Madama Garden Retreat

Cannaregio, Venice, Italy
Book from GBP Book from £289 per night

Madama Garden Retreat

Cannaregio, Venice, Italy

A romantic and opulent oasis in the heart of Venice with some of the city’s most spectacular views

A romantic and opulent oasis in the heart of Venice with some of the city’s most spectacular views

People come to Venice for the canals and the sights – and you can’t get closer to both than the Madama Garden Retreat in the city’s Cannaregio district. The famous Rialto Bridge is a mere skip away, St Mark’s Church not much further, and the canals, well they literally lap beneath your window, leading straight to the Grand Canal itself in a three-minute walk. A stay here can feel almost sinfully indulgent. From the luxurious satin and silk furnishings in the 9 rooms to the sumptuous sofas and chairs, hand-crafted wallpapers and antique objets – all set off by blissfully intimate low lighting – it’s a heady mix of old Venetian splendour and ultra-modern glamour.

At its heart is the garden. With its leafy pergolas, resplendent flower bushes and a path leading straight to the canal (you can also access the hotel by boat), it’s a perfect hidden retreat to take breakfast or unwind with an aperitif after a hard day’s sightseeing. And there are so many sights to see. Even better, the hotel can arrange private tours around some of the city’s most famous attractions, giving you access that everyday tourists can only dream of. A break at the Madama is therefore less of a stay and more of an experience – one unlikely to ever be forgotten.


  • Location is everything here. The most famous sites are literally on your doorstep and the gondolas float past your window; you can easily get to the airport via water taxi
  • Impeccable service – whether you want a private tour, tickets to the theatre or breakfast in your room, no request is too big or small
  • The design is to die for – discreet luxury and olde-worlde charm quietly sit alongside modern amenities and elegant comfort
  • The garden itself – a beautiful oasis
  • Eco measures in place include renewable energy, the food is sourced locally where possible and plastic usage is limited


  • An experience like this comes at a price
  • The front desk isn't manned at night
  • It’s not designed for children – there’s an age limit of 15 years old
  • No pool or spa
  • Rooms have a wonderfully moody ambiance, which can feel dark on cloudy winter days

Best time to go

Venice's best travel months (also its busiest and most expensive) are April-June and September-October. Summer in Venice is more temperate (high 70s and 80s) than in Italy's scorching inland cities - but be aware that aircon is usually only available from May-September in most places, to conserve energy. Winter is cheaper and cooler, except for Carnevale in February when the hordes descend again.

Our top tips

The Madama can arrange a private after-hours tour of St Mark's Basilica and it is truly an unforgettable experience. After the doors have closed to the daytime tourists, you can explore the delights of this world-famous church on your own – and even get to see behind the scenes at parts that are normally closed to daytime visitors. Highly recommended.

Great for...

City Style
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 9 rooms
  • Breakfast only; walk to restaurants
  • Over 15s only
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Laundry service
Room: Garden Deluxe 005


There are nine meticulously decorated rooms in total, all sophisticated suites and all boasting either canal or garden views. Each has been individually designed, with inspiration provided by the novel Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino and its meditations on culture, language, time and memory.

The Dahlia, Iris, Mauve, Tulip, Aster, Tuberose and Camelia suites are all two bedrooms with either a king or queen-sized bed in the main bedroom and a queen or twin beds in the second. Note that these can be booked as two or one bedroom options, with the second bedroom closed off as required. Both Peonia and Chartreuse suites are one bedroom with a king-sized bed.

All bathrooms are marble, with waterfall showers and outsized basins. Some suites – Dahlia, Iris, Mauve and Aster – also have second bathrooms. Each room comes equipped with the facilities you’d expect of a top hotel – luxurious linens, aircon, minibars with soft drinks and wine on request, Nespresso coffee makers and bathrobes – and all are soundproofed. Fresh flowers feature prominently throughout.

For views of the canal, the Iris, Mauve Tulip, Aster, Tuberose and Chartreuse suites are unparalleled.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Safe box
  • WiFi


An abundant breakfast (included in the rate) featuring croissants, homemade bread, homemade jam and marmalade, eggs cooked to order, local ricotta, muesli and fresh fruit is served in the tranquil jasmine-scented garden (weather and season depending) or in the lobby, or you can request room service.

During the summer, aperitifs are served in the manicured garden, but there are no other meals on offer. However, Cannaregio offers a wide range of dining options from quick bites to fine dining.

Cicchetti and bacari are two very important words to learn when visiting Venice. In the Venetian dialect, cicchetti means “a small savory snack” such as grilled zucchini with pecorino cheese, smoked ricotta and chopped tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, or radicchio topped with gorgonzola, mascarpone and walnuts. They’re served at various little bacari (local wine bars) whose traditions date back to the 1300s.

Fish and seafood feature strongly in the myriad eateries that line the canal and nestle among the backstreets. There’s a strong presence of traditional homemade Italian fare (cucina della mamma, as it’s known) with dishes of scampi, salt cod, shrimps, anchovies and baby octopus as well as squid ink pasta, sea bass and piles of fritto misto.

It's a gourmet’s delight, and the best advice is to get out and explore.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee maker
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian options


  • Everywhere you turn in Venice is a picture postcard. Popular sights include St Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, the Rialto Bridge, the bell tower on San Giorgio Maggiore, the Ca’d’Oro, the picturesque streets of Burano island and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco with its collection of works of Tintoretto
  • Shoppers can hit the markets for produce, seafood and souvenirs or the boutique shops for jewellery, clothing and art pieces. The Strada Nova is a popular street for shopping, but also check out the Jewish Ghetto, which has some unique outlets and food stalls
  • The Madama Retreat arranges private guided tours. These include a walking tour of Cannaregio, a boat trip to the famous Murano glass factories, or a prosecco tour in the Conegliano and Valdobbiadene hills. The Casanova Promenade tour follows in the footsteps of the great seducer, while the Cannaregio Mystery tour is a night tour of the Venetian backstreets that usually ends up at a noisy bacari
  • Head to the beach, either by private boat transfer (which takes about 20 minutes), or public transport via Vaporetto no.1 (which takes about 45-55 minutes)

Activities on site or nearby include:

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


There's a minimum age limit of 15 years.

Kid Friendly: 6


Located in Cannaregio in the heart of Venice, the Madama Garden Retreat is accessible by boat and also from the street. It's situated just 200m from the Grand Canal and is close to the Rialto bridge.

By Air:
The main airport Venice Marco Polo is about 4km north of the city on the edge of the lagoon. Airport transfers can be arranged, you can also get a water taxi which will take about 40 minutes.

Getting Around:
Don't even think about car hire – you can only get around the city on foot or by water taxis and gondola ferries.

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.


  • Venice Marco Polo Airport 8.0 km VCE


  • Beach 5.0 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

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