Right on the Grand Canal, and a short stroll from St Mark’s square, the Gritti is as central as you can get. It’s a heavily touristed area, though, and in high season you may feel that most of Venice’s visitors are hanging about right outside.
The range is enormous and, like many of Venice’s top-end hotels, time has taken its toll on some areas which are definitely in need of refurbishment. Though all 91 rooms have rich Venetian fabrics and antique furniture (some of it looking a little fusty these days), it pays to be picky. If you’re going for this old-world luxury option, I strongly advise splashing out on one of the grander rooms or suites to avoid disappointment. The three first-floor suites with Grand Canal views are quite spectacular. Not so some of the regular doubles: I once found myself in a claustrophia-inducing room with a view over a dead wall.
Be warned: the Gritti’s public spaces are sumptuous but definitely not lofty, and many of its corridors are decidedly dark – perfect if your idea of romantic tends towards the gothic.
Eating and drinking
The Mediterranean-style cooking at the Club del Doge restaurant is good rather than exceptional, and eye-wateringly expensive, so just as well the view – over the Grand Canal – is spectacular enough to take your mind off the bill. The Bar Longhi, with its engraved mirrors and Murano chandeliers, is elegant in the extreme, and offers live piano-tinkling into the early hours.
Gritti guests have privileged access to the 18-hole Venice Golf Club, across the lagoon on the Lido. Note that, like all hotels in central Venice, there is no pool.
Very professional, though sometimes rather aloof.
Who stays there
Ernest Hemmingway, Graham Greene and Winston Churchill made the Gritti their home-from-home in Venice. These days, the hotel is favoured by discerning guests in search of a luxurious base near St Mark’s square… and by regular Starwood customers using up their Starpoints.
Prices vary wildly according to season and availability. Breakfast costs 52 euros extra.
- Business Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Pets Allowed
- Room Service
- Culture vultures
- Mature travellers
- Seasoned travellers
- Celebrity spotting
- Great views / scenery
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Extremely elegant
- Right at the heart of Venice
- The area is heavily touristed
- Showing its age