Of all the grand hotels that crowd this part of the riva, the Metropole is arguably the most characterful. The owners’ museum-level collection of antiques and curios are dotted in the sumptuous public rooms–which have a deliciously exotic, decadent air–and through the varied bedrooms, which vary from slightly gloomy classic doubles to glorious suites shimmering with mosaics and marbles. In winter, tea and cakes are served in the velvet-draped salone; in summer, guests relax in the pretty garden to the sound of water trickling in the fountain. There are views over the lagoon (for a hefty supplement), the canal or on to the garden. The hotel’s Met restaurant has one Michelin star and prices to match.