Handily situated for the Venice Film Festival, the Hotel Excelsior on Lido, like the Grand Hotel des Bains, dates back to an earlier, more glamorous age. It also features in Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice, but unlike the Grand Hotel, this behemoth continues to operate, providing a natural choice for the Hollywood A-listers who attend the festival.
The interiors may be modern and luxurious, but the exterior retains the original Moorish design that would have given the place an exotic air to the guests who came here early in the 19th Century. I could well imagine it populated with characters from an Evelyn Waugh novel.
And that perhaps is its weakness. Like any fashionable design, it has had its day, and to my eye the exterior looks tired. Perhaps it just needs time to come back into fashion once more.