First, let me describe how to get here, since those who arrive by some means other than water taxi, may have to do some searching, but it is well worth it!
On the vaporetto line #1 from Ferrovia (Train Station) or Piazzale Roma (bus station) going towards San Marco, get off at the Ca' d'Oro stop. From the stop, there is only one alleyway extending from the Grand Canal into the city. As you emerge onto the Stradanuovo (you'll know it - it's a main shopping thoroughfare) you'll see a Grom (gelateria) to your left. Take note, you'll want to go back several times per day for their gelato. In front of you, across the street and to the right is a large fabric store, and just to the right of the fabric store is another little alleyway. It looks a little narrow and it may look like a dead end, but it is not. There is a large sign at the end of the alley for the "Partido Democratico". If you look on the wall at the entryway to the alley there is a microscopic green sign for Palazzo Abadessa. You'd never see it just passing by, but if you're looking for it you can catch it. Follow the alleyway back, it will turn to the right and then to the left and spit you out right in front of this beautiful hotel.
Now, for the review: This is our second trip to Venice, and this hotel was perfect for what we wanted. We were looking for a place that exuded the history and style of Venice at its prime, that made us feel like we were staying in an old palazzo, not a renovated, cookie-cutter hotel. This place fit the bill perfectly! The room was small, but about what we anticipated for Venice, and from the pictures of other rooms, I think we probably got one of the smallest ones in the palazzo (room 19 - maybe it was a cheaper option, we were thrilled with it, if you want something bigger, ask to see other rooms.) The walls are upholstered, the floor is wood, the ceiling is composed of exposed wooden beams, the lighting was Murano glass chandeliers and sconces, and our windows opened up onto the canal behind the hotel. Also, while I think Europeans in general have yet to discover the joys of pillow top mattresses, memory foam, and luxurious bedding (we live here and travel frequently - we have adjusted our expectations in this regard), this hotel bed and bedding were nicer than most.
The front desk had a bowl of fresh fruit in our room for our arrival that seemed like just a nice gesture, but ended up serving as breakfast for our early morning departure a few days later! The bathroom is updated and very modern, although there is no bath, only a shower. The hot water adjustment was a little sensitive, but we never ran out, and it got PLENTY hot!
There was some noise from the canal until about 10:00 p.m. with an infrequent boat or passers-by, but it never disturbed our sleep. Occasionally we could also hear the guests above us through the creaky floor, but it never bothered us. Guests should keep in mind that this is a renovated home, and you are staying in bedrooms, so your expectations of soundproofing should reflect that - we could hear conversations in the hallway while inside our bedroom and assumed the reverse was true. However, the hotel is small enough that I never felt like there were groups of people passing by our door, just the occasional guest coming back or leaving his/her room.
The only concern I would have visiting this hotel during another season: we visited the first week of March when temperatures still dipped below freezing at night. We slept with both windows wide open and the shutters closed to keep the room at a comfortable, slightly cool, temperature. My wife and I enjoy having a cooler room. We never turned on the heat in our room, and I cannot imagine how stifling this room might be in the summer without air conditioning. There was no air conditioning unit in the room that I could see, unless the heater acted as a dual unit (common in many homes and hotels). You may want to inquire first if you are going to be sleeping here in July or August. With a canal room, keeping the windows open in hotter weather may not be feasible with mosquitos, and not having air circulate could be horrendous.
One of the best features of this hotel: breakfast! I was wowed. Two kinds of prosciutto, salami, three types of cheeses, at least five or six fresh platters of fruit, sliced and ready to eat. Bowls of fresh fruit salad. Amazing baskets full of cream and chocolate-stuffed pastries, cereal, yogurt, various fruit juices (including my favorite: blood orange!), bread, toast, and coffee service. It was perfect for getting off to a good day of walking and exploring!
Overall, I highly recommend this hotel for singles, couples, or groups of adults. We travel frequently with our three young children and would not have wanted them here. We have rented apartments in Venice with more space and less honeymooners where our kids can be themselves and have fun without disturbing other guests. If you are in a similar situation, I would recommend you check out an apartment rental rather than a small and quaint establishment like this hotel.
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- Also Known As:
- Palazzo Abadessa Hotel
- Palazzo Abadessa Venice