Hotel Indigo® Venice – Sant’Elena Opens in Italy Marking Brand Debut in the Floating City

United Kingdom, Denham. May 29, 2019

IHG® (InterContinental® Hotels Group) is proud to announce the opening of Hotel Indigo® Venice - Sant'Elena marking the brand's debut in Venice, Italy. From palaces to piazzas, gondolas to gelato and canals to carnevale - there is no destination quite so magical as Venice. Filled with beauty and world-famous sights, it is no surprise that this city of 55,000 residents draws almost 30 million annual visitors. Despite its immense popularity, there are still pockets of the city yet to be discovered, such as the Sant'Elena neighbourhood. Sant'Elena is a global hub for modern art and culture, close to the home of the Venice International Film Festival and the Murano Glass Factory. The neighbourhood will introduce guests to a side of Venice that few tourists see.

Hotel Indigo® Venice - Sant'Elena is located in the heart of the iconic Italian city, next to the canal Rio Sant'Elena. Formally a 1930's monastery, the 75 room Hotel Indigo® Venice - Sant'Elena is a peaceful sanctuary reflective of its former heritage that exudes an almost spiritual calm, the perfect place to retreat from the bustle of San Marco square. Composed of two wings joined in the centre by a former chapel, the hotel boasts an interior courtyard and large windows with high ceilings, which is evocative of the local neighbourhood and existing architecture. The hotel also has a private garden, a rarity in Venice, where guests can sit and enjoy a refreshing cocktail and relax after a day of exploring.

The interior design brings to life the building's original features with oriental influences inspired by Venice's traditions and history, with touches of modern elements contrasting with the classic Venetian style. Plush velvet pillows layered on leather seating and brass lighting scattered throughout the hotel contrast the deep wood panelling on the walls in the lobby and the emerald green marble bar top. Ebru paintings are dotted in the public areas, bringing to life Venice's history of introducing the marbleized papers into their famed repertory of woodblock prints, copperplate engraving and book leather binding.

Marco Costa, Hotel Manager of Hotel Indigo® Venice - Sant'Elena, commented: "The hotel is the perfect example of how Hotel Indigo draws inspiration from the local neighbourhood, bringing to life the historical importance of the building through design while also providing the ideal getaway from the busyness of Venice. Just a 15-minute walk from all the main attractions, including St Mark's Basilica, the Bridge of Sighs and the Doge's Palace in San Marco, the hotel is the ideal choice for those coming to visit our beautiful town."

Guests will also discover charming independent shops and bacari, Venetian wine bars where you can eat cicchetti (local snacks), as well as cute trattorias, homely osterias and lively pizzerias if they explore the narrow streets near the hotel. But if they are looking for delicious authentic cuisine even closer to home, the hotel's restaurant, Savor Restaurant & Bar, serves traditional Venetian flavours, from seafood to pasta, and exclusive dishes created by the Chef de cuisine, Giovanni Montella. All food can be accompanied by an extensive list of carefully selected fine wines, in a refined and elegant setting.

Large leafy parks are a rarity in Venice, but a short walk to the north is the Giardini della Biennale, a park commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte when Venice was under French rule at the start of the nineteenth century. The park is a year-round hub for modern art and culture, although it really comes alive during the Venice Biennale, which, as its name suggests, takes place every other year.

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Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.