Ca’ di Dio, a Former Hospice, Is Venice’s Newest Five-Star Hotel

IThere is one thing that stands out amid the ornate facades of Venetian edifices, it is something new. The sea and its air are tough neighbors for these old buildings – cracked, cracked, scaly and even dilapidated, such is the condition of many palaces. And although the exterior of Ca’ di Dio, Venice’s newest five-star hotel, is understated relative to its neighbors, its recent immaculate restoration has left it with a clean facade that ensures it stands out over the lake.

It is also the latest selection of our series of new and exciting hotels, the New Room with a View.

On five bridges west of the Palazzo Ducale, Ca’ di Dio is housed in a large stucco building with great lake views to the Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore and its splendid church designed by Palladio. On an evening with a particularly fiery sunset, the view from the hotel is unmistakable for fans of Monet’s paintings of the island at dusk.

The building has its origins in 1272 and was renovated in 1544 by Jacopo Sansovino, architect of Logetta and Biblioteca Marciana and Palazzo Dolfin Manin. At one time it was a place for pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land to reside and also a place for abandoned women. In 2019, a comprehensive overhaul of the property began, overseen by designer and architect Patricia Urquiola. While the exterior is historic, the interior is sleek and modern. The chapel has been converted into an atrium with an enormous chandelier consisting of over 14,000 Murano glass and polished red limestone floors that continues throughout the hotel. It’s more Scarpa’s area than Cinquecento

The hotel is right in front of the Arsenal water taxi station, but the entrance is very discreet and there is no signage around the curved glass automatic doors. (A side entrance can be found for those wishing to ride the private water taxi on the canal.) One of the most beautiful things about the hotel’s front is that no street vendors are allowed on the outside courtyard, unlike many of the other spaces along the water as you head toward San Marco.

The ground floor revolves around three inner courtyards with winding brick walkways up to the original wells. At this level one can find Essentia, the hotel’s restaurant, the Alchemia bar, as well as the gym.

Final public spaces along the way – two loggias with unobstructed views of the islands.

When it comes to rooms, Venice hotels can sometimes get into all the Gothic excess, leaving the modern traveler who doesn’t like all of that Feeling of suffocation and possibly suffocation. The rooms at Ca ‘di Dio are quite contemporary but equipped with the work of Italian artisans.

The 66 rooms are covered in misty canvases of green and blue – a nod to the mysterious blue waters that surround Venice. The windows are sheathed in large wood frames and from the bedside light fixtures to the lamps in the corner, the lighting is all handcrafted from Murano glass. If you had any doubts about the return of red marble, the exciting red marble vanity in the bathrooms will leave no doubt. (One of my favorite details also comes from the bathrooms – the toilet flush panel is covered to match the wall.)

Room rates at the hotel, operated by VRetreats which also have hotels in Rome and Taormina, start at €200.


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