5 beautiful palazzo hotels in Venice to suit every budget
For grand views of the canal and decadent interiors that echo the city's great history, you can't do better than an old Italian palace
1. THE GRITTI PALACE
This 15th-century palazzo occupies one of the loveliest spots on the Grand Canal, looking across to the magnificent Salute church. All the rooms are filled with antiques, paintings, frescoes and beautiful fabrics.
Digital alarm-radios and televisions are the only things that spoil the illusion you are staying not in a hotel, but in a Venetian palazzo. The restaurant looks out over the canal.
Rooms from €664 (R10,827); visit marriott.com.
2. HOTEL ANTICO DOGE
Rooms are fitted with every comfort and are furnished with antique pieces and fabrics - layers of silk, brocades, gilt mirrors and Venetian chandeliers.
Every modern convenience has been brought into the design: the beds are comfortable, lighting is just right and bathrooms include mosaic showers. Four rooms offer canal views, which look over a picturesque square. Breakfast is served in the "Grand Salone".
Rooms from €113 (R1,842); visit anticodoge.com.
3. AMAN VENICE
Arrive by boat to enter via the formal La Porta D'Acqua restaurant, into a vast reception with marble-chequered flooring and original frescoes. A grand staircase leads up to the rococo ballroom with Murano chandeliers and windows overlooking the Grand Canal.
The dining room, bar and salons have sumptuous Rubelli silk wall coverings, oil paintings and carved stone fireplaces. Menus alternate nightly between Thai and classic Venetian.
Rooms from €1,276 (R20,800); see aman.com.
4. PALAZZO CA'NOVA
For those who dream of an exclusive pied-a-terre on the Grand Canal, the staffed luxury apartments at Palazzo Ca'Nova offer the unique experience of living like a local while enjoying all the comforts of a stylish hotel.
Polished terrazzo floors set the rooms aglow with natural light from the large windows. It creates a crisp backdrop for the eclectic mix of 19th-century furnishings and Venetian glass. Fresh, hot croissants are left on the hall table outside the apartment every morning.
Apartments from €360 (R5,863); see canova-venezia.com.
5. HOTEL PALAZZO ABADESSA
With its heirloom antiques and frescoed ceilings, Palazzo Abadessa is every inch the aristocratic family palace and the lovely, lush garden is a wonderful place to relax. The 13 rooms and suites are all elegantly kitted out. When booking, be aware that the mezzanine rooms feel much more cramped than the lofty upstairs ones. Breakfast is outside at tables in the garden.
Rooms from €153 (R2,491); see abadessa.com. - The Daily Telegraph