Where to stay in Venice city centre for a taste of the action

Advice

Navigating Venice, the city of water, is notoriously tricky; packed with tourists, and nowhere more so than its very heart, around St Mark’s Square. Deciding where to stay can be difficult – so we’ve rounded up six choices offering everything from canal views to al fresco dining, frescoed ceilings and Gothic facades.


The Gritti Palace, Venice, Italy.

The Gritti Palace

Venice, Veneto, Italy

10
Telegraph expert rating

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).

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From


£
368
per night
Rates provided by
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Hotel Metropole, Venice, Veneto, Italy

Hotel Metropole

Venice, Veneto, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

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.

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From


£
183
per night
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Corte di Gabriela, Venice, Italy

Corte di Gabriela

Venice, Veneto, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

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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From


£
176
per night
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Al Ponte Antico hotel, Venice, Italy

Al Ponte Antico

Venice, Veneto, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

A joyful pastiche of Venetian style both in its bedrooms (think lots of velvet and brocade) and in the central living room, which gives on to a delightful balcony with a view over the Grand Canal and Rialto bridge. This is a great place for an evening aperitivo, and means you don’t have to venture far to soak up the Venetian atmosphere. From their first-name greetings on arrival to the landslide of information and recommendations, the Peruch family and their staff will make you feel like you’ve known the place for years.

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From


£
212
per night
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Novecento Boutique Hotel, Venice, Italy

Novecento Boutique Hotel

Venice, Veneto, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

It’s just a stone’s throw away from the busy San Marco-Accademia thoroughfare at Santa Maria del Giglio, but step into the Novecento Boutique Hotel and you’ll feel a world away from all that. Tucked down a quiet alley, with its own tranquil courtyard, the Novecento is five minutes’ walk from St Mark’s and a 20-minute stroll to the Rialto through an area packed with tempting boutiques. Décor is influenced by Mariano Fortuny, the eclectic Spanish designer who made Venice his home in the late 19th century, but far from aping the standard Venetian Fortuny model, his north African and middle Eastern touches have most inspired here. There’s a warm, comfortable ambience in the public areas where exhibitions are often hosted, and the leafy little courtyard is a delight.

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From


£
96
per night
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Ca' Sagredo, Venice

Ca’ Sagredo Hotel

Venice, Veneto, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

Located on the Grand Canal, the hotel’s main entrance gives onto a peaceful campo, a stone’s throw away from Strada Nova, one of the main arteries of the city. Next door is Ca’ d’Oro, a 15th-century palace with a beautiful Gothic façade housing masterpieces that once belonged to Baron Franchetti. There are plenty of other sights nearby including the Jewish Ghetto, Rialto Bridge and Ca’ Pesaro. The palazzo’s sumptuous interiors feature spectacular frescoes, paintings and artefacts. There are complimentary trips to Murano and Burano, while cooking classes (€100/£84 per person) are organised, during which the chef accompanies guests to the Rialto Fish Market across the water to handpick ingredients.

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From


£
193
per night
Rates provided by
Booking.com

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