The Venice Venice Hotel, Venice, Italy

The Venice Venice Hotel, Venice, Italy

Don’t be fooled by the ornate Byzantine exterior – this twice-named, art-filled newcomer injects a contemporary “post-Venetian-ness” into the city’s time-worn hotel scene

Byron once wrote “Venice once was dear, the pleasant place of all
festivity”. Even 200 years ago, the city was being eulogised. Its
melancholy airs – the once indomitable republic turned gothic theme
park, its marble palaces slowly sinking into the silt – are what’s
made it so beguiling to generations of visitors. Listen to the
lapping waves and sighs and footsteps echoing along labyrinthine
passageways. Look at the lonely bell towers standing sentinel on
abandoned islands. Nostalgia cloaks the place like lagoon mist.

Hotels here typically lean into the theme – all
period set-pieces of antique furniture and Canaletto prints. But
Venice is still a living city, according to Francesca Rinaldo and
Alessandro Gallo, the founders of local sneaker brand Golden
. And one with an edgier cultural seam than many outsiders
expect. This is exactly what the duo’s first foray into hospitality
aims to surface. Sweeping away the cobwebs, they’ve created a
refreshing mix of new-meets-old they’re calling “postvenezianità”
(“post-Venetian-ness”). Sure, the hotel occupies a storied
13th-century palazzo on the Grand Canal, opposite the Rialto
Market. But its darkly glamorous interiors are filled with modern
and contemporary art, all of it somehow linked to Venice. Pieces
from arte povera and poesia visiva, both Italian avant-garde
movements of the 60s and 70s, prove that this city didn’t cease to
be a cultural powerhouse when Veronese and Titian laid down their

A room at th eVenice Venice Hotel
Entrance via canal at Venice Venice Hotel

Windows on the world in room 10, left, and the canalside
hotel entrance.

The sleek, minimal furniture and bespoke fixtures are locally
made, highlighting the creative talents active across the lagoon
today. On the ground floor, Venice M’Art is the sort of mixed-use
hosting hub that’s common in New York and London hotels yet
virtually unseen in this city: head here to tap away on your
laptop, find some cool threads in the concept store and pop-up
market (a nod to the building’s roots as a merchants’ storage and
trading house) or people-watch over a negroni. A pleasant place of
festivity indeed.


There are 20, with a further 25 opening this year. No two room
layouts are the same, and each pad follows its own decorative
theme. Opt for Veni Etiam (room 25), named after the photographic
series by Renato D’Agostin that hangs on the walls, or surround
yourself with arte povera pieces in A Gallerist’s Perspective (room
23). With its four-poster bed and pleasingly symmetrical layout, we
were supremely pleased with Venice in Gold (room 45), a homage to
the heavenly hue that fills the interiors of Basilica di San Marco
– one that has been the mainstay of Venetian battilori (goldbeaters) for centuries. The
room’s artworks include Greek artist Panos Tsagaris’ Golden
Newspaper series, where gold leaf obscures the stories on New York
Times covers.

What’s for breakfast?

No generic buffet spread for Venice Venice’s fashion-crowd
trailblazers; instead, a stand of freshly baked pastries and
seasonal fruits is brought to the white linen-draped table. There
is also an à la carte offering of seasonal hot dishes (the
burrata-topped spinach frittata was a winner during our winter
visit). Lie-in lovers will be glad to know breakfast is served
until 11am.

How about lunch and dinner?

The kitchen keeps it authentically Venetian, serving the
bite-sized cicheti (think crostini, anchovies, meatballs) popular
in bàcari around the Rialto Market. A pop art-style menu also lists
more substantial all-day dining offerings, which you can savour in
the sotoportego – a photography-lined passageway – or on its
sheltered canal-side terrace.

Is there a bar?

Venice M’Art is your go-to for cocktails and wine. Sip the
signature americano, or a caustraure spritz, which combines
Campari, prosecco, lemon foams and artichoke liqueur (a nod to the
lagoon’s springtime vegetable delicacy), while rubbing shoulders
with the stylish locals who pop in for aperitivo hour. Hotel guests
also get access to the Venice Bitter Club on the piano nobile
(first floor).


Rooms feature state-of-the-art Bang & Olufsen TVs,
rose-scented bath products and Bialetti coffee machines, with rates
including minibar items (cheers to that). There’s a spa treatment
room if you want to book a massage, and a pay-per-item laundry

What are the hotel’s eco-credentials like?

Working with Venice-based artisans – whether they be furniture
makers or bakers – is a core part of the hotel’s social
sustainability strategy, serving to both support the local economy
and minimise carbon footprint. Generously sized Erose toiletries in
the en-suites are designed to be resealed and taken home.

A room at Venice Venice hotel
Bathroom at Venice Venice Hotel

No two room layouts are the same at Venice Venice.

What about accessibility?

Two rooms are suitable for guests requiring assistance with
mobility. Common areas are generally all accessible.

What’s the crowd like?

Cool, continental creatives

Within a short walk I can find…

A 10-minute stroll will see you in San Marco Square, where the
domed basilica and Ducal Palace await. As always in Venice, the
walk itself is a wonder, the maze of lanes leading you over
footbridges and through hidden plazas where some church or osteria
begs you to linger. Of course, you may be getting around by water,
too. From the hotel’s doorstep, a hand-rowed traghetto scoots
across to the Rialto Market stalls and bridge, plus the vaporetto
stop for heading further afield. Art fans shouldn’t miss the
Fondazione Prada or Ca’ Pesaro (home to masterpieces by Rodin and
Klimt), either.

Things I should know…

If there was ever a time to splurge on a water taxi, it’s now.
Eschewing the street-side entrance via the boutique (which is fine
but nothing to write home about), you’ll instead disembark on the
jetty. Glass doors slide open to reveal a semi-submerged, candlelit
lobby and marble Renaissance-era statuary. On arrival, accept the
team member’s offer to explain “how your room works” – with
controls and plug points tucked away in not-so-obvious places,
you’ll be glad of the pointers.

The Lowdown

Doubles cost from £437 a night.

Discover More
Keeping It Alive: The Venetian Artisan Hammering Gold by Hand