Review: Gritti Palace Venice, Marriott Luxury Collection

Review: Gritti Palace Venice, Marriott Luxury Collection

NAME: Gritti Palace Venice, Marriott Luxury Collection
LOCATION: Venice, Italy
DATE: March 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: Gritti Palace is one of Venice's most famous hotels, and it has a sense of place, friendly service, and good food & beverage outlets. However, I can't help but feel like the hotel could use a refresh.
63

EXTRA PERKS AVAILABLE Enjoy breakfast, upgrades, & more

Want to take advantage of Marriott STARS benefits, including a space available room upgrade, complimentary breakfast, a hotel credit, and more? Contact Ford ([email protected]) for more details. He may even be able to help if you already have a stay booked. This is valid for paid stays at BVLGARI, EDITION, Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and St. Regis.

After a night at the St. Regis Venice, it was time to spend three nights at The Gritti Palace Venice, a Marriott Luxury Collection property. This is a points property I’ve been wanting to check out for a long time. It’s generally regarded as one of the best hotels in Venice, as it has a lot of history, a great sense of place, and is known for its food & beverage outlets.

Gritti Palace is a great hotel, don’t get me wrong. But I think it’s also a bit past its prime, and could use a refresh at this point. I might not have felt this way if I hadn’t stayed at the St. Regis, but I definitely preferred that property in the end.

Booking Gritti Palace Venice

I redeemed Marriott Bonvoy points for our three night stay at Gritti Palace. The hotel was charging 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night, and for context, I value Bonvoy points at 0.7 cents each.

I decided to apply a Marriott suite night award to our reservation, and was pleased that this was confirmed a couple of days in advance. The upgrade was to a Sestiere Suite, which is the hotel’s standard one bedroom suite.

For context, for our dates a standard room was retailing for over 1,100 Euro per night.

Meanwhile the suite that our upgrade confirmed into was retailing for nearly twice as much, roughly 2,150 Euro per night.

Gritti Palace Venice location

The 82-room Gritti Palace is located right on the Grand Canal, near San Marco. Location-wise there’s almost no difference between this and the St. Regis, as they’re a short walk apart.

Gritti Palace Venice exterior

If arriving from the airport or train station, you’ll have to take a water taxi, which is always a fun way to arrive at the hotel. You can expect that a water taxi from the airport will take around 40 minutes, while a water taxi from the train station will take around 15 minutes.

Gritti Palace Venice entrance
Gritti Palace Venice Grand Canal view

Gritti Palace can also be accessed from land, as there are paths and bridges connecting most of Venice. So if you’re just going for a stroll, this is the way to access the hotel. As you can see in the below picture, Gritti Palace consists of several separate buildings, as the yellow, beige, and clay buildings are all the hotel.

Gritti Palace Venice exterior
Gritti Palace Venice entrance

Gritti Palace Venice lobby & check-in

Okay, here’s the issue with Gritti Palace. The hotel has a real sense of place, much more so than the St. Regis, and that’s something I generally appreciate. As a matter of fact, my favorite kind of hotels are probably renovated classic hotels that maintain their charm.

The problem is that Gritti Palace is starting to feel a bit shabby chic. Like not awfully past its prime to the point that I feel like this place needed a renovation two decades ago, but rather past its prime to the point that it doesn’t feel totally luxurious anymore.

For that matter, many areas of the hotel felt like they’d be beautiful as part of a museum (or haunted house?), but weren’t necessarily cozy. Maybe the pictures will drive home that point, maybe they won’t.

Inside the entrance to the hotel was the concierge desk on the right. This is an old school desk where all the room keys hang, so when you check-in, the front office associate escorts you to the concierge desk, where you get your key. Then when you leave the hotel you can also always leave your key there, since it’s bulky.

Gritti Palace Venice concierge desk
Gritti Palace Venice room key

Reception was located across from the concierge desk, and consisted of two desks where guests could sit while being checked in.

Gritti Palace Venice reception

Past reception and the concierge desk is a room that feels more like an exhibit than somewhere to sit. This is also near the entrance to the hotel’s bar.

Gritti Palace Venice lobby
Gritti Palace Venice lobby

And then in the back is the biggest area of the lobby, which almost transforms you to a different world.

Gritti Palace Venice lobby
Gritti Palace Venice lobby
Gritti Palace Venice lobby
Gritti Palace Venice lobby
Gritti Palace Venice lobby
Gritti Palace Venice lobby
Gritti Palace Venice lobby

Gritti Palace Venice Sestiere Suite

Our check-in process was efficient, and within a few minutes we were escorted to room 104, a Sestiere Suite (one of the hotel’s standard one-bedroom suites) on the first floor. Our room wasn’t accessible via elevator, but rather just via the staircase next to the lobby.

Gritti Palace Venice stairs
Gritti Palace Venice stairs

Am I the only one who finds this hallway setup to be strange? Is this space intentionally designed like this, or is this also being used for storage?

Gritti Palace Venice hallway

Our room was at the end of the hallway and on the right.

Gritti Palace Venice hallway

Each suite has a different name, and we were in the San Polo Suite.

Gritti Palace Venice San Polo Suite

Space comes at a premium in Venice, so while our suite had two separate rooms, it was compact, and there wasn’t actually a door between the two rooms (so I guess then maybe it’s not actually two separate rooms?).

The living room had a sitting area with a couch and chair, a desk, a TV on top of a console, and a dresser.

Gritti Palace Venice suite living room
Gritti Palace Venice suite living room
Gritti Palace Venice suite living room
Gritti Palace Venice suite living room
Gritti Palace Venice suite living room

The suite had an extensive minibar, though oddly there was no in-room coffee machine.

