In recent years, the boutique hotel scene in Venice has grown from a small clutch of businesses to dozens of varied offerings, each with its own answer to the dusty status quo. Some draw inspiration from art-deco style or modern minimalism, while others have taken the Venetian stereotype to the max, creating palatial suites and boudoirs draped in silk and roses. This list will help you to discover the top boutique hotels in Venice – and they’re all bookable with Culture Trip.
Conveniently located next to Santa Lucia Train Station, the Venice Times Hotel offers a modern take on Venetian glamour. Contemporary geometric wall panels and black-tiled floors greet you in the lobby, while the rooms offer luxurious touches such as handcrafted tufted headboards and silk throws. Breakfasts feature organic, gluten-free and lactose-free products, served in a dining room decorated with subtle damask accents, crystal chandeliers and mismatched artworks. A small bar serves up cocktails in the evening; after you’ve sampled its concoctions, take a short walk from the hotel to the exquisite Ca’ d’Oro palace, one of the finest surviving examples of Venetian gothic architecture.
Based in Dorsoduro, away from the tourist centre but facing the magnificent Grand Canal, Hotel Palazzo Stern’s location offers the best of both worlds. Though all rooms feature statement fabric walls and lush carpets from Asia, not all rooms have a canal view, so do enquire when booking. Originally a 15th-century Moorish palace, the hotel was reconstructed in the early 1900s by the Stern family, who used the original materials and added sculptures and mosaics to create a palatial art lover’s dream. From the church-like lobby to the thoroughly modern rooftop Jacuzzi, Hotel Palazzo Stern is the epitome of distinctive design.
Featuring five-star luxury in a boutique package, the rooms at the Sina Centurion Palace are a bold departure from the brocade-and-chandelier norm. The clean lines and chrome of the bespoke furniture contrast with period fireplaces and exposed beams, vestiges of the building’s previous life as the neogothic home of the Genovese family. The chic, white-walled Antinoo’s Lounge and Restaurant overlooks the canal; reserve a canal-side table in advance to dine on its modern Venetian seafood dishes. The hotel is located on the Dorsoduro Museum Mile, stretching from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection to the Gallerie dell’Accademia, which honours Venice’s most celebrated artists.
The Hotel Al Ponte Antico’s terrace is among the most enviable settings in Venice, with views down the canal to the famous Rialto Bridge. Head here in the morning for the generous breakfast to set you up for the day, or finish your day with an evening nightcap. There’s no restaurant, but the hotel is so centrally located that you’ll have no shortage of eateries to explore. The decor honours the hotel’s former life as a 16th-century palace; rooms take old-world Venetian glamour to extremes, with gilded headboards, Murano glass chandeliers and heaps of brocade. The owners, the Peruch family, are famously attentive, offering highly personalised service.
Minimalists can breathe a sigh of relief – this design hotel in Dorsoduro hasn’t so much as a hint of brocade. Charming House DD724 shocked the stuffy Venetian hotel scene when it opened in 2003 and a recent refurbishment has only emphasised its radically modern looks. Rooms are decorated in black, white and grey and given warmth with rich scarlet and vermillion accents. There are only nine rooms shared between the DD724 and its DD694 annexe (the names refer to postcodes). There is a delicious breakfast buffet, which can be enjoyed in the cosy dining room or brought to your bedroom.
Hidden in peaceful Castello is this verdant green oasis, a fabulous escape from the tourist throng. Instead of the song of gondoliers, wake up to the sound of birds outside your window in one of Venice’s largest, lushest private gardens. Hotel Sant’Antonin was once the family home of marine captain Napoleone Scarpa and the well-appointed rooms make use of the house’s original furniture. Breakfast, a varied spread of sweet and savoury delights, is served on the outdoor patio. As the hotel is within equal walking distance of the Giardini della Biennale and the Grand Canal, it’s an ideal location if you wish to combine a Biennale visit with more traditional sightseeing.
A quintessential boutique hotel in Venice, Novecento is run by the Romanelli family, who have been in the hotel business for over 50 years. The family’s world travels inspired each individually designed room, which may feature Thai platform beds, Moroccan carpets or curtains designed by the Romanellis. There’s no waiting in the cosy honesty bar – grab a drink at any time of day. Breakfast is delightfully rustic with an emphasis on homemade items – jams, pastries and fresh fruit are all on offer. Though central, the hotel’s setting in a quiet alley makes for a peaceful stay.
Venice’s first design hotel, Ca’ Pisani was the original trailblazer, disrupting the traditional hotel scene back in 2000 with its bold art deco stylings. No attention to detail has been spared; bamboo floors, geometric patterns and fabric from legendary Venetian textile house Bevilacqua create a sense of refined luxury. The similarly styled La Rivista restaurant serves Italian classics; during the summer, the rooftop terrace can be reserved for a romantic dinner. Unusually for a Venetian hotel, there are two ground-floor rooms available for guests with disabilities. Ca’ Pisani is also pet-friendly and offers a free pet kit, complete with a chewing bone, blanket and bowl for your furry companion.
Looking for somewhere different to stay? Book into one of the best spa hotels in Venice, or opt instead for one of these hotels or the top budget-friendly hotels in the city. There are plenty of reasons why everyone should visit Venice at least once in their lifetimes; inspire your itinerary with the top things to see and do while you’re here. And don’t miss out on the best restaurants in the City of Bridges.
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