i-escape: Cima Rosa Venezia, VeniceWith wonderful views of the Grand Canal yet tucked away in a locals’ neighbourhood, this chic B&B is a real Venetian gem. The exceptionally welcoming owners have revived a 15th-century palazzo to create an intimate home-from-home in a city bustling with tourists.

The renovation was an inspiring labour of love for native Venetian Daniele and his American wife Brittany, who spent months finding the right property and carefully restoring the antique furniture, piece by piece.

Rooms: The 5 rooms are elegantly decorated in misty greys and cool blues, with original features like parquet floors and exposed beams, and no trace of over-the-top Venetian maximalism. Beds are dressed in crisp Italian linen, and air-con counters the hot summers. If you’re after a Grand Canal view, the Moro Suite, Signora Suite and Il Nobile offer just that, as well as charming sitting areas. If you’d rather total peace then choose one of the slightly darker Charming Rooms, which are tucked away up a steep flight of stairs.

i-escape: Cima Rosa Venezia, Venice

Food: A fantastic breakfast (not a given in this city) is served at a communal table if you fancy a chat, or smaller tables if you’re after a quieter start to the day. The coffee is great and the spread is generous, featuring freshly squeezed orange juice, plates of ham and cheese, fresh fruit salad, yoghurt and pastries. For other meals, you’ll need to venture out to sample the local restaurants – Daniele and Brittany have kindly marked all their favourites on a handy map of the neighbourhood. If you need some downtime,  a bowl of fruit, biscuits and tea and coffee-making facilities are available all day.

i-escape: Cima Rosa Venezia, Venice

i-escape: Cima Rosa Venezia, Venice

Author’s tip: Don’t follow your map too slavishly – part of the beauty of Venice is getting lost in its cobweb of streets and seeing where you end up.

i-escape: Cima Rosa Venezia, Venice

Press review: “Make a beeline for the best-value, most stylish boutique B&B in Venice, created by a native and his American wife with unparalleled local knowledge and quirky ideas. Leaded windows, ancient beams, elegant antiques, slick bathrooms and a flower-filled courtyard add up to the loveliest hideaway in Santa Croce.”
The Sunday Times, January 2015

i-escape gift: a bottle of champagne at time of stay

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