By Tanvi Chheda
July 08, 2020
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Courtesy of The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic, but we hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come — whenever they may be.

Romantic and transporting are fitting descriptions for both the City of Canals and its hotels. Italy continues to ease travel restrictions and citywide lockdowns in the wake of the pandemic, and travelers are particularly eager to return to this magical city when the country is ready to receive them. The best hotels in Venice are artifact-filled properties in their own right, but they’re also a short gondola or water-taxi ride from some of the city’s esteemed cultural sights. The desire to linger on one of the hotel terraces and absorb the surrounding beauty, history, and religion remains as strong as ever.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection hotel, joins the list this year at No. 4. Its three art-filled palaces sit a stone’s throw from the Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) and the Bridge of Sighs, and many of the 204 rooms face the Venice lagoon. “Watch the boats and people going by from your balcony,” recommended one reader.

This year’s second place goes to the stunning 24-room Aman Venice, which juxtaposes minimalist furnishings with the frescoed ceilings of a 16th-century palazzo. The hotel also offers one-of-a-kind experiences, from special private visits to the Palazzo Ducale to a private three-hour marbling workshop with some of the city’s top artists. One reader called it “a hedonistic treat.”

With its stunning views of the Grand Canal and ornate interiors, it’s no surprise that the sumptuous Gritti Palace takes the top spot again. Below, more on our winner, plus the full list of this year’s best hotels in Venice.

1. The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Courtesy of The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Score: 93.79

More information: marriott.com

“A beautiful hotel with excellent service,” praised a reader. Indeed, exquisite details — original wooden ceilings, 18th-century Murano-glass lamps, Rubelli fabrics, precious artifacts and paintings — are everywhere you look at the Gritti Palace. Having changed hands over the centuries, this grande dame belonged to the Pisani family before becoming the private home of the doge of Venice, Andrea Gritti, in 1525. It wasn’t until the mid 1950s that it became an 82-room hotel. Sip an Aperol spritz on the terrace as you take in all the surrounding beauty and history, or explore the surrounding islands thanks to the property’s Riva yacht.

2. Aman Venice

Courtesy of Aman

Score: 92.15

More information: aman.com

3. Belmond Hotel Cipriani

Courtesy of Belmond

Score: 91.60

More information: belmond.com

4. Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Courtesy of Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Score: 90.51

More information: marriott.com

5. Ca’ Sagredo

Courtesy of Ca' Sagredo Hotel

Score: 89.87

More information: casagredohotel.com

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2020.