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Help me choose from these 6 Venice B&Bs with a view!

Help me choose from these 6 Venice B&Bs with a view!

Old Feb 14th, 2010, 03:55 PM
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Help me choose from these 6 Venice B&Bs with a view!

after an extensive search using both fodors and tripadvisor, i have narrowed down my venice lodging choices to the below listed SIX B&Bs. this is my first time visiting venice and i will be staying for 3 nights in september 2010.

i have come to realize that i probably won't be able to find my "perfect" b&b with a maximum budget of €260/night. to me, a "perfect" b&b would have the following: (1) elegant venetian decor (2) a room with either windows and/or a balcony overlooking a canal (3) AND a rooftop terrace with a great view. i would love to have the option of having breakfast or a glass of wine [most likely from the bottles we will buy during our tour of tuscany] in the evening on either the rooftop terrace or my own room depending on how much privacy my bf and i want. but, the B&Bs i have chosen either have (2) or (3) but not both.

anyhow, here are the B&Bs and my comments, concerns, and questions with each:

B&B WITH ACTUAL QUOTES:

€224 - HOTEL AMERICAN DINESEN [dorsoduro]
pros: beautiful decor, room with a balcony overlooking a canal
cons: no rooftop terrace
comments/questions: is this an ideal location compared to the others?

€245 - HOTEL LOCANDA CA' LE VELE [cannaregio]
pros: beautiful decor, room with balcony overlooking a canal, rated #1 specialty logding on TA
cons: no rooftop terrace
comments/questions: is the view from the balcony great justifying the high price? [i didn't see actual pics of the view from TA]

€170 - CASA MARIA FORMOSA [castello]
pros: gorgeous decor, corner room is available with nice views of canal
cons: no balcony, no rooftop terrace
comments/questions: i LOVE the price of this place... excellent value! this is the most practical and budget-conscious choice.

€176 - HOTEL FOSCARI PALACE [cannaregio]
pros: AWESOME rooftop terrace [the best views from the pictures i've seen]
cons: ugly, standard looking room with no view of canal
comments/questions: good price from booking.com, it's the non-refundable rate. absolutely in LOVE with the rooftop terrace, but the room sucks.

B&B WITHOUT ACTUAL QUOTES YET

€180-€240 - PENSIONE LA CALCINA [dorsoduro]
pros: great rooftop terrace but views not as nice as foscari palace, better looking room than foscari's
cons: room with no view of canal and not decorated in venetian style
comments/questions: same as hotel american dinesen, i'm not sure if this is the best area to be in?

€196-€240 - HOTEL ALA [san marco]
pros: great rooftop terrace but views not as nice as foscari palace, better looking room than an foscari's and la calcina as it is in venetian style.
cons: price is on the high end of my budget
comments/questions: actually, this is the only b&b that can offer me a rooftop terrace AND a room with a canal view. but not sure if this is the best area to be in?

ugh... so many choices! i am hoping some of your comments will help me decide. thanks in advance!
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 04:05 PM
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Do you want to be in area with lots of tourists or in a little quieter area? Roof tops are great - no one will stomp on your head and you'll be close to all things touristy - but what do you plan to do while there? Sit in your room and admire the furniture or get out and really experience Venice? If you want plush accomodations then rent a fancy room and a dvd of Venice. If you want to be in a more authentic area, then Cannareggio would be a good bet. The views of the canals are much nicer when you're either on them or crossing a footbridge over them.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 04:15 PM
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definitely a quieter area. of course, i plan on seeing and experiencing venice! i know that i will probably be really tired at the end of each day because i will be out and about sightseeing and what not so to come back to a place where i can relax is important to me. having the room with a balcony or a hotel with a rooftop terrace allows me to just take in the sights and appreciate where i am without having to worry about time and/or having to get back anywhere.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 05:37 PM
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Caution - I have never been to Venice and will be going for the 1st time this summer. So, please follow the advice from the Fodorites here. However, I am also a picky person when it comes to hotel choices and based upon just pictures I like the first two choices (American and Locanda) and Calcina looks nice too. I didn't think the other places looked as well appointed. You will find that many of these hotels don't renovate and some of their furnishings and things can look "tired." However, the three that I said I liked looked really pretty! I am curious on what other people say about the different districts.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 05:47 PM
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I've stayed in a room with a balcony at the Hotel Ala twice. I probably wouldn't go back unless the exchange rate changed drastically in my favor.

