The Signature suite at the Hotel Danieli.
The Signature suite at the Hotel Danieli.

Photo: Hotel Danieli


Sleeping like a prince/ss in Venice

Palazzo or pensione? As one of the world’s best known and most popular tourist destinations, Venice has no lack of lodging options. Here are Venice locals’ favorite hotels in their own city.

The tricky part about lodging in Venice is finding availability at a desired price point. Planning ahead is always good. But the good news is that many hotels are willing to negotiate attractive last-minute prices to fill their rooms.  

The Royal Suite Salon at the Hotel Danieli Photo: Hotel Danieli

For the big spender

The Danieli is on everyone’s list of great global hotels. It has history, beauty, service, tradition, innovation, and impeccable management. Price tags to match so, as the saying goes, if you have to ask how much, you probably can’t afford it. But if you can, don’t think twice.

Hotel Danieli

Castello 4196, Venice

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The Metropole. Photo: Metropole

Five-star hotel with two-star Michelin restaurant

East of the Danieli, closer to the Biennale Gardens, is the five-star Metropole. It has an atmospheric interior garden, two outstanding bars, a two-star Michelin restaurant, and superbly-trained staff. The gilt and opulence in the rooms increase with the price level, culminating in original frescoes, mother-of-pearl mosaics, and private hammams.


Riva degli Schiavoni, 4149, Venice

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Calcina in Giudecca. Photo: Calcina in Giudecca

Historic buildning

Originally an old limestone warehouse (“calcina” means limestone) dating from 1750, this pension-turned hotel is listed as an historical place in Italy and Europe. Artists and intellectuals have been coming here for centuries both for lodging and for meals. The 31 rooms are clean and cozy: 25 in the old section and six more modern accommodations in a newer structure. Some of the corner suites have breathtaking views.

Calcina in Giudecca

Dursoduro 780, Zattere, 30123, Venice

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Locanda San Barnaba. Photo: Locanda San Barnaba

One that won’t break the bank

It’s not easy to find rooms in a 15th century palazzo in Venice with elegant décor in a central location at a less-than-princely price, but the locanda does it, with family management that has continued since it first opened. Its 12 double rooms and one single are brimming with charm; they range in size, view, and of course price, but are all tastefully furnished without a cookie-cutter feel.

Locanda San Barnaba

Calle del Traghetto, 2785-2786, 30123, Venice

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Ai Sognatori. Photo: Ai Sognatori

Get some new friends

This feels like an apartment stay with friends rather than a hotel-like pension. The young couple who run it – an Italian architect and his Spanish-born artist wife—often hold art shows, concerts, and cultural events at their home, and clients are invited. It is near the Rialto Bridge but removed from the heaviest tourist flow. A big plus is the elevator for the third-floor flat.

Ai Sognatori

San Polo 2162, 30125 Venice

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Last edited: August 20, 2018


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