What do Casanova, Canaletto and Vivaldi have in common? Bold, artistic and chivalrous, they were all born in Venice, a romantic floating city of maze-like islands, glittering canals and charming footbridges. Re-tread the history of this fascinating city at boutique hotel Palazzina G. This sleek and sultry retreat is older than all three famous Venetians and just as inspiring and seductive.
Style: Through the looking glass
Setting: A stroll from San Marco
Why this week? Crisp, cool and ever-so-quiet winter is perhaps the best time to discover Venice, away from the madding crowds of snap-happy tourists. Lose yourself down labyrinthine streets or hire a gondola all to yourself to drift gently down palace-flanked waterways. January’s Day of Italian Cuisine celebrates all things pomodoro and basilico: try cicchetti, the city’s version of tapas best enjoyed with a thimbleful of hearty wine. Bring a mask and a flamboyant outfit for February’s carnival: with a special offer for Smith members of 30% off mid-week stays in Grand Canal Suites until 31 March 2014, you’ll enjoy all the glitz and glamour without any of the hustle or jostle.
Our favourite bits… Explore Venezia’s grand canals in style aboard Palazzina G’s luxury mahogany boat, exclusively for hotel guests. Make a pit stop at a local bacari for a refreshing aperol spritz or warming café venitzio (a heady mix of amaretto, brandy, Galliano and hot black coffee). Once you’ve worked up an appetite, let chef Paolo guide you through a Venetian culinary masterclass: tour the vibrant Rialto market to stock up on fresh local produce, then watch the maestro cook up an incredible four-course tasting feast, paired with an expert wine selection from Palazzina G’s sommelier.
Mr and Mrs Smith say… ‘As we float up to the steps of the Palazzina Grassi, towards a black-glass entrance crowned with a bull and a golden mask, it clicks that our adventure has only just begun. The doors pull back and we are met by an incredibly courteous and well-dressed man who magics away our bags and gently gestures us into the glossy reception of this Philippe Starck stay. The mask lives up to its symbolism, conjuring an atmosphere of secrecy yet warmth, like the burrow of a kleptomaniac rabbit. We shuffle through to Krug lounge for a glass of champagne and find a low-lit, alluring room full of objets d’art all laced with mysticism and charm. We sit back and soak it in.”
Read the full anonymous review of Palazzina G.