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Centurion Palace, Venice 

173 Dorsoduro
Italy 30123
Tel: 39 041 34281
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Few properties have a more enviable address: Right at the mouth of the Grand Canal, facing St. Mark's Square, the imposing nineteenth-century redbrick palazzo manages to be centrally located (the wonderful new Punta della Dogana museum and the spectacular Santa Maria della Salute church are just steps away) yet feel apart from the city's bustle of tourists. Inside, Florentine architect Guido Ciompi has brought a modern aesthetic to the landmark structure, to mixed effect. The 50 one-of-a-kind rooms and suites, some of which have fireplaces, feel intimate and contemporary, with light-wood floors, bathrooms lined with exquisite gold-leaf treatments, and custom furniture in burnished shades of orange, light pink, and blue velvet. (Try to snag a water view, and note that rooms on the courtyard are quiet but smaller.) The public spaces, however, are either a bit too stark (like the blindingly white restaurant and bar) or almost garish (the lobby). Still, the Centurion's sublime location eclipses these few design missteps and the hit-or-miss service.—2010 Hot List

Which room to book: The junior suites—Nos. 201, 209, 210, 212, 401, 402, 404, and 502—which overlook the canal.

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