Money no object? You’ve come to the right place. Home to palazzi and private island resorts, Venice does grand opulence like nowhere else.
The choice of luxury accommodation in Venice is dazzling. You can swan through the former home of a Venetian aristocrat, savour Michelin-star food constructed with tweezers, or be covered with volcanic clay in a 16th-century Palladian convent. Have it all – and more – with Culture Trip’s pick of the best luxury hotels in Venice.
The Gritti Palace
Independent Hotel, Hotel
The guest rooms at The Gritti Palace offer canal or courtyard views | Courtesy of The Gritti Palace / Hotels.com
Welcome to a Venetian legend. Once the home of Andrea Gritti, doge of Venice, The Gritti Palace occupies a postcard-perfect spot at the mouth of the Grand Canal. Built in 1475, the hotel underwent restoration in 2013, which only amplified, rather than dimmed, its 15th-century character. Gold trim, marble walls and priceless artworks create a seamless impression of old-world glamour that hides state-of-the-art technological updates. Be sure to inquire about your room location, as some face away from the canal into a quiet courtyard. The in-house Club del Doge Restaurant serves unpretentious classic Italian dishes in a romantic space.
What if one palace just isn’t enough? Hotel Danieli combines three Venetian palazzi from the 14th, 19th and 20th centuries for a total of 204 rooms. Take your pick from a Gothic-style suite with its sleek marble bathroom, or a luxury double room with a balcony and a view of the lagoon. Here, even the most modest of double rooms have Murano glass chandeliers. The hotel also has great water transport links, and the central Piazza San Marco is a few steps away. Savour an evening on the rooftop Restaurant Terrazza Danieli with views over Venice’s most famous architectural landmarks.
Palazzo Venart may be young (it opened in 2016), but this five-star stunner in Santa Croce is serious competition for its older, more established counterparts. With just 18 rooms occupying a carefully restored 16th-century palazzo, it has a boutique vibe. Each room has been individually decorated, from the Carnival Room that pairs original painted ceiling beams with brightly coloured Venetian masks to the 50-square-metre (538-square-foot) Grand Canal Suite that features a gilded lounge with parquet floors and, of course, canal views. The Michelin-star GLAM restaurant reimagines classic Venetian cuisine as high art.
Located on a private island in a southern lagoon, the JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa was originally a 1920s sanatorium, but these days, it serves as a relaxing and luxurious retreat from the crush of tourists. There’s a full roster of experiences on offer, including Venetian cookery lessons at the in-house Sapori Cooking Academy, yoga classes, wine tastings, a fully-equipped spa and three swimming pools. Venice is 20 minutes away via a complimentary shuttle service – but with all of the resort’s perks, you’ll probably never want to leave.
Stepping into the Belmond Hotel Cipriani is like walking into the lifestyle of the rich and famous, where an Olympic-size pool, private butlers, fine wines and tennis courts await. The luxurious spa looks onto the intimate Casanova Gardens where, it is said, the legendary lothario courted his lovers. The Michelin-star restaurant, Oro, has a 1,000-strong wine list and seafood dishes so delicate that they’re assembled using tweezers. The edible flowers and herbs that adorn the plates are all harvested from the hotel’s garden. Though the hotel is some distance from the centre, a complimentary ferry ride will whizz you there in just five minutes. The Belmond Hotel Cipriani is Venetian opulence at its height.
The intimate Bauer Palladio Hotel and Spa was originally a 16th-century convent designed by the great Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. Now part of the famed Bauer hotel group, it retains a tranquillity bolstered by its setting away from central Venice, on the island of Giudecca. As the hotel’s name suggests, the emphasis is on wellness, with an extensive spa set over two floors and eight rooms. Every imaginable treatment is available, including exfoliation, volcanic clay body masks, steam detoxification and a variety of massages. It’s even possible to receive a massage in the lush garden, which is one of the largest private green spaces in the city.
Just a couple of streets from Piazza San Marco, the Bauer Palazzo is a captivating Gothic-style 18th-century hotel that brings together the best of Venice in its sumptuous decoration – Murano glass chandeliers, period furniture and silk textiles by Rubelli and Bevilacqua. The rooftop restaurant, Settimo Cielo (“Seventh Heaven”), is the highest terrace in Venice, with unrivalled views of the iconic Campanile di San Marco. There’s also a lovely canal-side bar perfect for evening cocktails. Though the Bauer Palazzo lacks a spa of its own, it does provide a free shuttle service to the nearby Bauer Palladio.
Once the home of the aristocratic Sagredo family, the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel is for art lovers. Every inch of this 15th-century palazzo is brimming with fine details, making a stay here akin to sleeping in a museum. The canal-facing Library Suite retains its floor-to-ceiling bookshelves that once held the collection of Zaccaria Sagredo, an 18th-century patron of the arts, and the Art Suite is a masterpiece of 18th-century stucco. The hotel gained international attention as the site of Lorenzo Quinn’sSupport sculpture, a pair of giant hands that became a defining image of the 2017 Venice Biennale.