|Photo by Freeimages.com/Constantin Hudici|
by Anne Hanley, The Daily Telegraph, May 18, 2016
An insider's guide to the top hotels on Venice's Grand Canal, including the best for canal views, waterside terraces and private jetties, in locations near to St Mark's Square, the Accademia and the Rialto.
Al Ponte Antico
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 bridge. The friendly owner and staff make for a wonderfully welcoming vibe. Rooms are large by Venetian standards and some have lovely views over the canal. Breakfast is very generous and owner Matteo Peruch whips up delicious eggs to order. There’s no restaurant, but the terrace is a fantastic place to enjoy a romantic drink while gazing at the Rialto.
Read the full review: Al Ponte Antico
Bauers L'Hotel & Il Palazzo
Standing back to back – and sharing all facilities – in a prime spot a short walk from San Marco, L’Hotel offers timeless classic luxury with a 1950s twist, while the Grand Canal-facing Il Palazzo has all the trappings of an historic, aristocratic Venetian palace. Bedrooms at both veer more towards the classic Venetian. Guests can enjoy breakfast with a spectacular view on the Grand Canal-side terrace of the De Pisis restaurant, which has an Asian-fusion menu for lunch and dinner. Many guests arrive by water taxi at the hotels’ own Grand Canal jetty but the Giglio and San Marco vaporetto stops are no distance away, and many of the major sites are an easy walk from here.
Read the full review: Bauers L'Hotel & Il Palazzo
Aman Canal Grande
The Clooneys opted to spend their wedding night in this 16th-century Grand Canal-side palazzo, which says it all. Guests can arrive by boat to enter by the formal 'porta d’acqua’ into a vast, beamed reception with marble chequered flooring and original frescos. A trompe-l’oeil grand staircase leads up to the piano nobile and rococo ballroom with gilt mirrors, frescos, Murano chandeliers, terrazzo floor and windows overlooking the Canal. In the grand 'Red’ dining room, the menu alternates between Thai and classic Venetian. There are just 24 rooms, many of which overlook the canal.
Read the full review: Aman Canal Grande
Palazzina G screams design from its long, low, intimate bar-restaurant-reception room to its 22 dazzling white bedrooms. The entrance, hidden along an anonymous alley just behind the Palazzo Grassi contemporary art gallery, gives little hint of what lies beyond. The Palazzina extends through to the Grand Canal, with some suites offering sweeping views over that waterway. The neighbourhood – west of St Mark’s square – is generally quiet, but the major sites are not too far away. Many of the 22 rooms are surprisingly small, and you’ll need to shift into a suite to be guaranteed much in the way of view; the three Grand-Canal-facing suites are particularly spectacular, however.
Read the full review: Palazzina G
Hotel Palazzo Stern
Most hotels with Grand Canal-side terraces come with five-star price tags. Palazzo Stern is the exception, mixing boutique charm with a superb location. In a Belle Époque palazzo, the hotel has a delightful faux-Gothic air. As well as a gorgeous terrace on the canal, there’s a roof terrace complete with whirlpool tub and a superb view of the Dolomites; you can book this for private trysts. The 24 rooms are individually decorated with antiques, parquet floors, lovely fabrics and comfortable beds. Superior rooms and suites have Grand Canal views. In warmer months, breakfast is a joy as you can watch the water traffic chugging by from the terrace.
Read the full review: Hotel Palazzo Stern
This 15th-century palazzo occupies one of the loveliest spots on the Grand Canal, looking across to the magnificent Salute church, and has equally sumptuous interiors to match. Water taxis can deliver you directly to the hotel’s jetty. Rooms are filled with precious antiques, paintings, frescoes, objets d’art and beautiful fabrics. Best of the eight Grand Canal-view suites and rooms (notably numbers 111, 211, 212, 214, 215, 311, 312, 314 and 315) are the Hemingway, Pisani and Somerset Maugham. The Club de Doge restaurant has one of the most beautiful dining rooms in this or any other city. Located on the ground floor, it looks out over the Grand Canal, with the option in summer of eating on an outdoor terrace on the Canal itself.
Read the full review: Gritti Palace
The five-star Centurion Palace, Gothic outside, contemporary inside, looks across the Grand Canal towards San Marco from the quieter, artsy Dorsoduro district. The 50 rooms and suites combine antique features with contemporary design – striking colours, huge mirrors and bathrooms in burnished gold leaf. Not all of them face the Grand Canal, so make sure you specify what you want when booking. The breakfast buffet is very generous, and the calmly minimalist Antinoo restaurant has canal views, and serves a pan-Italian gourmet menu.
Read the full review: Centurion Palace
Hotel Palazzo Barocci
The location is a major selling point of this four-star hotel — on the Grand Canal, within easy walking distance of both St Mark’s and the Accademia. On sunny days, you may find it difficult to tear yourself away from the Grand Canal-side walk outside. Palazzo Barocci doesn’t hide its corporate side, but an enthusiastic, friendly and eager-to-oblige young crew help to make the experience pleasantly personal. A smart courtyard-garden giving on to the campo out the back is a pleasant place for breakfast in warmer weather or for an aperitivo after a long day’s sightseeing. Rooms are light and bright. If you want one with a canal view, then specify when booking. Room 303 has a private terrace with breathtaking views along the Grand Canal to the Rialto.
Read the full review: Hotel Palazzo Barocci
This stylish addition to Venice’s hotel scene is located on the Grand Canal, behind the marvellous Rialto produce market. The hotel is slick and contemporary, its décor retro and its clock theme not applied too heavy handedly. All the rooms are minimalist-retro-chic, with dark wooden fittings highlighted by furniture and walls in strong shades of red, orange and yellow. Not all rooms overlook the Grand Canal: specify when booking if you want a water view. The two-level Premium Suite has Grand Canal views and a wonderful Giò Ponti bedhead. The chic, vintage-feel Bar L’O, with its marble fireplace and comfy leather armchairs and sofas, is located at canal level.
Read the full review: Hotel L’Orologio
Palazzo Sant'Angelo sul Canal Grande
As locations go, this is pretty perfect. The hotel has a water-side façade right on the Grand Canal, and there’s a vaporetto stop (Sant’Angelo) at the front door for immediate, bridge-free access to public transport. A private landing jetty on the Grand Canal means guests who opt for the luxury of water-taxi travel can make film-star entrances and exits. What it lacks in cutting-edge design touches it makes up for in well-maintained, if slightly predictable, elegance, with lots of polished wood furniture, curtain flounces and brocade-covered walls. The leadlight windows of the hotel’s ground-floor bar overlook the Grand Canal: a marvellous place to soak in Venetian ambience with a spritz.
Read the full review: Palazzo Sant'Angelo sul Canal Grande
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This article was written by Anne Hanley from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.