We booked a standard room in the main Bauer Hotel, but the main building was full by the time we arrived. We were pleasantly upgraded to a lovely suite in the adjoining Casa Nova. (Not a bad break.) The lobby is reminiscent of a grand old cruise ship. 20th Century Modern is the style. It feels a bit cold and dated, particularly because the tourists aren't in smart 1950's Mad Men costume as you might hope, but are instead aging cruise passengers in flip flops and beach attire.
The terrific excitement of being upgraded was followed immediately by shock and frustration when we discovered that someone had stolen our Ipad from the back pack we left at the bell stand. While we were warned numerous times before our arrival in Venice that pick pockets were aggressive, we thought we were safe once inside the hotel. Apparently, this is a perfect place for thieves. Despite the loss of our electronics, we did have a lovely time at this hotel.
The restaurant overlooking the grand canal is beautiful and feels quite glamorous. We happened to be in town during the wold famous Venice Film Festival, so there were actual celebrities staying in our building. This certainly raised the feeling of exclusivity. Though, the building is perfectly quiet and we never saw another guest from Casa Nova while we were in residence.
I imagine that at one time, this hotel was a hub for Venice cabaret life with a wonderful bar/club scene. But this simply isn't the case today. The hotel is primarily a destination for older luxury cruise passengers who (like us) spent all their evenings dining away from the hotel and seeing the sights.
Highlights: Breakfast buffet on the terrace overlooking the Grand Canal. Management took us to the police station after our Ipad was stolen and eventually reported the theft to their insurance company, who paid out about 9 months later. The in suite toiletries ("Santa Maria degli Angeli") are amazing, though oddly are not available for sale in the hotel. (See below) Having a fridge and ice in the room was great and the room (by venetian standards) was HUGE.
A few areas for the hotel to improve: The front desk and concierge services are rather perfunctory and will appear to other American guests as not oriented to customer service. We found this to be typical in most large Italian hotels. There is no gift shop or shop of any kind in the hotel. We wanted to buy a polo shirt souvenir (we wanted to spend MORE money) and were unable to do so. . .though these items were displayed in a case. We wanted to purchase more of the amazing toiletries from our room, but were also told this was "impossible." Though I can't remember ever wanting to buy these items before on a trip, this one time when we did, they were unavailable.
If you're looking for a vibrant scene you'll have to look elsewhere. If you want a reliable luxury hotel just steps from St. Peter's Square. . .this is it.
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- Also Known As:
- Bauer Casa Nova Hotel Venice