Best Hotels In Venice

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You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to hotels in Venice. The city has so many of them that in 2017, authorities mooted a ban on opening any more within the center of town.
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But not all Venice hotels are created equal — especially since the traditional  Venetian style can be rather OTT for modern tastes.
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Here are the hotels doing things differently.

Villa F
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There are fancy hotels, and then there’s Villa F. A super-luxury and equally discreet retreat on Giudecca island, you’d never guess from the crumbling façade that inside is a resort so private that Angelina Jolie picked it while she was filming “The Tourist.”
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What was once a guesthouse for artists and aesthetes — Italian bard Gabriele D’Annunzio was among the regulars — has been transformed by Francesca Bortolotto Possati, owner of the iconic Bauer Hotel (see below), into a bucolic haven with 11played-down, rustic suites set around meadow-style gardens, complete with meditation pool.
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Those in the main building have spectacular views of St Mark’s Square and Dorsoduro, and the service is equally flamboyant, with butlers and a free shuttle to San Marco every half hour. But it has a conscience, too: Full-size bathroom amenities are made especially for Possati by the organic lab at the Giudecca women’s prison.
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JW Marriott Resort & Spa
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Private islands were made for this: A sprawling, top-notch resort balancing on the lagoon behind Giudecca, and a 15-minute boat ride from St Mark’s Square.
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Marriott bought the 16-hectare site — a former sanatorium — and quickly turned it into the city’s most peaceful resort, opening in 2015 with grounds filled with trees, olive groves and vegetable gardens (serving the restaurant), and even a chapel repurposed as a wedding venue.
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The 266 rooms are designed by Matteo Thun, the spa’s the largest in Venice, the rooftop pool overlooks the city’s distant spires, and restaurant Dopolavoro is Michelin-starred.
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With all that on offer, you may not be so keen to take the free shuttle into town. Understandable.
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Hotel Danieli
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Few hotels can match the Danieli — an icon for all the right reasons. Composed of three buildings, the hotel is centered around the 14th -century palace of Doge Dandolo– who built his home next to his office, the Palazzo Ducale.
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With columns, coffered roof and monumental fireplace intact, there’s no fancier lobby or bar area in town; and the guestrooms in the main building are equally impressive.
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The two modern buildings are nothing to be sniffed at, however, having undergone refurbishments by Jacques Garcia and Pierre Yves Rochon.
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Since it’s a Luxury Collection hotel, if you’re a points person, staying here lets you earn with Marriott (or Starwood, until the schemes are merged). But there are better reasons to stay at the Danieli — from the glorious old-school concierge desk to the rooftop restaurant with 270-degree views from the prisons of the Doge’s Palace to the lagoon and Riva degli Schiavoni all the way to Sant’Elena and the Lido.
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Bauer
The Bauer used to be two hotels, joined by a communal lobby: the 1940s brutalist (read: love-it- or-hate- it) Bauer L’Hotel, and the more classical 18th-century Il Palazzo, right on the Grand Canal. 2017 saw them come together to form a single property — and with 200 rooms at its disposal, it’s a winning combination.
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Rooms still divide roughly down the lines of the old properties — entry-level ones are more likely to be in the modern building, while the top suites are those overlooking the Grand Canal — but there’s a good range through both buildings, and the décor is flouncy-Venetian- at-its- best throughout.
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Top level suites get access to Il Settimo Cielo, or Seventh Heaven — a spectacular rooftop bar and breakfast room (other guests can book meals there) — but the ground-floor “civilian” eating areas are hardly bad: Breakfast is served on a terrace cantilevered over the Grand Canal, with gondolas parked up next door.
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Ca’ Sagredo
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One of the grandest dames of the Grand Canal, this salmon-pink 14th-century palazzo near the Ca’ d’Oro and Casino was built by the Sagredo family (“Ca” means “house”) and only became a hotel in 2007 — and even then it was designated a national monument.
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You’ll see why as soon as you walk in, taking the monumental staircase up from the grand lobby to the main “piano nobile” floor, complete with stucco, gilding, frescoes and gargantuan paintings on the walls.
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In comparison, rooms are fairly tame (apart from the top-level suites, of course, which are opulence incarnate), but they’re comfortable and relatively spacious by Venice standards. But it’s worth staying in a box room just to get access to the opulent breakfast room, bar and public areas — especially since staff enforce the guests-only rule with hawk-like precision.
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 Ca’ Maria Adele
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Most Venetian hotels take opulence to the max, but few amp up the romance as much as Ca’ Maria Adele, a 12-room bolthole on Dorsoduro, next to the iconic Salute church. Low-lit, rabbit-warren corridors lead you to the rooms — all different, but equally dramatic, and loaded with antiques, damask wall coverings, Murano glass chandeliers and rich floor-to- ceiling drapes.
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Outside the rooms, there’s a sumptuously furnished communal lounge and a wildly romantic breakfast room, but the real draw is the “altana” or rooftop terrace, overlooking Giudecca across the water.
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Excelsior
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Come here in September and you’ll be shoulder-to- shoulder with A-listers. The grand dame of the Lido island, built in 1908, the Excelsior is the single focus for the glamorous Venice Film Festival — little wonder, when it has a swish private beach, restaurant with sweeping views of the Adriatic, and decadent Moorish design in the guestrooms to match the turreted, tumbling façade.
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Onsite is a pool (a rarity in Venice) and six restaurants; offsite, for those wanting to stay on the Lido — a hive of active and eco-friendly tourism — there are tennis courts, bicycles for rent, and even a golf course and equestrian center nearby. A free water- shuttle whisks you to St Mark’s Square, 15 minutes away.
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The only downside? It’s open seasonally, from April to October. On the plus side, during the 2017 closure, it’s down for a renovation.
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Source: Julia Buckley

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