Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Room With a Garden in Venice

A private garden is a precious place of refuge in a crowded, foreign city, and that’s why the Pensione Accademia Villa Maravege with its lush, relaxing courtyard oasis, is the perfect accommodation for your family with children in Venice, Italy.

We stayed at this lovely hotel a few years ago and had the Junior Suite, which includes the exceptional feature of double front doors that open up to a shady brick patio.

Just beyond the patio is the well-maintained interior garden where your kids can get some fresh air and play time.

Since the hotel is centrally located - only a fifteen minute walk from St. Mark’s Square - it is marvelously convenient to retreat to the garden several times a day as a break from sightseeing.

The Pensione Accademia is on a quiet corner overlooking the Grand Canal.  Its elegant building was originally a family residence in the 17th century but became a hotel in 1950.  The lobby and rooms are furnished with rich antiques and several have beautiful views out over the canal.  There are double rooms, superior doubles, and the Junior Suite, which we loved.  My husband and I had our own separate bedroom and the kids slept together in the large pull-out sofabed in the living room.  Every room has a private bath, a refrigerator, and air-conditioning (A/C is always at the top of hubby’s list of essentials.)

A full buffet breakfast is included and is served in the front patio garden in the summertime.  A breakfast buffet is a must for us when we travel.  We all try to stuff ourselves in the hope of then managing a light, inexpensive lunch.  I myself can usually get by with a piece or two of fruit for lunch (plus, of course, a late afternoon gelato.)
The area surrounding the Pensione Accademia, known as the Dorsoduro district, has a lot to offer.  There are great little shops, bakeries, and piazzas to explore behind the villa.  And right opposite the canal from the hotel is an affordable family restaurant, too, called Ristorante SanTrovaso.  My son loved his personal size pizza and my daughter thoroughly enjoyed her bowl of spaghetti noodles (sans sauce, like every good picky eater.)

The restaurant is comfortable and the food and wine prices really are quite reasonable compared to other Venetian restaurants.

The concierge and reception at the hotel were kind and professional.  I don't know if they do this for all their guests who inquire about Murano, but they ordered us a free water taxi to the glass island.  I felt like Jackie O, cruising across the lagoon in our private water limo with leather interiors.  The kids didn't get it ("Jackie who?") but really liked the boat ride.

Now yes, of course, the hotel is in cahoots with the Murano glass factories, as the taxi pulls right up to one of the factory entrances, but we weren't met by any solicitors luring us inside.  We went inside because we wanted to tour the place, and we didn't feel any particular pressure to purchase anything from the gift shop, either.  I know other tourists have had different experiences, but ours was quite pleasant.

Pensione Accademia is not a budget hotel.  Although hotels in Venice are pretty expensive in general, there are budget accommodations available.  But if you're interested in having a Venetian villa experience, with a charming, restful garden, the Junior Suite at the Accademia runs between 200€ and 325€ per night, depending on the season.  It's absolutely delightful for families.


  1. OK, we are so going on a trip this summer. Not sure where, but we are going on a trip!

  2. Hi I am following back. I am planning a trip with the kids to Berlin in the summer so hopefully you have some tips!

  3. Wow! That looks like a really lovely place to stay!!


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