Having never been to Venice before, my wife and I thought that being only a few hundred meters from St Mark's Square would be ideal. Sadly, we were mistaken. First of all, it is tourist central of Venice. Cruise ships dropping off wave after wave of daytrippers made it feel like the Normandy invasion reenacted. Add to that the "shopping mall" vibe of the streets between St. Mark's and the Rialto Bridge, and this location really was not our speed.
That being said, I didn't factor this into the review of the hotel itself. I can't really say anything was wrong with the hotel, it just felt weird. This hotel was definitely overpriced for what it is, but then again, so is all of Venice. My faith was shaken a bit when we checked in, and there was a line of people complaining about issues with their rooms or reservations. We were forced to wait for the one bellman on duty to take us to our room, which at first seemed ridiculous but we soon discovered why. This hotel is a maze!! While some might find that to be cool, I found it a bit annoying. To get to our room, we had to take the elevator or stairs to the second floor, walk down a hallway with 2 turns, go back downstairs, weave through another hallway, go through a keycard access-only firedoor, and somehow end up in the bowels of this hotel.
The room itself was clean, the shower was tiny (I'm 6'2" and kept banging my elbows against the door), and the wifi was only available in the lobby. Breakfast was included, but if given the opportunity to do it again, I'd skip the breakfast and grab a croissant while walking AWAY from the location.
The front desk staff was the best part of our stay. They were all multi-lingual, humorous, and ready to oblige our needs. We overheard many complaints from people getting lost in the mouse-maze of the hallways, and every time the staff was super courteous and helpful.
Again, I can't necessarily fault the hotel for being bad, but it was just an odd vibe. My advice: stay outside of the San Marco neighborhood and enjoy local culture, and venture in early to see the Basilica and Palace, then return to the square during the night for some music and a stroll without the daytrippers shuffling all over the place.
- Also Known As:
- Antico Panada Hotel
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