VENICE: Today la 72. Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica, in short the Venice Film Festival, starts. A great reason to be in Venice.
I have to be in Venice at least once a year. No other place captures the mystique and eccentric of a bygone era better than this European gem. And no other place in Venice encapsulates all these Venetian virtues better than the GRITTI PALACE HOTEL. This 15th-century palace reopened its doors in 2013 after a two-year, $50 million complete overhaul. 82 rooms were beautifully created in a typical Venetian style and the ten suites are named after Venetian locales and traditions or famous Gritti guests like Peggy Guggenheim, Ernest Hemingway and Angelo Donghia. Most amazing is the new top-floor Redentore Terrazza Suite, featuring one of the city’s only waterfront rooftop terraces, with a long, unusually deep view out to the Giudecca.
Luckily I was invited to a birthday party and whilst waiting for the water taxi to pick me up and bring me to the secret location, I decided to have a drink at the Grittis’s newest addition: the RIVA Lounge. I love the RIVA Acquarama, simply the most beautiful boat ever made. The RIVA Lounge, situated directly at the Canal Grande, is tailored around the materials used in the design of the Riva Yacht: Acquarama-inspired chairs of nautical Navy blue back casing, white upholstering, and chrome. The table feature the iconic RIVA logo. After a drink or two, the boat arrives (sadly no RIVA) and off we go.
The next morning on my way from breakfast, I can’t help myself wandering around a bit. The Explorer Library is such an inviting place with all the old books, paintings and Rubelli fabrics. There are also a few glass boxes showcasing products from the House of Waris. Waris Ahluwalia is an Indian-American designer and actor—you may remember him from some of the Wes Anderson movies. As a global Ambassador for Starwood’s Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts (The GRITTI is part of it) he is also using the Longhi Bar for his secretive word-of-mouth only Drop Dead Letter Club. An old typewriter is available for the members to write letters on GRITTI stationery and leave them with the trusted head barman. Cannot say more about it. It’s a secret!