Venice

The Most Luxurious Hotels In Venice

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Check in to the city of bridges in style

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Every year, Venice Film Festival brings celebrity-spangled screenings, swoon-worthy red carpet looks and truly unforgettable moments. As does the Venice Biennale. But one star always shines brighter than all the rest: Venice herself. If you’re dreaming of a romantic weekend in the floating city, make sure to live it up in movie-star style at one of the best hotels in Venice.

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The Best Hotels In Venice

A luxurious sitting room in the Aman, Venice

Aman Venice

You can’t get much more A list than the Clooneys, so why not check into the Roccoco palace where they spent their wedding night? Rising out of the grand canal, this private palazzo has everything from gilded frescos and murano chandeliers to a wellness spa and private gardens (a rarity in this watery city). Step straight off a gondola and into the grand reception hall, then enjoy an Italian feast overlooking the water at in-house restaurant Arva. If you’re lucky, you’ll even catch a glimpse of Venetian royalty; the Arrivabenes who live on the top two floors have had the Palazzo Papodopoli in the family for over 200 years.

BOOK IT: aman.com

The Cipriani on Guidecca Island in Venice

Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel

Long frequented by the cognoscenti, as being the only place to stay in Venice, the Cipriani is far more than a mere hotel. Set away from the crowds on Guidecca Island – with dreamy views from its Cip Club restaurant or bedrooms in Palazzo Vendramin over the lagoon to St. Mark’s Square – it has gardens to wander in and an oversized swimming pool, making it the obvious choice for the sultry summer months. Some might, on arrival, wonder what the fuss is all about – it is a modern building, not a Renaissance palace – but give them a few hours and they will have fallen for its charms. It is the feeling of belonging to a private club, perhaps more than anything, that makes the Cipriani special; the wonderful local staff who reminisce about your father or remember your daughter’s name. But it is the dishes, like their gratin of green tagliolini, worth the journey alone – or the bellini cocktails at 6pm when the soft evening light dapples the walls of neighbouring San Giorgio Maggiore that bring you back time and time again. Rooms are sumptuous and resolutely Italian with sublime linens, fresh flowers and just the right pillows. Everything here is, in fact, as perfect as a paradise on Earth can be. By Mary Lussiana

BOOK IT: Doubles from £862 B&B. belmond.com

A red room in Ca Maria Adele, Venice

Ca Maria Adele

Tucked away in the heart of Dorsoduro – Venice’s art district – this boutique hotel may be the city‘s most romantic destination. With just twelve suites, exclusivity is a guarantee, as is luxury and five-star service. There are five concept rooms to chose between;  go for gold in the chintzy Oriental Room, get romantic in the red Doge’s Room, or take a trip to the dark side in the deliciously gothic Noir Suite. Wherever you chose to lay your head, the bathrooms are marble, the towels are fluffy, and the décor is suitably baroque to fulfil all your Venetian fantasies.

BOOK IT: camariaadele.it

The kitchen garden at Ca di Dio

Ca’ di Dio

In a magnificent location facing San Giorgio Maggiore across the lagoon, 57 rooms and nine suites are housed in Ca’ di Dio’s building, which dates back to the 13th century and sits at the entrance to the Arsenale. Opened in late 2021 and beautifully renovated (do admire the well-preserved frescoes and travertine marble) by acclaimed designer Patricia Urquiola, it has the feel of a house, its contemporary décor drawing on Venetian elements from Murano glass to lighting courtesy of local artisans, and fabrics in shimmering colours of aquamarine emphasising its proximity to the water. Stop for dinner here at VERO Restaurant where you can taste Venice on a plate. Vegetables come from the hotel’s own garden, driving the seasonality of the menu, but the bounty of the lagoon is ever present, too. Try the porcini and chanterelle mushroom risotto with raw razor clams and seaweed olive oil, or the homemade linguini with turnip greens, clams and lemon. But don’t miss a taste of the Gin Sal at the hotel’s Alchemia Bar. It is composed of botanicals from the shores of the lagoon, mixed with crystalline water and the fresh mountain air from the Dolomites – where its master distiller lives – and packaged in glass bottles blown in nearby Murano. By Mary Lussiana