Gritti Palace Venice suite minibar
Gritti Palace Venice suite minibar

I appreciated that the suite had fresh flowers — that’s a nice touch!

Gritti Palace Venice suite flowers

There was also a welcome amenity consisting of a bottle of prosecco and some berries.

Gritti Palace Venice welcome amenity

The suite bedroom featured a king size bed and two side tables, plus a TV in one corner and a chair in the other corner.

Gritti Palace Venice suite bedroom
Gritti Palace Venice suite bedroom
Gritti Palace Venice suite bedroom

I loved some of the historic touches in the room…

Gritti Palace Venice suite bedroom

The bathroom was back near the entrance, and it had double sinks, a toilet, and a walk-in shower and bathtub.

Gritti Palace Venice suite bathroom
Gritti Palace Venice suite bathroom
Gritti Palace Venice suite bathtub

Toiletries at Gritti Palace were all from Acqua di Parma.

Gritti Palace Venice suite toiletries

Also near the entrance was a closet.

Gritti Palace Venice suite closet

Arguably the highlight of the room was the view. Both the living room and bedroom had windows facing a smaller side canal, and if you turned your neck you could even see the Grand Canal. How cool!!

Gritti Palace Venice suite view
Gritti Palace Venice suite view

Both housekeeping and turndown service were provided daily, and at turndown some Sisley items from the hotel’s spa were even left on the bed.

Gritti Palace Venice turndown service

Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant

Club del Doge is Gritti Palace’s main restaurant, and it’s where breakfast and dinner are served. We decided to have dinner here one evening, since I figured it was worth reviewing. The restaurant consists of two large rooms.

Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant
Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant
Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant
Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant

The restaurant markets itself as serving traditional Venetian cuisine. The restaurant is really pricey, though also offers a nice experience and high quality food. You can find the dinner menu below.

Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant menu
Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant menu
Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant menu
Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant menu

The meal started with some warm bread, plus an amuse bouche, described as spider crab ice cream with mayonnaise.

Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant bread
Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant amuse bouche

I ordered the potato and taleggio cheese gnocchi with praline, grapes, and chestnuts, while Ford ordered the Venetian-style pasta and bean soup.

Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant dinner
Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant dinner

Then for our mains, I ordered the cod fish fillet with cannellini bean cream, turnip greens, and black truffle, while Ford ordered the beef fillet with a foie gras parfait and marsala sauce.

Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant dinner
Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant dinner
Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant dinner

After dinner we were offered some petit fours.

Gritti Palace Venice Club del Doge Restaurant dinner

The food quality and service were excellent, though not surprisingly the meal was pricey. In general this property seemed to charge more than the St. Regis for its food & beverage outlets, probably thanks to the hotel’s reputation.

Gritti Palace Venice breakfast

Breakfast at Gritti Palace Venice is served in the same restaurant, daily from 7:30AM until 11AM.

Gritti Palace Venice breakfast restaurant

There’s also an outdoor terrace at the restaurant, though I found this to be less pleasant than the terrace at the St. Regis Venice. That’s because there weren’t really heaters here, and while there were glass shields (presumably to keep out birds), the area wasn’t otherwise warmed in any way. That’s not an issue in summer, but other times of the year I think it’s too cold to sit out here early in the morning.

Gritti Palace Venice breakfast restaurant terrace

On account of my Bonvoy Titanium status, we had the choice of 1,000 bonus points or complimentary breakfast, and of course we chose the latter. Breakfast ordinarily costs 53 Euro per person, so that’s quite a good value for being an elite member.

Breakfast includes a buffet, drinks of choice, plus a small selection of items from a menu.

Gritti Palace Venice breakfast menu

The buffet was located at the entrance to the restaurant, and the selection was small but good.

Gritti Palace Venice breakfast buffet
Gritti Palace Venice breakfast buffet

Buffet options included all kinds of fresh fruit, yogurt, cold cuts, cereal, pastries, bread, juice, prosecco, and more.

Gritti Palace Venice breakfast buffet
Gritti Palace Venice breakfast buffet
Gritti Palace Venice breakfast buffet
Gritti Palace Venice breakfast buffet
Gritti Palace Venice breakfast buffet
Gritti Palace Venice breakfast buffet
Gritti Palace Venice breakfast buffet
Gritti Palace Venice breakfast buffet
Gritti Palace Venice breakfast buffet

Servers offered us water, freshly squeezed orange juice, and coffee (Italian coffee is so much better than, well, coffee just about anywhere else).

Gritti Palace Venice breakfast

We also ordered an omelet two of the mornings, which was filling.

Gritti Palace Venice breakfast

One other quirk to note, speaking of breakfast. As I mentioned above, the hotel doesn’t have in-room coffee machines, and there’s also no coffee setup in the lobby. For those of us who get up really early, coffee in the morning can be important.

On our last morning we wanted coffee but it was still a couple of hours before breakfast would start. I decided to order a pot via room service, and interestingly wasn’t charged. I’m not sure if the guy working the night shift was just being nice, or if this is a courtesy the hotel offers, as it was never promoted.

Gritti Palace Venice room service coffee

Gritti Palace Venice Bar Longhi

Bar Longhi is Gritti Palace’s famous signature bar, and it’s open daily from 11AM until 1AM. The bar has a cute indoor space, though the highlight is the outdoor terrace, which features Riva yacht themed chairs.

Gritti Palace Venice Bar Longhi
Gritti Palace Venice Bar Longhi
Gritti Palace Venice Bar Longhi
Gritti Palace Venice Bar Longhi terrace

We had cocktails here one afternoon, and you can find the drink list below.

