Entering the Metropole’s candlelit, red velvet-bedecked lobby feels like you’ve stepped back in time, to when Venice was a major trading port with the Orient. The dark, moody atmosphere is incredibly romantic and utterly different than anything else in Venice, with a fabulously convenient location on the lagoon just steps from St. Mark’s.
YOU SHOULD KNOW You have to like quirk to like this hotel--and we do. The owners have put their eccentric collections, from corkscrews and nutcrackers to hundreds of fans to the largest collection of crucifixes in Italy, on display throughout the hotel, which will either charm you or drive you bonkers.
The 67 rooms are wonderfully plush, featuring 18th-century furniture mixed with unique Oriental and Art Deco pieces, along with rich silks and velvets in reds and greens. The feel is moody and decadent, almost like you’ve stepped into an Old Hollywood movie set (though which movie is up to you).
Splurge on a suite—especially one with a private roof terrace—if you can. Not only are they gorgeous, but they all offer splendid water views out to San Giorgio island.
Decked out in marble or sparkly mosaics, the good-sized bathrooms feature Gilchrist and Soames products and sunken bathtubs.
Though on the small side, the lobby is dark and delicious, with splendid red velvet and striped couches, lots of candles, and a number of connected sitting rooms in which to linger.
The one Michelin star MET Restaurant has lavish Fortuny fabrics on the walls, Murano glass chandeliers, and tasty (albeit pricey) Italian food with international touches.
Grab a drink in the incredibly pretty and ultra-relaxing hidden garden, filled with citrus trees and low-slung wicker armchairs; you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Los Angeles as you sip your cocktail and people-watch. Or on days when you’d rather stay inside, the atmospheric Oriental Bar lets you sip in style.
On the busy pedestrian Riva degli Schiavoni promenade, it’s easy to walk to many of Venice’s main attractions, both to the west in San Marco and to the east in Castello—it’s especially convenient if you’re going to the Venice Biennale. The San Zaccaria vaporetto (ferry bus) stops are just a few minutes away, from where you can take boats to the Rialto, Murano, the Lido, and many other places.
Il Ridotto (6-minute walk) is one of the tastiest modern Italian eateries in town, with innovative dishes and a great wine list. The classic Venetian recipes at Al Covo (3-minute walk) have won over diners for years. A cozy place with ultra-modern and affordable tasting menus paired with unusual wines, CoVino (4-minute walk) makes a great stop for lunch or dinner.
The sister wine bar to Il Ridotto, Aciugheta (6-minute walk) specializes in cicchetti (bar snacks)—don’t miss the anchovy (aciugheta) minipizzas—paired with a large selection of local vinos. El Rèfolo (8-minute walk) pairs wine and beer with charcuterie and cheeses in a lively outdoor atmosphere.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Oozing with character, the Metropole is simply a very unique place to stay with an unbeatable location. The hidden garden is a perfect place to chill when exploring Venice becomes too much, and the Oriental Bar is stylized and sophisticated (and makes a mean cocktail). It’s an ideal place to immerse yourself in a Far Eastern fantasy while in this fantastical town.