Hotel Il Palazzo Experimental — Venice, Italy

Restaurant, pink cushions wooden benches and white steel benches
(Image credit: press)

The well-heeled crowds that flock to Venice for Bellinis and Biennales now have a brand new haunt care of Paris-based hospitality hitmakers the Experimental Group. Palazzo Experimental, overlooking the Guidecca canal from the island’s Dorsoduro neighbourhood, opened just in time to ring in the Venice Film Festival.

Spanning 32 rooms, a restaurant and an intimate cocktail bar (requisite for the group, who first planted their flag with Paris’s Experimental Cocktail Club), the hotel sets itself apart from by-the-book Venetian drama with an inspired contemporary styling by two supremely talented women. Longtime Experimental collaborator Dorothée Meilichzon devised the punchy, colour-centric rooms — complete with nautical stripes, hand-glazed tiles, custom brass light fittings and quirky carved wood headboards — and equally striking public spaces. While Milan-based master of all things precious and pink, Cristina Celestino, kitted-out the cocktail bar in her signature buoyant style.

On-site Ristorante Adriatica pays homage to the floating city by way of checkerboard terrazzo flooring that nods to hometown hero Carlo Scarpa, moody Venetian Stucco-style walls and playful arch motifs that animate the ground floor dining room. Offering up a survey of coastal Italian cuisines from Friuli to Puglia, guests can settle into a boat-like booth indoors, a bistro table in the private courtyard garden or spritz-in-hand canal-side — just like the Venetians do.

Bar, pink and mustard colour walls, bar counter with stools, bottles on shelves make for centerpiece

(Image credit: press)

View from front of bar

(Image credit: press)

Old fashioned headboard with light fixtures, single window with view

(Image credit: press)

couch with side wall mounted table, coffee table and ottoman

(Image credit: press)

Seating area, couch with side light fixtures, 2 tone wall colour, exposed roof trusses

(Image credit: press)


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Laura May Todd, Wallpaper's Milan Editor, based in the city, is a Canadian-born journalist covering design, architecture and style. She regularly contributes to a range of international publications, including T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Azure and Sight Unseen, and is about to publish a book on Italian interiors.