Gritti Palace Venice Bar Longhi drink menu
Gritti Palace Venice Bar Longhi drink menu
Gritti Palace Venice Bar Longhi drink menu

Ford had an aperol spritz, while I had the “Gritti Special.” This was served with hazelnuts, chips, and olives.

Gritti Palace Venice Bar Longhi drinks

This was no doubt a beautiful terrace, but I still thought the St. Regis had a nicer terrace. I’d also note that this terrace seems to be popular with outside guests. There’s a security guard at the entrance, and they heavily restrict entry.

Gritti Palace Venice gym & spa

Gritti Palace has a gym and spa on the lobby level, located just down the hall from reception. Along the walls are all kinds of signed pictures of famous people who I assume have stayed at the hotel.

Gritti Palace Venice hallway to gym
Gritti Palace Venice hallway to gym

The gym is open 24/7 and is small, though acceptable for Venice.

Gritti Palace Venice gym
Gritti Palace Venice gym
Gritti Palace Venice gym

Gritti Palace also has a spa in partnership with Sisley. We didn’t get any treatments, but you can find the menu here.

Gritti Palace Venice Sisley Spa

Gritti Palace Venice service

Gritti Palace has excellent, old school service. It’s one of those places where you feel everyone has been doing the same job for 20+ years, and works well together.

The ladies at reception were some of the most professional front office staff I’ve seen anywhere — they were charming, professional, and always eager to help. They also did an incredible job remembering guests.

For the most part restaurant and bar service was very good as well, with the exception of service at breakfast. The staff were super overworked and running around. So not only was it hard to place an order for coffee or eggs, but the way they rushed around made the experience less enjoyable.

Bottom line

Gritti Palace is one of Venice’s most famous and well regarded hotels, and it’s fantastic that this belongs to Marriott’s Luxury Collection portfolio, so you can earn and redeem points for stays here. The hotel has a fabulous sense of place, and is unmistakably Venetian. Gritti Palace has friendly service, well regarded food & beverage outlets, and a central location.

All that being said, I can’t help but feel like the hotel is a bit past its prime, and after having also stayed at the St. Regis, I can definitely say that I preferred it. For our four nights in Venice, we spent one night at the St. Regis and three nights at Gritti Palace, and I wish we had done the opposite.

Don’t get me wrong, Gritti Palace is worth experiencing if you can, since the design is quite special. But in terms of general comfort, luxury, and food & beverage outlets (which are a major point when we’re talking about Venice, where you can sit for hours and enjoy the views of the canal), I definitely preferred the St. Regis.

If you’ve stayed at Gritti Palace, what was your experience like?

Conversations (63)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. MACH81 Guest

    Ben, I’m almost positive that ma not an Aperol Spritz, too dark to be. Pretty much anywhere else in Italy I’d say Campari Spritz, but being Venice, I’d go with Select Spritz (Venice authentic), I must say though, the olive is missing.

  2. Mike C Guest

    Our group of 3 couples stayed at the Gritti Palace in October 2019 for 2 nights before starting a 9 night Rick Steves tour. If you know Rick Steves, the Gritti is NOT the type of hotel you get. We used points and stayed in a standard room. We came by vaperetto and disembarked at the landing. What a way to arrive in Venice. As stated, the staff was professional and very helpful. The rooms...

    Our group of 3 couples stayed at the Gritti Palace in October 2019 for 2 nights before starting a 9 night Rick Steves tour. If you know Rick Steves, the Gritti is NOT the type of hotel you get. We used points and stayed in a standard room. We came by vaperetto and disembarked at the landing. What a way to arrive in Venice. As stated, the staff was professional and very helpful. The rooms had an old world charm the we really liked. They were clean, comfortable and large enough for us. We didn't eat in the restaurant, but did go to the bar. In short, we liked everything about the Gritti Palace and plan to go back in a couple of years.

  3. Peter Guest

    Recently I stayed there for 3 nights as a Titanium elite. I used 3 SNAs and they got confirmed so quickly. Originally my room was upgraded to Serenissima Suite and 2 days before arrival it was upgraded to Heritage suite. I really enjoyed my stay and everything was so nice.

    One thing I don't like is their breakfast. I just don't understand why their breakfast was so mediocre despite the expensive rates. There were...

    Recently I stayed there for 3 nights as a Titanium elite. I used 3 SNAs and they got confirmed so quickly. Originally my room was upgraded to Serenissima Suite and 2 days before arrival it was upgraded to Heritage suite. I really enjoyed my stay and everything was so nice.

    One thing I don't like is their breakfast. I just don't understand why their breakfast was so mediocre despite the expensive rates. There were literally no hot dishes in the buffet section, not even sausages. The only hot dish is the egg which can only be ordered from the menu.

  4. red_robbo Guest

    $2100 for that suite??? Unbelievable rip-off. And those F&B charges are crazy. Anyone paying those prices has more money than sense.
    Shabby chic? More like crappy shit.

    1. platy Guest

      @ red_robbo

      There is some truth in what you say - you can book a Grand Canal fronting suite at the Al Ponte Antico at Rialto for a fraction of the price and enjoy a family run hotel with only 9 rooms, if you prefer.

      You can also go budget and stay at the highly regarded Generator Venice on Giudecca, away from the crowds, eat for a few Euros and have fun too.

      ...

      @ red_robbo

      There is some truth in what you say - you can book a Grand Canal fronting suite at the Al Ponte Antico at Rialto for a fraction of the price and enjoy a family run hotel with only 9 rooms, if you prefer.

