Set in Palazzo Papadopoli, one of the city’s eight monumental palazzos on the Grand Canal, Aman Venice embodies all that is sumptuous and sensuous about La Serenissima.
Rococo works of art are offset by the contemporary restraint of Jean-Michel Gathy interiors, while private gardens – rare in this floating city – are overlooked by opulent dining venues and spacious suites.
Just a short walk away from Piazza San Marco, Aman Venice offers the perfect place from which to explore this romantic city, and to discover the hidden gems of the city while floating away on a traditional gondola.
According to local legend, it was 1600 years ago, in 421AD, that a band of exiles fled the mainland, and the marauder Attila, to find solace in the netherworld that is the Venetian lagoon.
Like something out of fairy tale, this shifting, shallow tidal waterworld, would maroon all but the most knowledgeable of navigators trying to make sense of its hidden channels and passages. From this point, the exiles would, in the centuries to come, go on to build one of the richest and singular civilizations of the modern era.
On those days the great expeditions departed, whether it was Marco Polo on his way to China, or the blind Doge Dandolo setting out for Constantinople on the 4th crusade, the powerful merchant princes of the Venetian oligarchy would stand on the bridge they’d constructed over the rio alto and watch their investments put out to sea.
Sitting in the library of Aman Venice, only a matter of meters from the Rialto bridge, it is easy to fall into a sort of reverie about the city-state’s history. The leather-bound books behind leaded glass in the deep wood cases are filled with stories of the adventurers, personalities, eccentrics, and crusading doges whose spirits haunt every nook and cranny of Venice.
The particular scent in this room, heavy with the musks and spices for which Venice came to be known, casts a kind of spell. What is that, I wonder. Frankincense, definitely, maybe myrrh? Sandalwood, but mellow. Clove, pepper.
Count Gilberto and Countess Bianca Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga, owners of Palazzo Papadopoli, live in the private apartments atop the palazzo. She explains that the leather wall coverings, imported from Cordova generations ago, as they were in the finest and most well-appointed houses, have captured the smells over the years. “And of course, you have the books,” she says.
One of the more beguiling and consistently intoxicating aspects of Venice is its mystery, its persistent unknowability. The labyrinthine side streets, the shimmering, mirage-like quality of its various vignettes, seeming to change and disguise themselves at every new encounter. Every time I arrive in Venice, I walk the streets as if I am putting the place together again, brick by brick, re-orienting, re-mapping the city.
Venice can feel overwhelming. And an escape, any escape is called for. Entering the grass and garden grounds within Aman Venice is one of the most calming experiences I can think of, the perfect balm for a brain on Venice.
There is a legendary barman in the city— a Venetian, several generations back — who once told me that when the world gets too loud, too chaotic, he will walk along the fondamente here, the stoney pathways that run along the water. To think, or, rather, to avoid thinking.
To feel his brain filled with the silky, water sounds of Venice, of oars in water, of prows making their oily progress through the canals, and let the mystery and silence and spell of Venice cleanse his mind and body. You might even hear the softly echoing sounds of song. It may even be you who is doing the singing.
During a recent exhibition there was footage from one of the earliest films ever captured in the city (one of the earliest films made ever, anywhere, shot by the Lumiere brothers in 1896).
Taken from a vessel moving up the Grand Canal toward the Rialto bridge, looking north, the film passes an old steam-powered vaporetto, and the outfits of commuters and tourists immediately transport the viewer back to the time of its filming.
The scene looks as though the film might have been made today. And when the camera catches up with a pair of gondolieri piloting their black bow crafts, the history of Venice falls away. As if no time has passed and all of time is occurring at once, everywhere in the city.
And just then, behind the gondelieri, Aman Venice comes into view. There, the garden I know so well, looking almost the same, a hundred years before I was born. There, atop the Palazzo, the cement obelisks, symbols for great naval captains of the former republic, many hundreds of years previously, casting their shadows just as they do now.
Up on the second floor of the Palazzo, in “the games room,” sheathed in powder blue silks, sitting beneath one of the great Tiepolo frescoes in the building, one can get to thinking, a lot, about time. In Venice time has an almost physical property — you can see the 11th century, just there, in this structure, and there a 19th century Murano glass.
