Located on the small island of Lido between the Venice Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, Hotel Excelsior, built in 1908, is the only hotel in the Venice area with its own beach. It has an old-fashioned charm, with Moorish décor, and loads of amenities, including a pool, gym, and tennis courts (though, oddly, no spa)—so if you’re ok with sailing back and forth to see the Venice sights, Hotel Excelsior makes a unique place to stay.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The Lido is home to the annual Venice Film Festival, so you may want to avoid staying here during that time to avoid the crowds (unless you’re attending the festival, of course).
The 197 rooms and suites are decorated in bright colors, with patterned wallpaper and curtains, and offer either courtyard or sea views. They’re a bit dated, though most are on the large side.
Opt for a room with a balcony and sea views.
Light and bright tiled bathrooms have either showers or combo bathtub/showers.
The large lobby has a Moorish look, with polished wood floors and columns, and a slightly faded feel. There are brightly colored chairs where guests can hang out—but if you want to see the views, it’s better to find a space outside.
The large pool overlooking the sea is fab, with plenty of lounge chairs in which to relax and a bar where you can grab a drink.
The fitness center is large, but with only a smattering of equipment. Still, it’s here if you need it.
Ristorante Tropicana, decorated with interesting striped and beamed ceilings and chandeliers, serves up standard Italian fare either indoors or in a lovely outdoor terrace overlooking the sea, while La Taverna offers a lunch buffet in a more casual atmosphere.
Blue Bar is the place to get a cocktail on an expansive terrace overlooking the sea, or check out the Pool Bar and Beach Bar.
The hotel offers a complimentary water shuttle service that runs about every half hour (from mid-morning to midnight) to St. Mark’s Square, which takes 15 to 20 minutes. Alternately, you can take a public ferry to go back and forth to Venice proper on your own timetable.
Quaint La Tavernetta (2-minute walk) specializes in fish and other Italian dishes and has an extensive wine list. Osteria Al Merca (18-minute walk) serves up traditional Venetian plates, including mixed fried fish.
Sit outside with a Spritz and snacks at Rizzo Gran Viale SNC (20-minute walk), or swing by Bar Maleti Giorgio (20-minute walk) for drinks, coffee, small bites, and gelato.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Staying at Hotel Excelsior is a great way to combine some beach time with some Venice sightseeing time—and that sounds like a perfect vacation to us.