The balcony rooms are nice; spacious and nicely decorated, but not what I would call Venetian luxe. The balcony is not wide enough for chairs, but you can stand out there and look at the small canal.

The rooftop terrace is tiny and doesn't have a view of much other than rooftops. We went up for a relaxing time, reading and resting, but only once. Not a great draw.

The hotel itself is attractive, with an excellent breakfast and a good bar. Service is a bit cold, but they will do whatever you ask, just not graciously.

I suggest spending your money on a comfortable room, and realize that Venice is pretty much ALL views. Splurge on a ride down the Grand Canal in a water taxi upon arrival, and you will have had more bang for your buck than any window or balcony could give you.

I also want to say that while I once had a room at the Hotel Metropole (I wasn't paying) with soft canal waters lapping below my window all night, and it was wonderful, I've also had rooms where the garbage boasts, fire boats, delivery boats, etc. go by frequently or very early, and make a lot of noise.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 07:46 PM
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here is my google map of the possible b&b choices. if you click on each, it shows some info, website, and pics of the room that i am interested in:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...,0.038409&z=15
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 07:56 PM
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Casa Formosa seems to be the most central and this is the cheapest price so perhaps it is a sign that you should stay here. A tip I can give you is check Trip Advisor's photos for pictures. Sometimes that pictures on the website are from a professional photographer and they can make any place look good. Trip Advisor are just regular people posting their phots and you can really get a good idea. Maybe check TripAdvior photos of each place and that might dwindle down the list.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 08:00 PM
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tuscanlifeedit: thanks for sharing your experience with hotel ala. i was concerned about the actual views from the rooftop terrace. from the pics i saw online, they were not as impressive as la calcina or foscari. therefore, i don't think it's worth the high price. i have crossed it off the list.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 08:02 PM
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I have heard many good things about La Calcina. You might want to try a search on the hotels you have left on Fodors. There might be specific threads on each place.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 08:20 PM
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hi jilldavis! thanks for all of your input! yes, i spent hours upon hours looking up actual pictures uploaded by members on tripadvisor for each of the hotels i was interested in. i too never trust pictures published by the actual hotel and can never make a decision to book a hotel without looking up the reviews & pics on tripadvisor.

the reason why i haven't been able to narrow it down further on my own is because i haven't made up my mind on what i'm actually willing to spend. the practical side of me says to book the cheapest (casa maria formosa), but then, the other says to splurge a little and pay a little more for the balcony or a rooftop terrace. but, i want to be 100% of what i'm actually going to get if i am going to pay the premium. even after going through reviews/pictures on TA, i'm not entirely convinced or confident on any yet.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 08:32 PM
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I am a total planner like you and also very picky with my hotels. I think you will like this thread that I started. Take a look.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-in-venice.cfm

Also, this one:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-or-sunset.cfm

One more:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-in-venice.cfm

Let me know what you think. I think after reading these, that might help you with your location and where you want to be.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 08:54 PM
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OMG i love the post you started... you received SO many great responses! i bookmarked it and will come back to it. i am so not there yet in terms of planning (my #1 priority right now is get all of my lodging booked. it is definitely tiring and overwhelming having to pick the best hotel that meets my high standards, at a good price) i have only rome so far... still have venice, tuscany, and amalfi left to go. so much to do, but i love it.

based on your thread, i am avoiding staying in san marco at all costs. lol. i want to stay in a fairly quiet neighborhood where there are great restaurants within walking distance. my bf and i are hard core foodies.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 09:34 PM
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We have reservations in May for Ca'Dogaressa in the Canareggio area. The junior suite with canal view is 200 Euro, and there's a roof top terrace. It has great reviews and tons of user photos on TripAdvisor. No balcony. We reserved directly with the hotel.

