Through cocktail and wine bars, bistros, beach clubs and hotels, the Experimental Group has established an international footprint for adventurous nomads with relaxed style and modern savoir faire. In June, the Group revealed its latest hotel, Il Palazzo Experimental, in Venice, city of art, design, architecture and fascinating historic heritage.
Experimental Group’s design partner Dorothée Meilichzon has transformed a jewel box Renaissance palace in the tranquil Dorsoduro neighborhood. With her renowned contemporary touch, the clean lines of Il Palazzo Experimental’s gathering areas, 32 rooms and suites, are rich with hand glazed tiles, custom brass and chrome lighting, Breccia Capraia marble accents and sumptuous fabrics. Venetian design signatures like marble terrazzo scarpa flooring, Marmorino walls and sombre carved woods join a sun-strewn palette that radiates the colors of the city: terracotta, sky blue, pale yellow, silvery grey and cream.
Like all of Experimental Group’s establishments, Il Palazzo Experimental is a crossroads for visitors and locals. The Palazzo is near to such cultural attractions as the Guggenheim Collection and the Galleria dell’Academia, but slightly off the main tourist path, with a secret back garden that lets out onto a quiet canal served by the hotel’s own pontoon.
Il Palazzo Experimental’s façade comprises three entrances on the Canal Della Giudecca: one leading to the restaurant, one to the reception area and lobby, and one to the bar, signed Experimental Cocktail Club, the Group’s third outside of their London and Paris addresses. For the bar’s design, Meilichzon reached out to Cristina Celestino, one of Italy’s brightest young stars. The Milan-based Celestino got her architecture degree at the University of Venice, and in the confidential Experimental Cocktail Club Venice, she signs a love letter to the city with a polyphony of marbles and antique mirrors, inspired by Carlo Scarpa.
The menu in the restaurant is a reflection of its place and time. Produce is always seasonal and local, with an emphasis on freshness and elevated simplicity. Though it is one of the arteries of Il Palazzo Experimental’s ground floor, the restaurant’s seating is predominantly booths and banquettes, enhancing greater intimacy indoors and a sweeping terrace of tables outdoor on the canal.
Additionally, an intimate rooftop terrace looks out over the tranquil rearside of the hotel, the perfect hideaway for a cocktail in the sun. Breakfast, tea and early evening drinks are also served in the back garden, with its undisturbed view of the tiny canal and pontoon.