An understated, private landing stage for gondolas and water taxis on a side canal of the lagoon marks the entrance to the lovely Luna Hotel Baglioni in San Marco. Steeped in history, the palazzo, with lagoon-facing windows and charming Juliet balconettes, dates to the 12th century and is said to have given refuge to the Crusade-era Knights Templar. Interiors are more in keeping with noble 18th-century fashions. There’s a sleek marble lobby, sparkling crystal chandeliers, antique furnishings, and a healthy showing of brocade fabrics. The standout room is the pristinely preserved Salone Marco Polo, filled with18th-century frescoes painted by pupils of influential Venetian painter and printmaker Giambattista Tiepolo.
Conveniently located just steps from bustling and culture-packed St. Mark’s Square, this hotel, with its award-winning restaurant, relaxed lounge, and rooms full of delightful period details, makes for an elegant home base in Venice.
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San Marco is the cultural and social heart of Venice’s six districts (sestieri). Get a feel for the area with stroll through St. Mark’s Square, a wide12th-century piazza that’s one of Italy’s most iconic gathering spots. Kick off a day of museum hopping at the Museo Correr, followed by a lesson in Venetian history at the Doges Palace.
Need to Know
Rooms: 91 rooms, 37 suites. From $310. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The award-winning Canova restaurant is a Mediterranean and seafood-focused fine-dining restaurant for lunch and dinner, and Caffe Bagglioni is a loungelike spot for light snacks, coffee, and cocktails. Spa and gym details: There is no spa or gym.
Who's it for: History-loving luxury travelers. Our favorite rooms: The interior design scheme is one of traditional elegance throughout (period furnishings, eye-catching wallpaper, gorgeous parquet floors), but guests craving the added bonus of lagoon or side canal views should book any number of the water-gazing suites. Coffee and art: Begin each day within a mini museum experience. Breakfast is served in the Salone Marco Polo, a stunning setting of wall-to-wall 18th-century frescoes painted by students of the Tiepolo school.