Arriving in Venice by train - now what ?

Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 03:37 PM
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Arriving in Venice by train - now what ?

Next Spring we will arrive in Venice, on our first visit, in the early evening. I thought it made sense booking a hotel within walking distance of the station but the first two choices are already full on our dates.

So a few questions for you experts :

- if we book a hotel away from the immediate station area, how best to get to the hotel ?

- do hotels book months in advance in Venice ?

- We would like an atmospheric boutique hotel at around $250 a night - suggestions ?
galiano is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 03:55 PM
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Were you trying to book a hotel online? Are you interpreting the a message like "not available" to mean "full?"

So, it is possible that they are full. It is also likely that the rooms are not yet available for online booking. You often get the same "not available" message. If you really want to know, call or email the hotel directly.

What motivated you to stay near the station? Think about the reason you are visiting Venice in the first place: to be near the station or to be near the attractions and activities?
greg is offline  
Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 03:58 PM
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Any hotel you book can give you directions from the station. Many have maps on their websites too. If it's too far to walk there are vaporettos, buses on the Grand Canal, that you can board in front of the station and will most likely get you close enough to walk from the nearest stop. It's not a huge city.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 04:01 PM
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Hi Galiano,

i sympathise with the idea that staying near the station will make life easier, but really the logistical difficulties of getting to more central hotels via the vaporetti is as nothing to the joy of waking up next to a canal!

unless you are staying for only 2 nights or less, I strongly suggest looking beyond the area of the station. \when you have your shortlist, see how easy each of them is to get to by vaporetto - this will be shown on the hotel website. there is a vaporetto stop just outside the station so thre is no problem that end, but ideally you want a hotel that you can get to from a vaporetto stop without lugging your bags over too many bridges.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 04:56 PM
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You might also consider an apartment. Search the Europe board for past posts - there are tons of apartment recommendations. Some apartment owners will meet you at the train station and perhaps help carry luggage if there is some walking to do, so if you arrive late you don't have to freak out about getting lost just trying to find the place.

I personally wouldn't want to stay right at the Venice train station: it's crowded around there and there's not a lot of interest right there, anyway. Then again, many people like to stay near the "hot spots" like Rialto or San Marco which are also crowded (especially in the daytime) and I like to avoid them too. Personal preference. My two visits to Venice I stayed at an apartment called Ca' Maria that's about 10 minutes walk from the train station (two bridges I think) in a fairly quiet area right off the Strada Nova (main drag between the train station and Rialto):

http://www.royalapartmentsinvenice.com/en/

The big downsides: no view at all, no wireless internet was available (as of 2009), and some walking is required to get to a Vaporetto station (maybe 5 minutes). There are plenty of other past recommendations here as I said above - do some searching on Fodor's Europe for them.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 05:53 PM
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On one of our trips to Venice, we stayed near the train station because our outward bound train was leaving at 6:30 a.m., and we didn't want to scramble to get there so early. It was just out the door and to the right of the station, about 2 minutes away.

If you have a reason to need the convenience of being close to the station, you might check out the Hotel Abazzia (http://www.abbaziahotel.com). We found the service excellent!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 05:55 PM
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Sorry, that was out the door of the train station and to the LEFT...
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Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 07:43 PM
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Thanks for all your excellent replies. We'll be in Venice for three nights. We were going to stay within walking distance of the train station but it seems from your replies that the vaporettos are simple to use. Ideally we'll find a good small hotel in a quieter area away from the station.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 06:23 AM
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I would not recommend staying near the station - that end is the only part of Venice proper which could be described as charmless, and it's very busy especially during daytripper hours. To stay anywhere else, get a boat - the vaporetto is the public water bus. I'd suggest having a look at the ACTV website to see vaporetto routes, looking at a good street map & a reading a guidebook to give you an idea of which area you fancy, then pick a hotel near a vaporetto stop on a route served from Ferrovia (the vaporetto stop outside the station). Alternatively, if you don't mind spending around $100, you can get a water taxi.

Yes, many hotels (the good ones ?) in Venice book up months in advance. When we used to stay in a hotel (we prefer apartments now), we would book for the next year as soon as we got home from a trip and some rooms would already be unavailable.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 10:59 AM
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I'll second the recommendation for Hotel Abbazia. DH and I have stayed there numerous times, and love it. It is fairly close to the train station, but down a quiet street. You can easily walk anywhere from there. If you want a Grand Canal view, they have a sister hotel called Abbazia Deluxe with rooms that look out over the Scalzi bridge. The vaporetti are always very crowded, and I would not want to transport luggage on them. So we choose to be close to the station.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 03:59 PM
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P.S. Using a new machine & my intended 100 euros came out as USD 100.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 04:09 PM
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I agree that some vaporetto routes - during the main daytime hours - are always very busy; notably, you would not want to try to get yourselves & much luggage on to a number 1 down the Grand Canal during main daytime / day trippers hours. But you are arriving in the early evening (how early ? 7pm OK, 5pm not so good) and routes other than the Grand Canal ones should be OK anyway. The routes have just changed slightly and I'm not rechecking closely here (again, see the ACTV website); but if (for example) you book a hotel near the Zattere or Fondamenta Nova and get a vaporetto 'round the outside', it should be fine.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 05:04 PM
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Hi

I think you'll find that the hotels you chose are not fully booked. Rather, they have not struck their rates yet for next year. One of the vagaries of online booking systems used by hotels. The system doesn't have a way of advising 'Rates unknown, contact owner direct". So if you're still keen on your list of hotels I strongly recommend you email them to check for availability.
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