This hotel is our second in Venice, the first being the Ai Reali. There is no comparison with the Ai Reali, which was courteous and helpful throughout. Venetian hotels do not need to be like the Antico Panada,but there is a certain arrogance about some venues here that is borne of simple overcrowding of the city, allowing shoddy hoteliers to get away with it.
We arrived to heaps of luggage in the 'foyer' (after having carried our luggage the 100 metres or so from the nearest water taxi stop - anyone with disabilities or lots of non-wheelable luggage beware) to be told flatly that rooms would not be ready until 1400hrs (fair enough and in accordance with the booking, but a bit matter of fact and abrupt) and to just leave our luggage on the pile (not fair enough in my opinion). We left for a quick lunch until we could check in, not before noting the several disgruntled customers in the bar area (a bar which was never open the entire time we were there) trying to sort, apparently in vain, whatever they were struggling with. I could only guess that the heaps of outgoing luggage alongside the heap of incoming luggage was something to do with it, but there could have been some entirely different set of reasons.
On return, we were shown to our rooms by a helpful porter who seemed to be the only staff member on duty the whole time we were here. Several desk staff came and went, all with rock solid alibis as to why they could not possibly help you with any issue.
One such issue, the safe was locked in our room. Phone call to desk. I'm too busy, you will need to wait. How long? At least half an hour. We wish to go out. I'm too busy. Not my problem, the safe should be open when we arrive! I'm too busy. I found the one working porter and he went along several of the rooms unlocking the safes, which, surprise surprise, is a recurring problem. Maybe the house staff should unlock them all when they clean the rooms, which, of course, we could not get into until the allotted time, remember? And which everyone must vacate at the allotted time, hence the piles of unattended luggage....
Next question. Do you have an iron? Irons are not allowed. Quote, "they would blow up the electricity in the hotel". Nice. Sleeping soundly after that one.
Next question, what is the wifi password? Wifi does not work in the rooms. What? Only guaranteed to work in the lobby. Are you serious? Yes. What is the password? Oh, sorry, I have run out of the paper. Ok, but just tell me it and I will log in. I do not know it. You call me later. I don't want to call you later, can you find out what it is please? I will call you later. No response after that.
Last one for this review, 'can I checkout tonight as we're leaving early in the morning?' Yes, but I cannot give you a receipt. What? It is against Italian law. Ok...... Fine. Can you email me the receipt after we leave. No. Why not? It is against the law. Excuse me?
Please believe me when I say that every fibre of being of the desk staff in this hotel feels like they are trying to prevent life being easy or pleasant for you. It is almost like the desk staff want to see how little they can do before the hotel loses it's clientele entirely, because they know that people will keep coming no matter what. Hotels in Venice do not need to be like this and our experience is that others are not. Avoid.
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