PHILIPPE STARCK'S FIRST ITALIAN HOTEL PALAZZINA GRASSI OPENS IN VENICE
Hidden behind a door in Venice marked only by a bull's head is a magical world of mirrors, glass sculptures, rare books and vintage objects - Philippe Starck's first Italian hotel, and Design Hotels member, Palazzina Grassi. The renowned French designer was chosen by Emanuele Garosci, hotelier and formerrally driver, to create an imaginative five-star hotel with 16 bedrooms and 6 apartment suites, a cosy privatemembers-only club and a stunning restaurant. Designed to make guests feel 'temporarily Venetian' this 16thcentury former residence captures the sophisticated charm, magic and beauty of the city. Traditional Italiantouches such as exposed bricks mix with dazzling contemporary design, including transparent glass wardrobes and9 custom-made Murano glass works by the artist Aristide Najean. The result is a luxurious hotel on the CanalGrande that retains the aura and charm of an aristocratic Venetian home.
Emanuele Garosci, creator of Palazzina Grassi, says: "There was a need in Venice for something new, to go againstthe traditional way of thinking about Venice - Starck was the answer. Palazzina Grassi is more like a private club, acombination of a hotel and very unique spaces where guests can live as a Venetian."The Experience
For an authentic Venetian experience Palazzina Grassi offers guests a pick-up service in its 1960's Celli boat.Check-in happens on-board and guests are dropped off directly at the hotel's private pier. Those who prefer aquieter approach by land can use the hotel's street entrance opposite the Canal Grande. However guests choose toarrive they are welcomed with a glass of prosecco or wine from Veneto. Once inside, guests will immediately feelcomfortable in the surroundings and be indulged by an attentive team of staff, on hand to help with everythingfrom dinners at antique dealers' homes to Venetian cookery classes. Breakfast can be served anytime and anywherein the hotel, allowing guests to enjoy the varied interior of multicoloured hallways in bright red to acid almondgreen, huge rugs in vivid colours and exposed Venetian bricks salvaged from an old farmstead. Throughout thehotel visitors will find valuable books, antique pieces, mahogany and unique artworks.The Rooms
Overlooking Venice's colourful rooftops, the guest rooms offer large backlit mirrors, warm lighting, floors inVenetian wood, bathrooms using natural stone and bespoke pieces of furniture including dressing tables. In theapartment suites beds are situated in the centre of the room and are surrounded by transparent glass wardrobes,soft rugs and coffee tables made of steel and moonstone onyx. Instead of the usual directory of guest services,visitors can take inspiration from a 'list of vices' advising them to eat well, drink, read and surrender to theirpassions.The Food & Drink
The ground floor PG's restaurant and bar offers a masterpiece in art and design in the form of two seven-metrelong monolith high dinner tables, one made of marble and the other of mirrored glass. Mahogany wood panellingon the walls, soft lighting and unique pieces of Venetian glass complete the magical environment. Diners have aview of the show kitchen and bar, a modern reinterpretation of the traditional Venetian 'cicchetteria' or 'osteria', apopular meeting place where people can gather for conversation and local fare.
The G club, overlooking the Canal Grande, contains a private intimate dining room. Its two interconnected roomsfeature a bar outfitted with vibrant red, yellow and silver Murano tiles and offer a cosy space where hotel guestsand their friends mix with Venetian society.The Location
Set in the heart of Venice next to Palazzo Grassi on Canal Grande, Palazzina Grassi is housed in a 2,800 squaremetre 16th century building, former home to aristocrats. The hotel is just a short walk from the main museums andart galleries, including the Guggenheim Collection and the Galleria dell'Accademia.
For reservations, please refer to the webpage: www.designhotels.com/palazzinagrassi