Floating gondolas, the chime of ancient church bells, and romantic piazzas make Venice such a treasured Italian destination. Splendid Venice, part of Preferred Hotels & Resorts and a member of the Preferred Hotel Group, was built during the 16th century. Located between St. Mark's Square and the landmark Rialto Bridge, this historic hideaway features 165 guestrooms. The hotel has been completely refurbished, maintaining a traditional Venetian presence coupled with contemporary appointments. Walls are cloaked in pearl gray with hand-painted wisteria accents. Lush velvets and cool silk textiles, which cover headboards and furnishings, add a most luxurious touch. The hotel's private docks jut out into the canals, allowing guests to disembark from gondolas and water taxis with ease.
As if stepping into the pages of a Hemingway novel, a stay at Splendid Venice feels like a work of art. The hotel's signature restaurant Le Maschere features a sophisticated menu of traditional Venetian dishes and million-dollar views of the canal. Ambient lighting filters from beneath red silk chandeliers at The Bar, which features sexy black lacquered furnishings and bolts of rich fabric. Indulge in red wine from neighboring Tuscany or a martini served straight up at this hip location. Sheltered by a glass roof, the hotel's courtyard is perfect year-round enjoyment. Step beyond the hotel doors and discover all that Venice embodies: the gondola museum where the same family has hand-crafted vessels for centuries, the gelaterias featuring homemade gelato, and the wine shops stocked with shelves of Italy's finest vintages.