VENICE, Italy—The Luxury Collection Hotels and Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc., today celebrates the grand opening of the Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice. The hotel recently re-opened following a $55 million restoration, bringing the hotel back to its original grandeur. Following the complete restoration, the Gritti Palace features 61 guestrooms and 21 suites, including suites with canal views. The 15-month restoration is part of a larger strategy to invest more than $200 million in the restoration of select Luxury Collection hotels in Europe, including Hotel Alfonso XIII, Seville; Hotel Maria Cristina San Sebastian, which re-opened last year; and Prince de Galles in Paris, which will re-open later this month.
“There is a mystique about the Gritti Palace that has enchanted its guests for generations, so it was essential that we involved local artisans, architects, craftsmen, and cultural institutions to preserve its authentic elegance and distinct personality, while bringing the landmark hotel into the 21st century,” stated Paul James, global brand leader, The Luxury Collection, St. Regis and W Hotels Worldwide. “The renaissance of this Venetian icon marks a momentous occasion for the Luxury Collection as the birthplace of the brand, now 85 hotels around the world, which has come full circle to restore its roots on the Grand Canal.”
The Gritti Palace was transformed into its current Gothic shape by the Pisani family in 1475 and became the private residence of the Doge of Venice, Andrea Gritti, in 1525. In the centuries that followed, it was home to other noble families and illustrious visitors before being converted into a luxury hotel in 1895. In 1947, the Gritti Palace was bought by CIGA (Compagnia Italiana Grandi Alberghi), to which the Luxury Collection brand traces its roots.
The design of the hotel’s restored interiors was inspired by its historical role as a private residence, a center for celebration, and a patron of the arts. With interior design by Donghia Associates, part of the Venetian fabric house Rubelli, the protected landmark building’s architectural restorations were led by Italian engineering firm Veniceplan Ingegneria Srl with the Regional Board of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Environmental Conservation of Venice and Lagoon.
“By carefully restoring precious antique furniture and artwork, and complementing them with a selection of newly handcrafted furnishings, we aimed to enhance the exclusive residential ambience that has kept the Gritti Palace so unique and personal to its loyal guests through the years,” said Chuck Chewning, design director, Donghia Associates. “We have seamlessly integrated Donghia’s and Rubelli’s signature sophistication with the hotel’s history and heritage, giving it a sense of Venetian elegance and timeless luxury.”