You always know when you’ve found a good place when you’re reluctant to write about it, in fear of giving the secret away.
But letting you in on a hidden gem… add the Aman to your Venice must-see list.
This hotel, restaurant and spa is opulent and discreet. A slice of heaven on earth.
The complex is housed within a grand 16th century palazzo, which is still owned by the family and leased to the Aman.
The original features are intact, with dreamlike frescos, playful plasterwork and magical murano glass chandeliers.
Careful care has been taken to blend the old with the new and the Aman’s signature contemporary aesthetic complements the grandeur of times gone by. Clean lines let complex tapestries sing and muted colours give golds, rich greens and deeps reds centre stage.
I was recently speaking to the general manager of one of the world’s biggest luxury hotel chains and he admitted to me that the Aman Venice is in a league of its own.
George Clooney got married here in 2014 and it’s the spot of choice for other high profile figures and dignitaries given its tucked away location on the glistening Grand Canal.
For me, a trip to Venice isn’t complete without a stop at this jewel box of a place.
This time around, I checked out the spa on the 3rd floor.
There are three treatment rooms in total.
Immediately on walking into the spa space I felt a sense of calm, with soft light and a soothing scent of rich fragrance wafting around.
I had a ‘grounding’ signature massage, which was one of the top treatments I’ve had to date and (not meaning to sound too hippy) it was a kind of spiritual experience.
It incorporated the use of rose quartz crystals, with the masseuse instructing me to hold the smooth stones at certain points. Hot stones were also incorporated into the massage and the whole treatment began with a mineral rich foot soak, which apparently ‘invites the surrender of personal will in trust and safety to fully benefit from the treatment to follow’.
I certainly surrendered myself everything that followed, with the heavy rain outside adding to the cosiness of the spa space.
Feeling pretty much like a new person after the fully body treatment, I left the glowing confines of the spa to find my boyfriend in the bar.
We ventured out for a walk – the rain had stopped at this point – before returning to the Aman for dinner at the Arva restaurant.
Part of the magic of this place, is seeing its gradual transformation as night falls.
As darkness descends and the candlelight flickers, the mirrors, chandeliers and gilded wallpapers come alive.
Everything seems to have a magical glow.
Dinner and drinks at the Aman Venice aren’t cheap, but if you’re marking a special occasion or in need of a pick-me-up, this is the place to be.
Every time I’ve been here, the dining space has been practically empty.
It is almost like private dining, with the attentive waiters attending to your every need.
The table settings are simple but flawless, from the pepper shaker to the little flower posy on display.
We sat down to a corner table with the Grand Canal visible from the windows on either side.
The menu features a selection of delicious Italian-inspired dishes from executive chef Dario Ossola, with a number of signature recipes by creative consultant Davide Oldani.
Even the bread is baked to perfection, with a big round loaf cut into wedges and served up with a buttery olive oil. The humble breadstick gets a luxury twist, with squid ink turning them a shade of the night sky.
We ordered a medley off the menu, with the burrata, fresh crab, steak and side order of cauliflower catching our eyes.
If you fancy changing up the menu slightly, don’t be scared to ask, as the staff are top of the game when it comes to hospitality and happy to oblige.
The creamy burrata kept us quiet, with the bread used to mop the oozing cheese up.
To wash it down, the waiter suggested a mellow red wine for my boyfriend, while I went for my traditional martini, which was perfectly chilled and dry as requested.
On to mains, the crab (which was listed as a starter but the kitchen made it up as a main) was exquisite, with the flesh fresh and dressed with a delicate seasoning. The steak was medium rare, as requested, and didn’t last long on my boyfriend’s plate.
The evening seemed to get a little hazy, as the Aman Venice has a tendency to whisk you away to another realm.
A visit to the bar after dinner certainly added to this delightful daze.
The bartenders here are more than happy to rustle you up a cocktail based on the ingredients you enjoy.
It really is top notch service.
As the clock struck 11pm I felt a bit like Cinderella as I left the luxury confines of the Aman Venice and ventured into the soft evening drizzle outside.
This place is like a lover who you crave on seeing until the next time.
Ciao for now Aman Venice…
The Aman Venice is located at Calle Tiepolo Baiamonte, 1364, Palazzo Papadopoli, 30125 Sestiere San Polo, Venezia
To book a room or to make a restaurant reservation call +39 041 270 7333