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Hotels near the Piazza San Marco

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ABOVE: The four-star Hotel Gabrielli Sandwirth is the red building at far left.

Hotels on the Riva degli Schiavoni waterfront

photoThe Riva degli Schiavoni is a broad waterfront promenade that runs eastward along St.Mark's Basin from the Doge's Palace. From the windows of hotels overlooking the Riva, guests can enjoy views of water buses, workboats, ferries, and passing cruise ships, plus the island of San Giorgio Maggiore with its church and bell tower.

One advantage of the Riva degli Schiavoni is how easy it is to find: From the Alilaguna airport boat and ACTV vaporetto platforms at San Zaccaria, just head east or west along the water until you reach your hotel. (Some airport boats also stop at Arsenale; if you get off there, walk west in the direction of the Piazza San Marco.)

We'll list the Riva degli Schiavoni's hotels from west to east, starting with the first hotel that you'll reach when walking along the waterfront from the Piazza San Marco:

photoDanieli (5 stars) is one of the most celebrated--and expensive--hotels in Venice, but it has a loyal following among guests who can afford its luxury. (The Danieli is especially popular with wealthy Americans; we once saw a dapper guest in a Western suit, Stetson hat, and cowboy boots emerge from the Danieli with his young son.)

  • Tip: If you saw The Tourist, a 2010 movie with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, please note that the "Danieli" in that film was fake (and in the wrong location).

Savoia & Jolanda (4 stars). If you're going to stay here, splurge on a waterfront view: You'll have an unforgettable experience and maximum value for your money. In good weather, the buffet breakfast is served on the hotel terrace. (The hotel is directly behind the Alilaguna airport-boat stop at San Zaccaria, overlooking the riva and St. Mark's Basin.)

Locanda VivaldiLocanda Vivaldi (4 stars, left photo) offers singles, doubles, and suites in a building that faces the water. It has extremely high guest ratings from Venere, our booking partner.

photoMetropole (5 stars) is a luxury hotel with spectacular views and an impressive collection of objets d'art in its public rooms. Less expensive rooms face a side canal or the hotel's private garden.

photoLondra Palace (4 stars). Deluxe doubles and junior suites at this 53-room hotel offer views of the lagoon and San Giorgio Maggiore. The Londra Palace is affiliated with Small Luxury Hotels of the World and has been featured on the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List.

photoPaganelli (3 stars) has been owned by the Paganelli family since 1874, and it's spread across two buildings. Rooms in the annex face the Campo San Zaccaria ; most of the older rooms in the main building have lagoon views.

photoWildner (3 stars) is a 16-room hotel and pensione where Henry James worked on Portrait of a Lady in 1881. If you can't afford the Danieli and haven't enough money for the Metropole, book at the Wildner--and spend the extra 30 to 40 euros for a lagoon-view room.

photoGabrielli Sandwirth (4 stars) is a 14th Century Venetian Gothic palace that looks like something out of a movie. And, in fact, it co-starred in Blame it on the Bellboy, a 1992 film with Richard Griffiths and Dudley Moore. The 105-room hotel has an old-fashioned Venetian decor, a walled garden, and a roof terrace with bar. In warm weather,  breakfast and dinner are served in the Gabrielli's courtyard.

Four midrange hotels away from the water:

If you're willing to venture inland from the waterfront, consider one of these hotels:

Lux (3 stars) is just off the waterfront and a minute's walk down the Calle delle Rasse, which is the second street off the Riva after the bridge where tourists stop to view the Bridge of Sighs. The Lux has one- to four-person rooms in three buildings.

photoVilla Igea (3 stars) is a lower-priced sister property of the Savoia & Jolanda (see above). Half of the 26 rooms face the pretty church and campo of San Zaccaria , which is a few meters inland from the Riva degli Schiavoni.

Campiello (3 stars) has one- to four-person rooms and suites, some with panoramic views or terraces. It's easy to find: Just walk along the Riva and turn left at the Hotel Savoia & Jolanda. The Campiello is behind the Savoia, on the right side of the street.

Corte Contarina (3 stars) has ten single, double, and triple rooms in a 16th Century building where the Doges Contarina once lived. To reach the hotel, you'll need to cross the bridge at the Arsenale Canal, head down the angled Via G. Garibaldi, and turn left just before the Francesco di Paola church. The Corte Contarina is at the end of the narrow street and to the left, overlooking the Rio della Tana canal.

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