Visitors to Venice feel like they’ve stepped back in time as they wander the cobblestoned streets, marveling at the palazzos and aging buildings that lean gently into their neighbors. When it came time to choose their favorite hotels in the canal city, our readers didn’t hesitate to pick historic properties that have withstood the test of time.
The legendary Belmond Hotel Cipriani is located on three landscaped acres of the island Giudecca, with views across the lagoon to San Marco Square and the Doge’s Palace. Its 96 opulently appointed, recently renovated rooms are housed in the main building as well as a 15th-century palazzo. For ultimate privacy, book the Palladio Suite, which has its own dock, private plunge pool, and Jacuzzi; every guest can enjoy the city’s only Olympic-size swimming pool. “Exquisite,” said one fan, while another added, “It is Italy.”
On the 40-acre island of Isola delle Rose lies the 266-room JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, on the site of a former hospital. Now the building is a glamorous hotel, one that includes Venice’s largest spa and stand-alone villas. Visitors can stroll in the hotel’s vast gardens, where olive trees provide the oil served in the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant.
For those who wish to stay on the Grand Canal, there is no better location than the famed Gritti Palace, a 15th-century palazzo with 61 rooms and 21 suites. Wrote one reader, “Our favorite hotel in Venice. Terrific.”
Regardless of location, it is impossible to quibble with any of these waterside choices. But when it comes to ideal Venetian living, one hotel stands above the rest. Read on to see which.
Overlooking the Grand Canal, this magnificent hotel is housed in a renovated 16th-century palazzo that retains some of its original frescoes and reliefs in its 24 rooms (including a Tiepolo ceiling fresco in one of the suites). Also named to the Top 100 Hotels in the World list, the Aman has a small spa, two dining rooms, and a private garden, lending it the feel, said one reader, of “staying in a special friend’s villa.”