The Robb Report 100 Hotels: Venice Bauer Il Palazzo

<< Back to Robb Report, November 2007

During winter’s aqua alta, or high-water season, Venetians forgo designer shoes and instead slosh around their city in rubber boots. Sirens warn residents and visitors to move to higher ground as rising Adriatic tides creep into the streets, often for a few hours each day. Francesca Bortolotto Possati, owner of the Bauer Il Palazzo hotel, serves as a board member of Save Venice, an organization formed in response to floods in 1966, when tides covered Piazza San Marco with a record 4 feet of water. Possati also works diligently to preserve her family’s legacy, the Bauer, located a short walk from the piazza at the end of the Grand Canal.

After living in Texas, Michigan, and New York, and earning two English degrees and a pilot’s license, Possati returned to Venice in 1997 to run her grandfather’s Bauer-Grünwald hotel. Possati split the 18th-century palace into two smaller properties, L’ Hotel and Il Palazzo, and invested $38 million to restore both. Il Palazzo emerged as a boutique hotel fit for the doges, with antique chests and chairs, gilt mirrors, stucco ceilings, and the finest Venetian fabrics, many of which Possati selected herself.

Possati also added amenities to the hotel such as a solar/electric boat that shuttles guests through the canals. The broad seventh-floor terrace at Il Palazzo’s breakfast restaurant, Settimo Cielo (Seventh Heaven), affords views over the canals to the top of the Campanile. At the base of the 324-foot-high bell tower sits Piazza San Marco, which, depending on the season, is usually covered with either pigeons or water. If the latter, let the sirens signal the right time for another flute of Champagne, or for a long winter’s nap in Il Palazzo’s Royal Suite.

Bauer Il Palazzo, +39.041.520.7022,www.ilpalazzovenezia.com

Location
At the end of the Grand Canal, a two-minute walk from Piazza San Marco.

Accommodations
Owner Francesca Bortolotto Possati decorated the 44 rooms and 38 suites with tapestry wall hangings, antique furnishings, and Murano glass chandeliers. Several of the accommodations have terraces, and most afford views of the canal.

Facilities
A fitness room and health spa, and a rooftop Jacuzzi with views of Venice and the lagoon.

Dining
The canal-level De Pisis for gourmet dinners, the high-and-dry Settimo Cielo terrace for breakfast, and Bar Foyer for cocktails and grappas.

Concierge Recommends
Private jet service to Verona for an opera at the Arena, the third-largest surviving Roman amphitheater.

Rates
Double rooms from about $1,055, the Royal Suite from $8,210.

This retro-chic resort takes a modern approach to the classic British farmhouse…
The recently renovated ships feature all-new woodwork, upholstered furniture, and more…
US Open - Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
These New York hotels offer extravagant amenities and close proximity to the grand-slam tennis...
Photo by Thomas Hart Shelby
Robb Report’s senior travel editor visits Los Cabos’ hottest new hotel to open since Hurricane...
A Global Journey by Private Jet, October 13 through November 4, 2016...
Photo by Giorgio Salvatori
Italy’s storied Motor Valley is best understood from the seat of a vintage roadster...
Now travelers can touch down within a few miles of Mukul, the boutique beach, golf, and spa resort…
From the Central Coast to Napa Valley, here are the best places in California to stay during crush...
The stylish hotel offers fashion fans access to one of Italy’s most important shopping districts…
From Indo to Mexico, these retreats are a new wave in refinement, with premier surf breaks to boot…