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Palazzo Barbarigo, San Polo, Venice 

2765 San Polo
Italy 30125
Tel: 39 041 740 172
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

This former family palazzo from 1569 on the Grand Canal is part of the new generation of intimate guesthouses that are giving travelers an alternative to the usual grande dame hotel. The 18-bedroom property now houses a cheeky boudoir design with heavy velvet curtains, feathered bedside lamps, massive mirrors, and seductive chaise longues in rooms kept light by huge windows overlooking the canal. The baldachin-style bed comes with two duvets (putting an end to couples' wrestling for the covers). Other attractions are the sizable bathrooms (the rooms themselves are spacious by European standards), a stylish Art Deco bar that doubles as the breakfast area (a meal that is delicious rather than passable), and a great location on vaporetto route No. 1. One caveat: The arrival by water taxi is quite lovely, but the way by foot is marred by a narrow unsigned alley full of "exotic" smells.

—2008 Hot List

When to go: Book your trip for late November, when most of the tourists finally leave Venice in peace and the mist along the canals is atmospheric.

Which room to book: The junior suites have the best views of the Grand Canal, but No. 17, on Rio San Polo, is actually quieter.

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