      You can also go budget and stay at the highly regarded Generator Venice on Giudecca, away from the crowds, eat for a few Euros and have fun too.

      But there's where our opinions diverge.

      Indeed, it's unfortunate that The Gritti Palace is so "crappy shit" that clearly the 15-month and USD55 million renovation in 2013 was not sophisticated enough for somebody of your evident taste.

      No doubt you'd have refused an invitation to one of the Cartier nightly parties during the 2021 film festival held on its rooftop terrace. Cartier clearly picked the wrong venue to wow its coterie.

      And I'm sure that Tom Cruise was absolutely fuming when he had to "hole up" in such a dump during his COVID isolation a couple of years ago.

      Didn't you get the memo? You can stay there on your Marriott Bonvoy points. If you don't want to experience having a drink or a meal on the deck watching the bustle of the Grand Canal across from the Salute, one of the best vantage points in the whole of Venice, you can walk up the street to snag a slice of pizza for 5 Euros instead.

  5. Caroline Guest

    I stayed at the Gritti for a week in late October and loved it. The patio is pure magic with a very interesting clientele. The Longhi Bar is an absolute jewel box with amazing art work. I also loved our bathroom. Totally redone and fresh and well thought out. I’ve stayed in some very nice hotels, and this was probably the nicest bathroom ever. I found the upkeep of the hotel to be excellent. It felt like Italy. So special.

  6. Rjb Guest

    I stayed there one night a few years back. One of the best hotel stays ever. Used points, was treated like royalty. Given a choice of a suite on a side canal or a room directly on the Canal with a Juliette balcony. ( took the room on the Canal). Had a lovely brunch on the canal with way too much Prosecco. Service was impeccable.

  7. Thomas Guest

    The Gritti Palace has been completely renovated just few years ago, same like the St Regis. The difference between these renovations was that at the Gritti they restored all the historic furnishing which is extremly time and cost intense. The St Regis lost all the charm from its original history and could be really anywhere in the world. It's fine if you prefer the style of the St regis but the comparison between these properties makes very little sense.

  8. miamiorbust Guest

    Not sure how anyone could find a courtyard view (St Regis) that could be anywhere in Italy over a canal view at this hotel. I actually really appreciated this review and would consider staying here. There aren't many options to use points and standard upgrade for a canal view in Venice. Venice is all about a sense of place and canal views are part of that. As for the in-room coffee, I think this is...

    Not sure how anyone could find a courtyard view (St Regis) that could be anywhere in Italy over a canal view at this hotel. I actually really appreciated this review and would consider staying here. There aren't many options to use points and standard upgrade for a canal view in Venice. Venice is all about a sense of place and canal views are part of that. As for the in-room coffee, I think this is something worth discussing. Nearly all bloggers - and for that matter most people that write for a living - seem to be introverts and not always inclined to ask for what they want. Americans, even more so. Most people I know who can regularly pay for $2,000+ a night hotel room are not introverts or at least have no hesitation asking for exactly what they want even if there is no reason to assume it is on offer. The staff experiences this regularly. It is something to consider if you choose to book yourself in a hotel with expensive rooms. If you want the hotel to buy you a specific coffee machine for the three nights and put a charge on your bill, they may well do it (or not but appreciate having an interesting story). Ask for what you want. Everyone will be more comfortable if you do.

  9. Carrie Member

    I devour these hotel reviews, for the obvious travel related reasons, but I confess to viewing the conversation threads as commentary porn and I love learning about the good, the bad and the ugly from the varied community of OMAAT. Here I have learnt that there are those who love the Venetian charm and those who prefer something a little more familiar. I am in the Venetian charm club and cannot go past the Cipriani...

    I devour these hotel reviews, for the obvious travel related reasons, but I confess to viewing the conversation threads as commentary porn and I love learning about the good, the bad and the ugly from the varied community of OMAAT. Here I have learnt that there are those who love the Venetian charm and those who prefer something a little more familiar. I am in the Venetian charm club and cannot go past the Cipriani .... who does not love a pool, garden and extraordinary staff just a short shuttle from San Marco.

  10. Grey Member

    You should try the Hyatt Centric Murano sometime. I stayed when it was MGallery and it was really my favourite hotel for visits to Venice. First off, they have free water taxi to airport. Secondly, it is historic area, but the hotel has all the mod-cons. But thirdly, it is much more affordable than this Marriott.

    1. platy Guest

      @ Grey

      Also stayed there during the MGallery days - I would readily recommend a couple of nights on Murano for a completely different angle on the Venice experience.

      Enjoyed a canal view suite for a very reasonable price. The day trippers empty out late afternoon leaving you mostly with the locals to find a nice spot for a leisurely waterside meal.

  11. tuotuo Member

    You didn't order Aviation and you call yourself an AvGeek?

  12. BA from BWI Guest

    All I see in the pictures is clutter. I'd be mad if I see something this dated after spending $1000+ per night. Thanks for the review, Ben.

  13. Rick Guest

    I found the two reviews of Venice hotels most interesting and informative. In my opinion I would prefer the St Regis. But others may like the Gritti. I did find the decor and clutter at the Gritti would take away from any stay I would make there.
    The prices for the hotels and hotel food are eye popping! I imagine they don't include service and tips either.

  14. JetSetGo Guest

    It’s pretty clear to me that both Ford and Ben would prefer Aman Venice which has the old world charm of Gritti Palace and modern B&B italia furniture. While old Venetian style and clean line modern furniture seem completely opposite, somehow Aman Venice was able to combine them seamlessly. Food at Aman Venice was also very good, for me, only Oro restaurant topped it for my stay in Venice.

    From the photos, it’s actually...

