City of Water, City of Bridges, City of Gondole – Venice on the banks of the Adriatic in Northeastern Italy is as heady as it’s mesmerizing. The cluster of 118 islands is peppered with lots of canals, epic grandeur and architecture, an artful lifestyle, and succulent, delectable cuisine. You’d also find it surprising that LGBTQ history in Venice is as convoluted as its labyrinthine canal system. While there was a thriving gay scene in the city in the 16th century, today Venice’s gay scene is nowhere near what it used to be. Despite that, the number of gay friendly hotels in Venice, Italy has only grown over the years. Luxurious palaces might be commonplace, but you’ll also find LGBTQ friendly boutique hotels and B&Bs that feel like they’re from another era. Whether it’s an indulgent vacation you want or a truly Venetian one, the city has you covered.
Given its complicated tryst with LGBTQ rights, Venice lacks a thriving gay scene like its other Italian peers like the gay friendly Florence. However, there are a few fabulous gay bars and saunas, with the rest of the places being very gay friendly. Moreover, Venice is an absolute pleasure to explore by day. After all, it’s one of the 11 Most Beautiful Canal Cities In The World. There are lots of museums, heritage structures, and markets, including the 13th-century Fondaco Dei Tedeschi, one of the 15 Most Amazing Shopping Malls In The World. What’s more, the city explodes in a heady riot of colors during the Carnival of Venice, one of The 12 Best Carnivals Around The World.
Venice might not be a top LGBTQ destination, but it surely is an extremely romantic gay Italian destination. To that end, here are the top 11 gay friendly hotels in Venice, Italy.
Ca’ Del Nobile
If you want to stay in a characterful place in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Venice’ city center, then the Ca’ Del Nobile is perfect. It’s one of the most budget-friendly yet beguiling gay friendly hotels in Venice, Italy. Despite sitting a few steps off the tourist-packed Calle dei Fabbri, the place is surprisingly quiet. What’s more, it’s rife with interesting details – it’s one of the lowest points of the city. So, during the acqua alta or Venice flooding, you can even see water bubbling up the cobblestones from the windows! The best part? The eclectic LGBTQ bar Bra’s is a five-minute walk.
An air of hushed civility permeates this quaint little hotel, right from the rooms to the high-ceilinged breakfast room/lobby. In fact, the latter even features a great guidebook selection for you to peruse. The owner-hosts are attentive and charming and are ready to cater to every whim and help with any travel advice. What’s more, there’s even a lovely breakfast of tea, cappuccino, and freshly baked pastries waiting for you. Despite being a real budget place, the hotel even features Wi-Fi.
You can choose from six, different-sized rooms, of which the largest is quite spacious given its city center location. Moreover, they’re both contemporarily elegant and innately Venetian at the same time, sans all the brocade and ornateness. Plus, the ensuite bathrooms are immaculate.
Baglioni Hotel Luna
Located just steps from St. Mark’s Square, the gay friendly Baglioni Hotel Luna is one of the 11 Best Hotels in Venice, Italy. And, it’s easy to see why. To begin with, it’s tastefully done up in gorgeous Venetian fabrics and colors. Secondly, it dishes out expect lagoon luxury at wallet-friendly prices. And finally, you cannot get any closer to the gorgeous historic center of Venice while staying here.
The hotel is the most ‘Venetian’ hotel you’ll find in Venice, complete with lashings of chandeliers and brocade without making it look over-the-top. Despite being one of the larger hotels in the area, it oozes the most homely vibes, thanks to the knowledgeable and welcoming staff. Tuck into a lavish buffet breakfast in the historic salon featuring 18th-century frescoes. In the evening, sip on an aperitive at Caffè Baglioni before heading out to explore Venice’s lively alleyways.
The rooms at Luna are luxuriously Venetian; think moody lamps, plush window drapes, and silk brocade wall lining. If you can splurge, go for the rooms and suites with views over the lagoon or the Giardinetti Reali park.
Axel Hotel Venezia
Axel Hotel Venezia is hands-down the best gay friendly hotel in Venice, Italy. In fact, it’s aimed squarely at the LGBTQ+ public and bills itself as straight-friendly! The adults-only hotel is the perfect base in Venice, whether you’re a couple, a ground of friends, or single and looking to mingle. Located in the serene streets of Dorsoduro, the hotel is close to all of Venice’s major attractions, as well as its cute bars, cafes, and nightlife. Even though it’s a budget hotel, the place does have a bar and restaurant. the restaurant serves a delicious Italian local breakfast every day. Plus, the bar is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner before beginning your night revelry in the town. With a 24-hour reception, the staff is ready to help you with anything and everything.
The best part about the Axel chain is the rooms. Modern to boot, they’re equipped with all creature comforts like contemporary bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, and even coffee/tea-making facilities. Four-poster beds, fresh flowers, and exposed brick walls lend a touch of romance. the best part? All rooms feature a “Casanova Kit by Axel amenities,” which will make your night with your partner one to remember.
