Hotel Metropole, Venezia
I usually prefer the feel of modern design and art hotels, but sometimes when you are in a place as rich in history as Venice, Italy, it is nice to stay in a property that reflects it. When I learnt that Antonio Vivaldi had worked and taught in the building that now houses the Hotel Metropole, I was decided on making it my home during my stay in Venice, and I am extremely happy that I did.
The beautiful building where the Hotel Metropole now resides dates back to 1300. In 1686 a chapel was added to the original building, where Antonio Vivaldi gave music lessons and from 1703 to 1740 composed his masterpieces, including the Four Seasons. In 1880 the property was restored into a hotel known as Casa Kirsch, where many historic figures, including the great Sigmund Freud, stayed during visits to Venice. During World War II, the hotel served as a military hospital. Finally, in 1968, management of the hotel was passed to hoteliers Pierluigi and Elisabeth Beggiato who transformed it into the Hotel Metropole. Their daughter Gloria, who took over management of the hotel in 2000, has since redesigned the property and brought it to its present glory.
The hotel has a private water-taxi entrance, which ensures that you become immersed in the magic of Venice from the moment you arrive.
I arrived at night, which made the scenery particularly magical.
Hotel Metropole is unique in that it combines the traditional Venetian baroque style with elegant oriental elements, evoking a mysterious and enchantingly sexy atmosphere throughout the property.
The rooms and common areas are heavily adorned with the Beggiato family’s own collection of art and antiques, including antique mirrors, Murano chandeliers, travel trunks and suitcases, musical instruments, corkscrews, fans and one of the grandest collections of crucifixes in all of Italy. Every floor is carefully decorated with a specific theme, making each one a unique and unforgettable experience.
The hotel advertises itself as: “A five star hotel where the atmosphere is protagonist, where nothing happens by chance, where each detail tells a story. Antique furniture, elements of the past that still talk and create a sophisticated and welcoming scenery.” This description is an understatement for the magical place that they have created.
It was the rich history and the exquisite design that brought me to Hotel Metropole, but what truly makes me want to return is the exceptional service that I received there. The same careful attention to detail that is implemented in the decor, is evident in the hospitality offered by the staff.
One of the advantages of smaller, family-run, boutique hotels is that they often provide more personalized service than the larger resort hotels. Little things like being greeted by name every time you enter help you feel more at home and better attended to. This was certainly true of Hotel Metropole, where no request was too big or too small, and where many of the special attentions were provided without any need for requesting.
I believe what I will miss most about this fabulous place is the way that every morning when I would go down early to have my morning cigarette and review my photos from the day before in the beautiful Citrus Garden, Julia the friendly waitress from the breakfast staff would come by and bring me my delicious cappuccino before I even had a chance to order it, and she always remembered just how I like it: with soy milk and two espressos. It is always these little pleasures that I miss most when I return home after a wonderful vacation, and The Metropole hotel and staff will surely be dearly missed.
The Oriental Bar
Hotel Metropole is home to one of Venice's most sought after Michelin Star restaurants, The Met Restaurant. I can say the decor was wonderful, but unfortunately cannot review the dishes or service. I opted not to dine there as the vegetarian options were very limited. I did however, frequent the Oriental Bar during my stay, where not only phenomenal wines and cocktails, but also delectable traditional and modern Italian dishes are on offer.
I had the spaghetti with cherry tomatoes twice, and both times it was exceptional. The chef’s own special Parmigiana di Melanzane, with paper thin slices of aubergine and mozzarella di bufala, is the best I have ever had.
Being a very picky eater, one of the most wonderful surprises I sometimes have while traveling is when I venture out of my comfort zone and order a dish I always thought I disliked and suddenly realize I had been missing out on a delicacy all my life. This is the delightful experience I had with the Oriental Bar’s Panna Cotta, which I now feel addicted to, and wish I could continue to have melt in my mouth every day for the rest of my life.
Hotel Metropole has 70 rooms, all with uniquely different decorative elements. I stayed in a lovely Grand Deluxe Room on the first floor, The Oriental Floor.
Although the room was charming and very comfortable, the decor of the room did not quite match up to the grandiose ambiance of the hotel’s common areas. Nothing was lacking, but for a room located on the Oriental Floor I would have expected the room to have more eastern flair and flavour.
That being said my stay in the room was delightful and I particularly appreciated being welcomed with complimentary clementines and chocolates, along with the plush slippers, robes and other usual amenities. Overall my stay was magical and I hope to return and spend another night at the Hotel Metropole very soon.
To contact Hotel Metropole or reserve a room visit: www.hotelmetropole.com