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Decadent, drenched in history and complete with Grand Canal views, luxury hotels in Venice are five-star palaces fit for a Doge. Eye-wateringly dear but eye-poppingly beautiful, they provide a sensational backdrop for a seriously romantic break.
The island of Giudecca, just a 10-minute ferry ride to San Marco, is home to several of the most exclusive hotels in Venice. If money is no object, stay at the Hotel Cipriani, one of Italy’s most expensive hotels. It’s the perfect place to hobnob with visiting celebrities.
Don’t despair though, because, if you dig around, you can find a few three-star Venice hotels on Giudecca too, getting the luxury location for half the price.
If you’re eager to be in the thick of things, ensure your Venice hotel is close to San Marco. This way, you can soak up the twilight atmosphere of the canals after the day-trippers have been bundled back onto their boats and buses.
In the evening, a curtain of serenity falls over San Marco, giving it a dreamy vibe. Gondolas bob under bridges and reflected lights twinkle along the water. It’s a side of Venice that you won’t see unless you spend the night.
There are plenty of gorgeous four-star Venice hotels and five-star stays lining the Grand Canal and its smaller offshoots, so you should find something that doesn’t break the bank.
Does San Marco tick the after-hours box in terms of nightlife? Find out on our Venice nightlife page.
Sidestep a crippling hotel bill by staying in one of Venice’s residential neighbourhoods. They are further from the main sights but full of authentic flavour. Dorsoduro, Cannaregio, Castello and Santa Croce are great options if you’re travelling on a more modest budget.
These are the last surviving pockets of historic Venice where locals significantly outnumber tourists. Menu prices here are pitched to residential wages and daily life doesn’t revolve around day-trippers.
This is where Venice hides cheap hotels, family-run B&Bs and some incredible off-season steals. You’ll be further on foot from the sights, but your bank balance will thank you for it.
Mix things up by staying on the Lido, which rolls a beach holiday and romantic break into one.
The Lido is a narrow island lying between Venice and the Adriatic Sea, which was transformed into a floating seaside resort around a century ago. The strip of golden sand surrounding the island is squashed with beach huts, sun loungers and perma-tanners, giving it a totally different vibe from Venice.
If you’re looking for a slice of the quiet life, this isn’t the answer, but the Lido is home to several of the cheaper places to stay as well as plush family Venice hotels with their own private beaches. The crossing to San Marco takes 20 minutes, so if you’re a little bit skint and after some sunshine, it could be the perfect compromise.