Venice welcomes a new luxury hotel Ca’di Dio , located in the sestiere Castello along Riva degli Schiavoni, at the entrance to the Arsenale district where the city's Biennale, one of the world's most iconic art festivals and exhibitions is held every two years. “Ca’ di Dio encompasses what I call ‘venessentia’ , that is, the fascination, atmosphere and the most intimate essence of Venice. I would like every guest to feel at home, in the heart of the city, but in an area protected from the more frenetic tourist routes,” says the five-star property’s acclaimed manager Christophe Mercier, who has a rich history of managing some of Venice's finest properties. It is the fourth hotel in the VRetreats collection , after Rome and Taormina: historic houses, an international flair and deluxe hospitality connecting all four projects together.
Internationally renowned Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola was appointed as the interior designer and art director for the project. “The vision with VRetreats was always in agreement on the end result: Venice had to be the nucleus from which everything had to originate. The careful choice of materials, the importance of the genius loci are fundamental elements for me. We have researched in depth to exalt the personality of Ca’ di Dio, without distorting the past but re-interpreting it in a contemporary manner,” explains the architect and interior designer, Patricia Urquiola.
In keeping with the spirit of the VRetreats collection,a brand of VOIhotels, Ca’ di Dio blends together a rich history and luxurious modernity that reflects the surroundings in every detail. Dating back to the 1200s, Ca’ di Dio was an ancient shelter for pilgrims and women in difficulty. “This is the philosophy that guides VRetreats,” says Paolo Terrinoni, Managing Director of VOIhotels, “A story to accompany our guests in the discovery of the world and its beauties. We are carefully assessing each acquisition, as we are interested in the distinctive personality that must characterise each of our hotels. We, even before any of our guests, must fall in love with the project: Ca’ di Dio is exactly this, a story that everyone will love to experience,” he adds.
A distinct welcoming environment can be perceived right from the entrance, with the lobby, originally the church, being one of the most iconic areas of the entire hotel. Ca’ di Dio has 66 rooms, 57 are Suites and 9 are Deluxe Rooms along with a Reading Room, and the Alchemia bar, in the two restaurants of the hotel, Essentia and Vero. Each space displays carefully curated materials, characterised by fabrics, glass, stone and marble, which pay homage to the local craftsmanship. “More than 400 windows, two rooftop logias and three gardens: Ca’ di Dio is really a window into beauty and in constant dialogue with one of the most beautiful cities in the world,” explains Mercier. The rooms have fabric panelling and wood frames surrounding the windows, emphasising the relationship between the internal and external space. Light fittings have been made to measure, hand-blown by master glassblowers. Most rooms face the lagoon, looking out onto the isle of San Giorgio and Rio Ca’ di Dio.
The restoration project also focused on sustainability, with investments that would guarantee systems and infrastructures that would limit any impact on the environment. Water from the lagoon is used in the air conditioning system, to reduce energy costs by 20%, as well as reducing CO2 emissions by about 110t every year.
Molteni&C has furnished 66 bedrooms with custom-made pieces designed by Patricia Urquiola. The project features several iconic pieces of the Molteni&C collections such as the Filigree tables designed by Rodolfo Dordoni, and the Woody chairs designed by Francesco Meda. The brand also enriches the hallways with wood ceilings, fabric upholstery and benches.