It feels real, but also like something that only matters elsewhere, as if only in Paris and Manhattan and Mumbai does one have to think about watches and schedules. That here, in the Venetian lagoon, one can exist in a little eddy outside of the flow, in a kind of mythic safe haven where all of history exists in the same moment, and yet no time is passing at all.
ROOMS & SUITES
Aman Venice’s Rooms and Signature Rooms, which vary in size and configuration, feature works by a number of Italy’s greatest artists – including 16th-century architect Sansovino and 18th-century painter Tiepolo.
Contemporary furnishings complement authentic silk wall coverings, chandeliers, wood panelling, chinoiserie and painted ceilings, while many Suites offer Grand Canal views.
ALCOVA TIEPOLO SUITE
The 103 square metre (1108 square feet) Alcova Tiepolo Suite offers guests the opportunity to stay among remarkable 18th Century frescoes by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Described as ‘the greatest decorative painter of 18th Century Europe’ Tiepolo’s theatrical frescoes reflect Rococo style, creating an inspired space, which celebrates its historic architecture.
Gilded ceilings and tall windows frame elegant views of Aman Venice’s Garden Terrace and an ornately painted sitting room with a fireplace is the perfect place to retire after an evening exploring Venice. A separate king-sized bedroom with en suite and dressing room provides both space and privacy.
GRAND CANAL SUITE
With magnificent views of the Grand Canal at eye-level, Aman Venice’s 97 square metre (1,044 square feet) Grand Canal Suites offer couples an elegant and contemporary retreat in the heart of the city. The expansive spaces comprise a king-sized bedroom and separate sitting room, which each offer a different vista.
In the former, large picture windows frame the canal, while in the latter, the filigreed, arched window creates drama and offers a different aspect. Both rooms are flooded with light, and authentic, characterful features. The suite can also be configured into two bedrooms, ideal for families with children.
PAPADOPOLI STANZA CANAL GRANDE
Boasting high ceilings and authentic decorative frescoes, the 73 square metre (785 square feet) Papadopoli Stanza Canal Grande is a private sanctuary that frames magnificent views of the hotel’s Garden Terrace and the Grand Canal.
The room offers a spacious combined living area with fireplace and bedroom with king-sized bed for a restful night’s sleep, while through tall wooden doors, an expansive light-flooded bathroom with deep-soaking bathtub makes the most of the postcard vistas.
PALAZZO STANZA CAL GRANDE
Offering exceptional views of the Grand Canal and Garden Terrace, Aman Venice’s Palazzo Stanzas Canal Grande vary in size from 57-89 square metres (613-957 square feet), and many offer original historic architectural details.
Elegant yet contemporary in their design, the rooms feature sumptuous king-sized beds, a living area with writing desk, sofa or twin lounge chair, and large windows to fill the space with light, framing the beautiful surrounding vistas.
PALAZZO CHAMBER AFFRESCO
Aman Venice’s elegant 50 square metre (527 square feet) Affresco Chambers contain beautiful historical frescoes with wonderful views over the hotel’s manicured gardens below.
Perfect for couples seeking a calming space to retreat after a day exploring the city, an inviting king-sized bed and living area with writing desk and sofa or twin lounge chairs complete the space, while a large bathroom with freestanding bathtub and twin-vanities create a serene place to reset in consummate privacy.
THE COCCINA’S APARTMENT
Situated on the fourth floor of the Palazzo and accessed by a private elevator, the Coccina’s Apartment features three free-standing bedrooms covering a total of 290 square metre (3122 square feet), all with en-suite bathrooms, king-size beds, a private living room and unparalleled views over the serene Grand Canal and the Canal Garden.
The timeless design and decor of the apartment includes works by several of Italy’s greatest artists including frescoes and reliefs, reflecting the rich history behind Venice’s evolving artwork and architecture.
Contemporary furnishings complement authentic silk wall coverings, chandeliers, wood paneling, chinoiserie and painted ceilings, allowing guests to fall further into the opulence of Venetian design.
Fresh, seasonal ingredients are at the heart of dining at Aman Venice, where they are transformed into welcoming, authentic cuisine. Dine in the sumptuous Yellow Dining Room, in the hotel’s canal-side eatery – a rarity in Venice – or savour a private-dining experience in one of the palazzo’s hidden rooms.
