Bauer Il Palazzo
“This historic, noble Venetian palazzo with arched gothic-byzantine windows fronting the Grand Canal is a place that makes one feel she has ‘arrived’ in Venice. Gondolas are tied up outside and water laps the private dock. The ancient entrance hall, its walls of lacquered paneling, leads to low-lit sitting rooms or larger, elegant salons for dining. Eclectic furnishings – anything from old Venetian mirrors, Murano glass and gilt lamps to more modern, random pieces – tell you that this is the work of independent owners rather than a brand (although there are four Bauer hotels in Venice, one with substantial spa).
Eighty rooms and suites, most with great views, some with private terraces, are spacious and deeply comfortable, with colored satins, Italian marble bathrooms and lovely natural products by Santa Maria degli Angeli. Concierges dispense first class advice – of necessity in multiple languages. Biennale was going on all around when I stayed, but I was embarking on a Seabourn cruise down the Adriatic – the ne plus ultra of luxury cruising experiences – and three separate fellow passengers, discerning travellers all, had had the same idea: start the perfect week at the Palazzo.”
- Trusted Friend: Kate Patrick, London
(Date Experienced: August 2013)
Location at the point where the basin narrows into the Grand Canal, with St Mark’s Square a five-minute walk away via some great luxury boutiques; immaculate, canal-side dinner service; the most delicious, football-sized cocktail olives I have ever tasted.
Partner or lover, although I did observe two large family groups heartily enjoying the breakfast-with-a-view: a groaning buffet on the open-air rooftop terrace, overlooking the gondoliers and the Salute church beyond.
Emerging from a narrow canal to land at the private dock by water taxi – no better way to arrive in Venice.
Best time to go
Summer is crowded in the center, although the sea breeze takes some of the heat out. A more comfortable time would be May or October – unless you specifically want to join in with the famous carnevale in February.
The Bauer Palazzo (as distinct from the adjoining Bauer which does not hug the waterfront) was constructed at different times across four centuries. All the rooms and suites are spacious and most have excellent Venetian views; but you need to specify if you want the experience of a gilded, mirrored and stucco’d room in the actual ‘historic’ (18th-century) part of the building, the original, authentic palazzo which fronts the Grand Canal.
From $600 per night