In one of the most happening neighborhoods of Venice, a modern hotel with colorful history offers tactfully contrasting design and serene outdoor spaces.
The bright aqua waters of the Grand Canal ripple at your feet, gondolas whiz by in careful synchronization and the hot sunshine cascades off historic buildings. This is what Venice feels and looks like. This city always seems to be postcard-picture ready with careful detail and tons of character. It’s timelessly beautiful. It’s only fitting, we found a hotel to match!
Stretching along a pristine location in front of Venice’s Grand Canal and across from the Santa Maria Della Salute church, is Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal, a place that blends in effortlessly amongst all the historic charm. Hotel Monaco is a place that stays loyal to history, while twisting in cool modern appeal. The location is a bit touristy, but the design and historical significance of the hotel bring you back in time, even if just for a moment. Plus, being so close to the St. Mark’s Square, the island of San Giorgio, and Ca’ Giustinian—the historical site of the Biennale, pretty much guarantees that you’re going to get a feel for inherent authenticity of Venice.
A Hotel with Dramatic History
All the way back in 1638, Hotel Monaco originally belonged to the aristocratic Dandolo family. The building hosted the first Ridotto Pubblico—where nobility, adventurers, courtesans, swindlers, traders, and travelers would lounge hedonistically, indulging in gambling, pleasure, and intrigue. Giacomo Casanova, the heartthrob of Italy circa the 17th century, used to frolic around the ridotto, escaping his romantic dramas through the hidden passages and little staircases that are still tucked throughout the hotel. For Casanova, Hotel Monaco was the ideal backdrop for his conquests and for us today, it was an ideal spot to see Venice!
Since then, the building has been restored and thoroughly renovated. What was once a party room and casino, has been transformed into a grand ballroom, ideal for weddings, business meetings, and the like. Expertly restored, the current design of the ballroom gives curious guests a peak into what the hotel looked like centuries ago. The room is decorated lavishly, with long, elegant curtains, marble pillars, and a delicately frescoed ceiling. This is the kind of space that will have your imagination blooming.
The recent restoration of Hotel Monaco revived the building’s historic splendor while infusing contemporary influence. Boldly colored modern art and contemporary furnishings sit side-by-side with original fountains and timeworn brick walls. The design of the lobby is particularly fabulous, with a focus on striking primary colors, sleek white leather furniture, and a bright glass room saturating the space with natural light. Some of the walls are covered in mosaic-like murals that almost give off a historic, greco-roman, feel. To be caught up in design that is simultaneously age-old and modern is pretty entertaining. We were totally captivated!
Hotel Monaco doesn’t have traditional amenities, but makes up for it in its funky ambiance and central location. You will swoon over the charm of the terrace, which sits right on the water. The terrace is ideal for an Italian aperitivo, a coffee, or a meal at any time of day. Right outside the terrace awaits the temptation of designer shops and winding alleys to get lost in.
Freshly Renovated Rooms
When you book the hotel, be sure to reserve one of their renovated rooms. When we first arrived at the hotel, we didn’t realize that only some of rooms were renovated. We love staying in places that feel historic, but our first room was a little too antique for our style! We made a comment to the front desk after our first night and were promptly upgraded to a new room. It was fabulous!
Our new room was a perfect mix of Venetian baroque and modern class. It was decorated almost exclusively within a gradient of gold and white, but in a demeanor that felt absolutely tasteful instead of tacky. Our view was of a bright and lovely courtyard that was perfect to wake up to. You can request a room facing the canal, but be prepared to pay a premium for the view. The bathroom was pretty ritzy, I must say. I think Venice is the only place that can get away with a bathroom decked in gold marble...
Breakfast on the Terrace
During our stay at Hotel Monaco, we spent every morning waking up slowly on the terrace of The Grand Canal Restaurant. Breakfast was my favorite part of our stay. Seated at a table facing the water, we sipped cappuccinos and watched the gondolas and water taxis swim by. We enjoyed the pleasures of a simple breakfast, with fresh fruits, meats, cheeses and breads and spent at least an hour every morning welcoming the day, with a heavy dose of relaxation and brilliant views.
For lunch and dinner, the restaurant takes on a new persona, serving meals in a fine dining fashion. The Grand Canal Restaurant focuses on Venetian dishes that emphasize local vegetable and seafood ingredients. The cuisine was fresh and the perfect compliment to such a romantic, outdoor space.
The Perfect Hub for Exploring
Hotel Monaco tells the kind of story that takes you back to 17th century Venice. If you’re looking for a hotel with history, or if you just want to absorb the beauty of the Grand Canal, this is the perfect place for you.
The best way to experience Venice is to lose yourself in it, literally! Grab your walking shoes, leave the map in your room, and let out your inner wanderlust. You are minutes away from the Dodges Palace, and you can cross the Ponte dell’Accademia to reach the other side of the canal. Know that at the end of your exploring, you’ll have a cocktail waiting for you on the lovely terrace of Hotel Monaco.
For more information about Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal, visit their website: