Ambasciatori Hotel Venice Mestre Italy, Contemporary Italian accommodation architecture design, Veneto photos

Ambasciatori Hotel Venice Mestre Building

15 Sep 2023

Location: Corso del Popolo, 221, 30172 Venezia VE. Venice, Italy

Interior Design: THDP / Manuela Mannino, Nicholas J Hickson. Head of project: Claudia Mazzucato

Architecture: Sga

Tapestry Collection by Hilton – Mestre Hotel Accommodation

Ambasciatori Hotel Venice Mestre interior

Photos by Paolo Fusco

Ambasciatori Hotel Venice Mestre

Mestre is located about 10 km from Venice, and it is where most Venetians moved after overtourism hit their island.

Technically Mestre belongs to Venice (it’s one of the six boroughs that make up the island city) but physically they are completely different places: one on the water, Venice, and one on the mainland, Mestre.

Mestre’s history goes back to the Middle Ages, though it was always overshadowed by its powerful neighbour Venice. Unlike Venice, it had no lagoon to protect it, and the fortifications here were battled over, conquered, destroyed and rebuilt in the warring and squabbling that went on throughout mainland Italy for centuries. Even after the town was taken over by Venice in the fourteenth century, it was still at the mercy of occasional attacks from Venice’s enemies.

In the 1920s Mestre was absorbed into the Comune di Venezia, losing separate status as a town. But despite the loss of administrative autonomy, Mestre found itself becoming a focus for migrants. During the 1920s and 1930s a big port and industrial complex was developed on the shores of the lagoon at Porto Marghera, aiming to boost the local economy. Mestre, right next door, grew as workers arrived from all over Italy needing somewhere to live. The 1960s and 1970s saw a rapid growth as local Venetians opted to move over the water.

Mestre was still administered from Venice, which is perhaps why there seems to have been little planning control over the ugly housing and industrial developments springing up all around town. The population grew to over 200,000. Nowadays the town has worked at creating more of an identity for itself, but to visitors it is still a brutal residential twin to neighbouring Porto Marghera, the industrial port complex which so horrifies the new arrival in Venice.

Today the population of this mainland conurbation is nearly three times that of island Venice. Basically, Mestre offered – and still offers – the kind of life many Italians want. Here they can live in modern houses or apartments, with space for their children to play. They can drive cars or go cycling. In their thousands they escaped from poky dark flats at threat from high water and rising damp and chose the brave new world of modern Mestre. There were jobs too, working at the busy industrial docks.

Nowadays in the daytime the flow is reversed: many of Venice’s workers – even her gondoliers – commute in each day from Mestre. If you are at Piazzale Roma in the early morning you’ll see them; lots of full-blooded Venetians pouring off buses into the city of their ancestors, heading along those inconvenient canals to work in hotels, souvenir shops and restaurants: to service the every-expanding tourist industry which has nearly taken over Venice.

Ambasciatori Hotel Venice Mestre, Italy

The concept

Mestre is historically considered a place of passage, however its exponential growth can no longer be ignored since the years of the Italian economic miracle, when it moved from a town with just over 20,000 inhabitants to today’s city of 200,000.

Mestre is no longer a shadow city of the famous Venice, but a real destination full of historical and contemporary points of interest.
In response to this shift, the client’s vision for the new Ambasciatori was to create a city hotel that’s conveniently situated near the renowned Venice, yet not confined by its influence. Collaboratively, we embraced this vision and worked on a project that embodies its distinct urban identity, reflecting the hotel’s location and family’s story.

In the 1960s, the family owned Hotel Ambasciatori became a favoured destination for numerous Italian movie and TV stars, drawn to its sophisticated and welcoming interiors.

The aim of the new interior design project for the public areas is to revive that glamour past while infusing it with a fresh, contemporary yet comfortable design.

The Lobby and bar

Ambasciatori Hotel Venice Mestre bar interior design

The initial experience of arrival should be both surprising and delightful, while also meeting the operational requirements of the hotel.
The reception and lobby bar areas, before the renovation, were merged in a large open plan space with no dedicated zones for the check-in area, lobby and bar lounge.

Both the reception and bar counter were placed sideways respect to the hotel entrance and both facing the left side of the lobby lounge, not allowing the receptionists and the bar staff to visually communicate with each other.

Creating different spaces, that could answer to different needs during the day, was pivotal for the Client along with the request to create a memorable experience for their guests.

In response to the project brief, we decided to move the reception desk in front of the hotel entrance allowing the guests to be greeted from the first moment they walk in.

The reception desk’s design draws inspiration from the building and Mestre city, featuring a linear and monolithic counter clad in Marazzi’s Breccia Capraia tile slab and surrounded by a black metal and glass screen softly lit against a fluted wood panelling to pay homage to the vibrant city landscape.

In front of the reception desk, we added a dedicated seating area in support of the check-in operations. This zone offers guests the opportunity to be welcomed while seating on the uniquely designed curved custom and armchairs, all while enjoying the collection of objects and locally sourced artifacts displayed on the bespoke shelving positioned between the desk and the seating space.

The lobby shows an exciting and energetic ambiance, boasting an elegant colour palette highlighted by vibrant blues, dark yellows, and black accents.

