Ca Maria Adele

Dorsoduro, Venice, Italy Book from

Reviewed by Emma Taylor
Grand design in an intimate hotel - an decadent and sexy little number in the heart of one of the world's most romantic cities
Ca Maria Adele is a hotel for luxury-lovers; lovers of plush, decadent rooms and oversized Jacuzzi baths; lovers of gold leaf, enormous beds and soft, velvety fabrics; and for lovers, pure and simple. Cool minimalism it ain't, but if you like designer opulence, this 16th-century palazzo will wrap itself around you like a warm cocoon. Behind its deceptively plain façade are breathtakingly sumptuous rooms, including 5 lavishly themed Concept Rooms. Next door in Palazzetto 113 are 2 equally indulgent gold-and-purple rooms. From antique marble floors to enormous bespoke chandeliers of Murano glass, this place oozes contemporary Venetian opulence.

And then there’s the location: tucked away at the tip of the classy Dorsoduro quarter, opposite the magnificent church of Santa Maria della Salute, and stone’s throw from the Grand Canal. From your windows (most rooms have several) you look onto the canals, churches and rooftops of Europe’s most stunningly preserved city, yet the hotel remains remarkably peaceful. You can even watch the vaporetto arrive nearby courtesy of your very own webcam. So if you have a new lover to impress, or an old one to woo afresh, this is the place.

Highs

  • It's beautifully designed, extravagant, decadent – a real treat!
  • The spectacular location near the Grand Canal feels blissfully peaceful, especially at night
  • Passionate, hands-on owners who really want to help
  • The hotel's waterside entrance allows for private water taxis to and from restaurants, museums and the airport
  • Cosseting guest lounge and a Moroccan-style terrace on the second floor that's perfect for summer breakfasts

Lows

  • Big windows mean that some first-floor rooms can be looked into
  • May be over-styled for some, and too pricey for others
  • Only a few of the rooms have bathtubs
  • There is no lift

Best time to go

May, June, September and October are the busiest in Venice; July and August are very hot and humid, and full of day-trippers. March and early April are perhaps the best times to go, with cool clear weather. November - mid February (excluding New Year) are very quiet, with no queues and easily-bookable restaurants. In early November you can still enjoy blue skies and al fresco lunches; after that, expect some cold and clouds. If you plan to visit during peak seasons, be sure to book well in advance.

Our top tips

Don't plan a too tightly packed schedule, instead allow yourself one more day than you think you'll need. This way you'll have time to enjoy a little laziness here. The beds are ridiculously comfy, and lunch is served until midday, so there really is no need to rush...

Great for...

City Style
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 14
  • Breakfast only (walk to restaurants)
  • Over 16s welcome
  • Closed: 8 Jan 2017 - 9 Feb 2017
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room:

Rooms

There are just 14 rooms divided into 4 categories. Expect a kingsize bed and at least one window with a view (there are more than 80 windows between the rooms!). All are full of bygone decadence while still offering a fun and dramatic take on the Venetian style.

The Concept Rooms are the most striking and are all individually decorated and named. You’re welcome to choose your favourite and they'll do their best to honour it. The Sala del Doge is fit for a Venetian king: clad in red velvet from floor to ceiling with a huge glass chandelier that was specially designed for the room. It also has a Jacuzzi tub and views onto the church. Sala Noire is perhaps the sexiest, its dusky walls and black chandelier creating a cosseting sense of decadence! It has views over the streets of Dorsoduro and the canal, and a dark mosaico bathroom with a big shower. The opulent Sala dei Mori is resplendent in blue, the Sala Orientale gleams with gold and spicy browns; and the Sala del Camino, with its pale cream walls and whitewashed floorboards, is a more soothing experience.

