Centurion Palace in Venice: The Jewel of Dorsoduro

Centurion Palace is fabulous combination of classic Venetian architecture and modern design elements that together create a luxury hotel experience as fascinating as it is remarkable.

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Centurion Palace in Venice. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

VENICE, March 21, 2016 – Centurion Palace is an opulently stunning luxury hotel beautifully located at the entrance to the Grand Canal of Venice in the magnificently serene Dorsoduro sestieri, or district. Literally right next door to the Basilica Santa Maria de la Salute, this amazing property combines classic Venetian structures and architecture with contemporary furnishings and design elements to create one of Venice’s most fascinating 5-star hotels.

The Grand Canal at night as seen from the patio at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
The Grand Canal at night as seen from the patio at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Centurion Palace, built on one of two cloisters of the ancient convent of San Gregorio. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Centurion Palace, built on one of two cloisters of the ancient convent of San Gregorio. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Located at the tip of Dorsoduro in Venice’s oldest neighborhood, this grand edifice was built on one of the two cloisters of the ancient San Gregorio convent in the historic “Pallazzo Genovese.” Part of the SINA collection of fine Italian hotels, and a distinctive member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Centurion Palace creates a luxurious wonderland, bringing the past into the sparkling present in one of Venice’s finest and most wonderful locations.

Gondola along the gRand Canal at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Gondola along the Grand Canal at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Centurion Palace, the former "Palazzo Genovese". (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Centurion Palace, the former “Palazzo Genovese”. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Approaching the hotel entrance off the enchanting Campo di San Gregorio, one soon discovers the canals in the surrounding neighborhood are bucolic wonders of changing light and tides. Centurion Palace is just down the alleyway from another of Venice’s crown jewels, the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and its astonishing treasure trove of modern art.

Canals in Dorsoduro, Venice. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Canals in Dorsoduro, Venice. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Entrance courtyard at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Entrance courtyard at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

The enclosed courtyard at the entrance to the hotel provides a panoramic view of its architecture — a three-sided U shaped structure leading to the spectacular open air grand foyer, and an elegantly romantic outdoor patio situated along the Grand Canal.

The patio along the Grand Canal at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
The patio along the Grand Canal at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Murano Glass chandelier in the shape of a gondola hull in the lobby of Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Murano Glass chandelier in the shape of a gondola hull in the lobby of Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

The lobby is a thing of beauty, with a giant Murano glass sculpture of the hull of a gondola providing a glittering white chandelier that has a matching white Murano glass front desk. The effect is stunning.

Matching white Murano Glass front desk at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Matching white Murano Glass front desk at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Gavin Rains's famous pointillist portrait of 1972 Playboy Playmate Lena Soderberg. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Gavin Rains’s famous pointillist portrait of 1972 Playboy Playmate Lena Soderberg. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Contemporary pointillist paintings by Gavin Rain adorn the walls at the front desk, especially a surreally gorgeous painting of November 1972 Playboy Playmate Lena Soderberg and a digitally deconstructed Marilyn Monroe.

Gavin Rain's digital deconstruction pointillism painting technique up close. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Gavin Rain’s digital deconstruction pointillism painting technique up close. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Gavin Rain's pointillist digital deconstruction painting of Marilyn Monroe. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Gavin Rain’s pointillist digital deconstruction painting of Marilyn Monroe. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

The playful artistic stylings of the hotel and its use of space as exemplified by the paintings, chairs, sculptures, and overall design, are almost like an extension of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum itself.

Sitting area off the lobby of Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Sitting area off the lobby of Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Stylish modernism in the hallways of the standard and deluxe rooms at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Stylish modernism in the hallways of the standard and deluxe rooms at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Centurion Palace has 50 rooms and suites decorated with parquet floors and contemporary couches and furnishings, including notably unique lamps, all specially designed for the hotel.

A deluxe room at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
A deluxe room at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Bespoke lamps and furniture specifically designed for the hotel. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Bespoke lamps and furniture specifically designed for the hotel. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Standard and deluxe rooms are in the two wings of the hotel that offer courtyard views. These rooms are distinctively furnished with plush beddings and are quite stylish and comfortable.

Grand foyer of a second floor suite. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Grand foyer of a second floor suite. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Bespoke furniture in a luxury suite at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Bespoke furniture in a luxury suite at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
View of the Grand Canal at night from the balcony of the Presidential Suite. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
View of the Grand Canal at night from the balcony of the Presidential Suite. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

8 junior suites and 4 full suites overlook the Grand Canal offering rooms that can only be described as overwhelming. Sweepingly gorgeous 21 foot ceilings with broad wooden beams are contrasted with Venetian cloth wall coverings and bespoke, designed furniture of contemporary design.

Chandelier and ceiling beams of the Presidential Suite at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Chandelier and ceiling beams of the Presidential Suite at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Presidential Suite at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Presidential Suite at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

The Presidential Suite is a palace unto itself, with two bedrooms, massive ceilings, opulent furnishings and a lengthy balcony above the Grand Canal with views that are simply extraordinary.

