Baby boomer travelers looking for luxury hotel accommodations in Venice, Italy should consider a delightful collection of luxury boutique hotels known as The Bauers Venezia.
The original Bauer-Grünwald hotel opened its doors in 1880 and had set the standard for hospitality in Venice. In 1930, Arnaldo Bennati, a successful Ligurian shipbuilder, bought the property and spent the better part of a decade giving the hotel an extensive renovation.
Today, granddaughter Francesca Bortolotto Possati is at the helm of the prestigious hotel. And, in the spirit of her grandfather, in 1997 Francesca undertook a massive $38-million renovation successfully dividing the property into two unique properties: the Bauer Hotel, a deluxe, five-star hotel in the modern wing, and Bauer Il Palazzo at the Bauer, an opulent boutique hotel in the 18th-century palazzo.
Further, just across the canal, Francesca has added the Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa, and for the über-luxe crowd, the Villa F offering eleven palatial accommodations and loft-like suites.
We stayed in the Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa which was originally a historic palace designed by renowned Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio.
The property features 13 suites, 37 rooms, with another 21 rooms, 6 junior suites, and 2 suites in the outlying Conventino and adjacent Domus. As you can see in the scaled drawing above, we stayed in the back corner of the property in one of the Conventino rooms.
In all candor, we found our room rather stark and lacking the luxurious refinements we had come to expect from our other 5-Star hotel experiences throughout Italy.
Although, there was a lovely view of the fall landscape out of our bedroom window. You should also know that large garden spaces like this are very uncommon in Venice and in warmer seasons this is certain to be an absolute delight.
Our bathroom featured a nice jacuzzi-style tub (nice after a long day of walking), a walk-in shower, and also featured nice soaps and appointments.
Lobby views …
Evening in the courtyard…
On a very positive note, we experienced the best meal of our entire 10-day Italian adventure with a special tasting menu from Chef Hiraki Masakazu in De Pisis restaurant across the canal in the Bauer Il Palazzo Hotel.
I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful these special treats from the chef were.
Cod Fish Bigné on Creamed Polenta…
For our first course, we greatly enjoyed Risotto with Red Wine, Radicchio and Goat Cheese. This plate doesn’t photograph all that well. But, please trust me, this dish was so good we were tempted to stand atop the table and do a little happy dance. Major Yumminess!
And then, the pièce de résistance, Turbot (baked in casserole w/ Pumpkin confit, mushrooms, pack choy). One of the best fish dishes of our lives!
Impressions of our Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa Experience
To be honest, the Palladio Hotel & Spa experience wasn’t the level of service we were expecting from a 5-Star rated hotel. Just now looking at their website, we see that this particular property in their collection is closed until mid-March. Perhaps we caught them off their game as they were winding down to closing for the winter months. In any event, we would steer the luxury buyer towards their signature properties: the Il Palazzo, or the modern Bauer L’Hotel.
The location of all of these properties is absolutely ideal. You are literally a stones throw from St. Mark’s Square.
The De Pisis restaurant, located in the Bauer Il Palazzo was absolutely outstanding. We highly recommend the experience.
In the “for what its worth” department, Francesca Bortolotto Possati was a very charming, and passionate host. She took time out of her busy schedule to come spend a few moments with us over a bottle of wine and to share her obvious passion for her luxury boutique hotels. When we’re next in Venice, we hope to experience her Il Palazzo property.
Well, that’s our Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa experience. It’s not very often that we have to share a little disappointment, but we’re confident that our readers will enjoy some of the other properties in the Bauer Venezia collection.
Disclosure: our experience was provided by the kind folks at Palladio Hotel & Spa ~ Venice, Italy. Also, it was cloudy during our visit so we used a Creative Commons photograph (PaulJill on Flickr) to share the canal-side exterior with you.
Bio: The Roaming Boomers is a luxury travel blog spotlighting experience, adventure, learning and exploration. David and Carol Porter, Michigan natives who retired to Scottsdale, started the project in 2008 after the market collapse took away almost half of the savings they’d carefully put together to be able to retire at age 50.
The couple combined their years of entrepreneurship with a love of travel and set off to see if they could build success. The Roaming Boomers do occasionally accept free lodging, food and other gifts, but disclose that in their posts. They hope to build an audience of Baby Boomers who join them vicariously on their adventures. But they also hope to instill their love of travel so that the coming bubble of 79 million Boomers will join them.