The best hotels in Venice city centre

The best hotels in Venice city centre

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An expert guide to the best hotels in Venice city centre, including the top places to stay for decadent interiors, canal views, frescoed ceilings, Gothic façades, trendy bars and alfresco dining, in locations near the Grand Canal, Guggenheim Museum, St Mark’s square, the Rialto, Santa Maria del Giglio, Strada Nova, Ca’ Pesaro and the Jewish Ghetto. 

This 15th-century Ventian palazzo is situated on the most eye-catching stretch of the Grand Canal, looking across the water to Santa Maria della Salute, one of Venice’s greatest churches, and to the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, home to the Guggenheim Museum. On the land side, the hotel occupies a peaceful campo (small square) away from the bustle but still just moments from Calle Largo XXII Marzo, one of the main thoroughfares in this part of city. The Gritti’s intimacy and relatively small size mean that the courteous and charming staff have plenty of time for you, whether you’re quizzing the concierge for restaurant recommendations or asking head barman Cristiano Luciano to prepare a balsamic Martini or Dama Bianca coffee (with cream and absinthe).

The hotel has been in the Beggiato family for generations, and the museum-standard family collections – of antique corkscrews, fans and nutcrackers among other items – are displayed in halls and corridors. Décor harks back to Venice’s historic trading relations with the east, especially in the tenebrous ground-floor lounge with its comfortable corners and smoky mirrored ceiling. Out back, there’s a delightful garden with citrus trees. The lagoon-facing riva degli Schiavoni promenade can get pretty congested but this is easily forgotten once you step off the Riva and into the Metropole’s deliciously dark and decadent interior. St Mark’s square is a short stroll away. There’s a private water entrance if you’re arriving by taxi, but there’s one bridge to cross if you’re using public transport.

Corte di Gabriela is hidden yet central, tucked down an alleyway but no more than 15 minutes on foot from St Mark’s or the Rialto. Venice habitués weary of the omnipresent brocade-and-Murano-glass combo, take note: this hotel successfully foists very contemporary décor onto an historic framework, creating a stylish look with startling colours, great textures and some serious pieces of designer furniture. Nothing is too much trouble for the efficient, knowledgeable staff. They will book tours or restaurants, organise a gondola ride or get you to the airport in style. The central courtyard – with Paola Navone for EMU furniture beneath a huge wisteria vine – is a lovely place to relax, as is the welcoming living room indoors, complete with grand piano.

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