Il Palazzo Experimental in Venice is a waterside Renaissance palace, with a signature city-view cocktail bar all the big-ticket sights nearby. Dorothée Meilichzon designed the sumptuous interiors in locally inspired shades of terra cotta and soft yellow, while retaining the centuries-old exposed beams and Gothic windows: it’s the ideal spot for watching vaporettos buzz up and down the Giudecca Canal while you tuck into plates of Venetian cicchetti on the restaurant terrace, or take afternoon tea in the secluded garden. You can summon a gondola to the private pier or take a trip on hotel pontoon – or just set out on foot and lose yourself in ‘La Serenissima’…


  • Canalside location

  • Historic architecture

  • Artfully crafted cocktails

Smith extra

One cocktail each at the bar during your stay

In the know

Also need to know:

There are two ground-floor rooms which are suitable for wheelchair users, and all the common areas are also accessible.Il Palazzo is part of the esteemed Experimental group, including Henrietta Hotel in London and Grand Pigalle Hotel in Paris.

Packing tips:

Binoculars, for peering at the pontoons zipping along the canal (bonus: you’ll feel like a Bond villain).

Dress code:

Anything but stripes and straw boaters, unless you want to be ambushed by selfie-seeking tourists.

Mr and Mrs Smith reviews

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this canal-side hotel in Venice and unpacked their Murano glass and Burano lace, a full account of their Floating City break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Il Palazzo Experimental in Venice…

Venice is everything you expect and more – more museums than you could ever do justice to, more gondolas than you could ever count, and more people than it was ever designed to handle. So when you’re visiting it, you need to box clever – and that’s where Il Palazzo Experimental comes in. It’s only a few minutes’ walk (or boat ride) from everything you’ve seen on the postcards, but it’s niftily positioned off the tourist trail. Your local ‘hood, Dorsoduro, is the city’s erudite university district, which means that you can mix it with the locals at unpretentious wine bars, and escape the crowds at the end of a long day of sightseeing. In this most poetic of cities, even the building itself has a relatively prosaic recent history, as the headquarters of the Adriatica shipping company. All of which combines to make Il Palazzo Experimental a savvy choice for a first-time visitor or Venice veteran – and perhaps the city’s best-kept secret.

Accommodation details


Fondamenta Zattere Al Ponte Lungo 1412, Venice, 30123


0.7 mi / 1.2 km from city centre

General facilities

  • Onsite laundry
  • Internet services
  • Restaurant
  • Lounges/bars
  • Room service

Dining information


The Giudecca-side restaurant specialises in modern Venetian cuisine, which means you can look forward to fresh takes on seafood classics, handmade pastas, and piles of polenta. Booths and banquettes make for an intimate indoor space, and there’s an outdoor terrace for alfresco dining. Meanwhile, in the rear courtyard, you’ll find tables set for breakfast and afternoon tea.

Top Table:

The prime perches are on the sun-trap terrace, overlooking the Giudecca Canal.

Last Orders:

Breakfast is from 7am until 11am; food is served in the restaurant until midnight. The Experimental Cocktail Club serves food from 7pm until 10pm, and drinks from 5pm until 2am.

Room Service:

There’s no room service yet, but with all of Venice to explore why stay in your room?

Hotel Bar:

The Experimental Group prides itself on first-class and fiercely creative cocktails. Pick from a menu of newly imagined house drinks and sip them in the sun on the terrace, or in the Cristina Celestino–designed interior.

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