Luxury Venice Hotels and Restaurants Refreshed and Ready for the Festival Crowds

Venice’s hotels and restaurants embody the city’s rich history and age-old tradition of sea-to-table cuisine. Among the top 10 destinations in the world for travelers, filmmakers also find inspiration in La Serenissima’s stunning waterside location and iconic Gothic-style architecture. Arrive by vaporetto, the quintessential mode of transport, to these fashionable spots.

DRINK

Festive spirits await at the St. Regis Venice’s Arts Bar featuring a festival-time “Spy Martini,” made with Italy’s own Altamura Vodka, a premium vodka distilled in Puglia. The cocktail salutes the trio of James Bond movies shot in Venice and is prepared, per Bond’s well-known request, “shaken, not stirred.” The refined 169-room St. Regis, launched with panache in 2019, combines three restored historic palazzos on the Grand Canal.

Classic and contemporary design meet at the Sina Centurion Palace, close to galleries and three must-see museums: the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the François Pinault Foundation’s Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana. The hotel’s Antinoo’s Lounge & Restaurant offers two scenic seating choices: an all-white dining room and summer terrace overlooking the Grand Canal, or an interior lounge done in brilliant red. Inside or out, indulge in an elegant celebratory aperitif of Imperial caviar paired with a selection from Antinoo’s extensive list of sparkling wine, prosecco and Champagne.

Need to step away from the Lido’s frenetic pace? At the Pinault Collection’s Palazzo Grassi, the ongoing “Chronorama: Photographic Treasures of the 20th Century” exhibition presents over 400 works by 150 photographers selected from the Conde Nast archives. Mezzanine Bistrot, the museum’s casual natural wine bar and bistro, is overseen by the sommeliers from Venice’s popular Vino Vero.

EAT

Stanley Tucci, in CNN’s docuseries “Searching for Italy,” explains, “Venetians have always thrived on a diet of fish.” At Il Porticciolo, the Hotel Cipriani’s waterfront oyster bar and restaurant, chef Riccardo Canella (formerly of Copenhagen’s Noma) highlights locally sourced seafood from the Venetian lagoon and beyond. Menu standouts include red prawns, langoustines and blue lobster (served with tagliolini pasta topped with a coral emulsion).

Famed for its invention of the Bellini cocktail, the Hotel Cipriani, a Belmond Hotel, is synonymous with luxe Venetian hospitality. — a private Cipriani shuttle crosses the lagoon from St. Mark’s Square to the hotel.

The sheltered La Maschere restaurant, within the 165-room Splendid Venice, welcomed executive chef Massimo Livan this March. His summer menu offers signature Venetian dishes enhanced with Asian ingredients. Starters such as the black cod squid ink-flavored tempura and sweet and sour scampi demonstrate his blend of culinary influences.

STAY

The Hotel Excelsior Venice Lido Resort has partnered with the Venice International Film Festival since 1932. In anticipation of the festival’s 80th edition, the Excelsior renovated its Adriatic Sea-facing premium junior suites, now outfitted in soothing pastel tones and Renaissance-inspired patterns and furniture.

Set in Palazzo Ca’da Mosto, one of the city’s oldest buildings on the Grand Canal, the Venice Venice Hotel is firmly set in the present. Contemporary art and minimal-style decor are found throughout the imaginatively decorated rooms. The Grand Canal-facing suites have striking panoramas and come with a Turkish bath. The vibrant M’art restaurant on the Grand Canal offers all-day dining and updated Venetian specialties. Book the rooftop terrace for the ultimate private dinner with a view. On select nights in September and October beginning Sept. 7, live jazz ensembles are scheduled to entertain on the hotel’s terrace.

Future festivalgoers and visitors are assured more glamourous revitalizations. Collezione EM’s 35-room, boutique property Violino D’Oro is slated to open in November. Looking ahead to 2025, expect the opening of the Rosewood Hotel Bauer and the Hotel Danieli, Venezia, Four Seasons Hotel, a restoration of the Hotel Danieli’s linked historic palazzos steps from the Piazza San Marco, with interiors by Yves Rochon, under the management of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

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