Ca’ Pisani Hotel
If you’re looking for a non-traditional design Venetian hotel in Centro Storico, then there’s no better hotel than Ca’ Pisani. The hotel is a welcome departure from the traditional chandeliers and brocade and adopts a rather charming Art Deco look. It sits in the pretty Dorsoduro district, which is a mere 15-minute stroll to the main historic sights in the town.
Ca’ Pisani broke the mold of tired and jaded Venice hotels with its sleek art-deco design, including some striking soft furnishings and fantastic original pieces. The hotel is as chic as it’s charming, with the super-friendly staff able to lend any tips and advice that you might want. The restaurant on-site serves a superb breakfast, while the wine bar is a great place to sip on some wine and dig into some cold cuts. Finally, there’s even a steam room/hammam on-site that’s perfect for unwinding.
The 29 rooms and suites might not be palatial, given Venetian standards, but they’re all beautifully individualistic. In fact, all of them feature wonderful 1920s-40s period furniture that blends with striking contemporary glass-and-metal fixtures. Moreover, the bathrooms are modern, and some even have bathtubs.
There’s no better gay friendly hotel in Venice, Italy than the ‘chain hostel’ Generator. The funky and hip hostel lies on the island of Giudecca across from Venice proper and oozes an industrial-chic aesthetic. So, you’re close enough to the action, but also well away from the crowds clogging the city center. The industrial-chic feel continues within, with exposed beams and pipes and bare brick walls. Bohemian interiors feature a mix of leaf wallpaper, burgundy drapes, velvet armchairs, and the likes. Eclectic bric-a-brac makes its way within too; think vintage apothecary cabinets, ceramic lamps, etc.
There’s an unending roster of events – weekly DJ sets, karaoke sessions, and film screenings. Plus, the hostel can organize everything from gondola to canoeing trips. The common lounge with the board games and a pool table is the perfect place to break the ice with fellow travelers. Albeit paid, the buffet breakfast of bread, ham, cheese, and cereals is great, complemented by light meals served by the all-day café. Also, the bar is one lively socializing spot, along with happy hour to invigorate patrons. Are you a late riser? Check-out time is until 1 p.m.
The rooms are color-coded across yellow, blue, and purple floors, and are divided into dorms and private rooms. Dorm beds have lockers, reading lamps, sockets, and spotless shared bathrooms. For its price point, the private rooms are very attractive with leather armchairs and city views in many of them.
Starhotels Splendid Venice
Starhotels Splendid has the most enviable location in town – it’s a mere two minutes from the famed Piazza San Marco, one of the 15 Most Beautiful Squares In Europe. Plus, it’s tucked between scenic canals and lies a leisurely stroll from most of Venice’s main attractions. A larger hotel with a distinct boutique feel, staying here makes sightseeing in Venice as effortless as can be.
The hotel sits around a private internal courtyard, with minimum noise from the street. On the inside, it boasts a cozy and intimate vibe despite being a large hotel. Relax in one of the lounge areas, all of which overlook the gondola-filled canal. The piece de resistance is the splendid multi-level rooftop terrace with incredible views of Venice’ rooftops. You can also relax in the lounge, the cozy library, and the lobby bar that flanks the glassed-over interior courtyard. The on-site restaurant serving Venetian classics is a favorite with locals too. Moreover, the hotel serves a lip-smacking breakfast in the courtyard, complete with canal views. Finally, you can even arrive at the hotel by water taxi through the dedicated water entrance.
Choose from 165 classic-contemporary rooms and suites with comfy chairs and writing desks as mainstays everywhere. All rooms face either the smaller surrounding streets or the sun-kissed internal courtyard, which keeps the noise at bay. Besides marble bathrooms, the well-stocked minibar is a real pleasure.
Ca Maria Adele
The Ca Maria Adele is, without doubt, one of the most luxurious gay friendly hotels in Venice, Italy. The Venetian Baroque hotel is nestled behind a church in the tranquil streets of Dorsoduro and boasts its own water entrance. With just five statement rooms, as well as plush Deluxe rooms and top-floor Suites, staying here makes you feel like Venetian royalty.
There’s a welcoming hush to this stylish and extremely intimate place, along with oodles of relaxed charm. The effortless charm of the hosts and the staff set the tone for the hotel, who ensure everything to make your holiday a dream. Moreover, you can order breakfast off an unending à la carte menu every evening, and even choose to enjoy it in the comfort of your rooms. Or, you can enjoy it on the terrace while taking in incredible morning views of Venice and its canals. Rounding up the amenities is an honesty bar in the reception.
The rooms are spread across three floors (no lift), with the five concept rooms taking Venetian themes to baroque extremes. Think scarlet brocades, black Murano glass chandeliers, and the likes. The Deluxe rooms are equally delightful with marble bathrooms and subtle hues. The zenith of luxury is the top-floor suites with once-in-a-lifetime views over Venice’s rooftops.
