In 6 previous trips to Venice we had always stayed in the San Marco area and on the Grand Canal. Ever since it opened a few years ago, however, I've kept an eye on the Ca' Pisani which was the first "design hotel" in Venice, and situated in the Dorsoduro area (sestiere) near the Accademia. This trip, staying 8 days, I convinced my husband to take a chance and try the place. We loved it. We enjoyed staying in Dorsoduro and found the place just about perfect for our needs and our tastes.
I find the "opulence" of everything Venetian gets a little heavy after a while--in a hotel room, at least. Furnishings are often gold embossed or trimmed velvet or damask, usually in dark blue or blood red. After just so much of that I begin to fear that the heavy drapes will fall on me. I like the clean, modern look found in design hotels. Ca' Pisani delivers on clean and design though the look is retro Art Deco rather than modern. That's more than ok with me since Art Nouveau and Art Deco are my real favorite design eras.
This place pulls out all the stops on Art Deco. The public rooms and spacious hallways are filled with lovely pieces and some of the "art" is designs of art deco furnishings. No expense has been spared to make things look very authentic. Check the hotel pix on the Expedia site (which I think are the ones you get to when you click hotel pictures on this site) and you will see an example of a guest room door with its inlaid multii-colored wood designs. It's that kind of a place.
This design theme carries over into the guest rooms. We opted for their standard double. It is not pictured on the Expedia site, being smaller than the rooms shown, but it certainly provided ample space for us and seemed larger than most Venice standard doubles in my experience. The furnishings in our room were also a bit darker and heavier than those shown in the Expedia pix, so if you crave light and airy this may not be the place for you. I'm going to try to attach pictures we took of our room and bathroom to provide some idea of what I'm trying to explain.
The bedding was pleasantly modern, light weight, and comfortable. (I would love to have taken the crisp, cool, lineney sheets home with me) The mattresses were firm, very much to our liking. The bathrooms were spotless and kitted out in brownish marble with flecks of sparkles, and beautiful, streamlined art deco plumbing fixtures. Our room had a jacuzzi tub--and a window to let in some light.
Actually our room could be very light and airy in spite of the heavy furniture when we opened the lovely--light weight--drapes over the two windows. One faced the mini-palaces on the other side of our street which cuts across the Dorsoduro from the Grand Canal to the wide Canale de Guidecca. The other, amazingly enough showed a view down that street to the Grand Canal where we could see the water traffic traversing it. So, it turns out that we did, after all, have a Grand Canal view, if a bit distant.
The young folks at the front desk (I think the average age of the clients of the hotel tends to be younger than many other hotels in Venice) were very helpful, did all the standard things, like getting us dining reservations, arranging a water taxi to the airport, etc, but did so with what seemed to be real concern and interest. They provided excellent suggestions for dining when I had a couple of free spots on my dining card. In fact one of the places, L'Avogaria, tucked away in the Dorsoduro section but an easy walk, was among our top 3 dinners of our trip. The single exception to this cheerful service was the staff in the breakfast room who were helpful and efficient enough, but just a little glum.
Breakfasts were buffet style, included in the reasonable rate, and quite ample, good and varied--sliced meat, fruits, cereals, pastries, yogurt, etc. The usual spread, but generously provided.
The restaurant serves both in and outside and has snacks during the day and bar service though they do not serve full meals.
We enjoyed the Dorsoduro area. It has a slower, less frenetic pace than San Marco, fewer hordes of tourists, almost no pigeons, and even the presence of real Venetians going about their daily lives. There was an elementary school just a little ways down the street from the hotel. The hotel is only a block or so from the Accademia vaporetto stop, so we were able to get easily to all but the most out of the way places.
We booked through Booking.com which came out to be about 250 euros average per day for our 8 day stay from late May to early June, though the daily rates varied from 220 to 264 which may have been caused by different rates for days of the week as well as a change of month in the middle of our stay. Whatever, we felt the experience was certainly "worth it" and will certainly choose to stay at the Ca' Pisani the next time we're in Venice.
They don't cater to business travelers as such, but do have wi fi available and I did see some guests who appeared to be there on business. Also saw two extremely well-behaved pre-teens in residence.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ca' Pisani, the first design hotel in town, opened in December 2000 after almost 3 years of restoration works. it is a stone's throw from the Grand Canal and the Guggenheim collection, and is located in an original late 16th century building. inside, art deco atmosphere and modern comfort, including free wi-fi connection. Family owned and run by a Venetian family whose members have been hoteliers since 1908. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ca Pisani Hotel