    It’s pretty clear to me that both Ford and Ben would prefer Aman Venice which has the old world charm of Gritti Palace and modern B&B italia furniture. While old Venetian style and clean line modern furniture seem completely opposite, somehow Aman Venice was able to combine them seamlessly. Food at Aman Venice was also very good, for me, only Oro restaurant topped it for my stay in Venice.

    From the photos, it’s actually not that difficult to update Gritti Palace. I suspect they kept it circa 1980s style because that’s what people expect…. Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

  15. Jeff S Guest

    While I’ve never stayed at the St. Regis or Danieli I’ve dined and drank at both. I like Gritti better, you feel so much closer to the water and it’s a more interesting view. And love the old world charm.
    Venice doesn’t allow coffee makers in rooms, fire hazard and given access for fires to be put out, seems to be a city ordinance. Another city, I think Florence, had similar rules

  16. Michael M Guest

    Will you review the St Regis?

  17. beachfan Diamond

    Refreshed in 2013, absolutely zero shabbiness when I was there in Sept 2019. Maybe the floods in 2019 (or 2020 )(which came into the Lobby by about 3 feet).caused mustiness? . Was there any mustiness when you where there Ben?

    What exactly was shabby (other than the idiosyncratic halls and stairs, which they can only go do much to). Or was it just old school decor ?

    Taste is one thing, but labeling something...

    Refreshed in 2013, absolutely zero shabbiness when I was there in Sept 2019. Maybe the floods in 2019 (or 2020 )(which came into the Lobby by about 3 feet).caused mustiness? . Was there any mustiness when you where there Ben?

    What exactly was shabby (other than the idiosyncratic halls and stairs, which they can only go do much to). Or was it just old school decor ?

    Taste is one thing, but labeling something shabby is another.

    I will be going back for a week in June, and will see if it has changed dincd 2029

  18. TravelCat2 New Member

    Why is it that hotels often only provide a single bathrobe in a room for two? In this case, we have two people in a suite that markets for over $2k and yet only one bathrobe is in the closet. Really? At least there were two pairs of slippers.

  19. DavidYVR Guest

    Thanks for the great reviews! I appreciate your honest observations.
    This one popped up today and because of the comparison, I immediately read the St. Regis review too. I’d say that if I had never read the reviews, but were shown the pictures I would probably have come to the same conclusions.
    Thanks again for all the work you put into your reviews.

  20. West Coast Flyer Guest

    Seems fitting to be described as "shabby chic" since it's literally in their name, "Gritty Palace".....

  21. Marc Oliver Guest

    @Ben

    Thank you for your fantastic reviews; I thoroughly enjoy them.

    I have two questions as I'm planning a trip to Venice later this year with my hubby (we have the same age as you guys) and consider staying at one of these properties:

    - was there a difference in friendliness of staff? From my experience that can make all the difference in the world and having the same employees for 20 years around...

    @Ben

    Thank you for your fantastic reviews; I thoroughly enjoy them.

    I have two questions as I'm planning a trip to Venice later this year with my hubby (we have the same age as you guys) and consider staying at one of these properties:

    - was there a difference in friendliness of staff? From my experience that can make all the difference in the world and having the same employees for 20 years around can be a (very) good or bad thing.. Ultimately I don't mind a bit of shabby chic if a hotel has a soul and good vibes (for example I enjoyed my stay at Chateau Marmont some years ago), but I'm not sure if Gritti Palace falls into that category. Does Ford also prefer the St. Regis?

    - how much of a pain is it to access Longhi Bar as a non-hotel guest? Again, I'm worried about too much snobbery.

    Thanks in advance & next time please come to Switzerland for skiing ;)

    1. Sam Guest

      I think the staff at the Gritti are exceptional. Friendly, proactive, attentive but not overbearing. Everyone will know your name. The concierge team in particular know the city better than just about anyone.

      Case in point: I proposed whole staying at the Gritti and we needed to get my fiancée’s ring re-sized immediately before continuing our trip to Tuscany. They were instrumental in finding a jeweler who could accommodate on short notice and for...

      I think the staff at the Gritti are exceptional. Friendly, proactive, attentive but not overbearing. Everyone will know your name. The concierge team in particular know the city better than just about anyone.

      Case in point: I proposed whole staying at the Gritti and we needed to get my fiancée’s ring re-sized immediately before continuing our trip to Tuscany. They were instrumental in finding a jeweler who could accommodate on short notice and for totally reasonable cost. The concierge team also worked tirelessly with me for months to set up a very specific proposal vision. They’re simply world class here.

    2. Marc Oliver Guest

      wow that's exactly what I mean. things like this make all the difference in my book. thanks for letting me know. I'll seriously consider splurging on this hotel now.

      btw I also think your assessment about the st regis Venice is spot on and made me laugh: it looks so bland and corporate it might as well be in Dubai or Shenzhen...

    3. MisterKenn Guest

      I have been staying at the Gritti for probably 40 years. Normally I prefer a modern hotel, but in Venice, you should go with the flo. They remodeled the bathrooms years ago as they were once pretty lousy. The service is excellent, and the concierges are second to none. Many have been there so long, we’ve all grown old together. I’ve never eaten in the restaurant as the concierges know the best places in town...

      I have been staying at the Gritti for probably 40 years. Normally I prefer a modern hotel, but in Venice, you should go with the flo. They remodeled the bathrooms years ago as they were once pretty lousy. The service is excellent, and the concierges are second to none. Many have been there so long, we’ve all grown old together. I’ve never eaten in the restaurant as the concierges know the best places in town based on what you like to eat, and can get you in any of them if you plan in advance, which I do. They also can advise on anything else you want to see and do while there. None of this unfortunately comes without a price, and though I normally stay at 5 star hotels, the prices in Europe still make me wince. I have not tried the Aman though I’ve stayed at many, but I like the Gritti location better. Venice is a great walking city if the weather cooperates. I’ll be back in September.

