Hotel Villa Pannonia, Italy: art & garden idyll on the Lido // LIFESTYLEHOTELS

Hotel Villa Pannonia, Lido di Venezia/Italy

Hotel Villa Pannonia, Text: Martin Novak

Eleven kilometres of sandy beach, a great golfing tradition and a boat connection to Venice almost at the front door: visit the boutique hotel Villa Pannonia for a natural idyll, wonderful art and a city break all in one.

Hotel Villa Pannonia was built in the early 20th century as the summer residence of eastern European nobility. This explains the unusual name: «Pannonia» sounds more like western Hungary rather than the gates of Venice. From the outside, the Villa is a masterpiece of traditional Venetian architecture with a façade in classic red and rows of arched windows framed in white. The interiors, on the other hand, offer modern elegance. Tey are the work of leading designers and often minimalist in style – take for example the suite in wenge wood and white leather.

Villa Pannonia combines selected items of furniture with a wonderful range of modern artworks. These are not just on show in the 30 individually designed bedrooms and suites, for the hotel has its very own exhibition space where guests can admire temporary exhibitions by Venetians artists including Gianmaria Potenza, Giuseppe Vio and Elena Kubai in an intimate atmosphere.

Il giardino

Come rain or shine, a day at the Villa Pannonia starts with breakfast in the heart of the historical garden. You can enjoy your caffè, frutti freschi and a cornetto in the green oasis itself, or admire the greenery from the breakfast room. Anything is possible after a great breakfast: yearning for sun and sea? Simply head for the nearby beach. The Lido has eleven kilometres of sand, warm sea and gentle waves. This is the perfect place for long beach walks, collecting shells or simply relaxing in the shelter of a sunshade and soaking in the sounds of the sea. For a little more activity, visit Circolo Golf Venezia golf club. It is one of the oldest in Italy, opening in 1930, and extended to 18 holes in the early 1950s. The diverse countryside between the Adriatic Sea and the Lagoon has everything from sand dunes to fresh forest air under the pines. Both the architecture of the place itself and the bora and sirocco winds can be a challenge here. Create your own slipstream and hire a bike from Hotel Villa Pannonia to discover Malamocco and Alberoni and explore the whole of the Lido di Pellestrina.

La città

Guests who want to explore the centre of Venice can take the ten-minute trip by water taxi; the landing place is just 300 metres from the hotel entrance. The Doge’s Palace, the campanile, the Basilica San Marco … You feel as if you are back in a long-gone era – especially if you travel by gondola. You can also discover the modern face of Venice at the 58th Biennale «Universes in Universes» from 11 May to 24 November. It is impossible to explore the entire Biennale, but the very diversity of artwork on display means you can choose just what suits you.

Il riposo

Villa Pannonia is a cosy, air-conditioned retreat on your return from the bustling city.

Why not take a seat at the wood desk in the bedroom, and put pen to paper to share your excitement with those at home? Or seek out one of the comfy seats in the garden or small library to relax and daydream. You could also revisit the hotel exhibition to examine the paintings and sculptures with new and wiser eyes at the end of the day.