Both guests and non-residents are invited to dine at Aman Venice. Contact the team to make a reservation at Arva or book a private-dining experience.
ARVA AT AMAN VENICE
Arva is Aman’s tribute to Italy’s rich culinary heritage – an inventive and sustainable approach to cooking using the finest ingredients of the season. Its name is taken from the Latin term for ‘cultivated land’, a reflection of the kitchen’s philosophy of making the best of land and sea.
Each day at Aman Venice, Arva’s chefs bring their instinctive understanding of flavour to produce sourced in and around the lagoon, to prepare bold, heart-warming and authentically Italian dishes that can be shared among family and friends.
Arva’s chefs pay homage to the classic dishes and flavour combinations of traditional Italian cuisine with a creative contemporary touch, offering guests inventive takes on familiar flavours.
Our chefs work with local farmers, fishermen, market traders and niche suppliers to secure the freshest Adriatic fish, single-source olive oils from Tuscany and Liguria, artisanal pasta, and market produce.
The result is a considered selection of pastas, risottos, prime meats and seafood, generous sharing dishes, delectable gelati and sorbetti, as well as – in homage to Venice’s globally beloved cicchetti heritage – a wide range of small plates.
COOK THE LAGOON AT THE BLUE ROOM
Inspired by Aman Venice’s consultant chef Norbert Niederkofler and his Cook the Mountain philosophy, Cook the Lagoon is a unique tasting menu concept that focuses on sustainable cultivation and farming, with the utmost consideration for the local ecosystem.
This fine dining experience is led by Aman Venice’s Executive Chef, who puts a robust accent on local produce, carefully considering their seasonality to create a fresh and nutritious and gastronomic experience.
Aman’s consultant chef, Norbert Niederkofler has earned international recognition for his three Michelin-starred cuisine at St. Hubertus and his ‘Cook the Mountain’ menu. The menu uses ingredients sourced within the restaurants’ vicinity – a sustainable practice that supports local farmers and food producers.
A homage to this method, Aman Venice’s Cook the Lagoon menu, served in the Palazzo’s opulent Blue Room comprises a six or eight-course tasting menu, incorporating the highest-quality local ingredients from Italy’s Veneto region.
Creating a menu with ingredients sourced only from the immediate region is not without its challenges – overcome only by the culinary invention and imagination of the chef.
Where commonly used ingredients are unavailable, Chef Matteo and his team find innovative substitutions to balance each dish and achieve the desired flavour elements such as sweetness, saltiness or acidity.
This process leads to unusual ingredient combinations that are unique yet pleasing to the palate for example, ale ice-cream, artichoke, smoked chocolate and caramel – a desert that is both delectable and eccentric.
To complement the tasting menu, Aman Venice’s Food & Beverage Manager, Alessandro Cerato, is on hand to suggest the perfect wine pairing with each course, taking into consideration the personal tastes of each guest. Wines will be sourced from Aman Venice’s exemplary wine cellar – an extensive and wide-ranging collection from some of the world’s most renowned winemakers.
Overlooking the secret garden beside the Grand Canal, Aman Venice’s Bar serves drinks, tea, late-night snacks and light meals – including Aman’s take on classic Venetian cicchetti – from midday until midnight. A homage to Lord Byron, it’s a warm and inviting space. Explore the largest selection of gins in Venice or request a bespoke cocktail from the award-winning resident mixologist.
Aman Venice’s inviting Bar is inspired by one of the city’s most famous residents, Lord Byron – a famous English poet renowned for his romantic spirit. Echoing the Lord’s eccentric character, The Bar’s cocktail menus are imagined by Bar Manager, Antonio Ferrara, who is also on-hand to create a bespoke created based on each guest’s preferences, should they so wish.
Antonio’s playful creativity is also showcased throughout the year, during events such as Venice Cocktail Week and the Architecture Biennale, where exclusive cocktails are crafted and served for a limited time only.
Aman Venice’s Palazzo has held high-society soirées since the 16th Century and this rich history can still be felt today in the opulent Red Room – home of The Bar. Here, intricate silk wall coverings line the walls, and an original fresco by Cesare Rotta and a bespoke chandelier frame the lofty ceiling, creating an atmosphere of time-gone-by.
