Best hotels in San Marco

“The finest drawing-room in Europe” was how Napoleon summed up Piazza San Marco. Indeed, this central piazza of Venice is surrounded by some of the city’s finest treasures - the exotic Basilica di San Marco, its Campanile (known from a thousand postcards), the magnificent Doge’s Palace, the infamous Bridge of Sighs, a clutch of museums… to name just a few. So to choose one of the best hotels in San Marco is to be right at the heart of the action.

Piazza San MarcoFlickr user Raging Wire

But the Piazza, which opens out onto the waterfront, and the surrounding streets, canals and bridges - including the Rialto Bridge - of the San Marco district are stuffed with treasures: San Salvatore church with its Titian paintings, Fortuny Museum in its gorgeous palazzo, the Palazzo Grassi art museum, plus numerous small squares and markets. As a result, of course, it is the most tourist-congested place in the city!

Best hotels in San Marco

For great value

Hotel Flora

  • Tiny Gio & Gio is a steal. With rooms that are either bold and designer or hung with tapestries and oil paintings it is minutes from St Mark’s Square. Breakfast-only but plenty of eating places in all directions.
  • The family-run Hotel Flora charms and disarms. Rooms are traditional but light and fresh, and there’s a seductive garden; perfect for breakfasts and evening aperitifs. A good family choice, too.
  • Ca del Nobile is another good family choice. Just behind St Mark’s Square, its six airy rooms have exposed rafters and a mix of antique and classic furnishings.

Best mid range hotels

Bloom and Settimo Cielo

  • With its hidden roof terrace and chic, boutique-style bedrooms, Bloom & Settimo Cielo are two great-value, central Venice choices (B&Bs that share the same reception). Rooms are boldly coloured - expect purple, fuchsia, black-and-gold - and hung with rich fabrics, and the rooftop views terrific.
  • Tucked down a small street and with a whiff of the Orient about the decorations, the nine-bedroom Novecento is a lovely little romantic hideaway. Breakfast in the courtyard on sunny days.
  • Another dark, small and richly opulent hotel is the Locanda Orseolo, tucked behind an easily missed door in Campo San Gallo. Some rooms have murals and canopied beds; all have rich fabrics and highly polished antiques.
  • There’s more exoticism to be found in AD Place, a B&B where rooms mix bold stripes, slinky fabrics and sultry colours with gilded mirrors and elaborate bedheads. There’s a gorgeously tiny rooftop terrace, too.

Best luxury hotels in San Marco

Gritti Palace

  • Right on the Riva degli Shiavoni, five minutes stroll from St Mark’s Square and with uninterrupted views across the lagoon, Hotel Londra Palace offers sleek bedrooms with original artwork and Biedermeier furnishings. Tchaikovsky was so enchanted with the setting, he wrote his Fourth Symphony here. An excellent people-watching spot, particularly from the restaurant terrace.
  • Two hotels that rival one another for both luxury and peerless views are the Gritti Palace and Bauer Il Palazzo. The world-renowned Gritti Palace, a former 15th-centruy Doge’s palace, has all the tradition, sumptuousness and flawless service that you would expect. An evening drink on the terrace gazing at the Santa Maria della Salute will stay long in the memory.
  • Others would argue that there is nothing so romantic as dining on the waterfront terrace of the Pisis restaurant of the nearby Bauer Il Palazzo, also with a faultless Grand Canal location. Bedrooms are rich, sumptuous and with a contemporary-lavish edge. There’s also a rooftop Jacuzzi.

If you’re going to stay in Venice, many would argue, then you have to be in the centre and this guide to the best hotels in San Marco points you in the right direction. If there's nothing here that fits the bill, then extend your search to include all our Venice recommendations, or contact a friendly guru for advice.

  • Gio & Gio 3 rooms from £140

    Venice (Calle de le Ostreghe)

    Opulent, romantic, and traditional B&B very close to St. Mark's Square. Rooms and suites have tapestries, oil paintings and gigantic puffy beds. A romantic choice and great value too.

    Value chic
    City Style
    Sights nearby  -  Close to St Mark's Square, the Fenice Theatre and the Grand Canal
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices
  • Hotel Flora, Venice 40 rooms from £111

    Venice, NOT TO SHOW

    Charming, traditional family run hotel with an enchanting garden and traditional feel. Classical rooms offer comfort and private bathrooms. The vast breakfast buffet is highly recommended as are cocktails in the leafy courtyard . Well suited to families, good value not far from the action.

    Families  -  With family rooms, cots, changing tables and strollers and even a special kiddies afternoon tea included in the price!
    Value chic  -  Centrally located 17th century hotel, with damask tapestries and Murano chandeliers, plus beautiful courtyard garden.
    Sights nearby  -  The famed Piazza San Marco just a short walk away.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Frommers
    Check prices
  • Ca del Nobile 6 rooms from £197


    A small, simple and comfortable, B & B in the heart of Venice. Central yet quiet, two minutes walk from St. Mark’s Square and five from the Rialto. Creamy bedrooms with a Baroque twist - wooden beams, vintage furniture and exposed brick walls. Understated charm, perfect for a weekend city break.

