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Probably best known for being the venue of George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin’s wedding, this 16th-century palazzo on the Grand Canal is the stuff of fairy tales. Dripping in gilded Rococo twirls which frame pastel-coloured frescoes and twinkling Murano chandeliers, this ‘seven-star’ hotel miraculously manages to channel a laid-back elegance which is largely attributable to the staff. You may lack celeb status (you pleb) but from arrival you’ll be treated as both royalty and a friend.
Palazzo Papadopoli is vast and the first thing you must do is explore every inch of this grandiose mansion. Run up the sweeping marble staircase and along endless marble corridors which may lead to the drawing room, ballroom, library or bar. With the smell of fresh orchids gently wafting through this luxurious labyrinth, we really wouldn’t blame you if you never made it out of the hotel.
Surprisingly, the Aman only has 26 guest rooms (though they have around 80 staff) lending it a familiar intimacy. Guest rooms are more contemporary than the house, pared down in minimalist whites and dark wood, with modern touches such as the square Bang & Olsen TV and an egg-shaped bath – complete with wonderfully nostalgic bath salts.
As always, it’s the small touches that bring it up yet another level, like the giant box of plush toiletries and a turn-down service complete with personal notes wishing guests well. Needless to say, you’ll have the sweetest of dreams at Aman.
What’s for breakfast?
Breakfast is served in the palazzo’s former ballroom overlooking the Grand Canal and is an a la carte affair of fresh pastries with homemade jam, avocado toast or a punchy Thai omelette. Our favourite? The gloriously indulgent eggs benedict, washed down with a perfectly frothed cappuccino.
How about lunch and dinner?
An ever-evolving menu of the freshest seasonal ingredients help to make Davide Oldani’s restaurant a destination in itself. From homemade bread through to cured meats, plates of perfectly cooked pasta which you’ll struggle to choose between, followed by crispy pork belly and razor clams plucked straight out of the lagoon, this is Italian cooking at its finest.
Is there a bar?
Red walls, black lacquer, a dusky pink floral chandelier and one of the most impressive back bars we’ve ever seen; this is the bar to end all bars. Weird and wonderful liquors are interspersed with the classics, while these guys even make their own ice to ensure it is crystal clear. Order a negroni and marvel at the amount of bar snacks which come as standard on the side. Not sure what you’re after? Pop behind the bar to sample different concoctions with the experts – at €25 a pop, you’ll want to be sure you like it.
Venice does not have many green spaces, but Aman has two expansive gardens, one of which overlooks the Grand Canal and is the perfect spot for a summer bellini. Block out time for a visit to the spa for their famous foot massage – just the thing after a long day sightseeing.
Things you should know
Your friends will probably be too jealous to talk to you after a stay here – expect your Insta following to decrease after one too many ‘OMG’ posts.
Within a short walk you’ll find…
You rarely find what you’re looking for in Venice – getting lost in the narrow backstreets and winding canals is half the fun. But Aman is just a stone’s throw from the Rialto Bridge, which is one of the best ‘lost-and-found’ points in town.
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