In magical Venice, take a water taxi to a 15th-century palazzo that overlooks the Grand Canal and oozes all the elegance a stylista could wish for. Owners Brittany and Danielle, architects and interior designers both, have poured energy and love into this project and have an eye for the sublime. Deeply satisfying bedrooms have dark chocolate tones and cool turquoises, perfectly set off by polished marble tiles and original parquet, exposed beams and well-chosen antiques. One has a bath tub to disappear into, another a renovated wash basin from the 1700s(!)… all have inspirational views across the canal where the palazzos are lit up at night. To complete the indulgence you can have breakfast brought to your room, though in fine weather you might prefer to linger over coffee on the vine-tinged private courtyard. The rest of the day is yours. Seasoned curios-seeker Brittany is happy to point you in the direction of all the best antique shops and museums; the ubiquitous gondola calls those seeking something more traditional. It’s romantic, hugely welcoming, and you can live like the ‘donne nobile’ before you.