Venice is a city that stimulates the imagination again and again. This former city-republic is a dream destination of Renaissance towers and domes, a magical city that seems to float on the lagoon. Few places can compare to the history of Venice and the modern life of the city Il Palazzo Experimental writes Andrew Forbes (The luxury editor).
In the trend lifestyle hotel
When you stay at this hotel, immerse yourself in the vibrant life of modern Venice. A trendy hotel that is as much a part of Dorsoduro’s life as it is for guests. It is enjoyed by the restaurant’s modern lagoon-to-table cuisine (run by the London Italian Supper Club) and the lively Cocktails & Cicchetti afterwork atmosphere in the private garden on the canal.
The Il Palazzo also connects you with the city’s past, because this new hotel is located in the legendary Adriatica building, which once housed one of the most important shipping companies in Venice – after all, everything in this city revolves around its location, the water and its environment could once be global trade.
The striking facade of the palatial Adriatica building has been carefully restored and overlooks the wide Giudecca Canal. It offers a wide view and a wonderful feeling of space and light.
The building gives its name to the hotel’s Adriatica restaurant, whose cuisine features local and slow food products. The friendly and knowledgeable Food & Beverage Manager Guillaume Pinault will help you choose from the wide range of menus, including seafood from the lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, vegetables from the island of Sant’Erasmo and cheeses and meats from mainland Venice and the nearby mountains.
As you can imagine, the wine list is extensive and Guillaume may take you to biodynamic winemakers, offering you, for example, the refreshing rosé wine Bardolino Chiaretto 2018 Monte dei Roari from the Veneto region or the white wine Nosiola 2018 Foradori Trentino, not far away, at the foot of the Dolomites.
The French group Experimental has made a name for itself and brought the contemporary cocktail scene to Paris. Since then they have developed into stylish design hotels. The 28-room Il Palazzo captures the sophistication and relaxed style of the essential experimental experience and blends it with the Venetian zest for life and fine dining.
No wonder, then, that Il Palazzo Experimental has become a local favorite for enjoying an after-work cocktail or two. The gorgeous secret garden that leads to a quiet canal (where you can hop on a water taxi or gondola) is a very special place to enjoy drinks in the evening. I tried ‘Lo Sheriffo’. an intoxicating blend of sloe gin, whiskey, hibiscus, mint and Lustaus amontillado sherry – a very European blend.
There are plenty of tempting experimental cocktails available, including contemporary twists of the classics, even the Venetian spritz. Since this is Venice, of course, you have to order some cicchetti to accompany these delicious cocktails – I especially liked the stuffed zucchini flowers, chickpea fritters, melon with Parma ham, and the meatballs too!
Design for playful life
Il Palazzo Experimental has its own unique style and of course the hotel in Venice has an interior by French designer Dorothée Meilichzon. She was given a clean canvas to start from as the Adriatica building was pretty gutted as an office, allowing a fresh start and a new life for the building. Now there’s an Art Deco feel to it combined with repetitive motifs from arches to stripes that remind you that you’re in Venice. While the common areas on the ground floor are chic and elegant, they come to life with the lively experimental cocktail bar and popular restaurant. The guest rooms have a more restrained aesthetic. They feel classic with lots of Italian style and attention to detail, from the terrazzo floors to the bijou bathrooms which are a delight. You can also expect many playful details such as the candy-colored sofa and the bold stripes that frame the doors of the guest room – so that you feel as if you are enjoying a holiday at Adria-Lido. The door knocker in the form of an anchor is perhaps a step too far in the direction of pastiche, it at least shows that the hotel does not take itself too seriously. The “Do not disturb” sign plays with the concept of the Venice mask – you can have fun here.
The suites with a view of the canal are flooded with light and have double ceilings. The garden view rooms give a more traditional Venice feel and look out over the rooftops of the historic district – so impressive!
Breakfast is served in the garden or in your room – fun and color thanks to bespoke plates.
Designer Meilichzon then balanced the humor in the design with wall colors of blue and green that reflect the lagoon, in contrast to red, light pink and buttery yellow that reflect the patina of houses in the neighborhood.
Art and culture
Thanks to the location of Il Palazzo Experimental in Venice’s artistic Dorsoduro district, you can escape the tourist crowds around San Marco and instead enjoy some of the city’s finest galleries, including the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Galleria dell’Accademie. For this classic perspective of the Grand Canal, it’s just a few minutes’ walk to the Accademia Bridge, which is probably the most beautiful view of this lagoon city.
For a great view over the Giudecca Canal, as a hotel to bring you to the roof terrace.
Now is a remarkable time to see Venice from a new perspective. Not for decades because the city felt so authentic and romantic. So take the opportunity to explore the pearl of the Adriatic and check in at Il Palazzo Experimental.
Il Palazzo Experimental
Address: Fondamenta Zattere Al Ponte Lungo
Dorsoduro 1410, 1411, 1412
30123, Venice, Italy
Tel .: +39 041 0980200
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