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Venice (Locanda Orseolo) and Florence (Hotel Pendini) hotel choices

Venice (Locanda Orseolo) and Florence (Hotel Pendini) hotel choices

May 12th, 2014, 07:28 AM
  #1  
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Venice (Locanda Orseolo) and Florence (Hotel Pendini) hotel choices

I've booked, but can cancel, the Orseolo in Venice and the Pendini in Florence. I would appreciate any comments on either of these hotels. Plus/minus appreciated. If you think I could have selected "better" options, I'm all ears (eyes). This is my first visit to these cities, although I've been to Italy a number of times.

Also, my travel companion would like to buy Italian shoes. Any good places to shop in the central city areas (near our hotels) in Venice and/or Florence? We are not interested in trying to get to the designer outlet(s). Not enough time in the schedule for that!

Thanks.
simpsonc510 is offline  
May 12th, 2014, 07:55 AM
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I loved the Locanda Orseolo in Venice, good choice. The staff is very friendly and helpful, the breakfast was delicious and atmospheric, seeing gondolas glide past the lead-paned windows as you ate was wonderful. We arrived and left via water taxi so we entered through their special water door which was a never to be forgotten experience.
Our room was quiet with lovely Venetian decor and quite spacious. The location is good, very near San Marco (but not noisy) but you can get lost trying to find it so get good directions.

My friend and I bought several pairs of shoes at Bruno Magli in Venice at San Marco 1302, not far from the hotel.

In Florence, visit these three streets: via Tornabuoni, via dei Calzaiuoli, via della Vigna Nuova, there are shops and shops and shops. If your companion loves shoes the Ferragamo shoe museum is worth a visit.
raincitygirl is offline  
May 12th, 2014, 10:03 AM
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Thank you very much, raincitygirl! Your reply is much appreciated. I am very happy to read your comments about Orseolo.

Re: the water door.... We are arriving Venice airport at 2pm. Would a water taxi (I know, expensive) take us DIRECTLY to this water door of the hotel? Just wondering. Otherwise, what is the best way to get to the hotel?

My travelmate will love your shoe shopping suggestions. And the fact that the stores are near at hand, that's even better!
simpsonc510 is offline  
May 12th, 2014, 11:24 AM
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You are welcome simpson. Re: the water door, yes the water taxi will take you right up to the water door and the driver will help you off, there will be a hotel staff member there to assist you and the transferring of your luggage. It is not cheap (it was 100 euro when we did it in 2011) but to us it was worth not only the convenience but for the experience of it, was a bit like being in a James Bond movie!

There are occasions when the water in the side canals is too low to access but the driver would advise you of that, and in that case you could be dropped off at the San Marco vaporetto stop and walk from there, it is not too far. The hotel will send you a map of how to find the hotel.
raincitygirl is offline  
May 12th, 2014, 11:48 AM
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Re: shoes in Florence; there are plenty of stores scattered about and more than a few in the neighborhood near the Duomo. You'll see them, don't worry.
Dukey1 is offline  
May 12th, 2014, 04:15 PM
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Thanks Dukey1. I am sure my friend will find LOTS of shoes, and various other items as well... ! I'm not sure if "made in Italy" will be a determining factor whether to buy or not, but having a huge selection will be very enticing. She got a number of pairs in Paris (maybe 5 pairs?) last year, and I doubt she checked the label that closely.

raincitygirl, once again, thank you! I have no doubt that we will do the water taxi right to the door since we will each have a large suitcase plus carry-on bags and purses! Did you have to pre book that taxi, or do you get it when you go to the water taxi stand near the airport? Does the Orseolo need to know ahead of time that we will use that water door?

I got an email with the map to locate the hotel! Wow! Looks like an easy one to miss if you don't know where to look. I had read a comment about its location (here? on TA? on booking dot com? not sure where I read it). The map helps a lot.

Anyone else with comments about our Venice/Florence hotels and shopping hints/ideas?
simpsonc510 is offline  
May 12th, 2014, 05:14 PM
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You can just go to the water taxi stand at the airport. The hotel doesn't need to know ahead of time, we just turned up. The door opens onto the breakfast room and the check in desk is nearby so they know as soon as the boat approaches. It is pretty cool to pop through that door and make an entrance like none other into a hotel!

Yes, study that map carefully or leave a trail of breadcrumbs when you go off sight-seeing. lol.
We were there on a weekend when the Pope was making a visit, (unbeknown to us beforehand) and as they were setting up Piazza San Marco for his visit they had police blocking many of the streets and re-routing people, this caused me to get lost and walk in circles for ages, ha ha, I have never been so happy to see a hotel again as I was that day.
raincitygirl is offline  
May 12th, 2014, 05:23 PM
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Great! We'll just go to the water taxi stand then. It's settled!