    Short fly break  -  Simple but charming hotel, centrally located, great for a short stay
    City Style  -  Charming place from which to explore Venice
    Sights nearby  -  Situated in the heart of the city just behind St Mark's Square
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Check prices
  • Bloom & Settimo Cielo 6 rooms from £121


    Gorgeous boutique B&Bs - one B&B on each floor, but they share the same reception. Similarly opulent bedrooms in striking colours with rich fabrics. The roof terrace is a very special outpost with views over Venice. Very stylish and romantic.

    Local exploring
    City Style
    Sights nearby  -  5 mins from the Grand Canal, 10 mins from St Mark's Square
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays
    Check prices
  • Novecento, Venice 9 rooms from £167

    Venice (Campo San Maurizio)

    Seductive and chic b+b with oriental touches, very well located for shopping. Suits couples, dark and intimate, a short walk to the main sights. A breakfast fit for kings is served in the leafy courtyard. Quaint and utterly charming.

    Romantic Break  -  This unique and charming hotel marries romance, style and unbeatable location to produce a perfect getaway for two.
    Local exploring  -  No better place in the world to wander, get lost and discover, just a short walk from St. Mark's Square.
    Artworks  -  Regular exhibitions featuring local and national artists.
    Local markets  -  Check out Rialto Market where you can get everything from artisan masks to the perfect cup of coffee.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Michelin Travel
    Check prices
  • Locanda Orseolo 12 rooms from £132


    Small jewel-like hotel, in the heart of Venice. The rooms are elaborately decorated in a traditional yet opulent style, deep reds, dark wood and plenty of pomp. The warm and inviting staff make you feel at home. Elegant, richly furnished and intimate.

    Sights nearby  -  Located in the heart of old Venice you are Just a few steps from the historic Saint Mark Square and the Ducal Palace.
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll in Carlo Scarpa's garden in Fondazione Querini Stampalia, simply splendid.
    Local markets  -  Located very near the Rialto market.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
    Check prices
  • AD Place 12 rooms from £149


    A charming B&B with a slight Casanova theme. Each room and suite extravagantly decked out in bright fabrics, gilt mirrors, funky chandeliers, some with four poster beds. The roof top is an excellent perch to view Venice from. Romantic but also family friendly.

    Sights nearby  -  5 mins walk from St Mark's
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Check prices
  • Hotel Londra Palace 53 rooms from £259


    140 years of history meets 21st century luxury. Large, comfortable rooms enjoy views of St. Mark’s Basin. Foodies can indulge in the fine dining menu whilst interior design lovers will appreciate the lavish, Venetian decor. Centrally located, St. Mark's Square is but a five minute walk away.

    Writing a novel  -  Countless artists and authors have drawn inspiration from the hotel, including Tchaikovsky, who wrote his Fourth Symphony here.
    Romantic Break  -  Sumptuous suites, spectacular views, chic dining and beds that are almost impossible to pull yourself out of.
    City Style  -  Located on Promenade of Riva degli Schiavoni with Biedermeier style interiors and views of the Londra Palace.
    Sights nearby  -  The famed Piazza San Marco is just around the corner, as is the Doge’s Palace.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Frommers, Small Luxury Hotels, Michelin Travel, Relais & Chateaux, Fodors
    Check prices
  • Gritti Palace 82 rooms from £544


    Former 15th Century Doge's palace turned beautiful hotel for all. Classic styled rooms with views to die for and marble bathrooms. Tradition and elegance meet at the fine dining restaurant, with seating over the main canal. A romantic hotel with great location.

    Honeymoons  -  Magnificant suites with hand-blown chandeliers, fine fabrics and balconies overlooking Santa Maria della Salute.
    Views  -  Overlooking one of Venice's most famed churches, Santa Maria della Salute.
    Sights nearby  -  Nearby San Marco district is perfect for exploring by foot.
    Outstanding location
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Fodors
    Check prices
  • Bauer Il Palazzo 82 rooms from £399


    Classic grand palazzo hotel with a breathtakingly romantic restaurant on the Grand Canal. Outrageously sumptuous suites, spa facilitates and rooftop jacuzzi commanding spectacular views are all part of the five star package. Honeymoon stuff.

    Restaurant  -  Enjoy stunning views of the Grand Canal below with your dinner.
    Views  -  Views of the Grand Canal.
    Sights nearby  -  Two minutes from the iconic “drawing room of Europe,” St Mark's Square.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children cannot be accommodated at the hotel.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Kiwi Collection, Michelin Travel
    Check prices


Written by Helen Pickles

posted Tuesday, 23rd August 2016