Dark Venetian romance
On the Grand Canal
Get this when you book through us:
A glass of prosecco or Venetian spritz (prosecco or wine with campari and sugar) each with canapés, on the first night of your stay
Rates from (inc tax)$222.68 If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days. Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (21EUR), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.
Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (21EUR), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Dark Venetian romance
On the Grand Canal
Get this when you book through us:
A glass of prosecco or Venetian spritz (prosecco or wine with campari and sugar) each with canapés, on the first night of your stay
18, including six deluxe junior suites.
12 noon. Check-in, from 2pm.
Double rooms from $222.68 (€205), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €4.50 per person per night on check-out.
If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days. Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR225.01), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR225.01), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Rates include Continental à la carte breakfast, tax and service. A minimum two-night stay applies at weekends (to include a Saturday night) and during Carnival; minimum three nights over xmas/New Year/Easter.
Check in to the Grand Canal Suite and you'll find prosecco chilling in your room on arrival, and the best table in the house – the intimate balcony seat for two – will be reserved for breakfast each morning (8am–11am). We loved the etched mirrors in the bathrooms, and the floor-to-ceiling windows and mirrors, which throw plenty of natural light into darker corners.
Library, free WiFi throughout, laundry; in rooms, flatscreen satellite TV, minibar housed in a cocktail cabinet, kingsize bed, safe.
Every room at Palazzo Barbarigo is a decent size and has a canal view, so you’re onto a winner whichever you pick – although if you’ve set your heart on Grand Canal views, you’ll want one of the lovely Junior Suites, which also have separate dressing and wardrobe areas. Suite 1 (on the ground floor) and 10 are both corner rooms that have the best of both worlds – views of both the San Polo and Grand Canal.
Your sexiest silk lingerie – this is an uber-seductive lovers’ hideaway.
No pets. A third person can be added to a Junior suite or Grand Canal Junior Suite for €90 a night.
Welcome, although this hotel has a glamorous, grown-up feel. Cots are available free for under-3s, but no extra beds are allowed in rooms. Babysitters cost €25 an hour.
Welcome, although this hotel has a glamorous, grown-up feel. Cots are available free for under-threes; children aged three to 11 can stay in parents’ rooms for an additional €45–€70, depending on room type. Babysitters cost €25 an hour.
Pull up a sexy black velvet barstool or fight tooth and nail for the single table for two on the terrace overlooking the Grand Canal.
James Bond/Vesper Lynd in <i>Casino Royale</i>.
There’s no restaurant as such, but there is a light snack menu with a few lunch and dinner options available in the dining room between noon and 11pm. This dark jewel of a room is the same place you'll enjoy your delicious breakfast every morning (unless you choose to take it in your bedroom, of course).
The 1920s-feel lounge bar is a decidedly slinky spot to sink a few martinis or expertly mixed Barbarigo cocktails – inside, it’s all black velvet sofas, smoky mirrors and upholstered wall panels. Miaow.
The cocktail bar shuts up shop at 11pm.
Get breakfast, drinks or light snacks delivered to your bedside from 7am till 11pm – after that, entertain yourself with your elegant cocktail cabinet.
From Venice's Marco Polo airport, approach the city by crossing the lagoon on the Alilaguna (www.alilaguna.it) to San Marco, which takes roughly an hour. It costs around €30 for the express and €13 for the other routes. From there it’s a quick change to Route 1 of the ACTV (www.actv.it) vaporetto in the direction of Piazzale Roma. Get off at San Toma. A water taxi direct from the airport to the hotel costs around €100. Alternatively, Trieste, Verona and Treviso airports are all possibilities. The first two have bus links to their main train stations, and are then a one-hour or three-hour train journey respectively; Treviso has a direct bus (www.atvo.it) link to Piazzale Roma in Venice, from where a 25-minute journey on Route 1 or 2 of the vaporetto will take you to San Toma.
Venice’s main station is Venezia Santa Lucia; see Trenitalia (www.trenitalia.com) for information on trains in Italy. Take the vaporetto down the Grand Canal from Santa Lucia to San Toma (roughly 20 minutes on Route 1 or 2). You can also take a water taxi; the hotel is on the Grand Canal.
Venice is not made for cars and does not allow them into the city, so if you have driven from another part of Italy or the airport, you will need to leave your vehicle either on the mainland, which is easier, cheaper and avoids the sometimes colossal traffic jams, or at the edge of the city centre. If you park on the mainland in Mestre, you can choose between the rail station (and then proceed by trainl) or the San Giuliano parking lot (and proceed by boat).
Palazzo Barbarigo places you perfecly for exploring the lively San Polo district. The Rialto (the thriving commercial centre and source of news described by Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice) is only a short stroll away. Beyond that, Venice’s sights are all easy to reach, including the Guggenheim and Palazzo Grassi.
