Fly into Venice..

We arrived at Venice’s Marco Polo airport and were shown to our private water taxi and a short trip over gentle waves to L’Orologio hotel where a welcoming lunch was already laid out for us. In fact, everything about L’Orologio was welcoming and the service we received was utterly impeccable.

The accommodations here are pleasingly minimalist and modern, and there are also a handful of apartments – perfect for families. Named for the owner’s collection of timepieces, L’Orologio’s décor reflects this fascination with clocks and watches and its location close to the Rialto Bridge means we didn’t need to waste any time getting to the sites and sounds of Venice.

After an afternoon walking around the local area, we spent the early evening at Aman Venice hotel. Set in a 16th century palazzo on the Grand Canal, it is home to museum-quality treasures including Tiepolo frescoes, gilded ceilings and centuries-old leather wall coverings – a fine location indeed and one which has hosted celebrity shindigs including George Clooney’s wedding. We had drinks here soaking in the atmosphere before walking to the Ca’ Sagredo hotel for dinner, handily located opposite L’Orologio on the Grand Canal.

Ca’ Sagredo is a 15th century palace and National Monument which still preserves the untouched beauty of an ancient noble residence. Our breakfast was a prelude to a 2 hour guided walking tour of Venice finishing up at the Baglioni Hotel Luna for lunch. Located just off St. Marks Square and overlooking San Giorgio Island and the San Marco Basin, this hotel has traditionally styled rooms with period furniture – no replicas here – and original Murano chandeliers.

Lunchtime led to a stroll through the streets as we made our way back to our hotel to change for our visit to Gritti Palace and cocktails in Bar Longhi. Gritti Palace is steeped in history and this shines through in the grace, elegance and timeless style of every room. Glass chandeliers drip from the high ceilings, expansive windows allow light to flood in and tapestries adorn the walls, telling tales of a Venetian history gone but not forgotten.

After sipping our cocktails we found ourselves seated for dinner at the Terraza Panoramic Restaurant at Hotel Danieli, a hotel which dominates the Venetian lagoon just a stone's throw from the Bridge of Sighs and the famous sights of Piazza San Marco. Antiques and works of art are found throughout this palatial building and give a real sense of occasion to dinner.

Dinner was superb but we didn’t expect to go paddling afterwards! The rising “Acqua Alta” tides had meant the water levels rose to the point we needed to buy ourselves wellington boots and wade back to L’Orologio – all good fun and the basis for some very amusing holiday snaps.