Aman Venice

An island of peace on the Grand Canal

Venice is full of hotels that once were palaces, but Aman Venice is the only one on the Grand Canal that boasts a water-facing garden. Lovely in itself, the green space is only one way in which the property shows its dedication to peace and calm — after all, aman means “peace,” “safety” or “shelter” in eight languages.

Originally built by the Coccina family in the mid-16th century, the palazzo has evolved and changed hands many times over the centuries, eventually ending up with the Arrivabene family, who have occupied the palace for the last two centuries. Subtly enhancing the atmosphere of a private home is the fact that the clan’s descendants, Count Giberto Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga and his family, still reside on the top floor.

In this often-hectic city, Aman Venice refreshes you with beauty and tranquility. The historic hotel is so captivating that even Hollywood power couple George and Amal Clooney chose the ultra-luxe venue as the site for their September 2014 wedding reception.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • Aman Venice’s garden on the Grand Canal is a luxurious oasis, offering 2,800 square feet of manicured lawn and flowers where you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner from April to October.
  • In keeping with Aman’s philosophy that fewer is better, the luxury property only has 24 rooms. The boutique size gives it the feeling of a home rather than a hotel.
  • Restaurant Arva offers creative dishes based on local seasonal ingredients — many of them rarely seen elsewhere in Venice — such as handmade chestnut-flour pasta, filet of venison and roasted eel (a Venetian family favorite for generations).
  • The land entrance to Aman Venice is set back from the street behind a heavy iron gate and a wonderful stretch of lush green lawn shaded by trees, all creating a sense of refreshing seclusion.
  • Tucked away on the mezzanine level, the spa offers a spectacular signature foot massage that’s much needed after a day of exploring the canals. The service begins with a Himalayan-salt exfoliation followed by a massage with peppermint and arnica oils and a hot-towel wrap.

Things to Know

  • Come dinnertime, themost requested seats are not in either the yellow or blue dining rooms, but in the ballroom by the window facing the Grand Canal. Book your table in advance to snag one of these coveted spots.
  • The enormous lamp by the wall in the entrance hall was preserved from a Venetian ship that participated in the historic naval Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
  • The small, high-ceilinged library is lined with wooden cabinets containing books that have belonged to the Arrivabene family for generations. A selection of contemporary volumes is also available for browsing.
  • Arrive to the Venice hotel by boat, or if discretion is needed, opt for the hidden entrance.
  • You won’t see a reception desk in the lobby. Check-in is conducted in your room.

The Rooms

  • Each room number is written in gold on a smooth dark stone on the floor. This not only protects the original wood, but also adds to the sense of being in a home.
  • Expect opulent touches: the "do not disturb" sign is a heavy tassel made of a cluster of black beads, and nothing more; accommodations feature work from 16th-century architect Sansovino and 18th-century painter Tiepolo; and there are silk wall coverings and chandeliers.
  • All bathrooms feature double sinks, separate showers and deep-soaking bathtubs. The elegant toiletries are made by the inmates of the women’s prison on Giudecca island using herbs and flowers from its own garden.
  • Every bedroom features a relaxing small corner sitting area with homey touches, like soft chairs and flowers on the table.
  • The contemporary rooms echo the pale gray and cream color palette of the public areas. The simple, sleek lines of the furniture are soothing after a day out amid the city's narrow streets and extravagant architecture.

The Look

  • Architect Jean-Michel Gathy shows his talent for understated luxury by balancing the palace’s sometimes-extravagant baroque décor (rococo art, frescoed walls and gleaming gold everywhere) with streamlined, simple furnishings in neutral tones of gray and cream.
  • The property pays homage to Aman’s Asian roots with minimalist-style sofas, chairs and tables in rooms and common areas.
  • An open sitting room on the third floor of the luxury hotel contains no fewer than three elaborate wooden credenzas created specifically for the space by Andrea Brustolon, a baroque-era artist known as the “Michelangelo of wood.”
  • The former private chapel, now converted to a large salon on the fourth floor, retains the 18th-century altar and painted altarpiece. Count Arrivabene was baptized here when it was still the family’s place of worship.

Getting There
Palazzo Papadopoli, Calle Tiepolo 1364 Sestiere San Polo Venice, 30125 IT
VCE (18-20 mins)  
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