Hotel Violino D'Oro

Art Deco jewel, intimate, stylish San Marco, 2091, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

+39 041 277 0841

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At a Glance

With just 32 rooms and suites, this boutique property is less than a five-minute walk from Piazza San Marco but feels like a tucked-away secret, more home than hotel with a gilded, Art Deco–inspired look and feel. Suffice it to say, the Fitzgeralds would not be amiss at the stamp-sized bar in the lobby lounge.

Indagare Loves

  • The richly decorated but intimately sized sitting areas on the ground floor that feel like the stylish home of a Venetian friend
  • The creative way the plugged-in team encourages guests to (re)discover the city with such recommendations as their “da lontano ma Venizano” list of shops and restaurants powered by passionate Venice transplants
  • The cocktails menu infusing the classics with a sense of humor (Bye Bye Vesper, a take on a dirty martini, references the dramatic watery end of James Bond’s true love in Casino Royale)


The Violino d’Oro is the latest passion project in Collezione Em, the small-but-growing Italian hotel brand powered by a Florentine family, in particular Sara Maestrelli and her aunt, Elena. The family has a long history in hospitality and in art, as evidenced across the portfolio, which also includes the Grand Hotel Minerva, in Florence’s Piazza di Santa Maria Novella and Villa Roma Imperiale in Forte dei Marmi.

Elena and Sara had long dreamed of a hotel project in Venice, a city Sara describes as a place of wanderers and a logical extension of the brand’s other destinations. “We want to create homes in places we love and are deeply connected to,” she says. “Venice, like Florence, is a small city that fills your heart with art and beauty, and your tummy with some of the best food and wine in the country.”

The Violino d’Oro had an earlier life as a place to stay – its name references the original clientele, i.e. visitors of the nearby La Fenice opera house. But after a multi-year-long renovation, the three interconnected, 17th- century palazzi have emerged as a jewel of a boutique hotel that feels like a private home and also, a showcase for Italian art and craftsmanship.

There are the expected names: sumptuous Rubelli fabrics, glowing Venini chandeliers and custom Ginori ceramics. But Sara and Elena also selected the works of more contemporary tastemakers, including wall paintings by Tuscany-based artist Assia Pallavicino, sleek coffee tables in brushed brass designed by Giorgio Cattelan, and handmade stucco by the immensely creative team of forme in arte, who envisioned a veritable fairy forest for the walls of Il Piccolo restaurant.

A lobby lounge encompasses check-in, a slender bar and chic sitting areas with low couches and bookcases with splashy titles on Venice, art and Italian culture. A second salotto feels even more like the sumptuous home of an art lover, with dark-red velvet chaises and gorgeous terrazzo floors – so unmistakably Venetian, like confetti was gently tossed and then scattered by long gowns en route to Carnevale. (The latter are courtesy of the Asin brothers, of one of the oldest and most revered crafts families in Venice still laying this kind of flooring by hand.)

Everything at Violino d’Oro feels intimate and personal – this is not the hotel for travelers looking to slip in and out of an anonymous lobby unseen – and thanks to the fact that these are three interconnected buildings, the 32 rooms and suites are all unique in layout (suffice it to say, there are seven room categories). Uncluttered and sleek, the rooms are exceedingly comfortable, with king-sized beds, walk-in closets and bathrooms with rain-showers (some also have freestanding bathtubs) and Ortigia beauty products. In most rooms, the high ceilings add a heightened sense of space, and some come with internal terraces or narrow balconies facing the Rio di San Moise (there are no Grand Canal views). A color scheme heavy on gold and ecru gives the brain of an overstimulated Venice traveler a place to rest — overall, the Violino d’Oro is a tastefully designed enclave in which withdraw and recharge from Venice’s often overwhelming, oversaturated impressions.

The young and plugged-in team here can help with recommendations that take guests off the beaten path, and are also happy to reserve at recommended spas or a gym (neither of which the Violino d’Oro has in-house). Some of the city’s most acclaimed restaurants are within easy walking distance, but guests should also make a reservation for diner at Piccolo restaurant, helmed by chef Stefano Santo, who hails from Tuscany but who has a passion for Venetian cuisine as well as for sustainability, a concept critically important in a city where every last ingredient arrives via boat.

In design, philosophy and myriad details, the Violino d’Oro is a reinterpretation of Venice — richly artful, stylish and personal. For Venice connoisseurs who have done the “see-and-be-seen” and the Grand Canal view, this marvel is not to be missed.

Who Should Stay

Venice connoisseurs who prefer to be tucked away rather than see-and-be-seen (this is not the hotel for a big arrival or Grand Canal views). Violino d’Oro is a sophisticated place that feels like a private home, and guests are instantly welcomed — albeit with a lot of elegance and style – as if they are part of the Venetian family. There is no spa or gym, even though considering how close you are to San Marco, the opportunity to go for a run along the laguna early in the morning before the day trippers arrive is a tempting and beautiful alternative.

Written by Simone Girner

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