View from the Presidential suite at night. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
View from the Presidential suite at night. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Arches above the balcony of the Presidential Suite. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Arches above the balcony of the Presidential Suite. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Quiet and charming, the Dorsoduro sestieri of Venice is one of the most sublime districts in the city, with shops and restaurants strewn about a warren of small alleyways and streets.

A quaint canal in Dorsoduro near Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
A quaint canal in Dorsoduro near Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
A small canal at night in Dorsoduro, Venice. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
A small canal at night in Dorsoduro, Venice. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Just a few blocks from the hotel on one side is the aforementioned and world-renowned Peggy Guggenheim Museum. Just on the other side of Santa Maria de la Salute Cathedral is the newly restored contemporary art museum Punta della Dogana, situated at the very tip of Venice.

Night falling on the entrance to the Grand Canal as seen from the patio at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Night falling on the entrance to the Grand Canal as seen from the patio at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

As the sun goes down, the reflection of light up and down the Grand Canal is a gorgeous display of color and movement. The open air patio just off the lobby along the Grand Canal is a perfect spot for enjoying pre-dinner drinks and champagne.

Champagne before dinner on the patio along the Grand Canal at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Champagne before dinner on the patio along the Grand Canal at Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

The fine dining restaurant Antinoo’s, just off the side of the lobby, has a warm and welcoming lounge decked out in deep colors of Venetian red and orange next door to an elegant dining area of similar design.

The lounge area at Antinoo's. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
The lounge area at Antinoo’s. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
The elegant red dining area at Antinoo's. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
The elegant red dining area at Antinoo’s. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
The view of the bar, lobby and Murano Glass chandelier as seen from Antinoo's. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
The view of the bar, lobby and Murano Glass chandelier as seen from Antinoo’s. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

This leads into an exceptionally lovely dining room set in soothing shades of all white, under ancient beamed ceilings, with a futuristic “Clockwork Orange” inlaid “Moloko Bar” creamy white motif wall pattern, all to beautiful effect. CP sm_0355

The stunning white dining room at Antinoo's along the Grand Canal. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
The stunning white dining room at Antinoo’s along the Grand Canal. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Like the rest of the hotel the design features of Antinoo’s combine classic and modern themes that work both on a design and an aesthetic level. The bar in the red room, for example, is a picture frame where the bartender appears to be the subject of a painting.

Portrait of a bartender in a picture frame at work at Antinoo's. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Portrait of a bartender in a picture frame at work at Antinoo’s. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
The lounge leading to the dining area at Antinoo's. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
The lounge leading to the dining area at Antinoo’s. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

The cuisine at Antinoo’s is simply exceptional, a classic Venetian menu with consistent touches of culinary innovation.

Wild mushrooms with radicchio. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Wild mushrooms with radicchio. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

A selection of wild mushrooms with radicchio and celery root is aromatic and delightful, the crisp varietals of mushrooms pungent with flavor and texture.

Multicolored gnocchi of beetroot with broccoli cream. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Multicolored gnocchi of beetroot with broccoli cream. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Gnocchi of beetroots with broccoli cream, scallops and black truffle is spectacular, the gnocchi perfectly cooked and the visual splendor almost as good as the sublime and delightful taste.

Seafood tagliolini at Antinoo's. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Seafood tagliolini at Antinoo’s. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Seafood Tagliolini is a work of art, succulent lobster, shrimp and mussels in a subtle tangy sauce wrapped into a rich, steaming tagliolini of extraordinary flavor. A classic but phenomenal dish, it could easily be devoured in pairs.

Branzino with ginger aromatized cream of carrots. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Branzino with ginger aromatized cream of carrots. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Branzino with a ginger–aromatised cream of carrots and crispy celery petals is a fitting climax to a sensational meal, the branzino crisp and perfectly cooked, the fish flaky and firm, the flavors incandescent.

Decanting the Brunello di Montalcino. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Decanting the Brunello di Montalcino. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
A very fine Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
A very fine Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

The evening takes on a special glow with a bottle of fine Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino from Tuscany. Service is exquisite and precise as the night comes to a close in a gentile flurry of deserts and coffee lingering into the afterglow.

The view of Venice at night from Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
The view of Venice at night from Centurion Palace. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Following a sumptuous dinner, gazing out across the open patio along the Grand Canal is to glimpse the serenity and ongoing timelessness of the ages. Motoscarfo and Gondola make their way along the ancient waterway of this blessedly unique place, as thousands of years meld into this one moment of convergence.

Motoscarfo in front of Centurion Palace , with Basilica Santa Maria de la Salute in the background. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)
Motoscarfo in front of Centurion Palace , with Basilica Santa Maria de la Salute in the background. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Centurion Palace captures that emotional heart with a glorious hotel and experience that transcends the ages with classic architecture, stunning contemporary design, and luxury accommodations in the midst of Venice’s most beautiful setting.

Rooms start at around $500 a night, Junior Suites are about $800 per night, Deluxe Junior Suites with Grand Canal views start at around $1200, Deluxe suites with Grand Canal views are about $2000, while the Presidential Suite with all the trimmings can be had for a tidy $3400 a night.

www.sinahotels.com @Sinahotels
@SLHLuxuryHotels

Joel Berliner is a travel writer based in Los Angeles. @JoelBerliner
All photos by Alison Reynolds @BigAlPeoplesPal

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