    4. Marc Oliver Guest

      Wow. It's one thing to like or recommend a hotel, but returning to the same hotel for 40 years truly speaks for itself!! It must be very nice and comforting having found such a place. Really seems like a hotel with a soul.

      Thanks for your advice about planning reservations in advance. Wishing you a many more memorable stays at your pied-à-terre ;)

    5. platy Guest

      @ Marc Oliver

      You can enter the hotel as a non guest - the canal side deck is a great spot for a leisurely lunch on a sunny day...

  22. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    I don’t know why anyone would stay at the JW Marriott over this hotel or the St Regis. The JW Marriott is a relatively modern-built hotel located away from what most people want to do and see, and most of the guests are Americans. I doubt you hear any Italian at the JW or even encounter a Venetian. All reports also seem to indicate that the JW is skimpy on breakfast benefits.

  23. Craig Lukas Guest

    My opinion is that most Marriott associated properties rooms look alike. They're White, sterile, and characterless. Anything different is refreshing.

  24. AGrumpyOldMan_GA Gold

    I see what you mean that it looks a little dated. Though I also see that as a "classic" or historical look. Of course, for $1,000 I am not sure what is what I would be going for. The seating in the room looks downright uncomfortable, though I don't suppose you go to Venice to sit in your room for long periods of time. And I guess it's the American tuning to larger meals, but...

    I see what you mean that it looks a little dated. Though I also see that as a "classic" or historical look. Of course, for $1,000 I am not sure what is what I would be going for. The seating in the room looks downright uncomfortable, though I don't suppose you go to Venice to sit in your room for long periods of time. And I guess it's the American tuning to larger meals, but where did you have dinner after that cute pre-dinner "snack" at the hotel? :) Good though that you found quality. The one time I was in Venice, we wound up in "tourist trap" places for dinner and they were just average, though hardly inexpensive. Venice certainly has its charms, but there are far better Italian cities for a meal.

    1. platy Guest

      @ Marc Oliver

      You can enter the hotel as a non guest - the canal side deck is a great spot for a leisurely lunch on a sunny day...

    2. Marc Oliver Guest

      thanks - I'll check the terrace out for sure :)

    3. platy Guest

      @ Marc Oliver

      It's also worth going over to the island of Giudecca. At one end you can eat at Harry's Dolci (near the Hilton) and the other the Cip Club(beside the Belmond Cipriani) with a number of more local wine bars and eateries in between.

  25. Sam Guest

    Appreciate your experience, but I found the old school historic quality of the Gritti to be its greatest source of charm during my stay last summer.

    I found the hotel to have every modern convenience one could ask for while still feeling true to its sense of place. Indeed, I think the hotel is fresh given its 500 years old. No musty smell. Spotlessly clean. That St Regis by comparison could have been in Dubai...

    Appreciate your experience, but I found the old school historic quality of the Gritti to be its greatest source of charm during my stay last summer.

    I found the hotel to have every modern convenience one could ask for while still feeling true to its sense of place. Indeed, I think the hotel is fresh given its 500 years old. No musty smell. Spotlessly clean. That St Regis by comparison could have been in Dubai or Shenzhen and you’d never have known the difference. Why even go to Venice?

    Your choice of month to visit also really was suboptimal. Watching Venice wake up early in the am from The Gritti terrace over breakfast and aperitivi at Riva lounge on a warm evening are pure magic.

    BTW you can request coffee any time there. We often had it in our suite early in the am with the doors to the grand canal wide open to see the sunrise on the water.

    The good news for me is your lukewarm review means reward availability won’t be even Harder to come by than it is already.

  26. Laurence Guest

    Not my taste, so dated. No coffee machine in the room is a dealbreaker for me.

    Those soup prices!

  27. Michael Guest

    Based on the pictures alone, I would much prefer the Gritti Palace over the St Regis.

  28. JT Guest

    I'm interested in your perceptions on pricing here. I am still reeling from the menu at the 4S Hualalai in your review which had a veal milanese for USD69 (+ tax + service +sides) in a perfectly ordinary looking restaurant. You didn't call that our as being pricey. I had a stay at that hotel cancelled due to COVID and your review made me a bit relieved that I wasn't paying for dinner for 5...

    I'm interested in your perceptions on pricing here. I am still reeling from the menu at the 4S Hualalai in your review which had a veal milanese for USD69 (+ tax + service +sides) in a perfectly ordinary looking restaurant. You didn't call that our as being pricey. I had a stay at that hotel cancelled due to COVID and your review made me a bit relieved that I wasn't paying for dinner for 5 for 1 week there. Yet here the milanese is cheaper. Interested why your perception that lower prices in Venice are too high vs Hawaii.

  29. Debo Member

    I agree with you Ben about the hotel needing a refresh. Seems just a bit run down and has lost its sheen. Can tell from other comments that some people kinda like that? Like everything else, it's all personal preference I guess. Will admit that balancing that classic design with modern feel is a tough needle to thread. I didn't have much money the only time I was in Venice, so stayed in a shared...

    I agree with you Ben about the hotel needing a refresh. Seems just a bit run down and has lost its sheen. Can tell from other comments that some people kinda like that? Like everything else, it's all personal preference I guess. Will admit that balancing that classic design with modern feel is a tough needle to thread. I didn't have much money the only time I was in Venice, so stayed in a shared space AirBNB for ~$50. Walking around the city and getting "lost" was one of my best travel experiences.

