Cà dei Dogi is somewhere between a hotel and a bed & breakfast, having only six differently themed rooms, but retaining the elegance of professional, well-designed accommodation. Tripadvisor is full of people berating hotel rooms any smaller than Wimbledon Centre Court, but Ca dei Dogi was on the limits of even my reasonable tolerance. From the reception to the bathrooms, everything is verging on the claustrophobic. Taking the Palm d’Ors for smallness are the bathrooms, which although well designed and fitted, wouldn’t look out of place on Tom Cruises canal boat. Sitting on the khazi, your knees will almost rub on the opposite wall. Seriously.
Breakfast was the Venetian standard of coffee, yoghurt & bread, with a fruit salad and an omelette (made in the same proportions as the bathroom), which the waiter strangely never seemed too keen to offer. The owners are two of the friendliest smiley people you’ll ever meet, throwing tips and information at you, and happy to phone in those Italian restaurant bookings on your behalf. We’ve now stayed in terrific 4 star hotels in the Cannaregio district (furthest north west point on the island), and on the Lido, and this rates as the best yet. For central, value-for-money, well-serviced accommodation you won’t find better than Ca dei Dogi.
We booked direct through the hotel (the website has been VERY professionally photographed and designed. Read into that what you will.), paying a justified little extra for the superior, due to the additional room space, windows & view you’ll receive. Overall price was 190 euros a night for superior / 180 double. As of June 2007, Ca dei Dogi is 13th on Tripadvisor and a quick look at its neighbours (12th & 14th) will reveal hotels that are nearly 4 times as expensive.
Unique Quality: It might be small then, but Ca dei Dogi is (almost) perfectly formed. The rooms have been well furnished with an Italian / Asian slant to them. The practicalities come in the shape of comfy beds, efficient A/C, reasonably priced mini-bar, and plasma TV. Both rooms (double & superior) have small private balconies, but the rooftop terrace is a better place to sit, with views of the adjacent gardens, the back of the Doges Palace & dungeon, and peeking into sight the gold statue topping the Campanile, which I’m sure slowly rotates throughout the day. Comfortable for only 4 or 5 people, the terrace can quickly become crowded, but as the hotel only has 6 rooms, its more than likely you’ll have it to yourself. The bells of St Marks can obviously be heard with the windows open, but were never intrusive when shut.
Continuing down the alleyway, and stretching your neck carefully around the corner and over the canal water will reveal a view of the Bridge of Sighs that few will experience.
Directions: Reached from San Zaccaria by a surprisingly narrow (and not particularly inviting) pair of alleyways. Fortunately this is Venice, not New York, otherwise you’d have turned back and checked into another hotel before even reaching the 2nd...
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