Quick summary: Very comfortable room; great location that is quiet but close many attractions; staff that are very friendly, helpful, and professional.
We stayed 5 nights in room #201, which was a good size for older historic hotels in Europe, and the space was well-used. The king bed was comfortable (and firm,) with nice quality bed linens and brocade bedcover (not duvets.) I enjoyed the traditional Venetian feeling to the room -- traditional furnishings, brocades, colorful, and a chandelier. The room felt very fresh and well kept. A small desk and 2 chairs, TV, etc. Good closet space and drawers; real nightstands with drawers (I like to keep things tidy.)
As I expect in some older hotels, there was no in-room coffee/tea or ironing board, but not a big deal. Coffee is available via room service.
Good-size bathroom with tub and hand-held shower; bidet; nice toiletries. After I've been on my feet all day, I want a bathtub, not just a shower.
Excellent housekeeping throughout.
Breakfast is a good array of hot and cold items, fruits, juices, pastries, and serve-yourself coffee from machines that can do a good job on anything from cappucino to espresso. But to be honest, after 6 weeks in Europe at buffet breakfasts, this place rates a B+. I don't expect made-to-order eggs everywhere I go, and the chafing dish scrambled eggs were to my liking, but the fruit and hot meats could be upgraded.
The staff are helpful, professional, and excellent. They very nicely recommended restaurants that were a short walk away, but outside of the major tourist crowds and good value for Venice. They were excellent for directions and touring suggestions, and were always ready to show you directions on a map. It is easy enough to do Murano and Burano on your own, which we did, and not the free tour.
The location is on a quiet small side-street, a short walk off of St. Mark's square, i.e. excellent location if you want to be close to attractions. This was our first visit to Venice, and it suited us well. We found it easy enough to walk to excellent and lower-cost restaurants on the other side of the Rialto, away from the major tourist centers and tour groups around St. Mark's.
There are many little places around the hotel for drinks, etc. Best to head away from St. Marks for the more charming and less crowded options (but we still had drinks at a famous cafe in St. Mark's -- 'gotta do it.)
Our criticisms are major or minor, depending on your perspective and time of year.
+ The internet was down 2 of the 5 nights we were there.
+ AC was good, but at a level that I've come to recognize as "Italian cool" in older hotels. Here, you will be comfortable, and I don't expect or like ice-box cold, but the temperature will not be that level of refreshing cool that I've found in other countries, even in small historic hotels that invest in modern, efficient AC. But again, this place is better than many I've experienced in older hotels in Italy, where the standard is bringing the temp down from insufferable to mildly uncomfortable. In early June, I heard a few guests complaining that the AC was not working, but I think it is just the system in place.
+ Wall safe is old-style with a key lock.
+ Only one elevator, which could be slow in coming. We preferred to walk up most times.
+ My complaint with many hotels: the bedside reading light should be improved, brighter and better focused.
+ We are confused about any bar options at the hotel -- there didn't seem to be any, but maybe that was overlooked during the busy tourist season and not available?
+ The restaurant associated with the hotel (Antico Pignolo on the website) was not mentioned at all when we were at the hotel, either at the desk or in in-room promos. We probably would have tried it, but it was not top-of-mind, as a result.
If you need to get to the train station quickly, definitely consider the Rialto vaparetto stop rather than St. Mark's. The hotel will arrange for a porter to the stop if you don;t want to lug the luggage yourself. Of course, there are always more expensive water taxis.
The price was competitive for high season in Venice, and suited us for the first trip for price/value/location. We'd love to have the flexibility to travel off-season for better rates in the future, but this place delivered good price/value for the time.
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