Well what can I say......
I just wanted to firstly state, that whenever I go away anywhere.....I do all my research on Trip Advisor. Looking at best hotels,places to eat etc etc. So after visiting Venice I decided I would write a detailed report of what I saw over the few days I was visiting.
Hotel Canal Grande was exactly as I imagined it would be! Quaint and Beautiful. On Arrival we were greeted with a very warm welcome from the hotel staff. We simply had to give them our name and show our passports to them. Checking in took all of 5 minutes. Once checked in, we were given a map and a 'talk' on Venice. Where to go and places to see. But one thing I remember the reception staff saying is....'the best way to see Venice, is to get lost in Venice' and they were most defiantly right. So after checking in and receiving our map we were shown to our room by Lorenzo. Our room was not located in the hotel itself, which at first we were a little unsure of. But just a long from the main building itself was out room. It was almost like a mini apartment block. I think all in all it had 4 rooms in it. You access the building by pressing a buzzer and the hotel staff let you in (Very safe and secure!) The rooms are accessed by using a card which you swipe in front of your door.
When we opened the door I was amazed...it was beautiful! The room was small but extremely amazing! The walls are not wallpapered....they are lined with gorgeous Italian fabric. Which match the bedding and curtains. All the lighting in the rooms are made with Murano glass and look truly wonderful. The tv in our room was hidden inside the mirror which I found amazing. The bathroom was a decent size with a lovely shower. Its hard to explain but the shower itself had so many different things, almost like a spa. The room also had temperature control dials which you could change to suit yourself. Our room had a view of the square, which we found very pleasant. No noise from the canal! The only noise (so to speak) we heard during our stay was the church bells which start at around 7am. But your in Venice, its to be expected! And after a while you get used to it and it almost acts as an alarm clock :-)
Breakfast at the hotel was very nice. It starts at 7am and finishes at 10:30am. There is a wide choice of croissants, mini cakes, yoghurt,ham,cheese,fruit etc and also you can order eggs and bacon but at extra charge of 4Euro. There is also cereal,toast and a selection of fruit juices. There is no seating plan, you just turn up and choose where you would like to sit. Once you sit down the waitress (Who is lovely!) takes your order for tea,coffee,late, American coffee etc. There is a wide choice to choose from and you can drink as much as you like! There is no rush, which is what I liked. It is very relaxed!
The hotel Canal Grande is in a very good location also! It is a few minutes walk from the train station and is very close to the Vaporetto stop. Although I thought I should state, if you are arriving at the hotel via the station etc there are two bridges to cross. One of them being very big and may prove a little difficult with a suitcase.
We decided to use the water taxi's to and from the airport. Which is a little expensive but so worth the money! It worked out at 100 Euro for 4 people each way. But that took you direct from the Airport to the hotel. No need to worry about lugging suitcases around and squeezing onto a Vaporetto at rush hour time. It was a perfect way to start our holiday! It took 15minutes to reach our hotel from the airport and once we reached the main part of the canal we were invited by the taxi driver to stand at the front of the boat with him. It was extremely romantic and a wonderful way to get our first glimpse of Venice itself. I would highly recommend using the water taxi for airport transfers! To find the water Taxi service, you firstly need to book in. Which can be done when you go through arrivals. There is a Taxi booking desk there and that is where you pay. Once you have paid it is a 5 minute walk to the water taxi (That is also where the public transport is) You simply go to the dock number you have been allocated and wait for your boat. Do make sure you get the name of the hotel right! Because many of the hotels on the canal sound the same. So it would be Hotel Canal Grande! Im 99% sure there is one called Grande canal.
The hotel also has a bar which is stocked with almost every type of spirit and drink you can think of. My partner and I like to drink beer so we drank the local brand which was called 'venitian Blonde'. It tasted a little like san miguel. We did try the 'red' version which to be honest we found was disgusting but everyone's taste is different! They also give you small bar snacks with your drinks. Which normally consist of crisps or peanuts, but they always went down well. I also noticed that if you had afternoon tea they gave you a selection on mini biscuits. Which I found very sweet of them to do. They are always so willing to help you and are always very pleasant.
Eating out was always fun! Trying to find nice places and experience the real Venice. And we used two of the hotels recommendations. The first wasn't very nice and we were slightly disappointed, as we were told it was the best pizza in Venice. Turns out it wasn't! The second recommendation was spot on!!! One of the best meals we've had in a long time! My partner had steak and I had a pizza, both of which were extremely tasty and very reasonably priced. It took a little bit of map reading to find but we got there in the end and it was worth the walking. Although it was only a 5-10 minute walk from the hotel itself. Im not exactly sure what the name is but its something like 'Muro' im sure if you ask the staff they could help you find it
The hotel is a 5 minute walk away from all the shops and restaurants etc but you do have to do a little walking to find exactly what you want. There are so many different places to choose from and so much to see!
From a woman's point of view........make sure you pack flat shoes to wear! My feet were killing me on the first day and I wore flat boots! Heels if you can do heels are ok but not very practical. I wore them one night and that was it.
There is also a casino in Venice! Apparently its the oldest Casino in the world. Just be warned that men DO have to wear Jackets! But jeans are acceptable (Which I found odd)
It has a separate bar and restaurant and is roughly a 15 minute walk from the hotel. Although Im pretty sure they offer a free water taxi, as I saw a few of them driving up and down the canal. Don't take my word on that though!
The Murano Glass factory trip which is free from the hotel is....ok but nothing to write home about. They offer a free water taxi to the factory but be warned.......if you don't buy anything it is up to you to get yourself back! Which we had to do! We ended up catching a Vaporetto back to piazza san marco which took an hour! and was 6.50Euro each.
Watching the glass blowing itself was very interesting but the demonstration lasted about 10minutes the rest of the time is to look around the shop! Which you are NOT allowed to take photos in, and is very expensive!
We loved the shopping in Venice and regretted not taking another suitcase! There is so much to choose from and personally we like to wear 'different' clothes and you can defiantly find 'different' clothing in Venice. The shoes etc are amazing! But can be very pricey. We were lucky as there seemed to be sales on everywhere!
All in all our trip was truly wonderful! A beautiful place to visit! The hotel we stayed in well...i would stay there again in a heart beat. It was clean, decorated to high standards, staff were friendly and spoke very good English, and the location was perfect!
Free Wi Fi
For those of you who cant be without the internet....the hotel offer it for free! You just have to ask at the reception and they will give you a code. Which normally gives you 2 hours free access although you can ask for more like my partner did! They also have a computer which you can use and is also free!!!!
I/WE will most defiantly be staying at Hotel Canal Grande in the future and will recommend to all our family and friends!
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