Osteria Da Carla, at San Marco 1535 (+39 041 523 785) has a fantastic location just behind the Piazza San Marco. Leave the madding crowd behind and head to this little spot filled with locals and the inevitable (lucky) stray tourist. Sample goodies from the small menu, or eat little tapas-style tartines (such as toast with melted cheese and walnuts) at the bar. Pane Vino e San Daniele, at Calle dei Botteri, San Polo 1544 (+39 041 084 46) belongs to a chain of three enoteche which serve food. The eatery boasts cheerful service, local clientele and rustic charm, with straw-seated chairs and a small country menu. This is a good option for meals on the run – try the carbonara, thin crust pizzas and tiramisu. La Columbina at Cannaregio 1828–1831 (+39 041 522 2616) is more Pugliese than Venetian. The menu is small but marvellous in quality, not to mention quantity. Standout dishes include giant cheese-filled ravioli in a blanket of rich, tomato sauce. The fried seafood plate is superb – a gargantuan mix of battered vegetables, squid, prawns, lobster and fish. Antiche Carampane at San Polo 1911 (+39 041 524 0165) is almost impossible to find, but its succulent seafood is well worth the trek. The little paper cones filled with the most divine fried water shrimp set the tone for the evening. Be sure to book ahead.
I’d always wanted to arrive in Venice the way they do in the movies. You know – one minute you’re in a chic restaurant in New York talking to Audrey Hepburn about meeting so-and-so in Venice – the next, you somehow magically appear on the Grand Canal gently bobbing along in a gondola. Or if you’re James Bond, a speed-boat accompanied by a John Barry soundtrack, an adoring supermodel at your side.
Which just goes to show that Oprah was right all along about the power of manifestation. Because our arrival at the Palazzo Barbarigo might as well have been a scene straight out of Hollywood: a celluloid moment captured the instant I stepped off the water taxi onto the small marble-clad landing of the hotel. As the boat pulled away, I cast a look behind me, squinting through the dazzle of the shimmering sparkles on the Grand Canal. Bathed in liquid light that spilled off the terracotta rooftops like a benediction, Venice was looking its best. Lined up along both sides of the canal was the breathtaking procession of wonderfully aged palazzos built in every major architectural style since the 12th century: Byzantine, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. And over this picture-perfect tableau was a dome of blue sky the colour of crushed sapphires.
Stepping into the intimately lit reception lined with glossy black floors, an entire wall of art and photography books, and oversized oval mirrors, I could swear I heard Shirley Bassey in the wings crooning the opening bars of the love theme to this movie in which I was, unexpectedly, the leading man. According to the very genial bartender who poured us killer martinis that evening (‘It’s like mainlining alcohol,’ my partner murmured), the 18-room, two-storey Palazzo Barbarigo was renovated about two years ago by its Contessa owner. ‘This is only a minor annexe of the main palazzo that’s behind us,’ he said, as he brought the drinks out onto the tiny balcony just in time for the twilight to gather up the fading light over the Grand Canal.
Really? Because it doesn’t feel like a minor annexe. From the wide black marbled corridors and deep seated, very comfy chairs in the bar, to the bathroom lined with dark grey stone and enormous four-poster bed in the rooms, everything feels so generously proportioned. Grand and luxurious, but without being stuffy or stiff in any way. There is not an inch of chintz in sight. Instead, the vibe is a seductive mix of art deco meets Baroque meets Moulin Rouge – but in a good way in case you’re envisaging Versace’s palace on acid. Like an old-moneyed Venetian woman in her prime, the Palazzo Barbarigo fairly shimmers with its very own brand of classy yet modern sexiness. It’s voluptuous. You can imagine Monica Belluci staying here.
The walls – edged with gold braids and swathed in a textured, velvety, burgundy hued wallpaper with a delicate floral pattern that I saw again the next day on the walls of the Doge’s Palace – absorb any echo. Massive smoky ceiling mirrors draw light in from the canal so that, despite the darker colour palette, the whole space feels incredibly sensual. Kind of like the feeling you get when you stretch out on a bed that’s sheathed in silky white linen. Only, this time you get that feeling even when you’re in the vertical position.
