This five-star behemoth with a waterfront location is part luxury hotel, part eclectic art museum, with antiques, Asian artworks, and tapestries dotted throughout. But it’s no dusty grand dame; on the contrary, the hotel is a chic boutique with rooms opulently furnished in white, red, and gold color schemes. For many guests, however, the main reason to stay here is the building’s inspiring history. It began life in the Middle Ages as the Ospedale della Pietà, serving as a charitable institution for orphans and abandoned girls, and later became the music school where Vivaldi taught violin in the early 1700s. After it was converted into a hotel in 1895, Sigmund Freud was an early guest, as was Thomas Mann, who allegedly wrote parts of Death in Venice here.