The Bar is perhaps also one of the best places in the city to watch the Venetian sunset, with guests invited to enjoy their drink on the romantic roof terrace, where Venice’s patchwork architecture can be viewed from above.
THE PALAZZO KITCHEN TABLE
The Palazzo Kitchen Table is a unique private-dining concept comprising a calendar of exclusive gatherings, held throughout the year. Taking place in an intimate kitchen setting overlooking the private garden, each event brings a small group of guests face to face with the global gastronomic elite for a celebration of culinary creativity and locally sourced, sustainable ingredients.
Alongside dining on the guest chef’s exclusive dishes, Palazzo Kitchen guests will be introduced to Aman Venice’s exemplary wine cellar. The hotel has accumulated an extensive and wide-ranging collection of some of the world’s finest wines, including rare vintages from Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne in France and a 1995 merlot from Tuscany in Italy.
In keeping with Aman Venice’s close connection to the fabric of the city and its surrounding region, Executive Chef Matteo Panfilio works closely with local farmers, fishermen and Rialto market traders to ensure the freshest seasonal produce is available for each private dining experience.
Alongside Aman Venice resident chef Matteo Panfilio and Michelin-starred consultant chef Norbert Niederkofler, the Palazzo Kitchen welcomes some of the brightest lights in modern gastronomy from around the world. Visiting chefs include the leading teppan chef Koji Aida, owner of Paris’s only Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant, Aida.
BRUNCH & SPA
At Aman Venice, Sundays are savoured as they should be – each golden moment filled to the brim with flavour and relaxation. Combining a leisurely Italian brunch with an indulgent spa experience, there is literally no better way to round off your weekend in La Serenissima.
Offering a decadent feast of classic Italian delicacies, brunch is enjoyed in Arva’s magnificent dining room overlooking the palazzo’s jewel of a garden, with the sounds of the Grand Canal drifting through the windows.
Then retreat to this storied hotel’s intimate spa, where a signature massage employing a blend of essential oils and elements of Swedish massage, reflexology and energy work will rebalance body and mind.
WELLNESS & FITNESS
Hidden on a third-floor mezzanine within the palazzo, the Aman Spa is an invitingly intimate and tranquil retreat from the bustle of the city. Its three softly lit treatment rooms offer a selection of massages and treatments to balance mind and body, inspired by both Asian healing philosophies and the Italian spa tradition.
Aman Venice’s therapies offer a unique range of treatments incorporating the mineral-rich waters, thermal salts and bentonite clays from the spa town of Salsomaggiore Terme in northern Italy. The legacy of a prehistoric sea, these healing substances are used to enhance thermal baths, mud wraps and body treatments.
The hotel’s in-house therapists share their wisdom and knowledge across a variety of treatments, from cranial therapy to deep tissue massage, and from beauty treatments to the best in personal training. Each session with the therapists is tailored to the specific needs and goals of every guest. Relax and refresh, mind, body and spirit in the spa’s intimate and tranquil setting.
An interlude of complete relaxation to allow you to regain the pleasure of wellbeing. The Lissaggio treatment is inspired by the ancient tradition of spa purification.
It combines the exfoliating, lymph-draining and detoxifying action of Salsomaggiore thermal salt with the moisturizing and elasticizing properties of the water’s oil and argan oil. The pleasant friction, with a deep but gentle body massage, characterized in contrast with the coarseness of salt, promotes a thermal action leading to total relaxation.
WEDDINGS IN VENICE
From the historic Palazzo Papadopoli on the edge of the Grand Canal, Aman Venice embodies La Serenissima offering peace and serenity in the heart of the floating city.
For weddings, parties and other celebrations, the hotel provides period elegance and utmost sophistication, fused with Venetian tradition and providing consummate privacy in one of the world’s most enchanting destinations.
In addition to its two private gardens – a rarity in Venice – the hotel offers and a double Piano Nobile, perfectly suited to hosting both intimate and grand occasions.
Split over two floors, it includes a ballroom, sumptuous dining rooms, a salon, bar, library and games room, all with original architectural features. Those making the palazzo home can also make use of the hotel’s 24 elegant guest rooms, ensuring each and every guest is taken care of.
