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Need some help choosing Venice hotel

Old Sep 13th, 2012, 03:14 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Need some help choosing Venice hotel

We will be in Venice for two nights and I think I've narrowed our hotel options down to a few. I have read the tripadvisor reviews, but I was wondering if anyone here as actually stayed at any of these properties and could give me any opinions. We're a group of 6. A family of 4, with two kids who are 11 and 13, boy and girl, so we really are looking for a quad with twin beds for them. And then there's my parents who will just need a double.

Our arrival will be having just returned a rental car in Venice, so I actually don't know exactly where we'll be coming from - but we'll be spending 2 nights in Venice before taking the train back to Civitavecchia before a cruise on the Epic.

I'm hoping to find a hotel we can get to with a water taxi so we don't have to drag luggage over bridges, given that we have both my parents (in their 60's) and my kids, who yes are capable, but 6 people and 3 weeks of luggage is just a lot! I'm not sure that all of these have the direct canal entrance, so if anyone knows for sure, that would be great information as well!

I also would like to stay in a good location to make the most of our two days for sightseeing. So a location that is central for the sights for walking. It's not so important to be close to getting the train back our last morning. Will we be able to pay for a water taxi to the train station?

We're looking at:

Residence Corte Grimani - which would be one apartment for the 6 of us. But the one downside I believe is that the adults would all be sleeping on sofa beds. The kids would each have twin beds. It's only 2 nights, so I don't know if it would be that big of an issue. I also think there is only bathroom for the 6 of us. The price is very reasonable, and even more so in that we'd only need one room for all 6 of us.

Hotel Canal Grande - we would have a Junior Suite with two additional twin beds for 4 of us, and a double for my parents.

Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo - a quad and a double

Palazzo Schiavoni - quad and a double

Palazzo Priuli - quad and a double

And.....if anyone has any other suggestions, this is in no way a final list! I'd be open to apartments, but they seem to all have 3 night minimums.

Thank you!
ShellD is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2012, 07:40 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
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When are you traveling? Between the months of October-March, it is sometimes best to avoid staying in the San Marco/Schiavoni area due to the risk of tidal flooding in the low lying areas of Venice.

Wherever you stay, get yourself comfortable beds. Any location within Venice is convenient for sightseeing. I think you are wise to look for a place that you can either access by water taxi or that you can walk to from the train station without crossing bridges.

Since you are only spending 2 nights in Venice, you might consider this: Return you car in Mestre, first dropping off the majority of the family and the luggage at the Mestre train station. Take the train into Venice. Store the luggage for 2 nights at the Venice train station. Walk into Venice with your hands free except for toothbrushes, passports and one change of clothes plus a guidebook. Pick up your luggage at the train station on your way out.
vespacurves is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2012, 08:00 AM
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Good suggestion from vespacurves about storing your luggage. But you can do the same thing if you drive all the way to Venice and drop the car at the Piazzale Roma. The train station is just across one bridge from the Piazzale Roma.
Mimar is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2012, 08:15 AM
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Staying 2 nights in a place does not necessarily mean you have 2 days of sightseeing. You'll lose time in the car return process, getting to your hotel and checking in (or at least dropping luggage). Moving 6 people and lots of luggage takes more time.

I'm not the biggest fan of Venice, but if this were my trip, the effort involved in moving a group in the city would cause me to want to spend more than 2 nights. Not to mention I couldn't see everything I'd want to see in one day plus a few hours...

Vespacurves' suggestion is one option for dealing with the luggage, but the process of storing and retrieving it will take away some of the very limited time you have.

Are you spending the night before your cruise check-in in Civitavecchia? If not, what will you do if there is a train strike or other delay that prevents you from getting to the port in time?
Jean is online now  
Old Sep 13th, 2012, 08:52 AM
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Agree w/ Mimar re. car - just drop the car off at Piazzale Roma - it's RIGHT across the footbridge from the Venice train station (Santa Lucia).

As to your hotel list, I would scratch the Hotel Canal Grande as it's not nearly as well located as the other four. I especially like the location (neighborhood) of the last two in your list.

You can get a water taxi from hotel to or from train station from any of the hotels you listed.
bardo1 is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2012, 09:59 AM
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Thank you for the information so far.

Some answers - we're travelling in June 2013.

We're not spending the night in Civitavecchia before the cruise, but it doesn't depart until 7:00 pm, so worst case scenario, if there was a train strike, we could rent a car 1st thing am and drive to the port. We need to be on the ship by 5:00 pm I believe, so we should have enough time to get there if we leave early in the morning.

We really only have 2 nights available, leaving about one full day and likely a half day for sightseeing. Similar to if we were coming in on a cruise ship.

Also, one other question - is there a max # of passengers the water taxis can take? I just read in a guide book that it's a max of 5. Is this accurate? Since we're 6, I need to check on this.

ShellD is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2012, 10:15 AM
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Six people should be fine in a water taxi - they're launches of a reasonable size. However, - the amount of luggage you have may be an issue. Howe much of it is there? (Although you can;t get 6 people and luggage into any car in europe that I'm aware of - I hope you've rented a van that holds 8 or 9 - 6 people plus your stuff.)

Don't know the hotels in question, but the web site of each should tell you specifically if they have a private dock. If it doesn't say on the site I would shoot them an email to either confirm or to ask them the location of the nearest public dock and how to reach the hotel without having to negotiate any bridges.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2012, 10:18 AM
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I can highly rcommend Al Ponte Mocenigo. Good location, short. level walk (about 100 yards) from Vap stop St.Sae...walk everywhere easily. Very nice staff..ask for the bigger room (with king size bathroom) on the first floor (near the desk)'s quiet and immense for Italy..It looks out on the breakfast courtyard. Put grandparents on another floor with the kids. Enjoy your visit to Venice!

