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Rooms with Views: Bauer Il Palazzo

Sweeping views of the Grand Canal and the best location in Venice…

Alluring Venice has always exuded opulence and extravagance. Through this golden  history it is no great surprise that it is a luxury hotel paradise. Spoilt for choice with the Gritti, the Danieli, and Cipriani… all opulent jewels sprinkled around the lagoon, however  the prime choice is where I like to stay, just a stone’s throw away from St. Mark’s Square, at The Bauer. Like its fellow luxury hotels it has flawless service, rooms with views, and grandiose accommodations, but it also has the best location in Venice. For one it floats right at the top of the Grand Canal, with the island and church of San Giorgio in the distance to the left and the opulent Santa Salute church center and slightly to the right. One could take photos from the terrace all day long as you watch the gondoliers dance right by. Then you have Saint Mark’s Square no more than a minute walk from the land side entrance of the hotel. The best of Venice is at your feet.

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 Arriving by boat and pulling up to the water dock is such a glamorous experience, and especially at the Bauer where you are welcomed in style. As you step from the water taxi onto the hotel platform everything is done for you, bags whisked away, swift check in and gilded key in hand, a member of reception shows you to your room with a view… You truly feel embraced and looked after. The spacious rooms throughout the hotel exude old world luxury and Venetian opulence. Brocade upholstery and gilded trimmings are accented by antique pieces and oil paintings, it truly feels quite grand.

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In house toiletries are a nod to something very unique and a bit special. Instead of the usual big brand soaps and shampoos the Bauer instead offers products made and found only in Venice. Venice has a long history and tradition of perfume making given its history and extensive trade routes. And the Bauer has used this idea to incorporate into giving back to Venice in the form of a reformation program at the local women’s prison, teaching inmates how to make perfume and bath products as a way of giving them a new start and trade skills. These one of a kind hand crafted apothecary products are used in the Bauer hotel. The glycerine soaps in particular are divine and go well with the splendor of the bathrooms, which come with both a shower and a splendid bathtub, the kind only very good hotels posses. A bathtub worth taking a long, extravagant, way too many bubbles, bubble bath type of tub. After a long day of walking the city, it really does make for a relaxing treat.

One could easily linger at the hotel very comfortably. The hotel restaurant is very good with a modern interpretation on a Venetian menu. Two very stylish bars, one a lounge that on many nights has  entertainment. The main bar offers both comfortable indoor service and an outdoor service on the terrace directly on the canal with spectacular views. It makes for a very picturesque aperitivo. Buffet breakfast is vast served every morning in the restaurant, while those staying in the Palazzo rooms overlooking the Grand Canal have the special distinction of being able to take their breakfast on the top floor which is a real treat.

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Yet what sets any hotel apart is the service and The Bauer offers some of the best. Venetians tend to get wary of the onslaught of endless tourists and visitors to their great city and sometimes that really shows in the service industry. While polite, Venetians can be cold letting you know they are barely tolerating you, even in the best of places. Not so at The Bauer where everyone is friendly and approachable. It is difficult with demanding guests yet you would not know it here. The concierges especially are happy to help with any requests from difficult to book tables at top restaurants, to Vaporetto timetables, and any information on all the goings on in the city itself. They are encyclopedias on all things about La Serenissima and will guide you on getting the most out of your Venice experiences.

In a city filled with extraordinary hotels, The Bauer really is a truly Venetian experience at its finest. It is luxury for discriminating travelers.

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Rooms: Large, spacious, and well appointed. Not all rooms offer views of the Grand Canal, but that is typical for most hotels in Venice. Some “water” views are of the smaller side canal, so be specific at time of booking as to what you want.

What is on the property: A fine dining restaurant, extensive breakfast buffet, two bars, one with a terrace on the Grand Canal with views.

Extras: Water taxi dock making arriving directly at the hotel possible. (Not all hotels have this option.) A private rooftop terrace service for those staying in the Palazzo rooms.

Please note, I paid for my own stay and my review is based on my personal experiences while staying at Bauer Il Palazzo

The Bauer S. Marco, 1459, 30124 Venezia, Italy

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Quick Tips: 5 Hotels in Venice

Heading to Venice for Carnival? Here are some hotels to consider…

The Bauers Luxurious with glorious views upon the Grand Canal, the Bauer boasts large public spaces and rooms. The room decor is quite grand in that classic Venetian elegance with lush brocade upholstery, Murano glass and choice antique pieces. Importantly the service is exceptional, friendly and accessible while the concierges are some of the best in Venice with an encyclopedia of knowledge on all things Serenissima right down to the Vaporetto timetables. Two bars, an in house restaurant, and in good weather, an outdoor terrace on the Grand Canal itself, this really is Venice at is best.

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Hotel Londra Palace With sweeping views over the iconic church San Giorgio, this boutique hotel sits on Riva degli Schiavoni in the choice area between Saint Mark’s Square and the friendly Castello neighbourhood. The rooms lean towards the modern with a paired down take on the usual opulent Venetian decor, this polished hotel is comfortable and fresh.

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Hotel Concordia Right on the Piazza San Marco and looking over the Basilica, this more affordable hotel packs a lot into small spaces. While not as grand as a luxury hotel, the hotel is still charming with rooms in 18th century inspired style, not to mention has an excellent location in the center of Venice. A great all-rounder.

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Hotel Colombina For something a bit romantic this bijoux hotel on a side canal not far from St. Mark’s Square is delightful, intimate yet still close to all the action. Rooms are decorated in a stream lined 18th century style with Murano glass accents throughout. Gondolas pass by on the canal below.

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Ca’ Pisani Hotel The original boutique hotel in Venice, this incredibly stylish small hotel makes up in design what it doesn’t have in views of the canal only a short walk away. Located in the very artistic and charming neighbourhood of the Dorsoduro dotted with artisan workshops and galleries, the hotel also has the distinguished location behind the Academia and a short walk to the Guggenheim Museum. This is an ideal area for those artistically inclined and the hotel is a decor enthusiast’s dream.

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