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San Marco is the most popular tourist area of Venice, and it's also a convenient place to arrive or depart via the Alilaguna airport boats, since Alilaguna's Blue and Orange lines stop at the San Marco Giardinetti vaporetto station.
(Caveat: The boat ride to San Marco takes a lot longer than the airport-bus ride to the Piazzale Roma.)
The best-known hotels in this area are among Venice's most expensive hostelries:
Luna Baglioni (5 stars) is Venice's oldest hotel; an inn has stood on its plot of ground since the 12th Century. Every room is different, and all are supremely comfortable.
Don't let this hotel's 5-star rating intimidate you: There's nothing snooty or stuffy about the Luna, where an intimate atmosphere and friendly service attract a loyal European and American clientele.
Europa & Regina (5 stars), a member of the Westin group, has a prime location along the Grand Canal.
(5 stars) consists of two sections: the Hotel Bauer, a 20th Century luxury
wing, and Il Palazzo, an historic palace facing the Brand Canal.
Accommodations range from well-equipped double and twin rooms to exclusive
(and expensive) suites. The Bauer Palazzo has a highly-rated restaurant, the
De Pisis, and a café with a terrace where breakfast is served in good
Monaco & Grand Canal (4 stars) is just a short walk from the Alilaguna airport boat's pier. The hotel, which was renovated in 2005, occupies a magnificent site where the Grand Canal feeds into St. Mark's Basin. (Note: The location on the linked page's map is incorrect; the hotel is on the waterfront west of the former Royal Gardens.)
Looking for something cheaper? The Anastasia (3 stars) has single and double rooms at rates that are surprisingly reasonable for this area of San Marco.
The Torino and the Firenze (both 3-star hotels) are also convenient to the Alilaguna boat pier.
Two personal favorites are slightly inland and within easy walking distance of the San Marco Giardinetti boat stop:
The San Moisè (3 stars, photo at right) is about five minutes from the boat platform, on a quiet street near the Hotel Kette (4 stars). We've stayed in both hotels and can happily recommend either one, although the San Moisè might be a better choice during the warm months because it has a courtyard with tables for guests.
Other popular three-star hotels close by include the Violino d'Oro, the Lisbona, the Bel Sito & Berlino, Do Pozzi (which has tables in the tiny street outside), the Flora with its pretty garden, and--especially if you're a visiting opera singer--La Fenice et de Artistes.
The Saturnia & International (4 stars, photo at left), the Ala (3 stars) on the delightful Campo de Santa Maria del Giglio, and the Locanda Fiorita (1 star) are also easy to reach on foot from the San Marco Giardinetti boat stop.
If you're willing to roll your bags a slightly longer distance, you might consider staying just north of the Piazza San Marco (see listings).
Next page: Hotels in other locations
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