The Indigo Sant’Elena Venice project is an overall refurb of a former convent into the first IHG hotel in Venice, Indigo branded, operated by HNH Hospitality. The brief was closely looked after by IHG design as it is the first hotel in Venice for the brand. Indigo is also moving to an upper scale with a more boutique and residential feel. The location is quiet, an island surrounded by canals but also a beautiful internal garden and a Mediterranean pines park on the approach. The feel was to recreate a secret garden and the look was inspired by the eastern and ottoman connection with Venice.
The new lobby area is a dramatic improvement and USP for the hotel. Previously the entrance of the hotel which was an old 1930 Monastery, was closed as if the ‘nave’ had been divided up. The Hickson Design Partnerships plan was to open this up so one could see straight through the interior and connected the entrance with the gardens at the far end of the nave to create a living room lobby with bar lounge, with a residential feel of a garden lounge.
The Hotel’s entrance is just the beginning of a story connecting the reception, bar and restaurant to the garden beyond. This extended vista emphasizes the perspective of the building that links the entrance right through to the garden. The internal private courtyard garden is unique in Venice, once being a place of contemplation for what was a convent building.
Within the Lobby and Restaurant, there is a strong visual direction this is emphasised by new French windows leading to the garden, This new opening is essential to define this visual line towards the garden and fill the restaurant area with the sunlight of Venice. Quirky touches were added by the plates by Les Ottomans, a company dedicated to recreating an Ancient Eastern atmosphere with stunning decorations for table décor, cushions and accessories.