The hotel re-opened its doors following a $45-million restoration over a 15-month period. The restoration of The Gritti Palace is part of a larger strategy to invest over $193 million in the restoration of Starwood's Luxury Collection hotels in Europe, including Hotel Alfonso XIII, Seville and Hotel Maria Cristina, San Sebastian which re-opened last year, as well as Prince de Galles in Paris which will re-open in the middle of the year.
Facing the Santa Maria della Salute and steps from Piazza San Marco and La Fenice Theatre, The Gritti Palace was transformed into its current Gothic shape by the Pisani family in 1475 and became the private residence of the Doge of Venice, Andrea Gritti, in 1525. In the centuries that followed, it was home to other families before being converted into a luxury hotel in 1895. In 1947, The Gritti Palace was bought by CIGA (Compagnia Italiana Grandi Alberghi), to which The Luxury Collection brand traces its roots.
The design of the hotel's restored interiors was inspired by its historical role as a private residence. With interior design by Donghia Associates, part of the Venetian fabric house Rubelli, the protected landmark building's architectural restorations were led by Italian engineering firm Veniceplan Ingegneria Srl with the Regional Board of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Environmental Conservation of Venice and Lagoon. Local architects and artisans were engaged to restore the hotel, including the incorporation of modern hydraulic engineering to protect the building during high tides, allowing the hotel to maintain its usual operations. The restoration included environmentally-friendly measures, such as the use of LED lighting throughout the hotel's public areas and guest rooms, the recycling of waste water and the replacement of windows to improve thermal and acoustic insulation.
Following the complete restoration, The Gritti Palace has 61 guestrooms and 21 suites, including suites with canal views. The interior design of signature suites is inspired by known personalities, such as Ernest Hemingway, Somerset Maugham and Peggy Guggenheim, who left their mark on the hotel and the city, or references to locations such as Punta della Dogana which represent the cultural and artistic roots of Venice and the Gritti Palace.
The two-story Redentore Terrazza Suite spans 818 square feet with a reception room, a bedroom, a living room with dining area, and a rooftop terrace measuring 2,691 square feet, with a spa pool, entertaining spaces and panoramic views of the lagoon and the city.
Featuring period colors, the restored rooms and suites has local design elements including Venetian tapestries and velvets, unique pieces of furniture such as long Rococo couches, handcrafted Girandole mirrors, Murano glass chandeliers, as well as reproductions of Rubelli archival fabrics. Local and historical artwork is also showcased at The Gritti Palace with antiques.
Set on the Grand Canal, The Gritti Palace's terrace continues to be the social hub of Venice, designed with wooden decks for Italian yachts in the 1930s, with polished wood and stainless steel accents. The Club del Doge Restaurant celebrates Venetian culinary traditions and features regional specialties; while Bar Longhi, with etched Venetian mirror walls, have Venetian cocktails. Meanwhile, set within the Sala Epicurea, The Gritti Epicurean School is a Venetian open kitchen cum school.
The Gritti Palace introduces Blu Mediterraneo Spa, a new and exclusive spa concept by Acqua di Parma. The spa is dressed in gold accents, Orsoni mosaics, Murano glasses, Venetian floors and wenge wood that draw from ancient Italian craftsmanship.
As part of the renewed arrival experience, the Explorer's Library pays homage to The Gritti Palace's literary legacy, with travel curiosities, antiques and rare books, as well as classics by writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Somerset Maugham, who resided at the hotel over the years.
Starwood currently operates 27 hotels and resorts throughout Italy under six of its nine lifestyle brands. In addition to The Gritti Palace, these hotels include the Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel – also in Venice, the St. Regis Florence and the St. Regis Rome, and the Westin Excelsior Florence with its rooftop SE.STO restaurant. Starwood also operates the three Luxury Collection resorts in Costa Smeralda in Sardinia, including the Romazzino and Pitrizza where seven new villas will be added later this year.