The Hotel des Bains: Another death in Venice

Hotel Des Bains, Lido, Venice
Hotel des Bains, Lido
Your chance to acquire a small slice of history is now only a few clicks away. What are left of the furnishings of the famous Grand Hotel des Bains are now for sale on the Internet. 

When I moved to the Lido a few months ago one of the first places I sought out was the Hotel des Bains. I had read Death in Venice and seen the movie (both are set in the hotel) and I was keen to see the real hotel for myself. Imagine my surprise when I found it boarded up! I soon discovered that the hotel had closed its doors in 2008, one year short of its first centenary. Some sources claimed that the hotel had been gutted in preparation for turning the building into a series of luxury apartments. However, in late 2013, there was no sign of any such activity, whatsoever.

Thomas Mann and his wife holidayed in the Grand Hotel des Bains in 1911 and it was while he was staying there that the great German writer saw the boy who inspired him to write Death in Venice. In the following year the hotel entered the pages of literary history when it became the setting for Mann's novella. Almost sixty years later, in 1971, the hotel became part of cinema history when Luchino Visconti shot his film of the book in the same hotel. 

Both writer and director must be turning in their graves at the loss of such an important piece of Venice's patrimony. 


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