Style & design hotels in Venice: stay chic

Design hotels, hip hotels, boutique hotels – cutting-edge design against a historic backdrop – a guide to some special places to stay

Design in Venice

Hotels in Venice tend to stick to the traditional in their décor. Even the modern redecorated hotels aim for a kind of Venetian-lite look, assuming (probably correctly) that their international guests have come to Venice for the whole experience: curly Murano glass chandeliers, wavy bedheads all gilded and painted, framed Canaletto prints…

There are a just few that have dared to be different – some going for a sleek modern look and one or two achieving an ambitious blend of contemporary and ancient. Personally, after an overpowering trip to La Fenice (like drowning in a chocolate box) I understood where the pastel-and-gold hotel decorators were coming from… but I’d have welcomed a change.There’s plenty of Venetian style around Venice – why not embrace some great contemporary design when you return to your hotel?

Venice, were it not for the restrictions designed to protect its history, might be a much more obviously design-oriented city. A few striking modern buildings are hidden around the lagoon in unobtrusive locations, though a Frank Lloyd Wright building on the Grand Canal never won planning permission. There is a leading architectural faculty in Venice, and the local architect Carlo Scarpa carried out a number of prestigious interior design projects in the town centre. Venice is also the home of a big architecture exhibition, the Architecture Biennale (held in even-numbered years), and attracts thousands of artists and art-lovers for the showcase Art Biennale (odd-numbered years). So stylish contemporary design ought to be as authentically Venetian as the pastiche papier-mache which tourists see everywhere.
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Ca’ Maria Adele

Venetian luxe in a grand bedroom

Romantic, intimate, stylish and very special, this boutique design hotel has just twelve rooms and is situated in a lovely spot by the Salute Church and the Grand Canal. I stayed here and thought it was just about the best – and most luxurious – hotel I’ve visited.
> Read my hotel review
> More information / make a booking

Il Nido di Giulietta e Romeo, Venice

Sogno di Giulietta e Romeo

Smaller and with fewer amenities than a conventional hotel, this little accommodation option close to the Rialto is one of the boldest style hotels you’ll find in conventional Venice. Avoid the cheapest ‘touristic’ room category, and opt for one of the more ambitious design rooms where modern decor sits amid historic splendour. In an evocative little corner of the centre. Note that although it is unusual and interesting, the customer ratings (like the prices) are less high than other, more luxurious options on this page. Read the reviews before you book.
> More information/make a booking

Charming House DD724

A landmark hip hotel in Venice, Charming House DD724 is in the fashionable Dorsoduro district (DD724 refers to the address), between the Guggenheim and Accademia art galleries. A thoroughly fitting destination for art and design-conscious travellers, the boutique establishment has 12 bedrooms and common areas including a library. Expensive, but look out for special offers.
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Liassidi Palace ****

The elegant Liassidi Palace is in a quiet lane not far from St. Mark’s and the Riva degli Schiavoni waterfront. Outside, it is a beautiful pale pink palace, inside it is stylish and modern. It’s a thoroughly charming place to stay; the type of hotel that holidaymakers aspire to discover.
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Ca’ Pisani ****

Ca’ Pisani led the way for design hotels in Venice. It is decorated in a 1930s/40s retro style and is an attractive as well as comfortable place to stay. It boasts a traditional Venetian altana, a wooden sun-terrace on the roof. The location is close to the Accademia Bridge, so is practical for sightseeing on both sides of the Grand Canal.
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Ca’ Pozzo Inn

Most of these trendy hotels are in the San Marco (touristy) and Dorsoduro (arty) districts of Venice. Ca’ Pozzo Inn stands out for its Cannaregio location, in the famous Jewish Ghetto not far from the railway station. This affordable small hotel is a real novelty in Venice, as the exterior design is also modern. The style leans towards the minimalist, with Japanese influences, but doesn’t compromise on guests’ comfort.
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Hotel L’Orologio ****

I really enjoyed a stay at this modern hotel with a glossy feel facing the Grand Canal. Close to the Rialto bridge, it’s very convenient for sight-seeing and getting around. Modern design features and practical conveniences are housed in a historic building with views.

> Hotel L’Orologio – my review
> More information / make a booking

Modern comfort

Selected below are some additional modern-style hotels and B&Bs we considered for this list. While they may not boast cutting-edge design, they are comfortable and stylish and a little more contemporary than typical Venice hotels.
> Hotell Ca’ Zusto **** – 22 rooms furnished with a mixture of antique and modern, with a bold use of colour
> Hotel Dei Dragomanni **** – on the Grand Canal, this four-star’s interiors are modern but in a fairly classic style
> Ca’ Foscolo – six smart modern holiday apartments
> Ruzzini Palace **** – Modern luxury in a recently-restored palazzo
> Ca’ Nigra Lagoon Resort **** – elegant modern rooms and a rose garden on the Grand Canal

> Our selection of B&Bs in Venice

> Full Venice hotel search, with availability

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