Emanuele Garosci, creator of Palazzina Grassi, tells it: “There was a need in Venice for something new, to go against the traditional way of thinking about Venice – Starck was the answer. Palazzina Grassi is more like a private club, a combination of a hotel and very unique space where guests can live as a Venetian.”

Starck did not disappoint. Traditional Italian touches such as exposed bricks mix with dazzling contemporary design. Mahogany wood panelling on the walls, soft lighting and unique pieces of Venetian glass complete the magical environment. The result is a luxurious hotel on the Canal Grande that retains the aura and charm of an aristocratic Venetian home.

Bedrooms feature transparent glass wardrobes and 9 custom-made Murano glass works by the artist Aristide Najean.

The dining room contains two seven metre-long dinner tables, one made of marble and the other mirrored glass.

And the bedrooms, well, a bit voyeuristic one might conclude, with a touch of the famed Carnival (masks adorning the lampshades) and ample spans of mirrored glass suggesting some narcissistic naughty pleasures, but it is, after all, once-in-a-lifetime Venice.

In the apartment suites beds are situated in the centre of the room and are surrounded by glass wardrobes, soft rugs and coffee tables made of steel and moonstone onyx. Instead of the usual directory of guest services, visitors can take inspiration from a ‘list of vices’ advising them to eat well, drink, read and surrender to their passions. I would call that a decadent proposal of pure sybaritic proportion.

Overlooking Venice’s colourful rooftops,the guest rooms offer large backlit mirrors, warm lighting, floors in Venetian wood, bathrooms using natural stone and bespoke pieces of furniture including dressing tables.

Multicoloured hallways in glows of purple, bright red and acid almond green await, with huge rugs in vivid colours and exposed Venetian bricks salvaged from old farmsteads. And to round out the at-home Venetian experience, visitors can lose themselves in valuable books, antique pieces, mahogany and unique artworks.

Hotel Palazzina Grassi
San Marco 3247 – 30124 – Venezia




~ by eaesthete on 01/12/10.

4 Responses to “Decadence on the Canal Grande”

  1. That little ghost boy in the mirrored frame! I want him!

  2. Just looking at these ravishing photographs, I feel as though I’ve been on a winter vacation. Thank you for sharing your discovery.

  3. OK, please send up breakfast to the balcony. And a list of vices… What fun this must be.

  4. What an extremely fabulous post!

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