Arguably the most exclusive of Venice’s many hotels-within-16th-century-palazzos (and who ever tires of those?), Aman Venice caters to luxury-seekers who want personalized service with a sense of discrete extravagance—and, of course, those killer Grand Canal views. Guests arrive through a hidden entrance—or by boat, since this is Venice, after all—into an oasis of hushed elegance where their every need can be met.
YOU SHOULD KNOW If you prefer the over-the-top, gilded and bejeweled Venetian style (think rich red velvets and mirrors on the ceilings), the Aman isn’t for you. Its elegance is much more understated than other five-star hotels in this famously grandiose town—though you’ll still find the requisite frescos and chandeliers, along with an amazing collection of historic Venetian art.
Each of the 24 rooms is different, though all are a mix of traditional and contemporary. Some boast frescoed ceilings and carved wood walls, while others are done up in a more subdued and modern style. All are amazingly gorgeous.
The bathrooms are just fine. For an experience you’ll never forget, request a room with a canal view (though be prepared to pay for the privilege).
Simple yet elegant, the brown-and-cream lobby features soaring beamed ceilings contrasted with modern furniture. But don't expect to hang out here much—the beauty of the Aman Venice is that it’s a veritable warren of public spaces, including multiple lounges (one completely covered in mirrors and frescos), a library with leather-covered walls and historic books, and a game room, so you can pick and choose where to hang depending upon your mood.
As befitting the relaxed, exclusive feel, check-in takes place in the rooms rather than the lobby—so stay cool when you don’t see a reception desk.
The only spa in Italy featuring products by Susan Ciminelli (a celebrity favorite), the space is small but the treatments are ultra-deluxe, including oxygen facials and signature foot treatments with exfoliation to pamper your overstressed tootsies.
Known as the “little gym,” it’s basic but well equipped—and let’s face it, you’ll be hoofing it around Venice anyway, so it’s probably got all you need. (And at least it has a gym—most hotels in Venice don’t.)
Unlike most every other hotel anywhere, guests at the Aman can eat whenever they want; there’s no set time for breakfast or other meals. You can dine on the outdoor dining terrace overlooking the canal, or, to keep things interesting, in whatever public room in the hotel you choose. Why not breakfast in the library?
The outdoor bar, in a lovely garden area overlooking the water, stocks more than 40 types of gin and has a menu of interesting (albeit pricey) snacks along with larger and more traditional dishes. You can also grab a drink in the elegant indoor bar—but who wouldn’t want to gaze at the Grand Canal while sipping their Spritz?
Located in the San Polo neighborhood, away from many of Venice’s crowds, it’s a relatively peaceful area to stroll around shopping and enjoying the fine restaurants in the neighborhood—plus the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square are just short walks away if you’re after more action (and crowds). The San Silvestro ferry stop is just a 3-minute walk if you’d rather travel by water.
Though it’s hard to pry yourself away from the Aman’s calm and cool vibe, you’ll want to make reservations for the renowned Antiche Carampane (4-minute walk), which serves up some of Venice’s finest seafood. Partake in elegant modern Venetian cuisine at one Michelin star Osteria Da Fiore (5-minute walk). For a lively atmosphere near the Rialto Bridge, dishes using fresh market ingredients, and a fabulous canal-front terrace, Osteria Bancogiro (5-minute walk) can’t be beat.
Don’t miss the snacks (called cicchetti) and wine at Cantina Do Mori (4-minute walk), the oldest bacaro (wine bar) in Venice. Vineria All’Amarone (2-minute walk) is another delightful wine bar that specializes in glasses from the nearby Valpolicella region. For something stronger, enjoy an Aperol Spritz and cicchetti with Grand Canal views at Naranzaria (5-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Staying at the Aman Venice is almost like staying in your own private palazzo—at prices to match, of course. Unlike many other deluxe Venice hotels, the vibe manages to be both exclusive and laid-back. Guests have a ridiculous amount of choice here, from when to eat to where to relax. And it’s just far enough from the St. Mark’s fray that you can truly appreciate the Grand Canal, and Venice itself, in all its glory.