Destinations

Top 10: the best hotels near St Mark's Square, Venice

Bauer Palazzo, Venice
Bauer Palazzo has a glorious rooftop terrace.

An expert guide to the best hotels near St Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) — eight minutes' walk away or less — from lavish five-star residences to stylish four-star boutiques and value-for-money b&bs brimming with character, including the best hotels for delicious breakfasts, rooftop bars, palatial bedrooms and canal views.

Hotel Flora

A rare find among the designer-label boutiques immediately west of Piazza San Marco, which is a five-minutes walk. It has been run by the same family for more than 50 years and Flora exudes old-fashioned charm.

The marvellously peaceful, leafy courtyard is one of the Flora’s major selling points, but excellent, friendly, knowledgeable staff is another hallmark of the place. Rooms are tastefully furnished in a simple, classic way. Breakfast here is a fantastically rich buffet, and experienced drinks-mixer Vinicio runs the delightful bar. A children’s tea is served each day, and is included in family room rates. 

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Rooms at Hotel Flora are tastefully furnished in a simple, classic way. Credit: Mirco Toffolo R.

Bauer Palazzo

This place is sandwiched between Campo San Moisé and the entrance to the Grand Canal – and four minutes from Piazza San Marco on foot. 

The hotel consists of two adjoining, but distinctly different, palazzo – one Art Deco, containing the spacious marble-clad lobby and a grand staircase that wouldn’t look out of place on an ocean liner, and another 19th-century faux Gothic property, which holds De Pisis, the main restaurant, and Settimo Cielo, a glorious rooftop terrace. Expect friendly staff, spacious rooms and fabulous canal views.

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Expect 19th-century faux-Gothic interiors at Bauer Palazzo.

Baglioni Hotel Luna

You can’t get much closer to Piazzo San Marco than this (one minute on foot to be exact); it is tucked behind the pretty Giardinetti, which stands between the piazza and the lagoon. 

The Luna is Venice at its most Venetian, but succeeds in doing lashings of brocade and chandeliers without making it seem either tired or predictable. The silk-brocade wall linings, lush window drapes and Fortuny lamps in the rooms are also typically Venetian. The restaurant is overpriced but breakfast makes up for it; it's set in a vast salon frescoed by pupils of the 18th-century maestro Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.

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You can’t get much closer to St Mark’s Square than Baglioni Hotel Luna.

B&B San Marco

The B&B San Marco experience begins at breakfast in the family kitchen when the delightful owners share their immense Venice knowledge with guests as they chat together over a great choice of fresh fare — discussing not only things to do and places to eat, but Venice’s history, its current situation and what the future may hold for it.

With its three immaculate rooms (with canal views) in a lovely bit of residential Venice, it feels like home from the word go. Note that this is a budget option: one bedroom has an en suite, and the others have shared bathrooms. It's five minutes' walk to Piazza San Marco.

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B&B San Marco feels like home from the word go.

Gritti Palace

This 15th-century palazzo — seven minutes' walk from Piazza San Marco — occupies one of the loveliest spots on the Grand Canal, looking across to the magnificent Salute church. It has equally sumptuous interiors to match, with priceless antiques and frescoes. Its intimacy and relatively small size mean that the courteous and charming staff have plenty of time for you.

The marble-clad bathrooms are small, thanks to laws that restrict changes to Italy’s most historic buildings, but this is about the worst you can say about the sumptuous rooms filled with objets d’art and beautiful fabrics. The Club de Doge restaurant has one of the most beautiful dining rooms in this or any other city. 

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Gritti Palace has sumptuous interiors, with priceless antiques and frescoes.

Novecento Boutique Hotel

This is one of those places that turns a holiday into a special experience. It's in a quiet corner, just off a busy street leading to Piazza San Marco (eight minutes' walk). Décor is influenced by Mariano Fortuny, an eclectic Spanish designer who embraces North African and Middle Eastern style. Exhibitions are often hosted in the lobby, and the leafy little courtyard is a delight.

The nine bedrooms are not huge but they are supremely comfortable. The array of homemade goodies at breakfast — which can be eaten in the courtyard in fine weather — sets you up perfectly for a hard day’s sightseeing. Nibbles are available (free) in the  living room all day. 

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Novecento Boutique Hotel turns a holiday into a special experience. Credit: Mirco Toffolo R./Mirco Toffolo R.

Locanda Orseolo

It’s right by Piazza San Marco (one minute on foot), but entered from a well concealed courtyard with high iron gates; convenient but very private. 

The boutique Orseolo is Venetian-plush without being heavy or stereotyped: with polished wood panelling and a dark red colour scheme throughout, it’s enlivened with playful murals referencing Venice’s commedia dell’arte theatre tradition. Expect the super-friendly but unobtrusive staff to greet you by name when you arrive. The 12 wonderfully comfortable rooms have rich red drapes, baldachins, muralled walls and elegant furniture.

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The boutique Orseolo is Venetian-plush without being heavy or stereotyped.

AD Place

AD Place is five minutes' walk from Piazza San Marco, on a canal by the La Fenice opera house. It's generally blissfully quiet, except when opera crowds gather below, or gondoliers belt out songs as they pass. Attention to detail and friendly, well-informed staff make this a stylishly relaxing place to stay. There’s a lovely roof terrace from which to survey the Venetian cityscape.

Rooms vary in size but each is individually decorated in unusual colours. Breakfast is a generous buffet, and a formal tea is served from 5pm.

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AD Place has a lovely roof terrace from which to survey the Venetian cityscape.

Residenza de l’Osmarin

This b&b, which wins its guests' hearts, is six minutes from Piazza San Marco. It's close to Venice’s main thoroughfares but set just far enough off them to feel secluded and quiet. 

Owners Elisabetta and Rodolfo set the tone here, with their warm welcome and home-from-home attention to guests throughout their stay. Rooms are simple, elegantly furnished and relatively large (for Venice), and all have lovely views over the nearby canal (with subsequent noise of gondolier serenades) and across the rooftops to the belltower of St Mark’s. Elisabetta's homemade cakes are a favourite on the breakfast buffet. 

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Residenza de l’Osmarin wins guests' hearts.

Al Ponte Antico

This place is seven minutes' walk from Piazza San Marco. Décor is exuberant throughout: the padded reception desk; the old-rose lounge with its delightful banquettes, polished wood and gleaming brass coffee machine. From their first-name greetings on arrival to the landslide of information and recommendations, the Peruch family and their staff will make you feel like you’ve known the place for years.

The seven rooms and suites are very heavy on the brocade – on walls, beds and windows – but the rooms are large by Venetian standards and some have lovely views over the Grand Canal. The terrace is a fantastic place to enjoy a romantic drink while gazing at the Rialto.

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Rooms at Al Ponte Antico have lovely views over the Grand Canal.
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