Palazzo Cristo occupies a 16th-century building in the Campo Santi Giovanni, a canalside square with a beautiful Gothic basilica.
The closest airport is Venice Marco Polo, 8km from the palazzo. The hotel can arrange a water taxi for up to five people for €120 each way or a private door-to-door transfer for €250 each way, also for up to five people. With the latter, you'll be met and helped with your luggage, then driven to the docks, where you'll board a private water limousine bound for the hotel.
Trains arrive at Venice Santa Lucia from across Italy, including Milan, Rome and Florence. If you’re coming from London, there’s no finer way to travel than on the opulent Venice Simplon Orient-Express, which leaves from London Victoria and journeys through the night, arriving at Venice Santa Lucia the following afternoon.
Except for the Lido (where the film festival is held), Venice is famously car free, so you’ll be leaving your wheels at home for this one.
Vaporettos (water buses) and private water taxis are the way to get between the islands.
Worth getting out of bed for
Palazzo Cristo no longer has a team of servants to bathe and dress you in the morning, but it more than makes up for it with its beautiful design – the decadent interiors have been known to make guests linger longer than they’d planned in the mornings, whether for a second espresso or a soak in the deep bath tubs. The vast windows overlook one of the finest squares in the city and bathe the suites in light, making them perfect for a spot of reading – if you haven’t brought your own material, peruse the book on Venetian cooking that’s in the suite.
Burano, Venice’s charming isle of lace, is a choreographed riot of colour. The buildings there are painted hot pink, lime green and electric blue – a stark contrast to the more earthy tones seen around most of the city. Famous around the world for its hand-blown glass, Murano is less colourful, but still worth a visit if you’re interested in the intricacies of traditional glass making. The hotel can arrange a tour of both islands on a private water limousine with an expert guide – you’ll have prosecco and Venetian tapas onboard, and a demonstration of the respective craft on each island. Though most famous for its classical character, Venice is home to one of Italy's most important modern art galleries, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, a veritable treasure trove of early 20th century art – cubism, surrealism and abstract expressionism in particular. If you’re looking to tick off iconic sights like St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge Palace, it’s well worth booking a guide who can get you priority access tickets – the queues can be alarmingly long in peak season, cutting into your day’s exploring. On that note, the Rialto Bridge is a must-see for Venice first timers. It’s thronged with tourists throughout the day, however, so our advice would be to go at night – the later the better, in fact.
Right next door to the hotel is Rosa Salva, one of the oldest pasticceria in the city, which does a roaring trade in Venetian pastries, coffee and gelato, best enjoyed on the terrace in the morning sun. For authentic cicchetti (small plates) and well priced wine, try Osteria al Ponte, a local hangout just across the bridge from the hotel. It’s very much a hole in the wall sort of place, so most people take their food and sit on the steps outside. For Venetian fine-dining, try Amo, which has taken over the ground floor of the impressive T Fondaco dei Tedeschi department store, which was once the headquarters for German merchants trading in the city. The menus make liberal use of the nearby Rialto market, using the produce in dishes like sea bass carpaccio, vegetable tartare with black rice focaccia, and three types of gourmet pizza – baked, steamed and fried. Another worthy contender is Quadri, the only restaurant in the Piazza San Marco. The dining room was sensitively restored by Philippe Starck and a team of artisans in 2018, creating the perfect backdrop for the food, best described as a modern expression of classic Venetian cuisine.
In Venice, the best places for a drink are usually the unassuming back-alley bars, where residents go for sundowners. That said, Amo does a fine spritz or peach bellini.