During my last Biennale trip to Venice, I stayed at Hotel Indigo Venice in the Sant’Elena neighbourhood. It was my 18th stay in the hotel, which was recently renovated and restyled. In this post, I will briefly tell you about the history of the former convent before I review the hotel, the rooms and the restaurant.
Hotel Indigo Venice is based in a former convent which was built in 1439 by the Olivetan Benedictines. It has been used as a convent for almost 500 years, until it was acquired by the Mantellate nuns. They created the ‘Santa Giuliana Falconieri Institute’, with a primary school, a middle school and a secondary school. It was a very well-known and respected school in Venice. When the number of students decreased, they also offered accommodation to pilgrims passing through Venice.
Around 2000, significant restoration works started to change the premises into a hotel. The distinctive historical features of the building were preserved, such as the façade and the inner garden, which used to be the cloister. Since 2005, it has been run as a hotel.
Hotel Indigo Venice is a 4 star boutique hotel. Since its renovation early 2019, it is part of the IHG Intercontinental Hotels Group. The Hotel Indigo brand pays attention to the historical and cultural context of its hotels and is known for its strong, eclectic and unique style. Hotel Indigo Venice is still owned by HNH Hospitality, one of the leading independent hospitality operators in Italy. The group has 12 4 and 5 star hotels and resorts in Italy.
Hotel Indigo Venice is located in the quiet Sant’Elena neighbourhood, at the east side of Venice. It’s a residential area with hardly any tourists. I really love this location. When you leave the hotel in the morning, the walk through the Parco delle Rimembranze is a great way to start your day. When you return in the evening from the hustle and bustle in Venice, the green scenery is bound to relax you before you enter the hotel. It is also perfectly situated if you are visiting the Biennale, as it’s only a few minutes’ walk to Giardini. You can find more information in my post ‘Sant’Elena: The perfect area for your stay in Venice’.
As soon as you enter the hotel, you are greeted by the friendly staff at the reception. As I have been there so often and there seems to be little rotation of staff, I know the team quite well. It feels like coming home to family. In line with the Indigo brand, they are more than willing to give you suggestions on how to spend your days in Venice. All staff members speak English, but there are also several other languages spoken. You can easily recognize these on the buttons of their uniform. Make sure to check their handmade glass pins depicting the famous Rosette of Murano. The friendly and professional team is without doubt the best feature of the hotel.
The reception and lounge area are one open space. It is therefore very tempting to stop at the bar for a drink before going up to your room. The restyling of the ground floor was inspired by history, particularly the strong tie between Venice and the Byzantine culture. The hotel also has a beautiful garden in the former cloister, which is very uncommon in Venice. You can enjoy breakfast outside, have a drink or relax on one of the sun loungers if you don’t feel like going out.
If you want to discover Venice, you can walk in approx. 25 minutes to San Marco taking a scenic walk along the lagoon (which is more or less this walk in the opposite direction: ‘A secret itinerary from Palazzo Ducale to Giardini’). You can also catch a vaporetto at the nearby Sant’Elena stop if you don’t feel like walking.
Hotel Indigo Venice has 75 rooms and suites. I usually stay in a superior premium room on the fourth floor, which has a small drawing room between the bedroom and the bathroom. We always get the same room so it really feels like ‘our’ room. I once stayed in the duplex suite, for our wedding, and it was a real treat. We even had our own terrace where we enjoyed an evening drink.
The rooms have been renovated and restyled with Byzantine colour palettes and detail-rich design, such as antique phones and colourful cups.The large bed was very comfortable for a good night sleep which I always need after hours of walking around Venice. There is a minibar and you get a complimentary water bottle per day. The bathroom has a great rain shower which is decorated with mosaic tiles.
The Savor restaurant on the ground floor has several seating options. For breakfast, and depending on the weather conditions, you can sit inside in the main area close to the buffet, in the porch with large windows that open to the garden or in the garden itself either in the sun or in the shadow of the gallery. If weather permits, I usually choose the garden even though it means you have to go inside to select your food from the buffet. Coffee is served at the tables.
The breakfast buffet has a selection of bread and pastries, cold cuts and cheese, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausages. They also have fresh fruit, yoghurt and homemade granola if you prefer something healthy. Other types of eggs and pancakes can be made to order (not included in the breakfast price).
In the evening, you can also have dinner in the restaurant (except on Sundays). You can choose between some typical Venetian dishes such as ‘sarde in saor’ or ‘fegato’ (liver). My favourite is the ‘pasta alla busara’, with langoustines. The cosy interior of the restaurant is perfect to enjoy a quiet evening while tasting delicious food. The staff looks very good after you and will make sure you enjoy your evening. Their goal is to do whatever it takes to make you happy.
Overall, I enjoyed my return to the Hotel Indigo Venice and the warm hospitality of the team. I really like the rebranding and the new look of the hotel. If you are looking for a hotel in a quiet part of Venice which will make you feel at home, I recommend Hotel Indigo Venice.
FYI: I stayed in Hotel Indigo Venice as a paying guest, but I did book at a favourable rate.
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