Owned by the same family since the 16th century, this charming palace hotel in the Dorsoduro district still has original details, such as beamed and frescoed ceilings, in most of its 13 rooms, plus 18th-century frescoes in the salon on the main floor. There’s also a lovely garden where you can take breakfast or a glass of wine. Best of all, prices are a lot gentler than at many of the hotels in Venice.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There’s no elevator here, so even though the friendly staff will help with your bags, beware of lots of climbing depending on what floor you stay on.
Individually furnished Classic rooms have beamed ceilings and wood floors, while Superior rooms boast beautiful 18th-century ceiling frescoes—and one even has two balconies with Rio Malpaga canal views.
If you can swing it, try for one of the two gorgeous and spacious Junior Suites; both are on two levels, and the I Gemelli Veneziani suite has two balconies, while the La Sposa Persiana suite has a lovely frescoed ceiling.
Pleasant tiled bathrooms have either showers or combo bathtub/showers.
With terrazzo floors, beamed ceilings, and marble columns, the lobby is charming but more of a place to check in rather than to sit. Instead, guests congregate in the beautifully decorated salon or the pleasant garden.
Locanda San Barnaba doesn’t have its own restaurant, but a complimentary breakfast is served every morning in the garden.
The Ca’ Rezzonico vaporetto stop is only 2 minutes away from the hotel, from which you can sail to San Marco and all around the island. If you prefer to walk rather than boat, you can cross the Pont dell’Accademia (Accademia Bridge) over to San Marco (20-minute walk to Piazza San Marco).
Charming La Bitta (1-minute walk) serves market-inspired cuisine including pasta and meat (no fish)—and don’t miss the panna cotta for dessert. Osteria alla Bifora (5-minute walk) features large platters of meats, cheeses, salads, and more in an atmospheric setting in bustling Campo Santa Margherita.
Lively wine shop/bar Cantine del Vino già Schiavi (4-minute walk) has no seating, but serves up inexpensive wines with interesting small bites. Osteria al Squero (6-minute walk) is a casual bacaro (wine bar) with tasty cicchetti (bar snacks)—especially the panini and cheeses—with a fine selection of wine by the glass.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Locanda San Barnaba has absolutely no pretension, just friendly staff and a relaxed location inside a charming setting. Plus the money you save staying here can be used toward other Venice splurges.