Laguna Palace Hotel, Mestre ****
The NH Laguna Palace hotel, Mestre, is a brand new hotel, conveniently situated just 15 minutes from Marco Polo international airport and 10 minutes from Venice. The hotel's stunning modern design incorporates an intriguing glass-roofed marina connecting the two main buildings. View hotel
Double rooms from €81
Hotel Tritone, Mestre ****
The Golden Tulip, Tritone Hotel in Mestre was built in the late 1950s and has a pleasant, traditional feel with an emphasis on hospitality and excellent standards of service. This welcoming hotel near Venice has been refurbished and now offers comfortable four-star accommodation in a convenient central location. View hotel
Double rooms from €59
Minotel Aurora, Mestre ***
The Minotel Aurora, Venice Mestre, is a small modern hotel in the old centre of the mainland town of Mestre, just 9km from Venice itself. This is a great choice for guests who are looking for somewhere quiet and inexpensive close to Venice. View hotel
Double rooms from €35
Located on the mainland of Italy's Veneto region, the town of Mestre is at the western end of the spectacular Ponte della Liberta (or 'freedom bridge') with the city of Venice to the east. As such, most visitors will be passing swiftly through, but Mestre makes an excellent base for exploring the Veneto region (you have the historic cities of Padua, Verona, Rovigo Vicenza and Treviso as well as Venice itself, there are Mantua and Ferrara just over the border in Emilia-Romagna, and you are well placed for historic Udine and the woefully under-explored Friuli Venezia Giulia region to the north east). This is also a great starting point for exploring the Brenta Riviera and its Venetian villas, many created by master architect Andrea Palladio.
Mestre is where most ordinary Venetians live these days, priced out of the crowded islands of the Lagoon and city proper, and it's a more affordable way to see the Serene Republic, though don't ignore the sights of the city itself. Chief among these are the 17th century Cathedral di San Lorenzo, the Palazzo de Re, the Provvedaria, the Palazzo Podestarile and the Torre d'Orologio (or clocktower/watchtower) from 1108.
Although overlooked these days, Mestre has a long history in fact, legend having it that it was built by Mesthles, a fellow fugitive from Troy with Antenor (who founded Padua/Padova). Well possibly, though we know it was a Roman fortress, laid waste by Attila the Hun and rising to prominence again in the early Middle Ages. It piggybacked the astonishing rise to power of Venice at this time, being its landside connection, though it fell to Verona's Scaliger dynasty in 1323.