4 Must-Visit Hotels in Venice, Italy
The first time I visited Venice, I was struck by the veritable lack of nightlife the city has to offer. Despite its throngs of visitors, it still manages to be a sleepy town. And that’s probably a good thing: Getting lost—as you are guaranteed to do—in the dark after too many drinks isn’t always fun. Visiting Venice as a tourist, I later learned, is all about wandering through the maze-like streets, eating, mingling with locals, and, if you’re lucky, scoring access to a boat. The best way to experience the city is to have a really standout hotel as your home base—one that has a great bar and a gorgeous restaurant and will entertain you when you just don’t feel like walking anymore.
Heading to the Italian metropolis anytime soon? Consider one of these beautiful hotels, even just for a visit.
Sited on the Grand Canal, this historic luxury hotel, formerly the Palazzo Papadopoli, is where George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin held their wedding—you can’t find a better stamp of approval than that. Built in the 16th century and surrounded by peaceful gardens, it has a secluded setting, a relaxing respite from the busy, tourist-filled streets. With frescoes painted by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, silk-draped walls, and gilded stucco ceilings, its Rococo rooms are as lavish as can be. A true fairy tale.
Aman Canal Grande Venice | $1500/night and up
Longtime Vogue editor Sally Singer once described Hotel Excelsior as “one part Moorish, one part King Arthur,” and we can’t think of a better peg for the aesthetic of this high-style hotel. It feels like a ’50s Palm Beach Hollywood Regency darling discovered herself in Morocco and then relocated to Italy to settle in for the good life. And that is to say it’s totally captivating. The pool is the place where you’ll want to spend 100% of your time in the summer. If it's good enough for Victoria's Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio, who's currently staying there during the Venice Film Festival, it's good enough for us.
Hotel Excelsior | $404/night and up
With glamorous, classical interiors, Splendid Venice is a four-star hotel just steps from bustling San Marco Square. With contemporary Italian flair and a touch of old-school glamour, its elegantly appointed rooms feel very “new Venice”—a winning combination of calm, comfortable, and luxurious.
Splendid Venice | $368/night and up
Dating back to 1475, the Gritti Palace has a long history, at first the official residence of the Gritti family and later the home of the Vatican ambassadors to Venice. At the beginning of the 19th century, it was turned into a hotel, and several years ago, to save it from sinking into Venice’s famous canals, it was given a meticulous renovation. Now its original details like wooden ceilings, 18th-century wall lamps, handmade Murano glass, and intricate frescoes bring a sense of history to luxurious new accents like luxe marble bathtubs and mirrored furniture. It’s drop-dead gorgeous.
The Gritti Palace | $1297/night and up