Hopefully no Pope or other "known" visitor will be in Venice when we are there! I want to enjoy it all, without having to worry about guards/security detail.
simpsonc510 is offline  
May 12th, 2014, 05:25 PM
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(I feel quite like a "raincitygirl" myself right now, as we are having one heck of a thunderstorm blowing through my part of Illinois)
simpsonc510 is offline  
May 12th, 2014, 06:06 PM
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simpson, I am sure you will have a wonderful time.

Are you having a thunderstorm because it was hot today? Contrary to my name, it was really, really warm and sunny here today! Roll on summer.
raincitygirl is offline  
May 13th, 2014, 05:41 AM
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Yes, it was quite warm yesterday, thus the thunderstorm. Today it is back in the 60s for the next few days, during the daytime.

Tell me about the J K hotel in Florence, if you will, please. Is it well located?

Carol
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May 13th, 2014, 05:55 AM
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I just returned from a trip to Italy and stayed at Locanda Orseolo for the second time. I didn't take the water taxi to the hotel. We took the bus to Pz. Roma, the vaporetto to San Marco Valleressa and walked the short route to the hotel. I've stayed there before so I knew where to go.
Look for a walkway off of the San Marco's main drag called Sottoportegho Cavelletto. If you are facing the bell tower it is on the left on the opposite side from Cafe Florian. There is an Olivetti museum/shop on the corner so look for that and you will know you are in the right place.
Continue straight on this street and over a bridge (there is a lace shop on the right). To the left you will see Hard Rock Cafe and Hotel Cavellletto.
Continue straight to an entrance with an iron gate. That is Corte Zorzi. Enter the gate, turn right and you will be in a little piazza. The hotel is in this Corte to the right. There is a red canopy with the hotel's name on it.
It is a wonderful place to stay. It's quiet and convenient and the hosts Gigi, Igor and Barbara are amazing hosts.
Louise2Italy is offline  
May 13th, 2014, 06:27 AM
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Thank you Louise for that nice report on the Orseolo. I feel very confident that I've made the right choice in Venice.

We will spend two nights in Orvieto before heading to Rome. I have very dear Italian friends who want to show us around "their" Umbria for a couple of days. I have stayed before in Orvieto, twice at Piccolomini and once at Duomo. We will stay at Duomo again this time. I know that it is well located, near the big duomo square.

Does anyone have comments on Pendini Hotel in Florence?

Thanks!
simpsonc510 is offline  
May 13th, 2014, 07:18 AM
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Another very strong recommendation for Locando Orseolo. absolutely one of my favorits hotels in all of Italy.

I do not know anything about Pendini Hotel but I can highly recommend Hotel Casci on Via Cavour.
I am now in Paris after staying 4 nights at the Hotel Casci in Florence. which by the way was a return visit for me. I love the hotel. It is a budget or moderate price depending on your definition of price points.
The hotel is very very clean, great location, great breakfast, and fabulous owners who are a delight and very very helpful
tdk320n is offline  
May 13th, 2014, 07:39 AM
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Good morning Carol! You asked about JKPlace hotel? It is very well located, being in the Piazza Santa Maria Novella, not far from the train station, and only a block or two from the famous Farmacia Santa Maria Novella which is worth a look even if only to see the lovely interior of the shop. We walked everywhere from this hotel, over the river to Oltrarno, up to the Boboli Gardens, to the Duomo etc etc.

The hotel is at Piazza Santa Maria Novella 7. It is a chic boutique hotel and staying there is like staying in your own townhouse in Florence. Wonderful friendly, helpful staff, lovely ambiance, breakfast included as well as snacks available during the day, cold drinks in your mini fridge.
Not a budget hotel but sometimes in life a little spoiling never hurt anyone.

I can't wait to go back!
Paula
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May 13th, 2014, 07:41 AM
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tdk, I will have a look. Thank you! So far, Pendini has been in touch with me by email and they "seem" very nice and it sounds like they want to be helpful. But, I can certainly cancel the res if something just as appealing (or more so) should come up. Thank you!
simpsonc510 is offline  
May 13th, 2014, 07:51 AM
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My niece and her husband stayed at the Pendini last October and liked it. They had no complaints, but I did not get details on why they liked it. It is very well located.
zoecat is offline  
May 13th, 2014, 07:56 AM
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If you are looking to stay near the SMN train station another hotel which is nearby the JKPlace is the Hotel L'Orologio which we have used in the past and enjoyed.
Dukey1 is offline  
May 13th, 2014, 07:56 AM
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I think I like the decor of Pendini better than Casci (I know, photos can be touched up...). Pendini is listed in Rick Steves Florence pocket guide under $$$... (expensive). I also saw where someone else (maybe on TA) had stayed and liked it a lot.

J K Place would be great.... I know raincitygirl likes that one.
simpsonc510 is offline  
May 13th, 2014, 08:04 AM
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J K Place is also about 3X the price of Pendini. Not sure I want that big of a splurge.

Dukey, is it advantageous to stay near the train station in Florence? Central location is most important for us. To me, Pendini looks to be well located, although it isn't too far from the train station, according to the map.
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