The city of Venice is synonymous with romance and weddings at Aman Venice exude this infamous charm. Arriving at Aman Venice by water guests are invited to step into the palazzo’s regal entrance hall, before ascending its sweep of steps to enter the dramatic, light-filled reception rooms.
Vows can be exchanged in the Canal Garden or in the ballroom overlooking the Grand Canal before celebrations commence with a candle-lit banquet to the strains of live opera or a string quartet. For multi-day events, two classic boats offer easy group access to the city’s art galleries, Saint Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace, or a day exploring the Venetian lagoon.
EXPERIENCES IN VENICE
From its canal-side perch in San Polo, Aman Venice is a window into the city’s historic glories and modern-day cultural highs. Priceless art and iconic landmarks reveal themselves at every turn – most just a stroll or short gondola ride away, but for the most unique and memorable encounters, turn to Aman’s experts for insider access to the secrets of the city – from bespoke, chef-led tours of the Rialto market to private boxes for the opera at Le Fenice.
VENICE OF THE ARTISANS
Discover the incredible work of the Bevilacqua and Orsoni ateliers. During a private tour of the Bevilacqua workshop, guests will have the unique opportunity to see the weavers at work, and at the Orsoni atelier, will watch the production of 24k gold leaf mosaics. This tour is available Monday to Friday.
A BOX AT THE OPERA
The house of Verdi and Rossini, of Prokofiev and Britten, the Teatro La Fenice has been a preeminent international opera venue since its foundation in 1792. Aman Venice guests have access to a private box, allowing a privileged view of the iconic stage. The experience includes boat transfers, aperitivi and, afterwards, dinner at Aman Venice.
In the late afternoon, head west down the Grand Canal and wind through the smaller canals out to the Giudecca and into the lagoon. Take your aperitivo with a selection of delicious Venetian cichetti and enjoy the views of fishermen hauling in their nets as the sun begins to set behind distant islands.
Experience all that Venice has to offer – from its famous sites to its best-kept secrets – with a private tour. Visit the ateliers of renowned artisans, explore heritage sites and museums after hours, and see behind the scenes of centuries-old establishments.
Curated and led by the foremost experts in their fields, whether art historians, architects, chefs or engineers, these privately guided excursions allow you to fully appreciate and absorb the magic of this remarkable ‘floating city’, without the crowds.
PALAZZO DUCALE TOUR
The Palazzo Ducale is one of the wonders of Venice, and the original Palazzo dates from the ninth century. The Secret Itinerary takes you to the hidden corners of the Palazzo Ducale on a special private visit that includes access to the rest of the Palace. A very special private visit is possible for Aman Venice guests after closing time, between 7pm and 10pm.
Alongside an experienced guide, guests will learn about some of the city’s most impressive structures on a three-hour walking tour. Visit the Olivetti Store on Piazza San Marco and the Palazzo Querini Stampalia to witness the design of both modern and traditional Venice.
LAGOON ISLANDS BOAT TOUR
Visit both well-known sites and the lagoon’s best-kept secrets on this tailormade boat tour into the heart of the Venetian Lagoon. Before exploring the remote islands that make up the lesser-visited half of this enchanting city, cruise first to the island of Murano, the centre of Italy’s artisanal glass blowing industry since 1291.
Then head to La Certosa, first settled in 1199, and later towards idyllic Sant’Erasmo for a picnic lunch amid its vineyards. Continue your journey to peaceful San Francesco del Deserto with its monastery surrounded by large cypress trees, then on to San Lazzaro degli Armeni. Guided by a Mekhitarist monk, discover the cloisters, refectory, library, museum and glittering church, while learning more about life as a monk on the island.
BIRDWATCHING, BURANO & TORCELLO BOAT TOUR
Renowned for its variety of habitats and prolific birdlife, the Venetian Lagoon is the largest wetland along the Mediterranean coastline. Embark on this half-day adventure with an expert birdwatcher aboard a private boat.
You’ll pass immaculate sandbars, remote fishing villages and entrancing islands where time appears to have stalled, and in each setting, you will identify the different bird species and learn more about the area’s flora, fauna and current environmental issues. The experience will be rounded off with stops on colourful Burano and bucolic Torcello (thought to be the first populated island in the lagoon).