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Oltre il Giardino, San Polo, Venice 

2542 Fondamenta Contarini
San Polo
Italy 30125
Tel: 39 041 2750015
view web site ›'s insider take:

This charming boutique hotel concealed behind a high gate near the Frari basilica is a true home from home. Looking more like a country house than Venetian palazzo with its pretty front garden, this villa was once home to Alma, widow of the composer Gustav Mahler. Today it's an urbane and stylish retreat from the tourist crowds, its discreet yet welcoming house-party vibe reflecting the philosophy of genial owner/manager Lorenzo Muner. Two lovely suites (perfect for families or groups) in an adjoining palazzo have been added to the original six options in the main house—consisting of two classic doubles, two junior suites, and two suites, all with views over the garden. Throughout, the understated contemporary decor is pale and relaxing, with occasional splashes of brightly colored detailing and some quality antique pieces. The Green suite opens out onto its own private corner of the garden. A good breakfast is served in the comfortable ground-floor living room or in the garden, a pleasantly verdant place to start your Venetian day.—Lee Marshall

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