Clearly, nothing has been left to chance and I half suspect that a Type A control freak was in charge of the renovations and fit-out. How else do you explain the acres of mocha-hued drapes that so completely envelop the windows that not a single ray of sunshine creeps into the room to disturb your sleep? Forgot to pack bedroom slippers? There are two pairs of fluffy red numbers with the same floral pattern as the walls. Does your partner have a habit of hogging the duvets? Fret not. The bed is made up with two single duvets. Need to watch TV in the bathroom? Press a button and a small TV screen that’s literally embedded into the vanity mirror comes on. And, this is where the Type A personality comment comes in, because the screen never fogs over, even from the steam from the rainshower. In a decade of hotel reviewing, I’ve never been in a hotel where a little bottle quietly labelled ‘Intimate cleanser’ is placed discreetly next to the bidet. It’s a little touch, but it speaks volumes. (About the hotel you understand, not me.)
The next morning, the musical sound of gently lapping water floating in through the open window woke me. The Contessa obviously doesn’t believe in rushing about because there is no clock in the entire hotel; but the fact that breakfast hours are from 8am to noon means that it doesn’t really matter much what time you decide to stumble into the bijou dining room. Which is just as well, as I was delayed for some time at my bedroom window watching an immaculately dressed elderly man slowly climb out of the water taxi in the canal below me. Once he’d found his footing, he turned to extend a shaking hand to the grand old dame, dressed to the nines, swaying about in the boat. Then, arm in arm, they slowly tottered across the cobbled courtyard and disappeared into the palazzo. Visconti could not have framed the moment more delicately.
‘Only in Venice,’ I thought, as I headed to breakfast hoping I’d bump into either the Contessa or, at the very least, Monica Belluci. There’s no menu – but eggs done any way are a matter of course for the kitchen. Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice appeared followed by a platter of cut fruit, warm pastries and hot brewed coffee. ‘Just like home, really,’ I Tweeted grandly while marvelling at the quality of the light bouncing in from the Grand Canal off the ceiling mirror.
But like home, you have to leave it eventually. And like everything in Venice, the memories of the Barbarigo – that stolen moment watching the elderly couple in the canal below the bedroom window, the crisp tang of the apricot jam at breakfast, the deep cocoon-like sleep on the huge double bed – all are immediately tinted with a wonderful nostalgia. And even as you step out into the extravagant sunshine and hear, in the distance, pealing church bells, you try to hold on to the moment. You can’t, of course. But it’s why you keep coming back.
Superb position right on the Grand Canal; being picked up from the foyer by water taxi; drinking prosecco on the bar balcony overlooking the Grand Canal and watching all the water taxis, vaporettos and gondolas go by; superb breakfast - couldn't be better. Hiring the water taxi for an hour's tour was a bit extravagant but was so worth it - what an experience! highly recommend
Not a hotel suitable for children; definitely very romantic - couple only here
Lovely staff who got us checked in early as we arrived on the night train
Free bacon and eggs or an omelet with ham. Despite the hotels pricing you have to pay 5 Euros for this luxury....
The location, the attention to detail and the friendliness of the staff. For a good pizza try Birraria la Corte which is about 5 minutes walk from the hotel.
You won't find the hotel easily unless you take a water taxi directly there.
Fantastic location for us. Not too close to the busy tourist areas so plenty of local osterias and restaurants to enjoy with the Venitians.
To find the back door on your first attempt. Would highly recommend using a water taxi firm, we used Motoscafivenezia and they took us from the airport to the front door (on the Grand Canal) in style.
A great location on the 'quieter' side of the Grand Canal, we loved the discreet service, from breakfast through drinks sitting on the balcony or in the bar, to the evening turn-down with chocolates. The hotel organised a 45 minute gondola ride which was a perfect, relaxing way to see experience Venice from the water.
We didn't have a bath in our junior suite - the shower was great, but no 'long hot soak' after a day exploring
We loved the location The room is lovely, smaller but well equipped and well designed. Breakfast was fantastic and a great start to a busy day. Staff was very helpful and gracious. Make sure you make restaurant reservations in advance Venture to Cantinone Gia Schiavi; famous in Venice great place to buy wine too. Its crowded and fun the Dorsoduro just off of the Zatterre. Great cicchetis Antiche Carampane is a wonderful little place not too far from the hotel.
Access is interesting; ensure that you take a water taxi to the hotel upon arrival. Walking is a little tricky thru hidden narrow lanes until you know exactly where you are going
We were celebrating my wife's 30th birthday and our 5th wedding anniversary and looking for something special to make the most of being away from our two young sons for a couple of nights! Venice did not let us down, it's amazing. Arriving in Venice is an unforgettable and spectacular experience - definitely take a private boat from the airport to the hotel, you won't regret it. It's costs 110. Hotel Palazzo Barbarigo (never quite pronounced it right) has a chic interior throughout and definitely fits the bill of a Mr & Mrs Smith recommended boutique hotel - added to by the dark Venetian decor. The bedroom on the whole was nice, different to most boutique hotels as they are very dark bringing some 'Venetian seduction' to your stay! The rainfall shower was fantastic, ahem. Great location - about 10-20 minute walk to all the best restaurants and tourist spots.
