The renowned Gritti Palace in Venice re-opened its legendary doors following a $55 million restoration, bringing the hotel back to its original grandeur. The 15-month restoration lead by The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, is part of a larger strategy to invest over $200 million in the restoration of Starwood’s most celebrated Luxury Collection hotels in Europe, including Hotel Alfonso XIII, Seville and Hotel Maria Cristina, San Sebastian which re-opened last year, as well as Prince de Galles in Paris which will re-open later this month.
Facing the majestic Santa Maria della Salute and steps from Piazza San Marco and La Fenice Theatre, The Gritti Palace was transformed into its current Gothic shape by the Pisani family in 1475 and became the private residence of the Doge of Venice, Andrea Gritti, in 1525. In the centuries that followed, it was home to other noble families and illustrious visitors before being converted into a luxury hotel in 1895. In 1947, The Gritti Palace was bought by CIGA (Compagnia Italiana Grandi Alberghi), to which The Luxury Collection brand traces its roots.
“There is a mystique about The Gritti Palace that has enchanted its guests for generations, so it was essential that we involved local artisans, architects, craftsmen and cultural institutions to preserve its authentic elegance and distinct personality, while bringing the landmark hotel into the 21st century,” said Paul James, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection, St. Regis and W Hotels Worldwide. “The renaissance of this Venetian icon marks a momentous occasion for The Luxury Collection as the birthplace of the brand, now 85 hotels around the world, which has come full circle to restore its roots on the Grand Canal.”
With exquisite interior design by Donghia Associates, part of the iconic Venetian fabric house Rubelli, the protected landmark building’s architectural restorations were led by Italian engineering firm Veniceplan Ingegneria Srl with the Regional Board of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Environmental Conservation of Venice and Lagoon. The finest architects and local artisans were engaged to painstakingly restore the prestigious hotel, including the incorporation of modern hydraulic engineering to protect the building during high tides, allowing the hotel to maintain its usual operations.
“By carefully restoring precious antique furniture and artwork, and complementing them with a selection of newly handcrafted furnishings, we aimed to enhance the exclusive residential ambience that has kept The Gritti Palace so unique and personal to its loyal guests through the years,” says Chuck Chewning, Design Director, Donghia Associates. “We have seamlessly integrated Donghia’s and Rubelli’s signature sophistication with the hotel’s history and heritage, giving it a sense of Venetian elegance and timeless luxury.”
Following the complete restoration, The Gritti Palace features 61 luxurious guest rooms and 21 sumptuous suites, including suites with impressive canal views. The interior design of signature suites is inspired by renowned personalities – such as Ernest Hemingway, Somerset Maugham and Peggy Guggenheim.