Grand, imposing and gleaming this new hotel from ‘Amanresorts‘ is housed within the Palazzo Papadopoli – built in the 16th century by the architect Gian Giacomo dé Grigi.
Exuding the elegance of a bygone era, but with classic ‘Aman’ the style, the soaring ceilings and well preserved historic frescoes take centre stage in this excellent example of attention to detail.
The previous owners, Gilberto and Bianca Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga still live here along with their children on the top floor. Their personal belongings adorn the rooms and corridors, including books and artwork, a grand piano and the original Murano chandeliers commissioned by the Papadopoli brothers – who owned the property back in the early 19th century. Very often they take guests around on tours or invite them for a coffee in their private quarters.
Interestingly, from the moment Gilberto and Bianca met through a common friend with Adrian Zecha of Amanresorts, it took a mere nine years to turn a classical Venetian palazzo into a functional 21st century luxury hotel. This was no easy transformation: Amanresorts are known for resort rather than city hotels. They are also known for their minimal aesthetics – a far cry from the splendor and ornate character of Venetian architecture. So Jean Michel Gathy of Denniston Architects, a veteran Aman collaborator, was called in to lead the restoration effort and turn this perfect example of Neo-Renaissance and Rococo into a contemporary haven which however, pays due homage to its ‘heavy’ heritage. Gathy has combined silk wall coverings and painted friezes with stark white walls, grey upholstery, B&B furniture and silk curtains which blend in beautifully with the fresco embellished walls and ceilings, and the large windows with their sweeping vistas over the Canal’s historic buildings.