Palladio Hotel Spa Resort
Set on Giudecca, overlooking Saint Mark’s, this sleek spa comes complete with hamman and views back across the water. You can even have a massage in the hotel’s glorious gardens, once part of a sixteenth-century convent.
Second only to Cannes Film Festival in prestige, Venice is quirkier, more unpredictable, more open to the public. Most stars escape their palatial cocoons and sashay along the Lido waterfront to mingle with the crowds. At this year’s festival (2-12/09), eclectic French director Bertrand Tavernier will receive the Lifetime Achievement award.