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“Just wonderful and fantastic value!! Would be our absolute first choice to stay here again!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Istituto San Giuseppe

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Istituto San Giuseppe
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Ponte della Guerra | Castello 5402, 30122 Venice, Italy (Castello)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #18 of 164 Specialty Lodging in Venice
Spokane, Washington
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Just wonderful and fantastic value!! Would be our absolute first choice to stay here again!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

We just stayed here (early September), and it was absolutely wonderful, like a perfect, peaceful oasis! Amazing, for the price!! Lodging in Venice is expensive, but the Istituto is a much better price than most, and a great value!!!

WARNING: Google maps does NOT accurately show the location, so do not use Google to find it!!

LOCATION: Wonderful, at the corner of a canal / bridge "Ponte della Guerra", and only about 4 minutes' walk from San Marco square, or 6 minutes’ from Rialto Bridge. Little shops, restaurants, etc. all around.

STAFF: The Istituto is a Convent, staffed with nuns. All we met were extremely kind and helpful, also spoke English so no communication problems.

FACILITY: * The Istituto is a very safe, charming building with all sorts of interesting little nooks and crannies.. It has long, cool, quiet halls, and a couple of little courtyards. * Has a GREAT kitchen area for guests that includes: tables/chairs, microwave, hot water pot, fridge, sink, TV, DVD player -- and also a PC and wireless router. * Main hall has a snack machine with chilled bottled water and snacks at low rates (lower than grocery store – for example, a bottle of water cost ½ Euro). * Across the hall and up a short flight of stairs is an additional indoor "terrace" for guests, with wicker chairs, plants, and a sort of solarium roof that also has good wifi connection. (NOTE: wifi connection may not work well in rooms, especially if far from the ground floor router). Finally -- ***there is a small elevator / lift available to go to the upper floors -- much appreciated***

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: The Istituto has an 11:00 pm curfew. Has a quiet atmosphere, and probably not best for a group wanting to party.

ROOMS: We had a triple room, it was simple, but very clean, also bright with plenty of windows. (Note – windows have shutters that can be closed at night if desired to make the room darker). Room also has plenty of light fixtures to keep it bright at night. Room was very quiet, even with windows open. (We were on the 4th floor, however . . . ) Our room contained three single beds, three bedside tables, a wardrobe, and a desk with two chairs. Also three sets of towels and bars of soap. Bathoom was spacious and included two sinks. Shower was great. NOTE: one previous reviewer said there was no air conditioning – I also thought so the first night until my teenage son pointed out that in fact there WAS an a/c unit in the room that I hadn’t noticed!! So, there IS individual air conditioning in the room, with a wall thermostat -- we found our a/c unit very effective and it kept us cool and comfortable at night.

We felt like we were staying in a safe, peaceful oasis, far from the crowds, at a great price and location -- we were completely delighted with the Istitutio, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommended!!

Room Tip: We stayed in a triple room on third floor; don't know what other rooms are like.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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68 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    38
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Denmark
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

This place is located at the perfect spot in Venice! It literally only takes 2½ minutes to walk to San Marco - and yet the Istitututo San Giuseppe is located in a very quiet place. The location is absolutely perfect.

And besides that, it is really interesting to try a different kind of "hotel" than the ones you'd normally stay at. I really like the fact that it's not only a guest house, but also a place where nuns actually live. The nuns were friendly and spoke good English (at least the ones who had something to do with the visitors).

It's a very basic room, very basic, and it really isn't a place where you hang out and enjoy yourself, since there's no tv and no nothing besides the bed. And the wifi only works in the common areas on the first floor. But the room is very clean and there's a friendly atmosphere in the building. And it's so quiet and peaceful.

If you plan to hang out in Venice till late in the evening, this isn't the place to stay since there's a curfew. I think it was at 10.30 PM and it really wasn't a problem to me, but it might be to others, so just be aware of that.

I really enjoyed staying there, especially because of the perfect location, the good price and the experience of being part of a monastery that still functions. I'd love to go back another time.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Québec (ville), Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

Stayed there three nites in July 2013. The room was great no air condition but clean and had a private shower and toilet. The nuns were very nice. One was from the Philippines and spoke great English. There is also a Coop nearby where you can buy food, water, etc... if you do not want to spend your hard earned money in the expensive restaurants. I would go back any time. It is just accross PONTE DE LA GUERRA. I took the water taxi! Mistake. It costed me 60 Euros! I was so tired that evening, having arrived from Vienna by train to Villach, and then bus to Mestre and from there train again to Santa Lucia. To go to the airport, as i flew directly to Montréal, i took the public transport and it costed only 15 euros.It was a great stay, as i could go to San Marco's place early in the morning before the crowds got there. They have great little cafe bars not far from the convents for breakfeast. I would certainly go back.

