Venice is one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. It's no surprise, then, that the "City of Canals" features an abundance of fabulous accommodations. Eschew the chain hotels for more intimate and artistic options with this list of the city's best boutique offerings.

Al Ponte Antico Hotel

The incomparable patio at the Al Ponte Antico (photo courtesy of the Al Ponte Antico)

Al Ponte Antico is the place to come for an intimate lodging experience (only nine rooms total) while still being ideal for a family holiday with kids. The location is nothing to scoff at either, as the Al Ponte Antico is tucked away in an alley near the Rialto Bridge and features views overlooking the Grand Canal (water taxis service the hotel).

The building itself is a recently renovated former palace dating to the 16th century and the rooms are done in Louis the XV style with tapestries on the walls but also feature modern conveniences like minibars and A/C. The rooms are elegant and impeccably designed, but the real star of the show is the hotel's patio looking out over the canal to the Rialto. You may not find a better view in all of Europe. 

Also worth mentioning is the dedicated level of service. You will feel welcome here. Service is so personal, in fact, that not only is the owner regularly on site on site, but he occasionally takes over chef duties and cooks breakfast for the guests. 

Ponte de l’Aseo, 5768

Ca’ Maria Adele

A romantic concept room at Ca’ Maria Adele

Great location, great building, great hospitality—that's what you get with Ca’ Maria Adele. Located in the center of Venice, on a street with many art galleries, the rooms of this hotel overlook the dominating Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. The hotel features five concept rooms which are the model of Gothic elegance and a hodgepodge of styles (think gilt furnishings, ornate decor, and plenty of red velvet). plus five superior rooms and two top-floor suites with marble baths.

There may be no restaurant, but the welcoming hosts allow guests to enjoy their breakfast in their room, a breakfast area, or on the outdoor terrace. This is an intimate hotel better suited to adults on honeymoon or a romantic getaway as opposed to families with kids. Also, Ca’ Maria Adele has its own water entrance (located one vaporetto stop from Piazza San Marco), so you can return right to your hotel after a long day sight-seeing on the canals. 

Sestiere Dorsoduro, 111

Corte di Gabriela

One of the to-die-for junior suites at Corte di Gabriela (photo courtesy of Corte di Gabriela)

The owners of the Corte di Gabriela, located just a 15-minute walk from St. Mark's Basilica, did an impressive thing in turning a classic 18th-century Venetian building into a model of contemporary chic. Bonus points that it still manages to be intimate while also boasting sizeable and comfortable rooms. The chic factor comes in the form of minimalist design, exposed brick, beam ceilings, designer furniture, and cool colors and textures, plus modern bathrooms and modern conveniences. Book a  junior suite and you can enjoy the frescoed ceilings as well as views overlooking the canal.

Again, there's no restaurant here, but feel free to enjoy your breakfast in the central courtyard, which is adorned with hanging wisteria vines. And breakfast at this hotel means your choice of made-to-order omelets, crepes, and fresh-baked pastries. Also, if you're trying to be conscious of your carbon footprint, know that the Corte di Gabriela treats all wastewater with state-of-the-art technology and washes all linens with biodegradable laundry products. 

Calle Avvocati, 3836

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The Gritti Palace

The rooftop terrace of the Redentore Suite at The Gritti Palace (photo courtesy of the Gritti Palace)

Once home for nobility in the 16th century, The Gritti Palace has risen to become one of the most famous lodging options in Venice, if not the most famous. This is a large boutique option (some 82 rooms), but service is attentive. The rooms here are Venetian baroque featuring a decor heavy with Rubeli silks and damasks, terrazzo floors, oil paintings on the walls, marble bathrooms, and canal views. Its location in the San Marco neighborhood is ideally central, too, just a few hundred meters to Saint Mark's Square and a five-minute walk to the La Fenice Opera House.

Regarding cuisine, guests here can breakfast in an opulent dining hall under crystal chandeliers and enjoy a romantic Venetian dinner at the hotel's Club del Doge restaurant. It's located right on the Grand Canal and features a menu abounding with fresh ingredients sourced daily from the famous Rialto Market. The hotel even hosts a cooking class at the Gritti Epicurean School where you can learn the secrets to preparing delectable Venetian cuisine.

Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, 2467

Hotel Ai Reali Di Venezia

Sleep in style at the Ai Reali (photo courtesy of the Hotel Ai Reali Di Venezia)

Once a palatial home for Venetian aristocrats, the Hotel Ai Reali Di Venezia has managed to preserve all that elegance within its refurbished 17th-century walls. Located on the canal, in the sweet spot between the Rialto Bridge and the Piazza San Marco, the hotel features many classes of rooms, but even the standard options feature smart and luxurious Venetian decor complete with marble bathrooms (some even have canal views). The hotel's restaurant, Alle Corone, is another selling point. Here you can dine in white-tablecloth style on seasonal menu items like burrata cheese and broccoli cream ravioli, rack of lamb, and crown of Iberian pork.

The Ai Reali stakes its claim as having the largest wellness spa in the city center, and the Reali Wellness Spa boasts a long list of massage, body care, facial, and wedding-ritual treatments. There's also a private boat dock on site, and the staff will even arrange for classic canal trips for you and a partner with a professional photographer on board. Not only is this probably the best four-star option on the list, but if you're in the market for a honeymoon hotel reservation, you could do much worse. 

Calle Seconda de la Fava, 5527

Hotel Moresco

The stylish lobby and bar of the Moresco (photo courtesy of Hotel Moresco)

The Hotel Moresco is a new four-star boutique hotel (built in 2012) with 23 rooms over three floors. Each is individually decorated with its own theme but all feature woman colors and Venetian textiles as well as modern conveniences like coffee makers and flat-screen TVs. The bathrooms are elegant with glass mosaics on the walls and utilize modern chromotherapy lighting.

As for the facilities, there's a lovely walled garden with a sun deck and leather armchairs. It's the perfect place to enjoy a happy hour cocktail (yes, the hotel does offer one) and also makes a great sunny spot in which to enjoy the ample buffet breakfast. The friendly staff is always at the ready with a welcome aperitif, handy map, booking assistance, or a local tip. The Moresco's eastern location isn't exactly central, but it is close to public transport options and is an easy walk to the Santa Lucia train station. Overall this hotel is good value for money and the attentive service makes it a crowd favorite.

Fondamenta del Passamonte, 3499

Palazzo Venart Hotel

A suite at the Palazzo Venart (photo courtesy of the Palazzo Venart Hotel)

You want Venetian luxury? You got it. The five-star Palazzo Venart Hotel (opened in 2016), located in central Venice, exists in a building renovated to preserve its 16th-century Venetian grandeur. No opulence has been spared, from the Renaissance frescoes on the walls to the marble fireplaces and all the antique furnishings in between. A well-manicured garden fronts the Grand Canal, and the 18 rooms and suites (each with its own decor theme) have views over the water as well.

The biggest selling point might be the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant, GLAM, which is the brainchild of famed chef Enrico Bartolini. The menu features refined Venetian dishes plated up with an artist's fastidious attention to detail. A night's stay and a meal at this model of luxury won't come cheap, but if you want to splurge, the Palazzo Venart is the place to go.

Calle Tron, 1961