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Venice hotels Ala vs Flora vs another one?

Venice hotels Ala vs Flora vs another one?

Jul 19th, 2009, 04:22 PM
  #21  
 
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The Ala and Colombina: tourist-group musty yuck. The Flora was closed for awhile for an extensive renovation so there must be a lovely feeling of new and clean, even though the decoration is as eclectic as one can get. But they do have that lovely garden. (Beware of their very small rooms.) The Dona Palace is in a darker corner behind St. Mark's Square but the decoration is fun and that area is deliciously mysterious. They do have some roomy rooms. The Saturnia is a handsome, old stalwart (not my style) but via 22 Marzo is very busy 24/7. The Flora is hidden, thus more quiet.

Why anyone would care about a "substantial" breakfast in an Italian hotel is beyond me. It's antithetical to the Italian experience. I care much more about decoration, friendly service and a good night's sleep.
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Jul 19th, 2009, 05:28 PM
  #22  
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I care more about those things as well,but one of my travel companions must have breakfast before setting out in the morning so that's not beyond me because I understand that each of us has our quirks that may appear incomprehensible to others. I'm an American tourist staying in a hotel for 3 days; I'm not expecting an authentic Italian experience, or I'd be renting an apartment outside of the San Marco area for longer than 3 days. I experienced no noise problem previously at the Saturnia since our room faced an inner courtyard. My hesitation about the Flora is indeed about the size of the rooms; when I stayed there previously, my single room was indeed quite small,though not the smallest single room I've ever experienced (that one was in London).
thanks.
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Jul 19th, 2009, 06:23 PM
  #23  
 
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Hi, Elaine. I absent-mindedly logged into this forum, and what do I see: that someone is considering the Hotel Flora in Venice!

Oh, my gosh! I stayed there 35+ years ago. At that time I had a double room overlooking the garden.

If you do select the Flora, please please please write up a report on it. I would love to hear how it now is, especially the quality of the breakfast. Back in my day, only continental breakfast was offered. I am hoping to re-visit Venice after all these years, perhaps in '10 or '11.

Buon viaggio.
johnwm is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 06:42 PM
  #24  
 
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"one of my travel companions must have breakfast before setting out in the morning"

My mother used to travel with instant oatmeal packets. You pick up bananas, fruit cookies and orange juice at the nearest market. Without offering details, who knows what "substantial breakfast" means to anyone? For over thirty years I have bread, butter, juice, jam and coffee. To me, that's substantial. To someone else, it's a Mexican omelet smothered with sour cream with a side of hash browns. They don't serve that in any of the hotels you mentioned.

"I'm an American tourist staying in a hotel for 3 days; I'm not expecting an authentic Italian experience"

Open your mind and lead the way of your travel companion. I don't recall anyone ever complaining about the breakfast at Hotel Flora. There is plenty of recent internet praise for the breakfasts served at the new Flora. Have you lost your skill at research?

"My hesitation about the Flora is indeed about the size of the rooms"

The Hotel Flora is very honest about their room sizes. If all they have available is a small room, they will tell you. If you ask about the room size they have reserved for you, they will tell you. They don't hoodwink their customers.

Good luck.
NYCTS is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 08:16 PM
  #25  
 
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The Colombina is "musty"? I think you must be thinking of the wrong hotel. I also think it might have a more international clientele, not just other Americans.
PeaceOut is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 07:34 AM
  #26  
 
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The Colombina tries to be old-world Venetian chic but I can't say they succeed. The decoration is a mishmash. The heavy, discordant fabric patterns may not smell of mold but they sure do look like they should. And what's with all those beds with sagging centers? The quality of mattresses in some of these pricey Venetian hotels is shameful. They don't even try to hide it in their photos. One can do better.
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Jul 20th, 2009, 01:23 PM
  #27  
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The offers I'm weighing now are
Saturnia, superior twin, 377 e per night
Flora superior double 276 euro, one double bed but they say there's room to put in a second bed
Dona Palace standard double at 260, but if we go there I'd be more interested in the junior suite for 310 euro.
It will come down to the Flora or the DP, I don't see a reason to pay the extra for the Saturnia at this point. I think our bigger splurge hotel will be in Rome, but that's another thread.

johnwm, the Flora is now noting on their website that they serve a buffet breakfast. That is a change from when you stayed there, and from when I stayed there several years ago.
elaine is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 01:57 PM
  #28  
 
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Elaine:

I am sure that last thing you want to hear is another suggestion. What about the Hotel a la Commedia? At one time, it was a sister hotel of the Colombina but not sure what status is now. Newer property-I have seen the lobby/salon but not the rooms. Very nice looking.
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Jul 20th, 2009, 04:18 PM
  #29  
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I believe the Commedia is closer to Rialto than it is to the Piazza, so it's not my preferred location. But thanks for the suggestion.
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Jul 21st, 2009, 05:12 AM
  #30  
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I'm investigating a number of hotels in Venice, Florence, and Rome, and several of them have offered a 10-15% discount if the entire stay is prepaid now. Cancellation within 30-45 days in advance of the stay leads to a 20-30% penalty, depending on the hotel. Cancellation less than 30 days in advance can be up to a 50% penalty. My arrangements depend on two other people also, so I'm not inclined to take advantage of this, but I'm wondering what your opinions are.
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Jul 21st, 2009, 08:59 AM
  #31  
 
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Sounds a bit risky to commit to that extent, when two other people are involved.

Have you inquired about a discount for paying in cash? We stayed in smaller hotels, and they offered a 10% discount for paying cash, so we took advantage of that (although you need to plan in advance and make sure you can get enough euros out of the ATM). Your larger full-service hotels might not offer cash discounts, though.
PeaceOut is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 09:00 AM
  #32  
 
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P.S. The one hotel we'd booked through Venere could not give us the cash discount. They could have, if we'd booked directly with them.
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Jul 21st, 2009, 09:11 AM
  #33  
 
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"10-15% discount if the entire stay is prepaid...I'm wondering what your opinions are."

For those of us who have rented with AutoEurope all these years, we know and are comfortable with the whole pre-paid process. Granted, their refund policy is generous.

Several restaurants in Venice require pre-payment for New Year's Eve dinner in order to secure your place at a table.

Many apartment rentals require a hefty deposit with large cancellation fees.

Prepayment is a smart business move, especially in this economy. You can't imagine the the number of flaky tourists who reserve ten hotels and forget to cancel nine, or they change their plans and inform no one.

I would get trip insurance and split the fee three ways and take the 10-15% discount if the math makes sense.
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