For his first hotel designed in Italy, French designer, Philippe Starck, scored the Palazzina Grassi. The newest hotel in the heart of Venice, Italy is located on the Grand Canal, right next to the famed Palazzo Grassi. The façade is a classical 16th-century shell, behind which generations of noble and haute-bourgeois families lived and several centuries earlier, the site served as a Roman spa.


While Venetian hotellerie tends to favor a classic approach to design, Palazzina Grassi brought in Starck to create a “next-generation luxury hotel”. Emanuele Garosci, creator of Palazzina Grassi, says: “There was a need in Venice for something new, to go against the traditional way of thinking about Venice – Starck was the answer. Palazzina Grassi is more like a private club, a combination of a hotel and very unique spaces where guests can live as a Venetian.”


Overlooking Venice’s colorful rooftops, the 26 guest rooms offer large backlit mirrors, warm lighting, floors in Venetian wood, bathrooms using natural stone and bespoke pieces of furniture including dressing tables. In the apartment suites beds are situated in the center of the room and are surrounded by transparent glass wardrobes, soft rugs and coffee tables made of steel and moonstone onyx. Instead of the usual directory of guest services, visitors can take inspiration from a ‘list of vices’ advising them to eat well, drink, read and surrender to their passions.

The ground floor PG’s restaurant and bar offers a masterpiece in art and design in the form of two seven-meter long monolith high dinner tables, one made of marble and the other of mirrored glass. Mahogany wood paneling on the walls, soft lighting and custom-made Murano glass works by local artist Aristide Najean complete the magical environment. Diners have a view of the show kitchen and bar, a modern reinterpretation of the traditional Venetian ‘cicchetteria’ or ‘osteria’, a popular meeting place where people can gather for conversation and local fare.


The G club, overlooking the Canal Grande, contains a private intimate dining room. Two interconnected rooms feature a bar outfitted with vibrant red, yellow and silver Murano tiles and offer a cozy space where hotel guests and their friends mix with Venetian society.

Starck manages to capture the Venetian romantic design while maintaining the perfect marriage of ancient and contemporary.

Palazzina is a member of Design Hotels™.