Venice experts - need your help . . .

Jul 18th, 2007, 07:57 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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Venice experts - need your help . . .

We've been to Venice before but it's been several years.

I'm thinking of changing our existing hotel reservation because the hotel does not have AC and because of health issues, I'm afraid - even in October, we'll need at least the option of AC.

I found a hotel on Expedia - The SANT'ELENA HOTEL (actually a Best Western hotel which would not be my first choice) - looks lovely, gets great reviews on tripadvisor and has rooms for a little over $200/night.

However, this hotel is in Castello - towards the "tip" - about .5 miles from San Marco - not a very central location.

We don't mind walking - but is this really out of the way when it comes to dinners, strolling at night, etc.

I may be overthinking this, but any help is much appreciated!

clehrman is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 08:15 PM
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Hello clehrman,

First, I am no Venice expert. For that matter, I can't think of anything I'm an expert at.

However, I might be able to help you anyway!

The Best Western hotels I have stayed at in Europe have all been quite nice, solid 3* hotels, mostly. I, too, was a bit concerned the first time I stayed in one overseas as I know what many of them are like here in the States. But I was very pleasantly surprised.

Having said that, I have stayed twice in the Best Western Hotel Bisanzio in Venice, the last time several years ago. It has a great location to St. Mark's Square, only a 5 minute walk, if that. The rooms were upgraded a couple years ago to include air conditioning. I don't know if this hotel is in your price range, but you might want to check them out.

Also in the BW chain is the Cavalletto e Doge Orseolo. Have not stayed there, but I have passed it many times. Great location, right next to the gondola loading station, and literally right behind St. Mark's Square. Their website also shows they have A/C.

I would check out the website. All their Venice hotels are listed to give you a good overview. And making a reservation on their website is very easy, and much easier to cancel should you need to.

Now, as far as the location of the Sant'Elena, just looking at the map, I would say it is definitely a bit of a schlep for an evening's stroll to hear the dueling orchestras at the Square or for a walk along the promenade. Like you said, it is on the TIP, a good distance from any of the tourist sites, and probably a good 15-20 minute boat ride EACH WAY to get to where you'd want to go.

Of course, I don't know what it is you're exactly looking for. I'm sure the area is very quiet and charming. I know I'd rather be closer to the main part of the city.

Happy travels!
kopp is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 09:01 PM
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Chelrman-I know this hotel, and although very nice, great reviews, it is WAY out of the way. Really, you'll end up taking the vaporetto to whereever you want to go, including San Marco, which will take a while, since the vaporettos are very crowded these days. (even San Marco from Sant'Elena is almost a 25 min. walk or so) and then of course, you want to be centered around Accademia, Rialto, Ca Rezzonico area-that's WAY far away. (There is a vaporetto stop at Sant'Elena, however).

As for a/c, you will not need it in October in Venice, trust me. I have rented apts. in Venice at the end of August for the past two years, and have not needed a/c except for a short period during the day one or two days.-The humidity blows off towards the end of August, and you are left with pretty much idyllic days in September-even cooler in October, so you should NOT worry about the a/c factor at all.

Bottom line, although I don't know where your hotel reservation is presently situated, it has GOT to be in a better location than Sant'Elena-I'd want to be more central-and even up by the train station and Piazzale Roma is way more central than Sant'Elena.
Girlspytravel is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 10:13 PM
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I'm not a Venice expert, but we stayed the Cavaletto e Doge Orseolo a couple of years ago and loved it. It is steps away from St Mark's Square, and our room overlooked the gondola station. It was such fun to see the gondoliers arriving every morning, and getting their boats ready. It wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, I guess, but we loved watching all the activity. The bar terrace overlooks the canal, too, and one evening we talked for a long time with a gondolier finishing his day.

The Best Western moniker doesn't mean a motel chain in Europe. They are individual hotels, but up to certain standards.

chicgeek is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 06:48 AM
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Thanks for the replies. The hotel we're now booked in is the HOTEL GALLERIA - a much more central location. I'm still not sure what we'll do, but I appreciate all the input.
clehrman is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 07:07 AM
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Carol-trust me, you will LOVE being right on the Grand Canal at Hotel Galleria, you will not have to take a vaporetto everywhere, as you're in Dorsoduro, plus being on the Grand Canal is cooler than being inside on one of the calles, obviously because you're on the water. Stick with the Galleria, you'll be glad you did-you'll have the cool breezes through your window, but it will be cool, and even cold at night (it's cold at night at the end of August, I've worn a jacket and sweater many times during this period). Plus, you don't want to give up the Galleria as it is one of those hotels that is always booked because of its great location, and the fact that most rooms face the Grand Canal.
Girlspytravel is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 07:15 AM
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I usually don't waver too much and ry to stick to my gut instinct - and thanks to your input, I think we'll stick to the Galleria.

I know it's a very popular hotel - now I neeed to double-check to make sure we have an ensuite bathroom!

Thanks again to all,
clehrman is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 11:47 AM
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clehman, I may be wrong, but while planning our '05 & '06 Venice trips, I read on this board & other tourist places that AC & heat "cannot" be used in Venice before & after certain dates - by city decree.

When we were there in October (twice), our hotels were air conditioned, but the systems were not operable. Also, as others have said, we were very cold at nite (& sometimes during the day) - take your winter jacket, scarf, & gloves.

So, if you base your decision on AC, you might want to ask the hotel if the AC will actually be operating.

Have a great trip, Julie
Julie_Hurst is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 12:03 PM
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No, that's not true, Julie. There is not some central city control-hotel staff have been known to tell people that, though, when, for example, it was hot in April and there was no a/c -certain hotels will say "oh we can't turn it on until such and such a date." And that may, or may not, be true. But it is hotel-owner specific, NOT a city ordinance.

Actually, here in the US we have that issue in many city condo buildings-the a/c and heat are turned on at a certain date-if it is hot as hell in April, too bad, the a/c doesn't go on until May.

Carol, you've definitely made the right choice-those GC rooms are FAB! (but yes, you need to ensure the ensuite bath-email the hotel, I understand the two guys who own it are very nice and accomodating). From your hotel, you can walk over to Ca' Rezzonico,-that is a must-see museum-I spent a few hours there, then had a caffe latte in their bar on the bottom floor and spent another half hour out in their lovely garden.
Girlspytravel is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 12:14 PM
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I sent and email today and already got a response - yes our room is with ensuite facilities so we're ready to go! I think we'll be fine w/out AC.
clehrman is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 02:09 PM
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That is a GREAT hotel to stay in, Carol, because you can't get those views of the GC and Accademia Bridge, that location AND those reasonable hotel rates anywhere else in Venice-you will love it, for sure!

P.S. Go and try one of my favorite romantic restaurants there in San Marco-with the gondolas right outside the window-TRATTORIA SEMPIONE. Here's a picture of it, on the right, wonderful seafood, ambience, staff and great wine list:

And here's the address:
Girlspytravel is offline  
Jul 21st, 2007, 04:52 PM
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girlspytravel - What specific apts have you rented? We are a family of 4 and do not want to pay for two hotel rooms.
Italy08 is offline  

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