Venetian magic can still linger when you retire for the night, whether you're staying in a grand hotel or budget locanda (inn). Some of the finest Venetian hotel rooms are lighted with Murano chandeliers and swathed in famed fabrics of Rubelli and Bevilacqua, with gilded mirrors and furnishing styles from baroque to Biedermeier and art deco.

Though more-contemporary decor is working its way into renovation schemes, you still may find the prized Venetian terrazzo flooring and canal views in more-modest pensioni. Your window will open, sometimes onto a balcony, so you may enjoy gondoliers' serenades, watch the ebb and flow of city life in the campo (square) below, or simply contemplate what the lack of motor traffic permits you to hear, or not hear.

Even if well-renovated, most hotels occupy very old buildings. Preservation laws prohibit elevators in some, so if climbing stairs is an issue, check before you book. In the lower price categories, hotels may not have lounge areas, and rooms may be cramped, and the same is true of standard rooms in more expensive hotels. Space is at a premium in Venice, and even exclusive hotels have carved out small, dowdy, Cinderella-type rooms in the "standard" category. It’s not at all unusual for each room to be different even on the same floor: windows overlooking charming canals and bleak alleyways are both common. En suite bathrooms have become the norm; they’re usually well-equipped but sizes will range from compact to more than ample; tubs are considered a luxury but are not unheard of, even in less expensive lodging. Carpeted floors are rare, as they’re traditionally considered to be unhygienic. Air-conditioning is rarely a necessity until mid-June. A few of the budget hotels make do with fans. Mosquitoes can begin to pester in midsummer; turn lights off in the evening if you leave windows open, and ask the hotel staff for a Vape, an anti-mosquito device. The staff members at most Venetian hotels will be able to converse with you in English, and don’t be afraid to ask for anything you need or even to change rooms if you consider it necessary to do so.


  • The Gritti Palace

    The Gritti Palace

    San Marco 2467 041-794611
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