We really enjoyed our stay at A Le Boteghe for 3 nights in May, 07.
Clara and Giordano had contacted us when a B&B proprietor friend of theirs was booked and provided our room request info to them. They were very attentive and prompt with emails and booking, working flexibly with our budget.
Giordano, an architect by trade, was so welcoming when we arrived late at the S. Angelo vaporetto stop our first night. A gentleman with the bags for my wife, he also spent a good hour talking architecture, art and Venetian history with us, plus giving us several good recommendations for osteria and activities to maximise our short stay. We talked till we lost track of time and realised we needed to eat, and discovered Venice closes down earlier than other Italian cities like Rome, Florence, etc. At this time it's 22:00 so Giordano escorts us to a nearby osteria Enoteca and treats us to our first glass of wine in Venice (the sparkling red wine Raboso). Since we love to try the local specialities he made recommendations for all the courses of a Venetian dinner of cold antipasta items, called "cicchetti". We loved everything he recommended: the fried sardines, sardines in "saor", baccala (preserved and reconstituted codfish), octopus salad, veggies, etc. Nothing was awful, some was wonderful, though most are quite out of the norm for our regular diet. We are so glad for this level of attentive hosting that made our first hours in Venice memorable. And nothing let's you immerse yourself quickly into a new culture like trying new foods. (And don't miss Enoteca's tiramisu, nearly the best we had during our 2.5 week Italian trip.) We also loved Giordano's recommendations for eating in Cannareggio, the more residential section of the city.
Clara and Giordano live near the B&B which is the restored flat Giordano grew up in. It is nicely appointed and comfortable. Ample books, a few games, and little toys for the kids send the message, "You are welcome here. Please stay a while." And how how we wish we could stay with them again and see more of this beautiful city.
The well-dressed Clara cheerfully attended to us each morning with a delicious, balanced --if simple-- Italian breakfast of juice, tea, coffee, croissants, rolls, spreads, cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit and coddled eggs. She was so kind and willing to answer all our questions. We loved her suggestion to visit the isle of Torcello, since I love Byzantine art. Everything we did we enjoyed, and all their recomendations felt personal and attentive--even if they may or may not be similar recommendations they give to all guests.
Otherwise, we didn't see our hosts. If we needed them they were a phone call away. Even volunteered to come take us home if we enjoyed the wine bars too much. That service was never needed, but we appreciated the attention. Otherwise the flat felt like home: quiet, clean and waiting for us after each busy day.
We liked the proximity to San Marco, where we enjoyed music on the piazza every night, yet the neighborhood was a little off the path of the most touristed streets. It was quiet and we found it easy to reach by foot and vaporetto. Sometimes we got lost, but isn't that the purpose of a visit to Venice? A quick check of the nice complementary map later we were back on our way. The residence is on the third floor, and since there are no lifts in Venetian apartment buildings that means a climb is in order. Was no bother for us "one bag" travelers, but could be an imposition on travelers more loaded with baggage.
The rooms are adequately appointed: comfortable beds, if a touch short for my 6'1" frame; ample outlets; well lighted; a good sized bath (by Italian standards). They are willing to provide clean towels each morning if one wants, but we liked their environmentally sensitive policy to encourage repeat towel use. Venetian engravings adorn the walls throughout, as does restored or original architechtural elements like the beamed ceilings and terrazzo floors.
No "view" per se, but as the top floor it is not a claustrophobic place by any means. The bedrooms are very large for what we had seen elsewhere. From the window you can see the nearby roofs and the steeple of the nearby church. Ample natural light. Good tasting tap water. Would be nice to have local phone service access in the common dining room area, though Clara was willing to make calls on our behalf for reservations. A common area PC would be nice, too. Price was really good for this section of the city, and they worked to keep our budget, which was fair if not generous for the early tourist season.
We appreciated the flexibility, kindness, attention and location in the heart of Venice. Payment was by cash only, but this was common to all B&Bs we stayed. Departing from here to Marco Polo airport is easy too. Alilaguna has added a brand new line departing from S. Angelo stop. Just one hour away and 12 Eur per person. (Pricey but reasonable by Venetian standards.) Would definitely stay here again and heartily recommend B&B A Le Boteghe.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.