Hotels on the Grand Canal

Hotels, B&Bs, and apartments overlooking the Canale Grande of Venice

View of the Grand Canal from the Hotel Locanda De La Spada, Venice
View of the Grand Canal from the Hotel Locanda De La Spada, Venice

On the price categories
The rate categories below are ballpark figures, meant to give you an idea of how relatively expensive a hotel will be, not the actual rates you might get upon booking. Depending on the time of year—or if you decide on a fancier room—the price might be higher. In fact, given Venice's notoriously fluctuating room rates, the cost can as much as double in high season—triple during Carnevale. That said, there's also a chance you will find the room a tad cheaper.
Sometimes you don't care which neighborhood you're in. All you want is a room overlooking the Grand Canal itself.

Sure, you could find them by scanning the map of Venice, but I figured gathering them all together on one page wouldn't hurt, either.

The amazing thing you'll notice is that, while not the biggest bargains in town, Grand Canal hotels really do come at rates to fit nearly any budget.

Sure, the selection is a bit weighted toward the upper end of the price range—you do have to pay for such a prime location, after all—but there are actually a couple of places where you can get that million-dollar view for under $200.

Oh, and I'm going to include hotels that open onto the Bacino di San Marco, the large basin (or small lagoon) into which the Grand Canal opens up as it passes Piazza San Marco, since it is (rightly) considered to be an extension of Venice's storied Canale Grande.

Hotels along the Grand Canal

Cheap hotels on the Grand Canal

Moderate hotels on the Grand Canal

Premier hotels on the Grand Canal

Hotel Locanda de la Spada, Venice
Hotel Locanda De La Spada (San Marco) - Few will ooh and ahh over the retro 70s chic decor of the rooms (though the classic terrazzo flooring is nice). However, when you can step out onto your balcony, lean on the railing, and just gaze out over the busy southern end of the Grand Canal—and do so just a few blocks from Piazza San Marco behind La Fenice opera house—who cares? With just nine rooms in the 14th century Palazzo Contarin-Marin on Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, this inn fills up fast... » book
Hotel Palazzo Stern (Dorsoduro) - Original frescoes and mosaics still adorn parts of this Moorish-style 15th century palazzo near the Ca' Rezzonico—though most rooms are either done in a country-comfy style of wood beams and fabric walls, or an ornate Venetian-decant style heavy on the embroidered drapes. The "Superior" double room and all five Junior Suites overlook the Grand Canal; other rooms either overlook the garden, a side canal, or the rooftops of Venice—though everyone gets to enjoy Grand Canal views from the breakfast terrace... » book
Hotel Palazzetto Pisani (San Marco) - There are only six guest rooms in this ornate 16th century palazzo near Campo Santo Stefano, very close to the Accademia bridge and a short walk from Piazza San Marco. All overlook either the Grand Canal or a side canal, and while none really match the common areas in terms of doge-like Renaissance grandeur (except perhaps the Deluxe Doge double room which did, in fact, once belong to Doge Alvise Pisani), most do retain a bit of antique stucco decoration amid what otherwise gives off the vibe of a modern, tastefully furnished apartment of a very well-to-do Venetian... » book
Hotel Antiche Figure (Santa Croce) - Classic Venetian styling—Murano chandeliers, richly patterned tapestry fabrics, wood ceilings painted white—on the Grand Canal directly across from the train station (but on the more neighborhoody, Santa Croce side of the Grand Canal). The rooms are a bit small, but the staff compensates for that (and the slightly removed location) by going above and beyond to ensure all their guests have an excellent stay in Venice... » book
Hotel Ca' San Giorgio (Santa Croce) - This eight-room hotel in a Gothic buildings is not directly on the Grand Canal, though some rooms do have balconies with partial Grand Canal views. Otherwise, the decor is simple but comfortable—and some rooms have nice wood-beamed ceilings. It's in a quiet neighborhood about ten minutes in either direction from the train station and Rialto Bridge... » book

Splurge hotels on the Grand Canal

The Hotel Gritti Palace in Venice, Italy
Gritti Palace ★★ (San Marco) [€€€€€] - You could argue that there are more flash five-star hotels (largely those lining the bacino San Marco), but if you're looking for old school glamour and the classic luxury address on the Grand Canal, it's got to be the Gritti. In the 16th century, this was the palace of Doge Andrea Gritti, who set the precedent for the caliber of guests to come over the centuries: from international royalty and captains of industry to literary giants and rock stars. So long as you're going all out, plump for a room on the piano nobile (the old "nobles' floor") with its high stuccoed ceilings and overwrought chandeliers; three of its suites have balconies hung over the Grand Canal itself... » more » book
Hotel Palazzo Sant'Angelo sul Canal Grande (San Marco) - In a quieter corner of the San Marco district, the decor of this four-star boutique hotel is done in sumptuous Venetian Belle Epoque style, all ribbon-candy stripes of burgundy and gold and burled walnut furnishings. The marble bathrooms come with hydromassage tubs, and the breakfast room overlooks a side canal. Be sure to insist on a Grand Canal view room (nothing wrong with a view of a side canal or the garden, but at these prices, you really want that Grand Canal vista)... » book
Hotel Centurion Palace, Venice
Hotel Centurion Palace (Dorsoduro) - That russet palazzo with the classic Venetian windows right at the end of the Grand Canal next to Santa Maria della Salute? It is now a small luxury hotel offering five-star amenities and avant-garde elegance, its contemporary styling nicely offset by echoes of the 19th-century setting... » book
Hotel Cima Rosa (Santa Croce) - Imagine you had a friend in Venice named Brittany Hymore. She's an interior designer from Toledo, Ohio, but married a Venetian architect named Danielle, and now they own one of those postcard-perfect 15th century palazzi right on the Grand Canal. Now imagine she invited you to stay in one of her three guest rooms—outfitted as only a designer and architect could—with Canale Grande views, parquet floors, and wood-beamed ceilings, and all just a two-minute stroll from a vaporetto stop in a quiet corner of the Santa Croce neighborhood. Now stop imagining and book that room... » book
Hotel Canal Grande (Santa Croce) - If this four-star hotel were not way up near the train station (but on the quieter, more neighborhood-like Santa Croce side of the Grand Canal), there's no way its relatively spacious rooms with their elegant country-Venetian styling and canopied beds would cost as little as €140. That said, it costs a good €250 to actually get a Grand Canal view from your room. If that's too rich for your blood, there's always the shared bar terrace where all guests can drink in those Grand Canal views with a drink in their hands... » book