  30. innocentabroad Guest

    Great review of a tired old dame. Your photos of it have a bit of a "smell-o-vision" quality: a whiff of damp and must comes off the screen. That said, the St. Regis looks BLAND.

    It's a shame the Grand Hotel Dei Dogi is no longer an Autograph property. Being in the northern Cannaregio and away from the crush of cruise passengers and Instagrammers, it offered a different experience to the San Marco tourist experience.

    ...

    Great review of a tired old dame. Your photos of it have a bit of a "smell-o-vision" quality: a whiff of damp and must comes off the screen. That said, the St. Regis looks BLAND.

    It's a shame the Grand Hotel Dei Dogi is no longer an Autograph property. Being in the northern Cannaregio and away from the crush of cruise passengers and Instagrammers, it offered a different experience to the San Marco tourist experience.

    At night, the main language you heard from passers-by and nearby restaurant patrons was almost always Italian. Also had a giant, lovely garden where you took breakfast.

    Feels like comparing two luxe hotels in very different areas of Venice would have been an interesting comparison!

  31. Super VC10 Guest

    I liked the Gritti Palace for the very reason you didn't; the slightly shabby elegance, which is what Venice is about, to my mind. Plus, I appreciated that the warm, friendly employees seemed to have been there forever. (Contrast that with the Aman, where all the young staff appear to be aspiring actors, who are just too fabulous to bother responding to tiresome hotel guests...)
    Over the past few years I've also enjoyed wonderful...

    I liked the Gritti Palace for the very reason you didn't; the slightly shabby elegance, which is what Venice is about, to my mind. Plus, I appreciated that the warm, friendly employees seemed to have been there forever. (Contrast that with the Aman, where all the young staff appear to be aspiring actors, who are just too fabulous to bother responding to tiresome hotel guests...)
    Over the past few years I've also enjoyed wonderful stays at the Cipriani and San Clemente Palace; both great for escaping the crowds. And the venerable Ca' Sagredo, for its old-world opulence and superlative Grand Canal views.

  32. GBOAC Diamond

    In your reviews your state that both hotels are located on the Grand Canal. In reality the Grand Canal snakes its way over a long distance through Venice and there are definitely differences in location on the Grand Canal -- how close you are to San Marco or Santa Lucia, or the nearest vaporetto stop. So while being on the Grand Canal is certainly nice, there can be better or worse locations depending upon your travel plans.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ GBOAC -- Totally fair point, since the Grand Canal is huge. In the case of these two hotels, they do share an almost identical location, near San Marco.

    2. Tyler85 New Member

      You can also tell how close the hotels are to each other based off the multi-colored construction drop on the building across the canal. It looks like the St Regis was right across from this building whereas Gritti Palace was a few buildings down (maybe 100 yards).

  33. Motion to Dismiss Member

    The bar and restaurant look wonderful! I’m also curious whether you considered the Aman.

  34. Carter New Member

    It truly look dated. Highly recommond the JW marriott venice. its modern and on an island of its own. just getting to the hotel is an uique experience

  35. Carter Guest

    Thank you for the review. Went to Venice few years ago for the first time, stayed at the JW Marriott, it was amazing! The small island is only accessible by boat, it's an unique experience just getting to the hotel. The room is modern as well. Can't wait to go back again soon

  36. Stuart Guest

    I stayed there prior to Covid for an event I attended and the best I could get last minute was the most basic room. It was the first room ever that I was able to lay on the bed and actually access every area in the room. I could even open the door without sitting up. No thanks, Venice is lovely at times, but the hotels are dismal and damp and insanely over priced. If I have work there I stay off the island and commute in, like most Italians, lol.

  37. Jordan Member

    "I might not have felt this way if I hadn’t stayed at the St. Regis"

    After you had looked at both hotels, I would say it was pretty obvious which one was the nicer one.

    Perhaps in the future, you adjust your order of stay?. The lesser property first, followed by the nicer one. Will give you and your readers a better perspective. Plus (shockingly) you can give the property a fairer review ;-).

    ...

    "I might not have felt this way if I hadn’t stayed at the St. Regis"

    After you had looked at both hotels, I would say it was pretty obvious which one was the nicer one.

    Perhaps in the future, you adjust your order of stay?. The lesser property first, followed by the nicer one. Will give you and your readers a better perspective. Plus (shockingly) you can give the property a fairer review ;-).

    You have an impact on businesses, and sometimes it feels like you do not care about this.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Jordan -- To be clear, going in (and after reviewing the hotel websites) I expected I'd prefer Gritti Palace to the St. Regis. That didn't end up being the case after experiencing both. The pictures on the Gritti Palace's website make the hotel look a bit fresher than it actually is.

      Regarding this comment: "You have an impact on businesses, and sometimes it feels like you do not care about this."

      Seriously? I...

      @ Jordan -- To be clear, going in (and after reviewing the hotel websites) I expected I'd prefer Gritti Palace to the St. Regis. That didn't end up being the case after experiencing both. The pictures on the Gritti Palace's website make the hotel look a bit fresher than it actually is.

      Regarding this comment: "You have an impact on businesses, and sometimes it feels like you do not care about this."

      Seriously? I wrote a mostly positive review of this property, and just stated that I preferred one hotel over the other. After all, if you stay at two hotels, you're usually going to prefer one. Me sharing my opinion suggests I don't care about businesses?

      It's kind of frustrating to spend hours writing honest reviews that are intended to be helpful, and try to share actual pros and cons, and yet the above is the only thing you take away from my mostly positive review?

