Summary: Words cannot describe the charm of this hotel (see photos of the gondola and Rialto Bridge taken from our room). Matteo (the owner) and his staff (especially Oliver) run a tight ship, with no detail spared. They go out of their way to learn your names and to do whatever they need to make your stay wonderful. Our room (we had a junior suite – room 108) was fabulous. Highly, highly recommended.
Pros: Good location, incredible views, wonderful breakfasts (with eggs from Matteo’s 98-year-old grandmother’s farm), certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience (though we hope to go back – and soon).
Cons: Small hotel (9 rooms) so no big hotel services (i.e. room service – though they will bring drinks, tea and snacks to your room). This really isn’t a con as there are, by definition, no large hotels in Venice. Some rooms have an interior view.
Review: My wife and I stayed here as part of our honeymoon, it was simply unforgettable. We arrived in Venice by train from Rome, and took the Vaparetto (water bus) from the train station to the Rialto stop, and walked a short distance to the hotel. Venice, at first, seems like an impenetrable maze, so we had a small difficulty figuring out exactly how to locate the hotel from the Rialto stop. Luckily, we spotted the hotel from the water bus and knew which direction to head (see our photo so you’ll recognize it too). If you have bags, you may want to consider taking a water taxi from either the airport or the train station, because the streets of Venice are not friendly for bag dragging (they are narrow, sometimes crowded with tourists and you’ll encounter a couple of small sets of stairs between the Rialto stop and the hotel). The hotel has its own dock for the water taxis. Once we arrived at the hotel, Oliver (Matteo-the-owner’s right-hand man) greeted us. We went into our room and a bottle of champagne was waiting (see picture).
We stayed in the junior suite, room 108, with a canal front room. And, as my wife says, we definitely had the best view in all of Venice (I agree). The room, the view and the experience was simply incredible, and unforgettable. Our pictures from and of the room (attached), do not do it full justice. The junior suite was very large, with a separate canal-front sitting area, with a huge, opening picture window. As our photos show, from the room you can watch the main street of Venice (i.e. the grand canal) and see the boats, Vaparetto, and gondolas all passing under the Rialto Bridge. The room was very clean and well appointed. You feel as if you are staying in a Venetian palace of yesteryear. The only negative was that the bathroom and shower were a bit small (see photo), but by no means did this detract from the overall wonderfulness of the room, the hotel or Venice.
The hotel is centrally located, only a couple of blocks to the Rialto bridge. It is easy to walk from the hotel to St. Marks square as well. We recommend walking around on the back streets of Venice (i.e. away from the tourist areas) with the locals. You’ll see an entirely different, and much quieter Venice. We also recommend taking a gondola ride (you are in Venice) and spending a couple of hours riding the Vaperetto through all of its stops (it’s the best, and cheapest, way to see all of Venice from the water). For the gondola, we recommend interviewing a couple of different ones to find one that’s to your liking, and picking one that is in a quiet area.
The hotel is close to many wonderful dining options. Matteo, Oliver and the others are also willing to recommend non-touristy restaurants and make reservations for you. One night, we ate at a wonderful seafood place (as you’d expect since Venice is on the water), only to find out that the owner was a fisherman with two of his very own boats, and is the president of the Venice Fish Market to boot. If you want wonderfully fresh and local seafood, make sure to ask Matteo or Oliver for a reservation.
Matteo and his staff made us breakfast each morning, including wonderful coffee, cappuccino, pastries and eggs from Matteo’s 98-year-old grandmother’s farm. See the attached photos of the breakfast area and Matteo in action making omelets. Off the breakfast area is a great terrace area overlooking the grand canal and the Rialto Bridge. If the junior suite is booked, or is too pricey for your budget, sitting on the terrace for breakfast, afternoon tea, or a pre/after-dinner drink is also a good way to appreciate the incredible location of this hotel.
In conclusion – we highly recommend the Hotel Al Ponte Anico in Venice. We especially recommend requesting the canal-front, junior suite, room 108, for view and an experience you will never forget. Though we get first dibs.
If Rome is in your travel plans, check out our review of the Hotel Artorius In Rome, which we also highly recommend.
If you stay at the Hotel Al Ponte Anico, make sure to say “hi” to Matteo and Oliver for us. Ciao.
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- Also Known As:
- Al Ponte Antico Venice
- Hotel Al Ponte Antico