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Beyond its grand palazzo hotels, Venice holds a wealth of jewel-box spots, with four in particular standing out among the rest. They’re not full-service hotels, but the quiet atmosphere at each gives guests an intimate, personalized view of the city.
Ca Maria Adele
Of the 12 unique rooms at this six-year-old Orientalist fantasy, overlooking the Salute Church and the Grand Canal in Dorsoduro, the best are the Moores, Oriental and Fireside “concept suites,” each damask-covered, terrazzo-floored and highly romantic. Breakfast, served on silver platters and white china, is lovely on the small Moroccan-inspired terrace. Rooms start at $450. At 111 Dorsoduro, Rio Terra dei Catecumeni; 39-041/520-3078; camariaadele.it.
Charming House DD724 & iQs
These sister properties, opened in 2003 and 2008, are the brainchild of the ultrachic Chiara Bocchini, a stylish Diane von Furstenberg type who has been in Venice for 32 years. In contrast to the city’s ancient aesthetic, there’s striking contemporary design here: original abstract art on the walls and sleek, modern Italian furnishings in DD724’s six rooms and suites, as well as in iQs’s four larger suites, three of them with kitchens. The glass walls dividing iQs’s lobby from its canal dock are especially clever. Rooms at DD724 start at $230. At 724 Dorsoduro, Ramo da Mula; 39-041/277-0262. Rooms at iQs start at $275. At 4425 Castello, Campiello Querini Stampalia; 39-041/241-0062; thecharminghouse.com.
Oltre Il Giardino
Lorenzo Muner opened this six-room spot in 2004 in a three-story home once owned by Gustav Mahler’s widow, Alma. On a small canal near the Frari Church, it can claim its high-walled garden—a Venice rarity—as its greatest luxury. The main house’s comfortable, classically furnished suites are best, especially those on the upper floors, though the ground-level one has garden access. Rooms start at $240. At 2542 San Polo, Fondamenta Contarini; 39-041/275-0015; oltreilgiardino-venezia.com.