I might be biased here, because I am writing this on the heels of just staying there, but in my opinion, there is no service better than at an Aman resort. Departing from their iconic asian aesthetic, the Aman Palazzo Papadopoli has seamlessly blended the blindingly beautiful palatial decor with uber-modern conveniences. This is best reflected in the GINORMOUS bathrooms stocked exclusively with Āman’s line of luxury bath products, lotions and toiletries. (McLean says he is going to miss the plush bedtime slippers the most.)
Each room of this 24-bedroomed palace is unique. We stayed in the Sansovino Suite (an upgrade from our reservation for a Palazzo Chamber Affresco…apparently this is customary when the hotel is low occupancy? That’s what other Aman regulars have told us…but as this was our first stay with the chain, not sure if that’s true). It appears that the maximum occupancy in the room is 3 (which worked for us) as the love-seat was easily converted into a super-comfy bed for McLean. There were only 2 rooms larger than ours on the property, which can maybe accommodate 4 (note that the Grand Canal Suite can be converted into 2 bedrooms…but that comes at a PRICE and I think you would have to ask), so if you are traveling with a larger family, you will need to book multiple rooms.
Our trip to Venice was in late November, which is full-fledge shoulder season. Along with another group of businessmen, we were the ONLY people staying at the hotel for 2 out of the 3 nights we were there. Considering the fact that even when an Āman is packed, the service is bananas, being the ONLY FAMILY on property was insane. We had 3 waiters for every meal and cocktail, and the staff seemed to guess our needs before we did. We joked that they must have microphones everywhere because staff would miraculously appear wherever we were “just in case” we needed something. Now don’t get me wrong…we like some fancy service…but being the sole focus of an Āman staff was sometimes awkward. You have to get used to being spoiled. It didn’t take us that long.
Some of the BIGGEST perks of staying at the Aman Palazzo Papadopoli are in no particular order:
A driver meets you LITERALLY the second you get off the plane (inside security and before customs). He will grab all of your carry-ons and shush you when you insist you are fine carrying them. He will then rush you to the front of customs and speed you through passports/customs/luggage until you are sitting on a Mercedes sprinter van en route to the water taxi station. There a water taxi will be waiting to give you private transfer to the hotel. Then upon departure from the hotel, you reverse this process and he takes care of everything for you up until the gates of security at the airport. This service continues when you get to the resort. You get a tour of the Palazzo and then are escorted to the bar/lounge while you wait for your room.
Wine and champagne in your room minibar are restocked multiple times a day. So, let’s say you and your loved one decide to toast your amazing fortune of getting an upgraded room before dinner? You will find a replacement bottle in your fridge when you get back from dinner.
The spa—while TINY—is amazing. Our package “Exploring Venice” included 2 60-min massages. Michael HATES spas, so I was able to parlay our included spa credits (which equaled 300 Euro) into one very amazing Oxygen Facial. Unreal. The Aesthetician is a medical doctor. It was beyond any facial I’ve had. It’s making me want to go an Aman resort that actually focuses on wellness…I can’t imagine.
The location is perfect. Located on the Grand Canal and near the Realto Bridge, you have easy boat access everywhere.
Did I mention that it’s GORGEOUS? And has a beautiful Canal-side garden.
And the breakfasts. Oh the breakfasts. The talented and dedicated staff at Arva don’t skimp on the most important meal of the day. While we are generally NOT the people to ask about gourmet dining (read more on that HERE), we are always ones to take advantage of a swanky morning meal. PLUS our package included breakfast. And no detail was ignored, from the fact that McLean preferred his pancakes sans lemon creme (they gave him copious amounts of strawberries and berries instead) to the fact that we drink about 5 espressos each…we had everything we could want and left SO full that we ended up skipping lunch most days.
The staff is unparalleled. Like stated above, we felt like we were the center of the staff’s Universe here (and while we like to stay at nice properties with great service, this was a step beyond). We were overwhelmed and slightly embarrassed at the beginning of our stay. We were best friends with everyone by the time we left.
I am now forever spoiled and have been sending Michael tireless links to Aman’s other European properties in Montenegro and Greece. Keep your eyeballs peeled for reviews of those in the (hopefully!?!?) near future. We just need to save our pennies and wait for the shoulder season!