Overlooking the grandeur of the Santi Giovanni e Paolo Basilica, on one of Venice’s most beautiful and evocative squares, stands a noble house from the 16th century. Left untouched for some 70 years, the newly renovated ‘Palazzo Cristo’ is home to four magnificent serviced-apartments created by the refined style and creative elegance of husband & wife designers Frederic Tubau & Anna Covre.
Designed for Living
These exquisitely presented private, short-term rental apartments (referred to as Suites), enable visitors to experience Venice like a local, whilst living in sophisticated surroundings that would suit a modern day Doge. Wake to the sound of cathedral bells ringing; pick up a delicious fresh pastry for breakfast from the famous traditional Venetian Pasticceria, Rosa Salva; and then prepare for a day of wonder and enchantment exploring one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
Romantic City Break
Little wonder that for lovers of art, history and the finer things in life, Palazzo Cristo offers the perfect luxury bolthole for a romantic stay in Venice. Each suite apartment is individually styled, a chic oasis of calm.
I stayed in the spacious one-bedroom Suite III on the first floor, with double height windows onto the square. Expect a spacious living area, sleek high-end kitchen, luxe bathroom with travertine marble shower and deep, free standing Devon & Devon bath, and a bedroom with a four poster dressed in Frette linens. Underfoot there’s oak parquet, silk carpets woven in India and hand laid marble.
Each element, fixture and furnishing are bespoke – created with thought by the designers, referencing the history and culture of the city. For example, the striking white venetian and black nero marquina marble floors of the hallway and kitchen are a bespoke design, inspired by the floors of the Santa Maria del Rosario.
It’s clear from the moment one enters, that this is a special place. The original façade of the palace, captured in a Canaletto painting, has been restored, whilst the interiors reflect the latest in 21st century exclusive living. Each suite is impeccably presented, and the mood is extravagant yet elegant; contemporary yet classic. It’s a clever balance that Anna and Fred have pulled off with finesse. Little wonder these designers have had such success consulting for luxury brands such as Armani, Lancôme, YSL, Botegga Ventta.
As a guest you feel like a pampered VIP yet enjoy the privacy and intimacy of a private home.
The property is so captivating you probably won’t want to leave. In fact, it was a joy just to pull back the luxurious Rubelli curtains, throw open the tall windows, pull up a chair, and just soak up the sights and sounds of the square, whilst sipping a glass of chilled prosecco.
Square of Marvels
The striking and monumental Campo dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo square, where one finds Palazzo Cristo, has been referred to as the square of marvels for its renaissance and byzantine architecture. The Basilica was the official church used for the funerals of the Doges; the neighbouring Scuola Grande di San Marco is renowned for its carved marble; whilst the imposing statue of Bartomoleo Colleoni on his horse is unique from the Serenissima era.
Of course, one is never far from the water, and from the small canal pier one can easily enjoy a private tour of the city with a water taxi or if you’re feeling a little more touristy, in a gondola.
My hosts at Palazzo Cristo, Anne, who was born here, and her French husband Fred, have made Venice their home.
If you are meet them, they will be happy to share their insider perspective of this magical city. They also have a beautiful vintage 1950s boat, which Fred expertly manoeuvres through the narrow waterways of a hidden Venice. I was privileged to be invited aboard and shown not just the postcard perfect renaissance splendour of Venice, but also the neighbourhoods where the locals live.
This year, Venice is offering visitors a unique experience. The city is lively with couples and families enjoying the cuisine, art and culture of Venice, without battling the usual midday crowds, swelled by cruise passengers and day-trippers. This year Venice is without these large groups, and the lagoon city feels all the more magical for it.
Like a Local
Palazzo Cristo is a unique place from which to experience Venice. With all the refinement of a 5 star property, including optional daily servicing (depending upon preference for maid service, or greater privacy without); as well as the flexibility of upscale self-catering accommodation. Guests can visit the local markets, delis and bakeries to create seasonal meals, accompanied by refreshing local Veneto white wines. I certainly felt more connected to my destination when exploring the fruit and veg stalls and the fish market at Rialto. As Anna Corve and Frederic Tabau commented, “Our aim for Palazzo Cristo is to create accommodation designed using the highest quality materials; suites that are contemporary in style that offer guests a private and luxurious place to stay in in one of Venice’s hotspots, amongst local people’.
For architectural and interior design aficionados, Palazzo Cristo will be a great source of inspiration. From the custom made Maxelto furniture, to the creative and innovative use of mirrors made with Mirrar by Saint Gobain, France’s, finest glass maker, each element contributes to a unique look & feel.
Suite I is a magnificent three-bedroom duplex apartment for up-to five guests. Spread across 160sqm and with magnificent views of the Scuola Grande di San Marco and Basilica Santi Giovanni e Paolo. Suite I is the largest Palazzo Cristo apartment. Two of the bedrooms are doubles with en-suite, there is also an additional single room. On the lower ground floor there is a fully functioning state of the art kitchen that features an Induction Hob, oven, microwave, Fridge, Freezer, toaster, kettle and cafetiere that leads out through double doors to a secret Venetian Courtyard, perfect for enjoying an Aperol Spritz.
Suite II is an elegant one double bedroomed apartment that comes with an open plan kitchen with a living room, which runs alongside. Suite II faces the courtyard, so offers peace and tranquillity. The en-suite bathroom features a Devon and Devon double sink and shower.
Suite III is a spacious one-bedroom apartment with en-suite bathroom, living room and fully functioning state of the art kitchen that features an Induction Hob, oven, microwave, Fridge, Freezer, toaster, kettle and cafetiere.
Suite IV with roof terrace is available upon request.
All the beds in each of the suites come with super soft memory foam mattresses, white satin Frette bed linens, towels and bathrobes and bathroom toiletries are by exclusive French brand David Mallett. All bathrooms come with double sinks and the finest luxury amenities including Frette bathrobes, slippers and bathroom toiletries are by exclusive French David Mallett and hairdryers are by Paralux.
Contact and Prices
Prices from 450 euro per night.
Address: Campo S.S. Giovanni e Paolo, 6805A, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy