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Venice- Westin Europa Regina Hotel and other options

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Has anyone stayed here relatively recently? How is this location? How is it for crowds?

It is just for a two night stay September 1-3, so it doesn't have to be perfect but we are taking my in laws and I want them to be comfortable and start the trip off on a good foot. This is their first impression of Italy/Venice and first time to Europe for one of them.

I've avoided Venice so far in all my visits to Italy because of the crowds (all our visits were during peak season). I always thought I'd stay in the Dorsoduro area when we finally made it to Venice but I'm not sure that's the best idea for the parents first and only trip. Seems like they should experience it from a vantage point more like the Westin. The reviews are not so hot on booking.com though.

I'm trying to make use of my starwood points to keep the trip affordable. I could put the parents in the Gritti Palace or Danieli instead (which have fantastic reviews) but I only have enough points for them, we'd have to stay somewhere else because in cash the rooms are out of our budget. Any suggestions for where we could stay that would pair well with the Gritti or Danieli? Ideally for not more than 300/night?

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