The Bauer Hotel and Il Palazzo

Two luxury hotels introducing a welcome modern touch to classic Venetian style

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In a place like Venice where nearly everything in the city has been featured in a postcard, the Bauer Hotel and Palazzo stand out for their surprising design, which I recently had the pleasure of exploring.

Built in the ’40s, the linear and austere façade of the hotel on Campo San Moisè creates a deep contrast with the picture-perfect cliché of a gondola gliding down the nearby canal. The decor of the wide hallways (a rarity in the compact town) reflect owner and art director Francesca Bortolotto Possati’s knack for integrating classic materials, such as marble, gold-plated candelabras, silk wallpaper and Murano glass chandeliers, with the clean lines of modernism.

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A grand ballroom and lounges continue the opulent atmosphere, boasting more luxurious materials like ostrich leather, walnut root, marble and brass as well as a constant mixture of objects from different ages, including Moresque sculptures and Art Deco armchairs.


Bauer’s twin structure, Il Palazzo, is an 18th-Century boutique hotel offering guests the chance to experience the life of Venetian palazzo living. The views on the Canal Grande are unique, both from the De Pisis Restaurant (located at Canal level) and the Settimo Cielo—the highest terrace in town, providing a beautiful panorama overlooking the entire lagoon.

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Each room in the Hotel and Il Palazzo is distinct, incorporating precious antiques, rare prints, small pieces of furniture as well as 20th-century paintings and design objects.

Prices for the Bauer Hotel span €200-900, and €390-8,000 for Il Palazzo.