Some of the greatest writers of the past century have gushed about the Gritti Palace Hotel in Venice. Somerset Maugham was so enamoured that he said, “there are few things in life more pleasant than to sit on the terrace of the Gritti when the sun about to set bathes in lovely colour the Salute”, while Ernest Hemingway described it as “the best hotel in a city of great hotels”. The favourite Venetian haunt of these great litterateurs has undergone a €5 million, 15 month long renovation and has been restored to its former glory. The luxury hotel is located on the Grand Canal is a stone’s throw away from St Mark’s Square.
The Gritti’s history goes back six centuries. In 1475, the Pisani family transformed it into the Gothic style, which it still retains today. In 1525, it became the private residence of Andrea Gritti, the Doge of Venice. It is from him that the name of the hotel is derived. Even its history as a hotel is more than hundred years old, starting from the year 1895, when it was converted to a luxury hotel. Paolo Lorenzoni, the hotel’s general manager describes the new and improved hotel as a “refined version of its iconic self”. The Gritti now has a total of 61 bedrooms and 21 suites. Their most spectacular suite is the Redentore Terrazza Suite that boats of a 360 degree rooftop terrace for an amazing view of the city and a spa pool to relax.
The hotel is soaked in the city’s rich history, with its rooms being named after important personalities, landmarks or events such as battles that have contributed to the evolution of Venice’s culture and heritage. The hotel houses The Gritti Epicurean School, which is an open kitchen offering wine tastings, private dinners and chef’s tables. The Gritti also has an impressive library, called the Explorer’s Library, where guests can have a look at antique and rare books. I am not surprised why its famous guests were all raves about this beautiful piece of Venetian history.