Room Tip: Vending machine in the convent for drinks.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manhattan Beach, CA
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

My daughter and I stayed here in May 2012 for 2 nights and loved the location. Like others before me have said, the rooms are basic but clean. Our had a view of rooftops from the bedroom and from the bathroom window we could see the top of St. Mark's Basilica. The price was really great for the location though I enlisted my friend in Rome to assist with the reservation because finding a contact was difficult for some reason. I chose to go directly through the convent and not through the online booking companies and they require 1 night deposit which wasn't an issue for me because I use XE Trade (highly recommend!!). The curfew was a little bit of a bummer but we weren't planning any wild nights out and location/cost was more important to me. There is a great little co-op market down the path away from the foot bridge and take the first left (it's on the right) where we bought food and the convent has a fridge where you can store it. The internet proved a bit spotty for us but after the nuns made several attempts to adjust our sign in code it finally worked. Getting that process started as soon as you check in would be a good idea since they seem to rely on one nun in particular to handle it for them. Leaving around 5am to get to the ferry that takes you to the airport was actually really cool because you have to walk through St. Mark's Square and it's completely deserted. It is etched in my memory as it was the last place in Venice I saw before leaving and amazingly beautiful in the peace of the early morning light, without all the crowds of people.

Room Tip: Make sure the AC works!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

This convent was an old Palazzo. The room itself was basic but clean. We had 3 twin beds which was kind of odd for a couple! But it really is an excellent value considering the location. It is kind of hard to find actually. We took the Alilaguna water bus from Marco Polo (€16pp) then we got off the Rialto Bridge. We got seriously lost. I think what would have helped tremendously is knowing that the convent was the Palazzo Tosca Papafava listed in the official Venezia Map they're selling at the tourist booth at the airport! The free wifi only works in the common areas. Reserving the room with them directly saves $$. Just email them at ospitality@alice.it. They require a 1 night deposit which needs to be electronically wired to their bank. I did it thru xoom.com for $5. Also be sure they receive your deposit for the room to avoid confusion at check out. Their staff speaks english. The nuns are friendly as well. They only accept cash. This accommodation really isn't for a romantic getaway but for those who want to stay in the middle of the action without breaking the bank!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Champaign
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

My family of six stayed at the Istituto San Giuseppe for three days for New Years Eve. I booked the rooms through Monastery Stays. The website for Monastery Stays is easy to navigate and reserve rooms (we also stayed in a convent in Florence). The location of the Istituto could not be better as it is only a 5 minute walk to either the Piazza San Marco or the Rialto Bridge. We had two rooms of three beds. The rooms are about the quality of a dorm but they do have their own bathrooms. The curfew was not too difficult to manage, and the sisters did allow us to come in after curfew on New Years Eve. There is WiFi only the upper lounge and there is no breakfast, but since you are just steps from San Marco, breakfast is easy to find. You do have to pay in cash on the day before you leave so make sure you hit the cash machine a couple of times before that day. Note: it is much easier to reach the Istituto from the San Marco vaporetto stop than from the Rialto vaporetto stop with luggage.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Bay, Florida
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

I feel very neutral about this place. I think I would give it more stars if I knew Italian. It is not too difficult to find, but my husband said the Google Map had it in the wrong place. I couldn't make heads or tails of the Venice streets to begin with, so I have to take his word for it. They do send a map when you make reservations, so he said it is better to use that one.

The best thing about this place is it is 5 minutes from St. Mark's Square. You are right in the middle of the action. It is clean and well-kept. It does not include breakfast, but there is a fridge and tables you can use. However, most of the nuns do not know English and I felt like they were not quick to call someone if we needed help. On more than one occasion they tried to speak to us in Italian, going on for several minutes. We kept shaking our heads and saying "no speak" in Italian, but they were insistent. On the last day, we finally met the person who spoke good English. In general, this was frustrating for us because on the last night we needed to leave the convent at 5am for an early flight. They lock you in, so there had to be someone up to let us out. This was difficult for us to convey. Everything worked out fine, but I am not sure the stress was worth it.

Also, if you reserve directly through them, you will have to wire money to them for a deposit, which made me a little leery. Then, even though I e-mailed twice, they never sent confirmation that they received my wire. So, I felt like I was going to Venice unsure if I had a room at all. Also, wiring money was expensive - I paid $35 for it through my bank. I paid 80 euros a night for the convent plus taxes, so the $35 made it more than $10 more a night. I just want you all to know this up front. There was nothing terrible about this place, but not really much good either. I would look into staying somewhere else next time I went to Venice.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Istituto San Giuseppe

Address: Ponte della Guerra | Castello 5402, 30122 Venice, Italy
Location: Italy > Veneto > Province of Venice > City of Venice > Venice > Castello
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 164 Specialty Lodging in Venice
Number of rooms: 12
Also Known As:
Istituto San Giuseppe Hotel Venice

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