Venice, Italy

Palazzo Barbarigo

Rates from (ex tax)$240.05

Price information

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.

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Style

Dark Venetian romance

Setting

On the Grand Canal

Located in a restored 16th-century palace on Venice’s Grand Canal, Palazzo Barbarigo hotel effortlessly blends glamourous modern details with with art-deco 1920s style. The drama of lampshades covered in feathers, sleek contemporary accents and dark-framed mirrors infuses new life into this parquet-floored, Rialto-side grande dame.

Smith Extra

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

Facilities

Photos Palazzo Barbarigo facilities

Need to know

Rooms

18, including six deluxe junior suites.

Check–Out

12 noon. Check-in, from 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $240.05 (€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.

Price information

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.

More details

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.

Also

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.

Hotel closed

Never.

At the hotel

Library, free WiFi throughout, laundry; in rooms, flatscreen satellite TV, minibar housed in a cocktail cabinet, kingsize bed, safe.

Our favourite rooms

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.

Packing tips

Your sexiest silk lingerie – this is an uber-seductive lovers’ hideaway.

Also

No pets. A third person can be added to a Junior suite or Grand Canal Junior Suite for €90 a night.

Children

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.

Food and Drink

Photos Palazzo Barbarigo food and drink

Top Table

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.

Dress Code

James Bond/Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale.

Hotel restaurant

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).

Hotel bar

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.

Last orders

The cocktail bar shuts up shop at 11pm.

Room service

Get breakfast, drinks or light snacks delivered to your bedside from 7am till 11pm – after that, entertain yourself with your elegant cocktail cabinet.

Location

Photos Palazzo Barbarigo location
Address
Palazzo Barbarigo
2765 Sestiere San Polo,
Venice
30125
Venice
Italy

Planes

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.

Trains

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.

Automobiles

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).

Worth getting out of bed for

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.

Local restaurants

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.

Reviews

Photos Palazzo Barbarigo reviews
Daven Wu

Anonymous review

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.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Palazzo Barbarigo’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Location: a quiet oasis away from crowds; small and friendly. Book ahead for Antiche Carampagne restaurant. Well hidden (makes for right clientele) gem of a restaurant. Fresh fish many ways. A delight.

Rating

Stayed on 12 Jun 2017

We loved

Arriving by water taxi, spritz on the balcony, watching the boats on the Grand Canal, late breakfasts, the rain shower, perfect recommendations for dinner, the luxurious bed, the huge mirror.

Rating

Stayed on 12 Feb 2017

We loved

The view from our room directly onto the Grand Canal was spectacular. Staff were fantastic. Everything in Venice - but sunset over Santa Maria Della Salute from Arsenale was wonderful as well as a Belllini in Harry's Bar.

Don’t expect

Bustling atmosphere - it's very calm.

Rating

Stayed on 5 Jan 2017

We loved

Sitting drinking coffee at the table for two on the balcony overlooking the Grand Canal. We accidentally whiled away hours, mesmerised by the view.

Rating

Stayed on 31 Dec 2016

We loved

The location, the service was great! We loved our room with the canal view!Valentina suggested a restaurant for lunch when we arrived, called Muro. We loved it, it's a five minute walk, and we want back twice!

Don’t expect

A lively bar scene. It's very quiet! But, that's what we wanted!

Rating

Stayed on 28 Dec 2016

We loved

The location of the hotel is superb (provided you arrive by water taxi!). Enjoying views over the Grand Canal but being far enough away from the crowds was the perfect balance for our stay. We made advance reservations at two excellent neighbourhood restaurants - the pick of the two was Antiche Carampane, which the concierge arranged for us. If the first floor balcony is already occupied, try enjoying your night cap by the water on the private jetty - it makes for a very atmospheric end to the day.

Don’t expect

To bring the children. This is a romantic couples' hide-away.

Rating

Stayed on 26 Nov 2016

We loved

Everything, from location to the amazing staff. It was above par, well worth the money. Even the breakfast was genuinely lovely. There was a lovely little restaurant on the way to the Rialto that genuinely was yummy! Huge gluten free range!

Don’t expect

Dinner, only breakfast is served in the hotel. The beds have standard, hotel-feel matresses. Als,o the hotel was ridiculously hot at night and the air-con didn't work.

Rating

Stayed on 16 Oct 2016

We loved

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

Don’t expect

Not a hotel suitable for children; definitely very romantic - couple only here

Rating

Stayed on 25 May 2016

We loved

Lovely staff who got us checked in early as we arrived on the night train

Don’t expect

Free bacon and eggs or an omelet with ham. Despite the hotels pricing you have to pay 5 Euros for this luxury....

Rating

Stayed on 22 Apr 2016

We loved

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.

Don’t expect

You won't find the hotel easily unless you take a water taxi directly there.

Rating

Stayed on 7 Apr 2016

We loved

Fantastic location for us. Not too close to the busy tourist areas so plenty of local osterias and restaurants to enjoy with the Venitians.

Don’t expect

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.

Rating

Stayed on 16 Feb 2016

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