One tip: we reserved and stayed at a Venice hotel on another occasion in a room with balcony over a side canal. During our stay the entire facade of the hotel was covered in wooden scaffolding that totally obscured the window. Check with the hotel you're reserving about ongoing/proposed construction. Venice is so unique and beautiful that you'll have a great time wherever you end up staying - we did, even in the room with scaffolding.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 09:51 PM
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We enjoy staying in apartments. Here is a link to the apartment near San Toma. We thought it was very nice and we loved the location.

http://www.cortetiepolo.com/eng/appart.php

Have a great time! Laurie
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 10:06 PM
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In October 2008 we (hub and I) stayed in the Locanda Ca le Vele in the room they show first on the site (the large room with the balcony, also on the home page. It was typically Venetian, in that the floors were marble, building very old, ceilings painted and a huge Murano chandalier over the bed. Even had life-size Moorish statues on either side of the balcony doors. In other words--a bit over the top, but you definitely knew you were in Venice

Plus: down an alley and just around the corner from a major pedestrian area with some good shops and restaurants, then another easy block to the vaparetto dock. Very nice breakfast included, which they bring to your room (they have no kitchen). Very nice gentlemen run it.

Negatives: The tiniest shower I've ever seen in Europe and I've been in a LOT of places with small showers. The balcony is teeny. Don't think you'll go out and sit and watch gondoliers because you can't. I never saw gondolas go down the canal here. Lots of workmen in boats, but no gondoliers. Doesn't mean they won't, just that I never saw them.

Would we stay there again? Only if we weren't able to find an apartment, which is our preference once we've been to a city for the second and subsequent times, as we did this past December. It's a perfectly nice place, just a bit on the shabby side. But clean.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 10:33 PM
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melj: you answered all of my questions about locanda ca' le vele! from how you described the balcony, it is NOT worth €245/night esp. when compared to hotel american dinesen, which has spacious balconies and more of an open/wide view over a canal that is a bit more lively. thank you soooo much! i have taken it off my list. yay!
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 11:03 PM
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oh one other question i have for the people who have stayed at foscari palace is if it was hard to get a good seat at the rooftop terrace... i would imagine it gets crowded esp during the warm months.
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Old Feb 15th, 2010, 12:21 AM
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Have you looked st Ca Angeli - amazing view from living room -adjacent to breakfast room - and some rooms have own terrace and one suite has a Grand Canal view -

http://www.caangeli.it/eng/caangeli.html
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Old Feb 15th, 2010, 01:49 AM
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We have visited Venice many times over the years, and after our first visit, have always stayed in Dorsoduro. It feels a bit greener and airier than some areas, and is much quieter with a higher proportion of residents to tourists. Also nowhere is far from a vaporetto stop.

La Calcina is a beautiful place with a pontoon out front and fabulous views of Giudecca and San Giorgio Maggiore. There is also a new restaurant Lineadombra with a floating terrace behind the Salute, but I hear it is very expensive. Our next stay, in May, will be at the Hotel Galleria, a tiny place near the Accademia bridge recommended by friends. Our double with a Grand Canal view is 150 euro.
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Old Feb 15th, 2010, 05:14 AM
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I think it's msileading you call these B&B. They are all simply hotels, aren't they? Also La Calcina has a restaurant that serves lunch and dinner.

I have stayed at la Calcina (Giudecca Canal view) and Foscari Palace twice. Foscari is the most luxurious of all you listed. (It is also the only 4* hotel. All the others 3* I think.) About Foscari, I have never read reviews that said its decor "ugly" like you say so I don't know what you mean but I have stayed both times at a room with a balcony and Grand Canal view, Deluxe double and Gonzaga Suite (3 balconies). They were large and great (escpecially G.suite, a vast room). Its roof top terrace is open whenever you want to go up and really great with Grand Canal and all Venetian roofs. I did not used la Calcina's. I undertstad it's small so you need to reserve for a private use of 1 hour. But the view there must be nice too.

You say about Foscar > € 176.- ugly, standard looking room

Isn't it actually their standard (or classic) room? Check the rates of supeiror or deluxe rooms. As I said, they are not ugly at all and it's a luxurious 4* hotel. Their breafast was e.g. far superior to that of la Calcina.

About the location of American and la Calcina, Dorsoduro is somewhat quieter area of Venice. I like the area and no problem to stay there but I can also understand 1st time visitors to Venice for only a couple of days want to stay in busier San Marco area.

This is my TA review on my first stay at Foscari Palace with 8 pics.
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_R...ce_Veneto.html
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