The Best Boutique Hotels in Venice

A labyrinth of canals and walkways perched precariously over the water, Venice is a floating city, unlike any other in the world. Trade in cars for vaporettos, gondolas and water taxis as you leave the hectic Roman roads behind. Venice is rich with history, architecture and eclectic boutique hotels reflecting the city’s past. While Venice can be a peaceful romantic retreat, it is also the home of a spectacular Carnival during each year on the day before Ash Wednesday. Thousands of tourists flock to the city to celebrate the historically indulgent and festive event.

Where to stay:

Palazzo Barbarigo This small boutique hotel is ideally positioned on the banks of the Grand Canal and features a private dock and chic art deco interiors. For lovers of art and culture, the hotel offers packages which include entry to exhibits, tours and wine tastings with the room rate. They also offer a much-raved-about breakfast spread, which is rare in a city not typically renowned for its cuisine.

Ca Maria Adele An eclectic boutique hotel of only 12 rooms, this Ca Maria Adele is a quiet and intimate retreat. Unlikely combinations of styles and pieces come together to create a laid-back bohemian atmosphere, from the Japanese-inspired sitting room to the extravagantly detailed Moroccan terrace. Five of the guest rooms are also designated as “concept rooms,” with even more elaborate furnishings based around themes like the Night Room or the Oriental Room.

What to do:

Piazza San Marco Also known as St. Mark’s Square and often referred to as the “drawing room of Europe,” Piazza San Marco has been the Venetian epicentre of activity and social intercourse since the ninth century. Surrounding the square are the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Basilica and the Campanile, the iconic bell tower in the middle of the piazza. While it was once the meeting place of great historical minds, the square is now frequented mostly by tourists and pigeons. Even so, the area is a must-see location that is impossible to miss.

Palazzo Ducale di Venezia The former residence of the Doge of Venice, this magnificent gothic landmark faces Piazza San Marco on one side and the turquoise waters of the Venetian Lagoon on the other. Tours are offered of the palace’s interiors, including the Doge’s apartments and the institutional chambers. Guests can wander the palace and marvel at the lavish furnishings and priceless works of art.