    2. NR Global Guest

      @Ben, I highly appreciate your detailed and fair reviews in general and, if anything, I think you are nuanced and kind when pointing out shortcomings. Any review needs to be interpreted and cross-referenced by the reader. I personally prefer the old world style of the Gritti but others will prefer the St Regis. To reassure the concerned reader, the Gritti is not in danger of going out of business any time soon becuase of Ben's review.

    3. kay_elemeno Member

      I think I speak for many other readers when I say that honest, unbiased reviews of points hotels and flights are the primary thing that keeps me reading this blog.

      If Ben were to couch his true feelings because it might offend the businesses not only would that be a disservice to readers, but it would also cheapen positive reviews of other properties.

      Honest, unbiased reviews without financial conflicts of interest are an asset to...

      I think I speak for many other readers when I say that honest, unbiased reviews of points hotels and flights are the primary thing that keeps me reading this blog.

      If Ben were to couch his true feelings because it might offend the businesses not only would that be a disservice to readers, but it would also cheapen positive reviews of other properties.

      Honest, unbiased reviews without financial conflicts of interest are an asset to this blog and the only thing separating OMAAT from TPG, Sam Chui, and other lower-quality sites.

    4. NFSF Member

      "The lesser property first, followed by the nicer one"

      How is he supposed to know this in advance?

  38. Jason Guest

    Thank you very much for both reviews. They're both good and informative as always.
    Question - did you consider the Aman, which in general, I know you've been a fan of? I hear they have a property there and it's pretty well regarded.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Jason -- Thanks! I've heard pretty good things about the Aman Venice too. In this case I'm doing what I can to review points hotels, especially in cities (like Venice) that have excellent and aspirational options. So that's why I chose these two hotels over the Aman.

    2. Jason Guest

      Ah yes!! That makes sense. I do recall you mentioning that you'd spend a bit more time on points versus non-points properties for some of your upcoming trips. Thank you and again, I enjoyed reading both reviews.

  39. BKAloha Guest

    Drats, now I have to plan a trip to Venice and stay at the St. Regis! I wonder how the St. Regis Florence compares to Venice?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ BKAloha -- Don't have any firsthand experience with the property, but it's on my list!

  40. Alan Guest

    I understand what you mean by shabby chic, but I honestly am really into it!

    1. DCA Will Always Be "National" Guest

      Except it's not shabby chic at all, which is a very different design element from the classical furnishings seen here. Shabby, perhaps, as in they need repair or replacement from overuse. Chic, perhaps, in that their high-end and fit with the overall feel of the building. But no, it's not shabby chic.

  41. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    A few thoughts:

    I don't agree with you that the property looks tired. This is the decor you expect at an old-school grand hotel, unlike the St. Regis Venice that could be the St. Regis [insert generic city here]. It reminds me of a stately home in England. One of the problems is clutter. I think they could remove a few things and the various spaces would look a lot more appealing.

    I did think...

    A few thoughts:

    I don't agree with you that the property looks tired. This is the decor you expect at an old-school grand hotel, unlike the St. Regis Venice that could be the St. Regis [insert generic city here]. It reminds me of a stately home in England. One of the problems is clutter. I think they could remove a few things and the various spaces would look a lot more appealing.

    I did think it was interesting the bathroom and Bar Longhi were clearly refreshed compared to all of the other spaces.

    I also agree with you about the furniture in the hallways. It's Italy so who knows if there are even fire codes, but in the US there is no way the local fire marshal/inspector would allow small hallways to be obstructed with furniture. That's a major hazard in the event of a fire.

    It's also great to see another Marriott property not screwing guests on the breakfast benefit.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Jordan -- To be clear, going in (and after reviewing the hotel websites) I expected I'd prefer Gritti Palace to the St. Regis. That didn't end up being the case after experiencing both. The pictures on the Gritti Palace's website make the hotel look a bit fresher than it actually is. Regarding this comment: "You have an impact on businesses, and sometimes it feels like you do not care about this." Seriously? I wrote a mostly positive review of this property, and just stated that I preferred one hotel over the other. After all, if you stay at two hotels, you're usually going to prefer one. Me sharing my opinion suggests I don't care about businesses? It's kind of frustrating to spend hours writing honest reviews that are intended to be helpful, and try to share actual pros and cons, and yet the above is the only thing you take away from my mostly positive review?

8
kay_elemeno Member

I think I speak for many other readers when I say that honest, unbiased reviews of points hotels and flights are the primary thing that keeps me reading this blog. If Ben were to couch his true feelings because it might offend the businesses not only would that be a disservice to readers, but it would also cheapen positive reviews of other properties. Honest, unbiased reviews without financial conflicts of interest are an asset to this blog and the only thing separating OMAAT from TPG, Sam Chui, and other lower-quality sites.

7
Sam Guest

Appreciate your experience, but I found the old school historic quality of the Gritti to be its greatest source of charm during my stay last summer. I found the hotel to have every modern convenience one could ask for while still feeling true to its sense of place. Indeed, I think the hotel is fresh given its 500 years old. No musty smell. Spotlessly clean. That St Regis by comparison could have been in Dubai or Shenzhen and you’d never have known the difference. Why even go to Venice? Your choice of month to visit also really was suboptimal. Watching Venice wake up early in the am from The Gritti terrace over breakfast and aperitivi at Riva lounge on a warm evening are pure magic. BTW you can request coffee any time there. We often had it in our suite early in the am with the doors to the grand canal wide open to see the sunrise on the water. The good news for me is your lukewarm review means reward availability won’t be even Harder to come by than it is already.

3
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT