The Hotel Dolce Villa plops a swanky South Beach attitude into the small-town charm of Little Italy. The owner is the same proprietor of multiple successful Federal Hill establishments including Mediterraneo, Gepetto’s, and Caffe Dolce Vita. Owner Gianfranco Marrocco intends to make it “the crowing jewel in his hospitality empire,” offering a high-end amenities-laden hotel. The hotel not only suited for visitors on short visits, but also to guests on extended stays by offering suites that feel like home away from home. Your room may be next door to famous athletic company as the hotel reports that a few New England Patriots players have looked into long-term stays with the Dolce Villa.
Hotel Dolce Villa only has 14 suites: nine one-bedroom and five two-bedroom options. Each suite contains memory-foam lined beds, sleep sofas, fully equipped kitchens, bathrooms with whirlpool tubs, living areas, and “state-of-the-art electronics for entertainment and business purposes.” For the frigid New England winter, invest in a two-bedroom suite, each of which come furnished with a gas fireplace. Many suites also have plaza-front balconies. In true Miami style, the décor is custom made and all white including the sofas, bedding, marble floors, tables, and chairs. Marrocco melds the posh ambience of South Beach interior design with the Italian heritage of Federal Hill through exterior architecture inspired by Positano, Italy.
Image: Jef Nickerson
The Floridian influences don’t end there: channel the vibes of Miami’s Little Havana while sitting in Federal Hill’s Little Italy. Behind the hotel in a separate building on the property is Smoke, a luxury smoking lounge. Smoke allows indoor tobacco smoking and contains a full liquor bar, a walk-in humidor, hookah sets and a wide array of cigarettes. Even if you’re not a smoker, don’t be turned off by the smoky scene – the lounge says its state of the art ventilation system lifts the smoke up and out of the building, allowing smokers and non-smokers alike to sit and enjoy the unique environment. At night, Smoke becomes an energetic lounge with loud music. Watch sports games on the big screen TVs and nosh on the full service pub menu. Restraint is not in the vocabularies of Hotel Dolce Villa or of Smoke, as they indulge almost every pleasure (or vice) imaginable. They spoil guests with sensory saturation: this may be excessive in the long-term, but the experience scratches the itch for a Miami-meets-Italy weekend with almost everything but the beach.
Stay in the hotel’s family and get a pastry and morning coffee from its sister café, Caffé Dole Vita, right next door. They are both conveniently located in DePasquale Square, a pedestrian-friendly plaza lined with open-air cafés and wooden benches looking in on the center splashing fountain. The square is a great place to enjoy a glass of wine while watching locals and tourists stroll by. Even at night, the square is popular for a piece of tiramisu or a cannoli before going out to a bar or retiring to your suite.