Heads up, Italy fans! Amanresorts has announced that the Aman Canal Grande, a 24-suite palazzo hotel located right on Venice's Grand Canal (location, location, location!), will open on June 1 this year. Even better, the opening coincides with the launch of the 2013 Venice Biennale art exhibition.
Located in San Polo, midway between the Rialto and Accademia Bridges, the centerpiece of the Aman Canal Grande is the 16th-century Palazzo Papadopoli. Originally commissioned by the Coccina family of Bergamo and designed by architect Gian Giacomo dé Grigi, the palazzo was named for two brothers - Nicolò and Angelo Papadopoli Aldobrandini - who bought the property at the beginning of the 19th century. The property has two gardens (now accessible exclusively to guests of Aman Canal Grande—bragging rights!). Fronting the Grand Canal, the Garden Terrace is one of very few private gardens on the canal, where Aman guests can dine al fresco. A second "secret" garden with soaring trees offers a more laid-back experience.
Aman Canal Grande is Amanresorts' fourth Mediterranean property, following recent openings in Montenegro, Turkey and Greece. Each of the 24 suites has a unique layout and design juxtaposing the palazzo's landmarked frescoes and reliefs with contemporary, minimalist furnishings.
Top digs: In addition to guestrooms with views of the canal and the private gardens, the palazzo will have three standout Signature Suites: The Sansovino Suite, with an original fireplace designed by Jacopo d'Antonio Sansovino (one of Venice's most famous 16th -century architects); the Alcove Tiepolo Suite, with a Chinese-style painted sitting room and bedroom ceiling by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, the great 18th-century artist; and the Grand Canal Suite, with arched windows front the Grand Canal.
Most guests will arrive at Aman Canal Grande from the airport or train station aboard Amanresorts' private motor launches. (Bonus: The launches will also be available for customized non-touristy tours of Venice.) From the Reception Hall, a staircase rises through two levels to arrive at the Dining Room (serving Italian and Asian cuisines) on the piano nobile - the palazzo's grandest floor, designed in the late 19th century by Michelangelo Guggenheim, a leading exponent of the Neo-Renaissance and Rococo styles. (Coincidentally, Venice's Guggenheim Museum, opened in 1951 by Peggy Guggenheim - no relation to Michelangelo - is located further down the Grand Canal, a few hundred yards from Aman Canal Grande.)
The fourth level at Aman Canal Grande will have the Salon, Library, Stanza del Tiepolo (an elegant game room) and Stanza Gialla (a private events space), accessible only to resort guests. The resort's spa treatment rooms are on the third floor. An elevator provides access to an intimate Roof Terrace with views over the rooftops to the Rialto Bridge, the Church of Santa Maria Salute and the Campanile.
For more information, visit www.amanresorts.com.