The Deluxe Rooms are plush and comfortable, with damask walls, traditional tiled or carpeted floors and simple antique pieces. Ours had an exposed beam ceiling, and stunning views of the Salute church. There’s considerable variation between the rooms sizes, but you’re guaranteed a spacious bedroom and shower room with all the comfort and attention to detail you could wish for. The Suites are hidden away at the top of the palazzo with dramatic vaulted ceilings and pared-down cappuccino décor. One has a separate living room and a private terrace, while the other has and in-room ‘chromotherapy’ bathtub and stunning views of Madonna della Salute and Giudecca.

In 2013 the hotel expanded into the nearby Palazzetto 113 building, where 2 slightly more affordable guest rooms are regally decorated in rich purples and golds. There’s a delightful terrace overlooking the Salute Church and breakfast is served in the bedroom. We haven’t seen these rooms yet, but the added privacy (combined with proximity to the main hotel) sounds perfect for slightly more independent travellers and honeymooners.

Some bathrooms have a tub or Jacuzzi tub, but most have showers (with a cymbal-sized head), so if this is important to you, please specify when booking.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Hairdryer
  • Honesty bar
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

Ca Maria Adele provided one of the best breakfasts we had in Venice; the Italians are not famed for their morning meals but Ca della Corte has broken the mould. The experience begins the night before when menu cards are left in your room at turn down (they also include a helpful insight into the next day’s weather forecast). You can choose what you’d like and hang the card on the door ready to be collected in the morning, or call in your request when you wake up the next day.

The selection on offer is marvellous: pastries and bread with several jams and honeys, fruit, cereal and mueslis, yoghurts and freshly cooked eggs and bacon to order. There’s also Prosecco should you wish to start your day with a more than just a caffeine kick.

It's all served in an extremely stylish but rather hushed breakfast room, with large windows facing the church. There’s a huge chandelier, and the friendly staff serve until a generous 12 noon, although the bells will have awakened you long before that! In the summer the doors and windows are thrown open onto the small balcony, but guests often choose to dine out on the terrace at this time of year. Of course, if can’t bear to tear yourself away from your room, you can always have breakfast brought to you. Guests staying in Palazetto 113 are always served breakfast in their room.

For other meals, you can walk to Accademia (10 minutes), where several good restaurants can be found. We recommend asking for advice at reception as it can be difficult to judge the quality of Venetian restaurants on their looks alone -we received some excellent suggestions. Staff can also make reservations and arrange for water taxis to collect you from the hotel’s canal-side entrance. For a taste of iconic Venice, dine outdoors at Caffé Florian (Italy's oldest café) on the Piazza San Marco, or head to the famous (and outrageously expensive) Harry’s Bar for world-class Bellinis and Carpaccio.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Directly in-front of the hotel is the atmospheric church of Santa Maria della Salute (Our Lady of Health). In 1630, the Venetian Senate prayed to Mary to end the plague, promising her a new church. She obliged, and the result is a masterpiece of Venetian architecture

  • Take a peaceful stroll along the water to the very tip of Dorsoduro, where Punta della Dogana hosts the stunning contemporary art collection of billionaire Francois Pinault

  • Five minutes in the opposite direction will bring you to Peggy Guggenheim’s famous modern art collection, in her impressive home overlooking the Grand Canal. Works on display include those by Pollock, Picasso and Peggy’s ex-husband, Max Ernst

  • Marvel at the glittering Basilica di San Marco, the historic Palazzo Ducale, and the Museo Corror - all in St Mark's Square

  • Rather than ascending the busy Campanile di San Marco, take a vaporetto across the water to the Chiesa di San Giorgio bell tower. It's much quieter and the views encompass all of Venice's most iconic landmarks

  • Visit the nearby islands of San Michele (a huge cemetery park), Murano (glass-blowing), Burano (fishing, lace-making and gaily-colored houses) or Torcello (7th- to 13th-century architecture, Byzantine mosaics and a population of some 80 people)

  • Or just explore the labyrinth of narrow alleys and little hump-backed bridges - getting lost is all part of the fun here and it's very easy to do!

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

This is a tranquil and romantic hotel for couples, and under 16s cannot be accommodated. There are no twin rooms or extra beds available.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
8/
Value
9/
Overall

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