Stay Here: Hotel Indigo Venice- Sant’ElenaBy Gemma Perlin
Venice is a romantic, surreal, beautiful and sometimes flooded city in Italy. It’s a bucket list destination so it’s no wonder we’re spoilt for choices on where to stay. During our visit to the city, we opted for somewhere slightly off the beaten track and away from the touristic tracks of selfie sticks in St Mark’s Square, in the local neighbourhood of Sant’Elena. A neighbourhood where locals go about their days sipping on the typical cocktail of a spritz (at seeming all hours of the day) and munching on Cicchetti appetisers.
The Hotel Indigo Venice, originally a Venetian convent from the 1930s, is located in the grounds of the Biennale Gardens only a five-minute walk from the world-famous Biennale. Last year, it was radically renovated and it now has a Byzantine feel for it, with local touches of the world-famous Murano glasswork (the area of Murano only a short boat ride away) in the lobby. The hotel is a half an hour walk from St Mark’s square or a fifteen-minute jaunt on the Vaporetto (local boat transport service).
The hotel has 75 rooms. We stayed in a superior premium which comprised of a king-sized bed and a living area, which had glorious views through the original convent windows over the garden, where you can sunbathe in the summer months. They also had a kettle and a pot of teas and coffees to make at your whim. The room was incredibly comfortable, and we really appreciated the shutters which locked out every morsel of light for a truly restful sleep. The bathroom had a powerful shower and two sinks with ample room to scatter your toiletries should you wish.
Meals in the hotel are held in the Savor Restaurant, which leads on from the reception area. The name comes from the local term ‘saor’, an ancient Venetian culinary technique to preserve sardines and shrimps. I loved breakfast; I’m not sure if it was the wholly non-Italian Skippy peanut butter or the sumptuous gluten-free options (Italy has the highest diagnosed level of celiacs in the world), or the frothy Italian coffees, but it was a hearty, enjoyable affair. The endless rounds of toast and crispy bacon certainly gave me the fuel I needed to tackle the bridges of Venice.
The restaurant serves lunch and dinner but also classic Cicchetti bar snacks throughout the day and of course the essential spritzes. We recommend trying the ‘saor’ of scampi and prawns. After a long day of sightseeing, a great restaurant in the hotel is a bonus if you fancy a quiet night in.
Hotel Indigo Venice: Our Verdict
This boutique modern-meets-historic hotel is the ideal base for a long weekend in Venice. It’s a spot which allows you to retreat from the hectic buzz of the city but still be in easy reach of the key sightseeing spots such as St Mark’s Square, the Doge Palace and the Peggy Collection. If you’re lucky enough to be there at the same time as the Biennale art extravaganza, then we highly recommend dropping by after a hearty breakfast at the hotel.