I personally didn't think the hotel was perfect. Our room was just off the lobby and we were disturbed at night by the door bell ringing at reception and general noise - not conducive to a good nights sleep - added to by the fact that the bed, whilst spacious, creaked on every turn. What we paid for a last-minute booking was, I felt, too much, although Venice is renowned for being expensive throughout. I would not expect to pay extra for eggs for breakfast and I would've liked the price to ideally include one transfer from/to the airport. Overall, it was a nice hotel.
The hotel exudes a tranquil luxury. The bar area with the mirror ceiling reflecting the water from the grand canal is magical. We had room 17 which was very large. We loved the velvet chaise lounge which the two of us could relax on after a day of getting lost and tired feet. The staff is extremely friendly and knowledgeable. The buffet breakfast is beautifully presented . If you're luckily enough to snag the little balcony you can dine watching the boats zip by on the Grand Canal.
Sitting on the windowsill with a glass of Prosecco watching all types of craft go to and fro on the grand canal; arriving by water taxi; the "secret" back entrance.
The traffic on the canal is busy, so it's not the quietest place, but that's part of the charm; there is a night club next door, so that can be a disturbance.
The friendliness and helpfulness of the staff. The comfort of our room with spectacular view right on the Canal Grande. Delicious breakfast each morning - if you are early enough you can nab the balcony.
Lighting in bathroom very poor. Had to put makeup on in the Bedroom. Also not enough drawer space. Fine for an over night but we were travelling for a week between 2 cities and definitely short of space
The view, the junior suite, the free standing mirror, the entrance, the service.
Much light - dark room.
The terrazzo - you couldn't ask for a more picture-perfect view of the Grand Canal without the bustle and noise of tourism. I felt I was looking at a Canaletto! Do expect discreet service, sublime surroundings, wonderful breads and fruit for breakfast. Listening to the bells chime in the morning with our large bedroom windows flung wide and again the 6.30 chimes in the evening on the terrazzo with a Spritz in hand.
Lots of facilities such as spa, restaurant,gym; To queue for breakfast!
Location right on the Grand Canal with option of Water Taxi right up to the front door.
To dine in house: no restaurant at the hotel but plenty of good restaurants a short walk away.
The beautiful decor and attention to detail in the restoration of this hotel was evident throughout. The room was beautiful and very comfortable and the staff were attentive to our needs. We enjoyed an afternoon tea by the original fireplace while perusing the books provided in the library. Norcia is a lovely town to enjoy amazing food with a focus on the local truffles, meats and cheeses. There was a lot of outdoor activities such as hiking and biking to enjoy in the mountains surrounding the town.
Drive up to the hotel and have them park your car for you.
Fabulous staff, the location a little away from the tourist beat but still convenient, the good taste, class and fabulous care.
Bright rooms...the color scheme is black on black despite windows onto the canal.
The ambience. Super sexy, sleek hotel. Great location.
Don't book the classic room very tiny.
the atmosphere, location and the breakfasts. The staff were very pleasant and helpful and recommended us a great local restaurant. There is a great local trattoria behind the hotel which the hotel staff recommended us to and which they know well. The chef was in her eighties and delightful. Our waiter was about the same age!
It's Venice so the usual things about Venice. It is not really for children.
Everything! What an amazing location overlooking the Grand Canal and a very welcoming host! We will be back!
To find it easliy from the street - the entrance is located down a very narrow alleyway!
The hotel is small, quiet, directly on the Grand Canal and well located in Venice. it has a very personal feeling and I felt like this was a home away from home in this busy tourist city. friendly and very helpful service from the concierge. The lovely Valentina always directed me to options that fit what I was looking for and towards the more authentic side of Venice,
This is not a spa or family hotel in the traditional sense, nut great for a quiet refuge in this touristy city. Beautiful rooms, clean, modern, luxurious. A breath of fresh air as Italian hotels, even in the luxury category, can sometimes be a bit 'dusty'. This one is not. A lovely boutique experience.
Beautifully spacious and comfortable rooms, central location. Staff were exceptionally helpful and kind.
Perhaps room service could be better.
Handy nice position, lovely breakfast and nice sitting on little balcony watching early morning traffic on Grand Canal.
Rooms are dark unless budget allows you to book room 10, which is superb. But also beware that the Vaporetto's use the junction of Grand Canal and one running alongside Barbarigo to turn around, can be quite noisy. Overall nice hotel.
I liked the ambiance, the staff, the bathroom.
The breakfast could've been better.
Location, location, location! Plus excellent staff, comfortable rooms and a very good breakfast.
A sign at the top of the passageway leading to the Hotel would be helpful.