Hotels along the Bacino San Marco

The lobby of the Hotel Danieli in Venice, Italy
Hotel Danieli ★★★ (Castello) [€€€€€] - In the 14th century, just a few doors down from the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace) , Doge Dandolo built one of the prettiest palazzi overlooking the bacino San Marco. It has been serving elite visitors to Venice since 1822 in posh, Oriental-tinged splendor. The Danieli's best attribute—other than its prime location and those killer water views from rooms along the front—is its centerpiece: a four-story central atrium of Gothic arches and elegant balustrades, sky-lit and dripping with greenery and palm fronds. When it comes to choosing a room—tastefully fitted with a restrained decor of antiques, Oriental rugs, and oil paintings—those in the original wing have more atmosphere and old fashioned style but are smaller than accommodations in the 19th century wing next-door. (Avoid getting stuck in the bland 1940s addition)... » more » book
A view from the Hotel Metropole in Venice, Italy
Hotel Metropole (Castello) [€€€€–€€€€€] - It just doesn't get more Romantic 18th century Venetian than this: the former chapter house of La Pieta church where Vivaldi lived 1704–38 while he was the church's concert master. It has since become part quirky hotel, part top restaurant (with two Michelin stars), and part Victorian museum of the owner's curious collections and lavish furnishings. Plump an extra €100 for a room with a view over Bacino San Marco (and free parking). You can still get a water view—over side canal where the water taxis pull up—at the regular rate, but ask for it or you might get stuck with one on the garden courtyard... » more » book

Tips, resources, & links

Major sights along the Grand Canal
Lodging links
Lodging tips
  • If you're looking for a hotel near a particular sight, just go to that sight's page and, in the sidebar on the right, you'll see a list of all the nearby hotels (with "Reid Recommends" choices preceded by a little RR icon: Reid Recommends).
  • The Venice hotel tax: As of 2011, Venice began charging a Visitor Tax. This is the city's doing, and it is not a scam (just annoying). All charges are per person, per night, for all guests over the age of 10, and the tax is charged for stays of up to 10 days. (There are discounts: Dec-Jan, 30%; Kids aged 10-16, 50%; Stays on the Lido or other outer islands, 20%; Stays in Mestre or elsewhere on the mainland, 20%.)

    The cost breakdown is insanely complicated (varies with official clasification and rating cateogry), but general as of 2014:

    • Hotels: €1 pppn (per person per night) per star rating. (So a couple [2 people] staying three nights [2 x 3 = 6] in a four-star hotel [6 x €4 = €24] would pay an extra €24.
    • B&Bs: €3 pppn flat
    • Apartments, residences, rental rooms: €1.50–€2.50 pppn
    • Hostels/religious housing and agriturismi: €2 pppn
    • Camping: €0.10–€0.40 pppn

    Some hotels have folded the fee into their quoted rates; most properties tack it on as an extra when you check out. Just be prepared.

  • Book ahead in summer and during Carnevale: Venice is way more popular than the number of beds it has, so while in the dead of winter you can often show up and find a good place to crash easily, the best rooms (and the best-value hotels) are booked well in advance for the summer months and the two weeks prior to Ash Wednesday (when Venice breaks out the fancy dress and masks for its famed Carnevale celebrations).

    Same goes (though less so, and more at the chic and high end hotels) during the Venice Biennale art festival and the Venice Film Festival.
  • Pay extra for A/C in summer: No matter what kind of lodging you pick, if it's summer (a) try to get a room with air-conditioning and (b) even if you can't (or you can but have a hankering for some fresh air) resist the urge to open the windows to your room.

    Venice is, I believe, the primary breeding ground for the mosquito population of Southern Europe, and precious few Italian hoteliers have discovered that newfangled invention called window screens. Keep the windows shut, or prepare to be bitten.

    (Also, carry some bug spray for those romantic canalside dinners outside. Trust me.)
  • Avoid Mestre: Any hotels with an address in "Venezia-Mestre" is actually in the dull, modern, industrial suburb at the mainland end of the bridge over to the real, ancient Venice you came all this way to see. Do not stay in Mestre! You'll spend more time and money commuting each day in an out of Venice proper than you will save.
Other Venice links & resources

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