Fondamenta Santa Caterina 3, Mazzorbo, Venice, Italy, 30170
- Recommended for:
- Backpackers / Students, Couples, Foodies, Honeymooners, Seasoned travellers, Escaping the crowds, Great views / scenery, Nature / wildlife, Relaxation, Romance
Expert review of Venissa
New for 2010, Venissa is a six-room marvel on the little-visited lagoon island of Mazzorbo. Though the rooms are stylish and chic, they really aren’t the main point: it’s the setting, and the excellent restaurant, that count. The hotel and restaurant are administered by prosecco producer Bisol; a rediscovered indigenous grape, dorona, is now being grown in the immense walled vineyard: I first visited as the setting sun illuminated the little plants and the brightly coloured houses beyond... this unique setting is quite magical.
The frequent day-time services of vaporetto line LN go to Murano and then across the northern lagoon to Mazzorbo, but few visitors get off here, preferring to sail on to multi-coloured Burano. Mazzorbo is worth a visit, however, for its surprising modern housing complex, its bucolic charm and, now, for the excellent restaurant inside the Venissa hotel.
The six bedrooms are designer-chic in a pared-back way: this is, technically, a hostel rather than a hotel, and the simplicity reflects its status. All the rooms are similarly, simply chic; I find the second-floor suites, way up under the eaves with magnificent exposed beams, are more striking.
Chef Paola Budel trained under Italian maestro Gualtiero Marchese and with Michel Roux at London’s La Gavroche. After several years running the restaurant at Milan’s prestigious Principe di Savoia hotel, she is now working her culinary magic here in the Venetian lagoon (see the Venissa restaurant review). Her incredibly light cuisine uses all the freshest of local ingredients in surprising ways. Don't be fooled, though, by the hostel-like ambience of the accommodation next door: this is serious cuisine at serious prices. The space – inside the huge walled vineyard – is wood-and-metal modern, with a large expanse of wooden decking outside for warm weather dining and drinking.
As Venissa is brand new, it remains to be seen. But I would certainly return for the watery peace… and the food. I expect other foodies will make this their slightly recherché Venetian regular.
A magnificent breakfast prepared by the chef costs 15 euros per person on top of the reasonable room rates.
More information on Venissa:
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- Fondamenta Santa Caterina 3, Mazzorbo, Venice, Italy, 30170
- High-Speed Internet, Restaurant
- Mazzorbo island