The locanda and the residenza are 50 metres apart in the warren of quiet streets north of bustling Campo Santo Stefano in the San Marco district. I can spend hours browsing in the antique and fabric shops in this area; it’s handy for the Palazzo Grassi contemporary art gallery too. But it’s also just a short walk to St Mark’s and (across the bridge) to the Accademia gallery.
Rooms in the locanda (six) and the residenza (five) are decorated tastefully but simply; all have computers in them, which is virtually unheard of in Venice. In most, too, there’s a DVD player on which to watch your selection from the little library of Venice-themed movies and documentaries kept at reception, where there are also many travel guides. Touches like this, for me, set the Art Deco apart. In the residenza, the loft apartments are great fun but the clamber downstairs to the bathrooms may put some guests off. Still, the kitchenette in each apartment and the possibility of renting combinations of suites makes this ideal for larger groups or families.
The hub for these two locations is the locanda, where the reception staff are founts of local knowledge. There are DVDs and books to borrow for free, and tea- and coffee-making equipment is available for guests. The locanda and residenza both have small private gardens.
Eating and drinking
Breakfast for both locations is served in the locanda, though many residenza guests go for the breakfast-served-in-rooms option. There’s no restaurant.
The Art Deco has an arrangement with Venice’s only female gondolier, Alex Hai, who lays on strawberries and bubbly for clients to consume as she negotiates the canals.
Friendly and well informed.
Who stays there
The Art Deco residenza was commandeered by the staff and security crew of an A-list film star when the Depp-Jolie vehicle The Tourist was being shot in Venice in spring 2010. But mostly guests here are a laid-back crew seeking comfort at affordable prices not too far from the city’s heart.
- High-Speed Internet
- Culture vultures
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
Pros & Cons
- The amenities are well above the norm for a hotel in this bracket
- Very good value for money
- Loft apartments in the residenza involve pretty steep climbs
- The locanda’s rooms are spread over three floors and there’s no lift