A lesson in old-school glamour, Bauer Palazzo is somewhat of a Venice institution. Filling two very different palazzos, one channelling elegant art-deco interiors and the other with a distinctly gothic feel, this five-star hotel is just a stone's throw from San Marco and looks out across the Grand Canal, offering guests the ultimate Venetian experience. Catch your reflection in twirly antique mirrors as you glide across gleaming marble floors beneath twinkling Murano chandeliers; sip an ice-cold Aperol spritz on the roof terrace come summer, and delight in the wonderfully old-fashioned elevators - which no doubt harbour secrets of the many well-heeled clientele who've passed through their doors throughout the hotel's long history.
Classic and sumptuous. Think rich jewel-toned fabrics, swishy satin curtains, dark wood, soft carpets, marble bathrooms and gilt finishes. We particularly liked the old-fashioned bathtub with a seat in it for an indulgent sit-down shower.
What's for breakfast?
Tables groan under a buffet spread which will beckon you back for seconds and probably thirds - no bad thing when you've got a day of exploring ahead. Fill up on perfect pastries, fresh fruit and cereal before hitting up runny scrambled eggs topped with Italian charcuterie. Ordering several cappuccinos goes without saying.
How about lunch and dinner?
While we didn't eat at De Pisis, the hotel's restaurant offers modern Italian cuisine, combining Mediterranean fare with Venetian specialities in an elegant dining room overlooking Grand Canal.
Is there a bar?
Yes, the ground-floor bar is one of the buzziest in Venice, with live music throughout the week and killer espresso martinis to revive you out of a post-dinner pasta stupor. The rooftop bar is the place for bellinis when its warmer, with unbeatable views of the city.
The hotel has a spa and fitness centre, as well as a selection of meeting rooms. Be sure to pick the brains of the impeccable concierge - recommendations are bang-on for whatever it is you need to know.
Things you should know
If you're after a contemporary stay, this isn't the place for you.
Within a short walk you can find…
St Mark's Square and the Grand Canal, as well as Venice's many luxury boutiques.