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A new luxurious getaway is set to be rediscovered in Venice. The spectacular Palazzo Donà Giovannelli, built in 1400 and once home to the Duke of Urbino, the palace is to be transformed into Orient Express Venice Hotel, bringing forward the glory of the past and creating an atmosphere of refinement, romance and mystique.
This new luxury hotel, with 45 rooms and suites, all overlooking the gardens and canals of Venice is scheduled to open in 2024, recreating the romance of the city for a new generation of visitors.
The history of Palazzo Donà Giovannelli
From the main entrance and its garden, which can be reached from the Venice Santa Lucia Station train station along the Strada Nova, or from the neo-Gothic and multi-layered facades that can be visited from the Rio de Noal by boat, Palazzo Donà Giovannelli is filled with beauty and grandeur. It is an island within an island, where doors and windows anchored in the sea seem to speak directly to the sky above.
Just one step inside this Palace evokes a feeling of complete enchantment. One enters as if leafing through the pages of the book of time. It is a plunge into an ageless romanticism, where the heritage of the stone seems to be frozen in time whispering layers of stories to be revealed. From the marble carved entrance, the plastered walls in faded lost colours to the masterful octagonal staircase of neo-Gothic style designed by the architect Meduna, artistry and a feeling of eternity collide.
On the main floor, or piano nobile, its many salons and ballrooms are home to 800 years of history. It is a journey through the ages, a blend of baroque, neoclassical and gothic styles along with the splendour of Eastern fantasy, an exoticism that transcends the realm of possibility. The rooms are decorated with patterns, mosaics, stucco, paintings, frescoes tinted with forgotten colours and wonderful cherubs. The walls abound in enigmas never meant to be solved.
The Orient Express Group of Hotels, part of Accor
The Orient Express brand plans to be a collection of extraordinary hotels. The brand is inspired by the journey taken on Orient Express, a legendary train that powered from Paris to Constantinople, carrying with it old world glory for all those who travel its tracks today.
Set to open in late 2023, the Orient Express Hotel Minerva, the first luxury hotel for the brand, will be taking over an old favourite – The Grand Hotel de la Minerve. Another luxurious hotel – Orient Express Diriyah Gate is being planned for the city of Riyadh in Diriyah Gate Development, part of Saudi Arabia’s multi-billion dollar heritage project to promote tourism in Arabia.
The next four hotels to be launched under the Orient Express brand may very well include some of the most prestigious locations in Europe. London, Paris and Milan all have old-world charm that is hard not to fall head over heels for, while Florence offers its fair share of historic buildings dating back hundreds of years.
Orient Express Returns To Italy With 6 La Dolce Vita Trains
In addition to luxury hotels, the new Orient Express La Dolce Vita gives you the chance to experience Italy and Europe on a 16,000 km long journey across the continent.
The luxury rail tourism project will see six trains embarking across 14 regions. The trip will include three international destinations – from Rome to Paris, Istanbul and Split. The train experience is based on the first Orient Express Train launched by Georges Nagelmackers 150 years ago. The new Orient Express concept pays tribute to “La Dolce Vita”, Italy’s period of glamour, joie de vivre and artistic fervour in the 1960s.
Venice is a city that has always been associated with luxury and romance, and the forthcoming opening of Orient Express Venice Hotel is sure to reignite that passion in visitors from all over the world. This newly renovated palace, which dates back to 1400, will offer guests an unforgettable experience, with stunning views of the gardens and canals, luxurious accommodations and impeccable service. If you’re looking for an enchanting escape in one of the most beautiful cities on earth, look no further than Orient Express Venice Hotel – mark your calendars for 2024.
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© This article was first published online in May 2022 – World Travel Magazine.