Art deco lovers will swoon at the Palazzo Barbarigo, a romantic haven of black-and-red décor not found elsewhere in Venice. The location is prime, directly on the Grand Canal but in the quieter area of San Polo, just across the canal from San Marco.
Arriving by water taxi to the hotel’s waterfront entrance feels like something out of a fairy tale. (The entrance on the hotel’s other side is through a maze of dark, twisty streets—still interesting, if not as glamorous.)
The 18 rooms are decorated in moody red, black, and tan, with black four-poster beds and sleek furniture, along with touches of velvet in the chairs and lampshades. Rooms have either wood or black marble floors.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Only some of the Suites have Grand Canal views (others have views on the smaller Rio San Polo canal), so you’ll need to splurge if that’s what you’re looking for.
Bathrooms are lined with tile or black marble; all are clean and modern, and have rain showers.
YOU SHOULD KNOW None of the bathrooms have bathtubs.
Like the rest of the hotel, the lobby is a study in black and red, with black marble floors, red velvet chairs, and lots of mirrors. It doesn’t really feel like a place to hang out, so try the small library with 16th-century beamed ceilings or the deck overlooking the Grand Canal for more inviting options.
Palazzo Barbarigo doesn’t have its own restaurant, but does serve a complimentary breakfast in the lush breakfast room (all black velvet chairs and red velvet curtains). And breakfast is served till as late as you want, so go ahead—sleep in.
The large second-floor bar—open only to guests—is a real treat, with black-and-red velvet chairs (surprise!) and a fireplace inside, plus a terrace outside, perfect for a cocktail overlooking the Grand Canal.
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. The San Tomà ferry stop is just a 5-minute walk if you’d rather travel around the Grand Canal by water, as is the Traghetto di San Tomà, which will shuttle you directly across the Grand Canal to the San Marco side.
You’ll want to make reservations for the renowned Antiche Carampane (3-minute walk), which serves up some of Venice’s finest seafood. Partake in elegant modern Venetian cuisine at one Michelin star Osteria Da Fiore (3-minute walk). For a lively atmosphere near the Rialto Bridge, dishes using fresh market ingredients, and a fabulous canal-front terrace, Osteria Bancogiro (6-minute walk) can’t be beat.
Vineria All’Amarone (3-minute walk) is another delightful wine bar that specializes in glasses from the nearby Valpolicella region. Don’t miss the snacks (called cicchetti) and wine at Cantina Do Mori (5-minute walk), the oldest bacaro (wine bar) in Venice. For something stronger, enjoy an Aperol Spritz and some cicchetti with Grand Canal views at Naranzaria (6-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Venice brings out the romantic in us, and there’s no better way to indulge our romantic side than by staying at an atmospheric hotel with Grand Canal views far from the madding crowds of St. Mark’s.