Upon arrival at the Marco Polo airport, we collected our pre-booked 72 hours travel ticket outside the arrivals hall (look for a blue/pink machine). From the Arrivals Hall, then turn left and saw a trolley point with the sign to the docks. Walked about 5-7 minutes under shelter to find the Alilaguna ticket booth, then collect our pre-booked Blu line ferry tickets (one way). It was all so easy. Long lines to buy tickets, better book online first!
About 35-40 minutes later, we had arrived at the second stop, Fondamenta Nuove. After crossing 3 very small bridges and about 8-10 minutes later, we had arrived at the garden gates of the Palazzo Abadessa. I loved staying at Venetian palazzos furnished in a traditional way. Had wanted to stay here in previous visits but either our beloved room 24 was booked or the Palazzo requires a minimum 2 nights stay during peak seasons/weekends.
Finally, we were able to stay 2 nights here during summer, and enjoy its much talked about gardens (indeed well tendered to, simply lovely!). However, having arrived at 10am after more than 16 hours of travelling, our suite was not ready. Not a problem, toured the Natural History Museum and had a nice lunch. Bought drinks and fruits from the huge supermarket nearby and checked in after 2pm.
This is probably our 6th trip to Venice. Somehow, by choosing hotels that are centrally located as well as google maps before the trip helps us in not spending 100 or more euros for a water taxi. Thus, we are proud to say that we have never taken a water taxi while in Venice! Pay for a 2 or 3 day transport card as we have witnessed a lady being fined 59 euros without a valid ticket!
However, upon entering suite 24, my heart sank a little - on the first look, the actual room had appeared much smaller than the pictures on their website. But we soon realised it was enough space even for 3 persons as there is a Queen and Single bed in there. In addition, there was a writing /dinning desk with two arm chairs, safe and flat screen TV. Wifi was free and fast, too!
The bathroom was huge - twin sinks, separate tub and shower cubicle. However, the whole bathroom looked a little gloomy due to its light brown tiles being used, with no marble in sight. Before entering the bathroom, there is a small walk in area with a big closet, so lots of space to stow clothing and belongings for a longer stay.
Though the suite 24 faces a small pedestrianized road with partial views of a bridge and canal (look left from the suite), it was blissfully quiet both in the day as well as at night. And so we recover from our jet lag here, with rather soft mattresses, but comfy for a great night's sleep. However, spray yourself with anti-mosquito liquid as there are signs of the insect in the suite during summer (though not sure of other seasons?).
Breakfasts, with quality offerings but limited range (its a boutique hotel, what do you expect?), starts a little too late at 8.30am. For jet lagged people like us, we would prefer 7-7.30am breakfasts ... Though it is not fully ready each time we had breakfasts before the official time, it was fine for us as having breakfasts in the summer garden was quite, as they say in Italian, Bellissimo!
We took advantage of the summer season to visit nearby Stra (take a bus from Piazzale Roma) for its Villa Pisani as well as Vicenza (take a train) for its Villa La Rotonda and Villa AValmarana ai Nani. Both were great day trips, believe me! Also had some fun at the Casino di Venezia and came away with a free lunch and dinner, lucky us!
Needless to say, the common areas of the Palazzo is wonderfully decorated with oil paintings, antique furnitures, Murano glass chandeliers, decorated ceilings, nice carpets and stained glasses. Also loved its spirally anitque stone staircases to the Piano Nobile floor, nice! Our suite's wall was covered in silk, the ceiling was also painted with Italian designs though we much prefer biblical frescoes and there is a gorgeous Murano chandelier.
As for the hotel's location, frankly, I would say its especially easy to find and near the Ca d'Oro vaporetto stop. However, if you are after the great views of the San Marco basin or are a first time visitor to Venice, then I would say the San Marco area is better for you. After a wonderful two nights here, we stayed a 3rd night at the Hotel Savoia e Jolanda for the Redentore fireworks, bellissimo again.