If your priority is to stay in a traditionally decorated Venetian hotel on the Grand Canal and near the main train station without spending a lot of dough, the Hotel Canal Grande will meet your needs—and then some. Though its Santa Croce location is a bit removed from the main tourist sights, it’s very peaceful, and still easy to take the nearby vaporetti (water buses) around Venice.
YOU SHOULD KNOW If you like to be right in the thick of things, the Hotel Canal Grande’s location is not for you.
Guest rooms, slightly on the small side, are a riot of late Baroque (18th-century) style, with gilded mirrors, Murano glass, beamed ceilings, and gold- and blue-pattered wallpaper, bedspreads, and curtains.
Shell out a bit extra for a room with a canal view.
Marble-and-mosaic bathrooms are pretty, but can be tiny. Many come with tub/shower combos, though some are shower-only.
The small beamed-ceiling, marble-floored lobby has plenty of chairs and tables for guests to relax or mingle if they choose. Pretty details such as gilded mirrors and red-and-gold damask curtains add to the allure.
There’s also a small terrace on the canal, the perfect place to have a drink when the weather cooperates.
The Hotel Canal Grande doesn’t have its own full-service restaurant, but a well-stocked complimentary breakfast buffet is offered in the atmospheric breakfast room.
The Riva de Biasio vaporetto stop, from which you can sail along the Grand Canal, is just a minute’s walk away. Otherwise you’ll find yourself doing a fair amount of walking to reach the sights—though getting lost in Venice is a large part of its charm.
Charming trattoria Antica Besseta (3-minute walk) is a great place for fresh fish and other local market specialties. La Zucca (6-minute walk) is a vegetarian’s dream (though it also serves meat); make reservations as far in advance as you can, and don’t miss their signature flan di zucca (pumpkin flan). Al Nono Risorto (10-minute walk), near the Rialto Market, has a pretty terrace and tasty antipasti, pizza, and seafood pasta.
Al Prosecco (5-minute walk), set in a lovely square, doesn’t just serve its namesake bubbly, but also tons of wines by the glass, along with nibbles like meat and cheese. Try an Aperol Spritz while gazing at the Grand Canal at Naranzaria (12-minute walk), and don’t miss the snacks (called cicchetti) and wine at Cantina Do Mori (13-minute walk), the oldest bacaro (wine bar) in Venice.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Hotel Canal Grande’s 18th-century décor has an authentic Venetian feel, and its charming neighborhood is well away from the tourist hordes.