Positioned in the heart of the lobby, the central bar counter island offers guests the freedom to walk around and choose their seating based on individual preferences. Whether it’s unwinding with a local Spritz on the lounges adjacent to the floor-to-ceiling windows or indulging in a light meal while sending emails in the more secluded dining area behind the bar counter.

The design ensures versatile options for relaxation and productivity also thanks to the addition of a flexible meeting space, concealed behind a set of rich velvet curtains, with facilities to host 8 to 10 people.

The bar lounge features a soft curved bar counter clad with urban inspired brick style greige tiles by Marazzi.

The countertop stands out, featuring a backlit fluted timber and black metal edge that echoes the adjacent reception desk’s finishes. To enhance the architectural details of the space, we’ve incorporated black metal framing as accents around existing columns, newly added artwork, and above the bar counter, boosting the area with a distinct character.

The introduction of iconic wallpaper ‘Cocktails- Fornasetti design’ by Cole & Son on the main wall facing the windows, adds an element of surprise, infusing the bar lounge with an energetic and vibrant backdrop.

The restaurant

Ambasciatori Hotel Venice Mestre interior design

Meanwhile, the upscale restaurant on the mezzanine level offers a more serene and pared-back atmosphere. The concept for the restaurant revolves around generating a urban vibe, embracing the natural light pouring in through the glazed facade, achieved by adorning the existing windows with decorative metal and amber reeded glass screens, creating intriguing reflections. Pendant lights line the perimeter, ensuring a consistent and enchanting illumination throughout the day and night.

Inspired by the verdant trees along the Corso, the earthly colour palette includes shades of forest green, warm browns, and natural tones.

The guestroooms

The guestrooms are adorned with textile wall coverings, custom-made lighting, and refined joinery, all harmoniously celebrating the generous influx of natural light. These carefully selected natural tone materials with blue and burgundy accents come together to recreate a serene, bright, and warm ambiance, evoking a delightful sense of place and comfort for our guests.

The wall-to-wall headboard boasts a comfortable blue chevron fabric upholstered headrest, accompanied by linear bedside tables with timber laminate tabletops and bronze metal accents. The double-layered fabric lampshades on the custom wall lights gently modulate the artificial light, adding a soothing ambiance to the space.

A generously sized timber laminate shelf, placed under the TV, featuring soft curved edges and varying depths, offers guests valuable extra storage space. This versatile shelf doubles as a desk, accompanied by a burgundy upholstered chair. This setup serves equally well for working or functioning as a dressing table, with the added convenience of a dedicated face mirror.

Each guestroom is completed with an open wardrobe, along with a custom long mirror featuring integrated hangers. The fully renovated bathroom is equipped with a curved vanity table and a curved shape back lit mirror, enhancing both functionality and aesthetics.

The gym

The hotel features a fully renovated gym space equipped with an area for individual training with a selection of various bodyweights and the latest Technogym equipment to offer guests a smart and tailored workout experience.

Ambasciatori Hotel Venice Mestre, Italy building

Ambasciatori Hotel Venice Mestre – Accommodation Information

Contractor & Supplier list
Main Contractor: Costruzioni Ferracin
Kitchen Contractor Bar Contractor Furniture Contractor: A Project
Lighting: MIIC Srl, Miloox
Fabrics: Marzotto interiors, Abitex, Flukso
Wallpapers: Vescom, Cole&sons
Seating: Livoni
Finishes: Marazzi, Florim, Sikkens
Bathrooms: Zucchetti, Duravit
Others: Dorelan (mattress + bed base), Bertolotto porte, Apir (Signage)


THDP was founded in 2005 by partners and couple Italian Architect Manuela Mannino & British Interior Designer Nicholas J. Hickson. The studio is based in south east London and Italy and has a team of 10 people between the two countries.

Manuela and Nicholas met in London in 2000 and their first hospitality project was the Olympic resort of Pragelato for the Turin 2006 winter games.

Since then, the studio has gone on to design hotels, restaurants, and residences internationally, focusing on the south and east part of Europe and Italy. Our creative team has been works comfortably in the demanding discipline of international hospitality design. THDP aim to be flexible and able to react to the fast-moving waters of the hospitality sector, prioritizing authentic narrative based on local research and curated selections of artisans, local companies and talented artists. This works is reflected in the guests experience that will be dotted with details to discover during their stay.

Their approach springs from an endless creative curiosity, enthused by the founders to every team member, each one of them a true passionate designer and a talented focused team, who is integral part of the successful accomplishments of our projects.

THDP is a chartered RIBA member, SBID and NEWH member in the UK. Manuela Mannino is a member Turin board of architects since 1995. Francesca Benedetti is member of the Rome board of architects. /

Room Number: 83 guestrooms

Meeting rooms

Phone: 041 969 0009

Brand: Tapestry Collection by Hilton
Owner: Hotel Ambasciatori srl
Operator: Hotel Ambasciatori srl
Interior Design: THDP / Manuela Mannino, Nicholas J Hickson. Head of project: Claudia Mazzucato
Architecture: Sga
General Manager: Andrea Doria

Photos by Paolo Fusco

Ambasciatori Hotel Venice Mestre building in northeast Italy images / information received from THDP on 150923


Location: Mestre, Italy, southern Europe

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