Few entrances are more quintessentially Venetian than the one made gliding up in a sleek boat to the private jetty of the Aman Canal Grande, a waterfront palazzo in the San Polo district. Steeped in history, the mansion was built in 1550 for a wealthy seafaring and trading family. This grand estate has played host to several families over the centuries, all with a keen interest in art, architecture, and the preservation of this classic Venetian home. In the early 1700s, an avid art-collecting family hired artist Giambattista Tiepolo to paint the bold frescoes that still adorn several rooms today. In the mid-1800s, designer Michelangelo Guggenheim was brought on to reimagine the main floor in the Neo-Renaissance and Rococo style as an elegant salon for entertaining high Venetian society.
Elegant, timeless, and with an enviable waterfront perch and private gardens, Aman Canal Grande continues to impress.
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Aman Canal Grande has a front-row Grand Canal seat in San Polo, the smallest of the six districts in Venice. It’s a scenic stroll down sleepy lanes to the Rialto Bridge, the oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal and connecting to San Marco. It’s a touristy spot lined with shops and stalls bursting with Carnival masks, leather bags, and postcards. Follow the locals to the Mercato di Rialto as they shop for their just-snagged fish and produce. San Polo is known for the cicchetti (Venetian tapas) restaurants where gondoliers and locals pop in for a snack and a small glass of vino. Try Osteria Bangorio S.R.L. on the Grand Canal for salumi and cheese or a toothsome boar ragú, and join the others in line for a coffee and sugar-covered doughnut at Pasticceria Rizzardini.
Need to Know
Rooms: 24 rooms, 2 suites. From $958. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: In each of the two dining rooms, classic Italian and Mediterranean dishes pair beautifully with wines from the hotel’s well-stocked cellar. In the garden-facing Yellow Dining Room, sit in front of the ornate marble fireplace and gaze heavenward at the ceiling created by 19th-century painter Cesare Rotta. The Red Dining Room, with its Murano-glass chandelier and canal views, is equally elegant. In the warmer months, take meals in the secluded garden. An intimate bar overlooks the canal, or you can have a tipple on the roof terrace and survey the watery city below and the Alps in the distance. Spa and gym details: The third-floor spa has a full menu of massages, scrubs, and facials; request the treatment room with the soaking tub. A compact gym contains free weights and strength-conditioning equipment.
Who's it for: Luxury travelers who go in for romance and royal touches. The hotel is a destination for honeymooners (George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin among them). Our favorite rooms: Five “signature accommodations” all have remarkable architectural details (lofted ceilings, original wood paneling, a 16th-century fireplace) or artistic accents (silk wall coverings, hand-painted 18th-century frescoes, glittering chandeliers). The sprawling Grand Canal Suite has a sitting room where guests can gaze out the canal-facing window as the vaporetti and gondolas float past. Don’t forget: For a one-of-a-kind souvenir, stop by the hotel’s boutique and pick up the Murano glassware designed by the palazzo’s owner, Count Giberto Arrivabene.