BOOK IT: Doubles from €460 B&B. cadidio.com

Palazzo Venart Venice

Palazzo Venart Luxury Hotel

For a slice of Venetian history, head to the Palazzo Venart. Once a 16th century palace, this boutique hotel has just 18 suits, with each room uniquely decorated to represent a part of Venice’s culture and history. Think velvet drapes, opulent chandeliers, marble fireplaces and views across the grand canal. The gardens and grounds have been fastidiously restored and the restaurant – GLAM by Enrico Bartolini – has two Michelin stars. It’s so gorgeous you’ll want to have it all to yourself – which you can, since the whole hotel is available to hire for private events.

BOOK IT: ldchotelsitaly.com

il palazzo experimental

Patrick Locqueneux/Mister Tripper

Il Palazzo Experimental

Standing proud on the Canal Della Giudecca, this Renaissance palace has three entrances into its world of terracottas and soft yellows, terrazzo floors and gothic arches, skilfully curated by French designer Dorothée Meilichzon. There are 32 rooms whose colours are drawn from the walls of the surrounding Dorsoduro narrow canals; there is deep red, butter yellow or blush pink. Some also come in mossy green and dark navy, ‘the variant colours of the laguna’, explains Meilichzon. There is also the Adriatica Restaurant and the Experimental Cocktail Club, the latter coming courtesy of Milan-based Cristina Celestina who has turned it into a homage to the late Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa. Think candy pink walls, marble flooring and antique mirrors. At the back, there is a large garden which leads onto a private canal. Staff are young and friendly; guests are young and fun. Dine in on the Spaghetti chitarra mancini with lemon cream and raw red prawns, or the Tiramisu topped with grappa-infused zabaione and go out to feast on the wonderful art in the Guggenheim Museum next door and the shops that line the little streets round here. You will not find the big designers here, rather the small artisans making it all the more fascinating.  By Mary Lussiana

BOOK IT: Doubles from €180 B&B. palazzoexperimental.com

hotel metropole

Hotel Metropole

Retreat from the tourist bustle of St Marks square into this dimly lit, velvet draped cave of wonders. The Beggiato family have been providing guests with an authentic Venetian experience for generations, and their independent hotel is steeped in the city’s history. Have a cocktail at the Orientalbar where Vivaldi once gave music lessons, then retreat to one of the mirrored-ceilinged suites once frequented by Thomas Mann and Marcel Proust. There are over 2,000 antiques displayed in the hallways, including a large of crucifixes. Check in for a stay like no other.

BOOK IT: hotelmetropole.com

The Gritti Palace terrace in Venice

The Gritti Palace

This legend of a hotel needs little introduction – but, if you haven’t been before, start planning now. It is one of those hotels that need to be experienced, not just for its location (which is smack bang on the Grand Canal; if you go, go big and book a room with a balcony overlooking the Grand Canal and beautiful Redentore Church opposite). Nor for its rich literary heritage – Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene, Ernest Hemingway all seemed to have written whilst there. Nor for its bellinis on the terrace by the canal, or the risotto, Hemingway style, with scampi, or even the crème brulée with white truffle. But it is known for all of these signatures together – and for that is Venice at its best. A long, long time ago, I stayed here and was woken earlier than requested by the concierge; the winter fog meant I needed to get to the airport a different way than planned. They had it all worked out – that care is real hospitality. Guests come and go, hotel owners come and go, but the Gritti is enough of an institution to rise above fashions and trends, and I will hope to be there for many generations to come, and see Venice from its unbeatable terrace. By Mary Lussiana

BOOK IT: Doubles from €1,470 B&B. marriot.com