For all its historical wonders, the city of Venice often warrants two frequent complaints: small hotel rooms and hordes of selfie-stick-sporting tourists packing the alleyways. Fortunately, the Aman Canal Grande Hotel offers reprieve from both. Situated on a handful of green acres along the Grand Canal that divides the splendid island, this 16th century structure and the palazzo it rests within reflect all the core values of the city: history, luxury and thought. In addition to the 24 well-sized rooms, the hotel features a large outdoor garden along the water (where breakfast is served in the morning and cocktails are served at night), a spacious wooden roof deck with a view of mountains in the distance, and a grand ballroom that delivers the utmost Venetian opulence. It is a getaway in the midst of one of the world’s most alluring cities.
Whether arriving by land or sea, the importance of outdoor space is immediately impressed upon visitors. The canal side entrance offers an uninterrupted view of the bustling waterway (and chairs for observing it all). The alleyway entrance—set within high brick walls—into the historic Palazzo Papadopoli (all of which is now the hotel grounds), reveals one of two well-groomed gardens.
The second garden, set off to the side of reception and along the water, offers an array of seating arrangements and a bar featuring Japanese fare by night. Most impressive, however, the roof terrace delivers an eagle-eye view of the city itself. There are very few private gardens on the Grand Canal, let alone ones supported by three other outdoor spaces. There is peace and relaxation, yet it’s all infused with the energy and aura of the city.
The rooms themselves are uncommonly large, even the base-level Palazzo Bedroom (whose smallest iteration is still 47 meters squared). All of the rooms feature king-sized beds—most set among minimal, modern furniture. These rooms offer stark contrast to the history of the palazzo and hotel. They’re uncluttered, unassuming and built for comfort. Some of the higher level suites, however, feature protected frescoes and more opulent decor. Space is the most important element and it is welcomed every night after navigating the crowded passages just beyond the palazzo walls.
Other luxury amenities abound. The Red and Yellow Dining Rooms, as well as the Bar, feature extravagantly high ceilings—this is due to the fact that the hotel has two piano nobile floors (historic grand floors constructed entirely for entertaining). These rooms—used for lounging, dining or simply drinking—are adorned with Venetian history: gilded mirrors, original frescoes and Murano glass chandeliers. As with other establishments of this caliber, there’s a salon, a spa and a library. The palazzo itself is set in the San Polo district, a five-minute walk from the famed Rialto Bridge. And there is nobody more helpful with regard to exploring the area than the attentive, well-trained concierge staff.
Book a room at the Aman Canal Grande Venice online, with prices starting at €1,045 a night. The hotel is located at Palazzo Papadopoli, Calle Tiepolo 1364, 30125.
Images by David Graver