During my last visit to Venice, I stayed at the Sina Centurion Palace for 5 nights. I had often admired the beautiful façade of the palazzo from Canal Grande as well as the inner courtyard on Campo di San Gregorio on my way to Punta della Dogana or the Salute church. Now was the perfect time to indulge myself. In this post, I will briefly tell you about the history of the palazzo before I review the hotel, the rooms and the restaurant.
Palazzo Genovese was built in 1892 as a residence for the Genovese family. It was designed by the architect Edoardo Trigomi Mattei in a Venetian Gothic style. During the renovation of Palazzo Genovese, the ancient ruins of the destroyed monastery of San Gregorio were unearthed. Deeper excavations also revealed 9th century wooden houses and a 7th century stone construction at the base of a complex stratigraphic column. In 2009, the Sina group acquired it and hired the architect Guido Ciompi to turn it into a design hotel.
Sina Centurion Palace is a luxury 5-star hotel, which is part of the Sina Hotels chain. This group was founded in 1958 by Count Ernesto Bocca who wanted to focus on luxury hospitality. Sina Hotels has now 13 hotels, of which 12 in Italy. It is still a family business and is now run by his children Bernabò and Matilde.
“Our aim is to offer the highest levels of service, using the latest technologies and innovations to interpret those typically Italian traditions made of history, culture, art, luxury and excellence. This allows our hotels to express the highest levels of hospitality and allows us to continue with our family vocation which is to give you the warmest of welcomes and make you feel at home.”
The hotel is located along Canal Grande in Dorsoduro. This art-loving area houses art galleries, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Punta della Dogana. Sina Centurion Palace is perfectly situated in the middle of these museums and also hosts small art exhibitions itself. The Abbazia di San Gregorio monastery, next to the hotel, is another location for art expositions, such as the one of Jan Fabre for the Art Biennale 2017. If you love art, this is a great location for your stay. (More information on Dorsoduro in my post: ‘Dorsoduro: An amazing tour of intriguing architecture’.)
If you want to discover Venice, you can walk in approx. 20 minutes to San Marco via the Accademia bridge or even faster if you take the traghetto to cross Canal Grande. You can of course also catch a vaporetto at the nearby Salute stop or ask the reception to call a water taxi for you.
As soon as you enter the hotel and you are greeted by the extremely friendly staff, you will feel at home. Paolo Morra, the hotel manager, also makes it his mission to greet guests personally. You can often find him near the reception in case you want to talk to him. The entire hotel bathes in luxury and contemporary design. The materials, tissues and colours bring you back to the time of La Serenissima. It’s the perfect combination between old and new. The high ceilings and large windows give you a wonderful view on Canal Grande. You will find it difficult not to take a seat on the terrace to capture that view in your mind forever.
Sina Centurion Palace has 50 rooms and suites. They vary in size from 20 m² for a superior room to 150 m² for the presidential suite. Some rooms have a view on Canal Grande, while others look at the inner courtyard. All furnishings have been created specifically for the hotel and create a luxurious atmosphere. Even though I stayed in one of the smaller rooms with a view on the courtyard, the room was as luxurious at the main areas of the hotel.
The large bed was very comfortable for a good night sleep which I needed after hours of walking around Venice. The sound proofing was also perfect, as I didn’t hear anything from the other rooms or through the window when people arrived or departed via the courtyard. There was also plenty of cupboard space to put away your clothes. The minibar was well-filled and you get a complimentary water bottle per day. The bathroom was not that big, but the shower was great and shined in gold leaf.
Antinoo’s Lounge & Restaurant is a unique setting inside the Sina Centurion Palace. You can choose to enjoy breakfast on the terrace on Canal Grande, in the white room or in the red room. As the weather was great while I stayed there, I preferred the terrace.
Even though the hotel was completely full and the terrace can only seat approx. 12 guests, I could usually have breakfast outside. The breakfast buffet has a wide choice of bread, croissants and cake with different types of cheese, ham and cold cuts. The fresh fruit is delicious, as are the home-made marmalades and the juices. You also find scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages and warm tomatoes. Other egg dishes can be ordered, but are not included in the price. It has everything you need to start your day in Venice. Watching the boats on Canal Grande while having breakfast is priceless. This by itself is already a reason to book your stay at this hotel.
I also had a dinner at Antinoo’s Restaurant and it was exquisite. Massimo Livan, who is the executive chef since its opening, serves cuisine with a contemporary twist. Every dish was a feast for the eyes and delicious to taste. You can either taste the Venetian menu or eat à la carte. I started with the ‘knife-cut fassona tartare with red tropea onion and currant & rhubarb vinegar’, followed by ‘peter fish with lemon grass flavoured cream of leeks and thyme scented fennel petals’. Make sure you keep some space for the desserts. I have a sweet tooth and I really loved the desserts. The restaurant has a very long wine list, of which most of them are reasonably priced, contrary to what you might expect in such a fancy restaurant. The restaurant is also open for guests who are not staying at the hotel. If you want to get a feel of what the Sina Centurion Palace is about, then this is a good starting point.
You cannot reserve a table outside for breakfast, but you can for dinner. If you would like to enjoy this, I suggest you book it as soon as possible, either before your arrival or on the first day. It would be a pity not to enjoy this wonderful feeling of sitting on Canal Grande when it gets dark and there’s hardly any traffic.
Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at Sina Centurion Palace and I highly recommend it. The hospitality, the luxury, the location, the food and above all the view on Canal Grande make it unforgettable.
FYI: I stayed in the Sina Centurion Palace as a paying guest, but I did book at a favourable rate.
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