Hotel Indigo Venice: discover the unconventional Venice


Last Updated on December 4, 2023 by Laura Teso

The Hotel Indigo Venice was once a convent but has recently been turned into a hotel on the quiet island of Sant’Elena. If we think of Venice as a fish, as quoted by Tiziano Scarpa, then the hotel is located in its tail fin. 😉 Therefore, at the easternmost end of the city.

Hotel location

The location is idyllic: surrounded by the greenery of the Rimembranze Garden, and positioned in an area not at all touched by mass tourism, where you can experience an authentic and fascinating side of Venice. 

I think it is the ideal choice for those who want to stay in a slightly secluded location, if compared to the most crowded places, and have the opportunity to explore the Castello district. There, many Venetians still live, and it is possible to admire glimpses of daily life, like small groups of ladies who stay out of their doorways equipped with chairs, chatting and observing passers-by or rows of clothes hanging in the sun from balcony to balcony. 

It is also a privileged location for those interested in visiting the Art Biennale (10 minutes on foot for the Biennale Gardens, 20 for the Arsenale). You can reach Saint Mark’s Square with a half-hour walk, first through the gardens and then along Riva degli Schiavoni, enjoying a superb view of the basin.

The island of Sant’Elena

Until the 1920s, Sant’Elena was completely detached from Venice. Following a reclamation it was then incorporated into the urban fabric. The main attraction is the church of the same name which houses the relics of St. Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine. According to tradition, it was she who found the “True Cross”, that is, the cross on which Jesus died. She allegedly found it during her pilgrimage to Palestine. The island also includes a military naval school, two docks, a pine forest and the city stadium. Curiosity: Giovanni Caboto, the famous navigator who discovered Canada, lived in Sant’Elena.

Hotel Indigo Venice

Hotel Indigo Venice is a boutique hotel with a strong personality. In fact, the Indigo brand has the merit of carefully choosing the style of its structures, adapting them to the historical reality in which they are located. 

In this case, the restyling, developed in partnership with the THDP architecture studio, draws inspiration from the Byzantine influences in Venice, reflected in the choice of many details and in the color palette. An appreciable touch is the choice of combining modern interior design with products of the precious local craftsmanship: prints, ornaments, chandeliers and lanterns in Murano glass. Even every staff member wears a brooch with a Murano rosette.


The rooms are 75, divided into standard, superior, premium, junior suite, king suite and duplex. They are all equipped with 40 ” LCD TV + Chromecast and wifi connection, and characterized by a minimal design. The walls are have lovely plant-themed prints. The glossy black of the furnishings refers to gondolas. The bathroom tiles were laid with the ancient Venetian terrazzo technique. The view from the windows can be on the streets around the hotel or on the ancient internal cloister, now transformed into a delightful garden.

photo courtesy Hotel Indigo Venice

The garden

The internal garden was once the cloister of the convent. It is a cozy and relaxing space where you can spend some time at the end of the day, sitting on a sofa or lying on a chaise longue.


You can go from sweet to savory, with cakes, croissants, cereals, eggs, cheeses, cold cuts, fruit salad and various drinks. On warm days it can also be served in the garden.

Hotel Indigo Venice giardino

Savor Restaurant Bar & Garden

Hotel Indigo Venice also has a restaurant, also open to those who are not staying at the hotel. It is called Savor Restaurant Bar & Garden. The term Savor was chosen in reference to saor, a typical culinary preparation of Venice, used to preserve and flavor sardines and other foods. The Savor Restaurant is suitable for both lunch and dinner based on local and international dishes. But also for a drink, perhaps in the garden, at aperitif time. We tried the tasting menu: prawns in saor, whipped salt cod spread on courgette cream, spaghetti alla busara (with prawns and tomato), seabass, fish-fry and mascarpone cream with amaretti. Everything was very good. The restaurant is also the part of the hotel that I preferred as for the decor.

What to see around the hotel Indigo Venice: just a few ideas

Castello district

  • Biennale Garden: the public gardens, home to the art exhibition since 1895.
  • Venice Arsenal: the complex of the ancient shipyards. The South Arsenal hosts the Biennale in the months of its opening. Also interesting is the Naval History Museum of the Italian Navy.
  • Garibaldi street: is the hub of real life in Castello, with cafés, restaurant and shops popular among locals.
  • San Pietro di Castello: one of the first inhabited cores of Venice, so much so that the Basilica of San Pietro in Castello was the city’s cathedral until 1807.
  • San Zaccaria: interesting church, especially for the perennially flooded crypt which gives it a unique atmosphere.
  • Acqua Alta bookshop: the most famous bookshop in Venice. Find more information in my previous article: Bookshop Acqua Alta.
  • Museo di Palazzo Grimani: the Sala del Portego houses 12 paintings by Georg Baselitz, created specifically for the museum. In my opinion, they blend perfectly with the environment. The highlight of the museum is the evocative Sala del Doge, which  displays part of the collection of classical statues of the Grimani family.

A little further:

  • Murano: we were lucky enough to try a proven experience with a trip to the island of Murano. We visited a Venier glass factory.
  • The Lido of Venice is 12 minutes by vaporetto for those who want to spend a day on the beach. Or admire the Liberty villas or simply try to snatch a selfie with some celebrity at the Venice Film Festival.

Hotel Indigo Venice

Calle Buccari, 10 – Sant’Elena, Venice

How to reach the hotel?

We went to Venice by train. From the railway, we walked to Piazzale Roma to take vaporetto 5.1 which reaches Sant’Elena in about 30 minutes. On the hotel website (see above) there are all the directions to get there from the airport.

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