Stu Tower
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Old Sep 13th, 2012, 01:30 PM
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It's a 7 hour drive without stopping or getting lost from Venice to Civitavecchia, and the soonest you will be able to leave a car rental office is 9.30 am -- if you can rent a car as a walk-in in June in Venice, which may not be easy.

Train strikes are not the norm in Italy, but you are taking a chance with your current plan of being in Venice on the morning of the day your cruise ship departs from a port on the other side of the country.

I realized the lure Venice holds for many, and some people feel that any amount of effort is worth it to get there to spend one day. I don't, but maybe you fall into that category, or will persuaded by those who feel that way to stick to your present plan.

However, for what it's worth, you seem to indicate in your first post that you will already be in Italy well before your ship departs, with a rental car.

Any chance anybody can persuade you to switch to an itinerary that has you keeping the car but skipping Venice and enjoying other fascinating parts of beautiful Italy that are closer to Civitavecchia?
vespacurves is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2012, 02:18 PM
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<but 6 people and 3 weeks of luggage>

Pack less!! Seriously that's probably the most helpful advice anyone can give you. Think of the clothes you take as 5-7 days worth, then wear them over & over.

Sorry I've only stayed one hotel in Venice, two different trips, Pensione La Calcina, which is lovely but I'm not sure fits what you're after.
suze is online now  
Old Sep 13th, 2012, 02:47 PM
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I love Venice, BUT for two nights, hauling 6 people and lots of luggage, plus having to take a long train ride across the country on the day the cruise ship leaves is something that would give me sleepless nights. If there were to be a train strike, you and countless others would be looking for a rental car. Have you considered keeping your car for the Venice days, parking it at Pz. Roma and then driving to Civitavecchia? Otherwise, I would tend to agree with whoever said skip Venice, and spend those two days/nights somewere a lot closer to the cruise port. That ship will not wait for you.
socaltraveler is online now  
Old Sep 13th, 2012, 03:07 PM
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Stu commented about Hotel al Ponte Mocenigo "Very nice staff..ask for the bigger room (with king size bathroom) on the first floor (near the desk)'s quiet and immense for Italy..It looks out on the breakfast courtyard."

Sorry Stu, but that room was turned into a breakfast room at least two years ago after they added more rooms in the annex. It IS my favorite hotel in Venice as well.
ellenem is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2012, 05:42 PM
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Posts: 999've given us a lot to think about. We're actually doing two cruises - one Eastern Med and then one Western Med and had planned to visit Venice in the three days we have between the two cruises. We are spending 3 days in Rome after the 2nd cruise. It's a long story on how this all came about. But my mom really wants to see Venice, if only for a short visit. And my parents are paying for the trip. (very generous!) We had planned to drive one way and stop for a night on a visit to a town where her family came from - not necessarily convenient, but part of the reason for the trip to Italy to begin with.

So - the plan was cruise one, rent a car drive about 6 hrs, stop for the night - see the town and possibly any relatives, drive about 4 hours, possibly stopping in Verona before Venice. 2 nights in Venice and then a train back for the 2nd cruise and then 3 nights in Rome.

I know it's a huge amount of travel, but it's sort of travel with a mission.

I'm rethinking the order of the days between the 2 cruises now though. Since giving up Venice really isn't in the plans, we could take the train right from the 1st cruise to Venice. We really don't want to drive both ways. Too much car time in such a short period of time. This would put us in Venice earlier in the day than the original plan. Potentially around 2:00 pm. We spend our 2 nights and then rent the van (yes, we've price a 9 passenger van) drive back to Civitacecchia via Fallo, which is totally out of the way, we know. It's about 6 hrs to this town - we stop there for the night, or somewhere in the area and that would only leave us about 3 hours to get to the port the morning of our cruise instead of having to get there from Venice.

This seems to be safer with regards to getting to the ship.

As far as luggage - no we're not planning to travel with 3 weeks worth of clothes - thinking more like a suitcase and carry on for each. But multiply that by 6 and it adds up!

Knowing this is a huge amount of traveling in a short period of time - but also that Venice is a priority for my parents - do you think this makes more sense? And I suppose if there's a train strike when we get in from the first cruise - we deal with it, but at least we'll be where our 2nd cruise departs from already.

Thanks so much for helping us to think through these details!
ShellD is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2012, 06:02 PM
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This sounds like a much safer option. the probability is that you would get to the cruise port with no problem - but in a situation like this, IMHO, "probability" is way too risky.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2012, 06:35 PM
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Train strikes in Italy are usually announced weeks in advance. Here are some sites that lists transport strikes.

Also important info from Trenitalia about guaranteed trains during strikes:
ellenem is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2012, 11:01 AM
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Ellenem...someone else tld me that a whle ago...slipped my mind. It was a great room. Evidently, it rained too often to use only the outside courtyard. We must have stayed there right before the decision was made, in 2009. And they didn't even consult me!
tower is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2012, 11:50 AM
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Stu, I think the change had more to do with the fact of the added rooms. The first time I stayed there they had 10 rooms, including that room. Then they expanded to 14 rooms, which created crowding in the limited breakfast area indoors. Now, with two floors of rooms in the annex around the corner and six rooms across the canal, the hotel has 23 rooms. The last time I visited this past March, Sandro shared plans of one more possible expansion which may or may not take place.
ellenem is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2012, 01:03 PM
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I think your revised plan will work out well.
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