Romance awaits at these five outstanding properties in the city of canals.
Sure, Venice can be flooded with tourists. But after the buses leave and the city is given back to its residents, the bustle cedes to mysterious isolation, as you walk to dinner on the cobblestoned alleys, or better still, rise early enough the next day to see piazzas shrouded in fog — before the tourist hustle begins all over again. If that isn’t reason enough to spend the night in Venice, these hotels are.
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.
The top two choices are legendary. Belmond Hotel Cipriani sits on an island opposite San Marco, just removed enough to feel like an elite club, but a quick water taxi to the action. Meanwhile, the Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, is located right on the Grand Canal. Visitors love the waterside bar overlooking the Maria della Salute Basilica and sumptuous rooms decorated with Murano chandeliers so beautiful you will stay awake to gaze at them. “We’ve stayed at the Gritti at least 18 times,” said one reader. “On our first visit, my wife looked at me and said, ‘Leave me here, just make sure you send me money every month.’ Our heart is here in Venice.”
Indeed, the Canal may be the most charming “highway” in the world, replete with the sound of waterborne ambulances and the sight of fishermen bringing in their fresh hauls at dawn. At Baglioni Hotel Luna, views of the lagoon are taken in from a transformed ancient palazzo. So too at Ca’Sagredo, housed in a 15th-century palace that is a national monument, complete with a frescoed ballroom and 42 rooms and suites decorated in classic Venetian-style glory.
In other words, in this fabled city you cannot go wrong —provided you spend a night or two at one of these top hotels.