Planning a trip to Venice? Keep in mind that the award-winning Gritti Palace, a Starwood Luxury Collection hotel, has closed its doors for a 15-month restoration. The iconic 16th century palace won’t reopen until 2013 as some of Italy’s finest craftsmen meticulously restore its ancient architectural features and interior design elements (like original Rubelli Venetian textiles, handcrafted Girandole mirrors and antique Murano glass chandeliers), while adding state-of-the-art technology and the contemporary amenities expected at a 21st century five-star hotel. It’s possible to keep tabs on the project on the hotel’s Facebook page. Long a favorite of movie stars and celebrities, The Gritti Palace boasts a privileged position on the Grand Canal within walking distance of Piazza San Marco.