Staying in Venice’ Centro Storico (city center) is one expensive affair, which is why the wisteria-ensconced Locanda Fiorita is such a fantastic choice. One of the prettiest gay friendly hotels around, the budget hotel is one impeccably maintained one with a classic Venetian feel to it. The best part? It’s close to almost all the Top 10 Things To Do In Venice.
Fiorita translates to ‘flowers’ in Italian, and Locanda lives up to its name with flowers and blossoming shrubs just about everywhere. The décor is simple Venetian yet elegant; think lovely fabrics and antique furniture sans being ostentatious. However, the hallmark here is the excellent service and advice dishes out by the wonderfully friendly staff. For a budget hotel, the presence of the outside seating and the gorgeous roof terrace is an absolute delight. In warmer weather, enjoy a fresh breakfast on the alfresco campo. During winters, you can enjoy it in the comfort of your rooms.
All 10 rooms are airy and bright and done up in Venetian-style pastels. The best of the lot are the bedrooms that open on to the leafy balconies upstairs, but room no. 10 has a separate private terrace. Despite being compact, the bathrooms are modern and stylish to boot.
Hotel Antico Doge
What’s staying in Venice without a little bit of old-world luxury? And what better place to stay than at Hotel Antico Doge, a gay friendly hotel in Venice, Italy? The lovingly restored 13th-century palace is the former residence of Doge Marino Falier and is steeped in history. Moreover, its central location in Centro Storico makes the entire Old City walkable.
Stepping into the hotel is like stepping back in time, as shimmering Venetian chandeliers, gilded mirrors, and layers of brocades and silk are everywhere. Here, it’s the warmth of the staff that sets the place apart. So, you’ll see a constant flurry of activity at the front desk, right from people booking tours to chatting with the staff about hidden gems. The Grand Salon is where a cheerful and most hearty breakfast is served, complete with the dulcet tones of classical music. You have the most decadent spread in front of you; think brewed coffee, fresh fruit, yogurt, made-to-order options, cakes, and more.
However, the standout here is the rooms which have every modern comfort while also featuring original antique pieces. What’s more, you’ll even find parts of original pavements in the rooms, which are enveloped in rich golds, greens, yellows, and reds. Moody lighting and gorgeous mosaic showers in the bathrooms complete the rooms, of which four overlook the canal.
Residenza De L’Osmarin
Ditch the ostentatious Venetian luxury and stay at the gay friendly Residenza De L’Osmarin, one of the cutest hotels you’ll find anywhere. The place, which is actually a bed and breakfast, will win you over with its city center location, wonderfully warm and welcoming hosts, and simple yet elegant décor. The owner and her staff go out of their way to make this a superb Venetian homely experience for you. The three-storied B&B has a striking terrace which is a blessing during summer months. When the weather gets cold, you can hang around in the cozy communal living room. When it comes to breakfast, the owner’s homemade cakes are something of a local favorite, along with cereals and fresh fruit. What’s more, breakfast is a wonderful affair in the cozy canal-facing room, or on the terrace during sun-kissed mornings.
The three rooms, which are relatively large for Venice, are simple and yet beautifully furnished and immaculately maintained. Moreover, they all enjoy views over the rooftops to St Mark’s as well as the nearby canals. The second-floor suite has its own courtyard-facing balcony, while the top floor suite has its own roof terrace.
Hotel Sant’Antonin is one of the most romantic gay friendly hotels in Venice, Italy. Tranquility abounds in both its front courtyard and the most luscious and stunning private gardens ever. They’re the perfect place to enjoy some quiet, intimate moments after a long day of exploring the equally romantic Venice. What’s more, it’s close to St. Mark’s Square, while being tucked away beside a quaint canal. So, it makes for the perfect home-away-from-home ambiance to enjoy and explore Venice.
The private residence-turned-boutique hotel features many original elements that meld marvelously with the modern additions. The magnificent foliage-filled garden is the crown jewel and you’ll want to spend all your time here. Moreover, there’s even a lovely shaded entrance courtyard, where you can wait for your day trip rides or mingle with other guests. Breakfast is a grand affair in the ground-floor covered patio, with the fountains and gardens just beyond. Dig into a dizzying array of savory selections, fruits, breads, and pastries as you take in the mornings sights of the historic center.
All elegant rooms look out to the front courtyard or the back garden, except for those with private terraces and canal views. Luxurious Venetian fabrics, spacious bathrooms, and original terrazzo floors make living here an absolute pleasure.
Get Some Culture in Venice:
Despite Venice being a liberal city towards LGBTQ people, it doesn’t have a Pride parade or any other LGBT event either. In spite of lots to offer on the cultural scene, LGBT events in Venice are still far off.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Venice:
- Bra’s Cocktail Bar – With a slew of sexy bras hanging from the ceiling, this LGBTQ friendly bar’s one for women in Venice.
- JuiceBerry – One of the biggest gay cruising clubs in Venice, JuiceBerry attracts men from all over northern Italy. It features dark rooms, play areas, showers, and a bar.
Best Gay Saunas in Venice:
- Metrò Venezia Club – This gay sauna and recreation club has everything from an XXX video room and maze to Finnish sauna and a darkroom.