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“The Best Small Boutique Hotel in Venice”
Review of Aqua Palace Hotel

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Aqua Palace Hotel
Ranked #42 of 385 Hotels in Venice
Certificate of Excellence
Florida
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“The Best Small Boutique Hotel in Venice”
Reviewed October 4, 2010

We visited the Aqua Palace Hotel at the end of a sailing cruise around Italy and Croatia aboard the Royal Clipper. From the port of Venice, we took a vaporetto (waterbus) for 6 Euros to the Rialto stop, a very scenic trip through the heart of Venice. There was a porter waiting at the Rialto stop, so we hired him for 20 Euros to take our bags and lead us to the Aqua Palace Hotel. After a short 5-minute walk through the twisting streets and narrow alleyways of Venice, we arrived at the Aqua Palace.

The Aqua Palace sits at a curve of a small canal, so it has water views on 2 sides of the building. The building, also known as the Scalfarotto Palace, most recently housed the telephone company offices. Several years ago, the property was acquired by the Caputo family, who began the monumental task of completely transforming a 16th century building into a 21st century luxury hotel.

The restoration now complete, the Aqua Palace is without a doubt the finest small boutique hotel in Venice. With 30 rooms and suites on 4 floors, the ambiance is one of quiet elegance, using a palate of rich dark colors. Our room (#304 - a Junior Suite) was a gorgeous corner room with 3 large windows overlooking the 2 canals and a small bridge. It was decorated in a modern classic style with a touch of Venetian elegance, with sumptuous chocolate and gold brocade covering the walls. The room also had all of the modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi service and a flat screen TV mounted on the wall.

The bathroom had floor to ceiling white and grey marble, a huge shower (with 2 showerheads), a bidet and a monogrammed toiletry bag filled with goodies. It was one of the most luxurious and functional bathrooms we have ever seen in a hotel, which was all the more remarkable because this is a 16th century building.
The lobby and public areas of the hotel are clad in fine marble and wood with huge wooden beams supporting the high ceilings and herringbone wood festooning the floors. Rich velvet drapes line the upstairs hallways near the huge French doors, opening out to a romantic balcony, overlooking the canals – a perfect place to enjoy a glass of champagne.

We arrived fairly early and were happy to find our room ready and waiting for us. The hotel staff was extremely helpful and suggested the nearby Osteria Ae Sconte for lunch. After telling the restaurant we had come from the Aqua Palace, we were treated like royalty and given complementary champagne before we dined on some of the best food in Venice.

One of the best things to do in Venice is to wander and explore the streets and alleys of the city. The Aqua Palace has one of the best locations in Venice, midway between the Rialto Bridge and the Piazza San Marco, a fascinating 5-minute walk to either. Located on a small canal in the Castello quarter of the city, the Aqua Palace is not only conveniently located, but is in a quiet part of the city away from the crowds.

The bilingual staff at the front desk was very helpful suggesting and arranging activities for our stay. They scheduled tickets for a wonderful Vivaldi concert at the Scuola Grande di San Teodoro, arranged a free pick up and tour of Murano and made reservations for us at some outstanding restaurants (one of our favorites was L’Osteria di Santa Marina). The hotel has an entrance on the canal and is a good place to embark on a gondola ride through the small canals of the city.

Even though the hotel was beautiful, the service outstanding and the location perfect, I think the best thing about the Aqua Palace was the breakfast. The breakfast is served in a small, intimate dining room off the lobby. A buffet of scrambled eggs, hot sausages, cheeses and meats, fresh fruit and yogurt, assorted cereals and muesli is artfully arranged next to a selection of fresh breads, croissants and pastries. A delightful hostess serves hot coffee, cappuccino and tea at your table. I have seldom looked forward to a hotel breakfast as much as at the Aqua Palace and I would go back there for no other reason than the delicious chocolate croissants.

It was easy to get to the airport for our return home. We walked to the vaporetto stop near the Rialto Bridge (this is a different stop than the main Rialto Bridge stop - just next to the main stop). There is a non-stop vaporetto right to the airport - inexpensive and easy.

Our stay at the Aqua Palace was as close to perfect as a hotel can be. If you want a small and intimate hotel located in the center of Venice, with old-world ambience and modern facilities, with a friendly and helpful staff, a great breakfast and reasonable price, you could do no better than the Aqua Palace.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank rrayner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
232 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2010

The Aqua Palace is one of these unique boutique hotels you will never forget in your whole life. The Aqua Palace offers an exceptionelly great service, state-of-art amenities and oozes quality and comfort - this clearly is one of the hotels I will always return to. I went for a spacious Junior Suite facing a canal, and watching the gondolas from my window while being in a perfectly airconed room's been such an unforgettable pleasure. Especially during the hot July season with all the mosquitos outside. The rooms mirror the distinctive Venetian elegance, they are beautifully decorated and wonderfully comfortable. There is a fantastic marble bathroom, luxurious fabrics and a top-quality bed. The Aqua place is centrally, but quietely located. The location is ideal, and literally in the shadow of every sight and place within walking distance. There are brilliant restaurants close by, and the Canale Grande is just a quick walk away. Their staff is outstanding - every wish you may have, they will get it sorted for you! If you travel in style - you can disembark from a private boat right on the premises. The Aqua Palace made my week in Venice one of my most amazing mini-breaks ever.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Zorro7770
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 29, 2010

Our trip to Venice was a last moment opportunity to catch the Architectural bienale - rather an annoying time to be in Venice but this hotel made up for every inconvenience. We are rather inclined to the 5-star end of the spectrum but refuse to use that market in Venice. Here is 1,000 reasons why you don't need to. Aqua Palace has all the attentiveness, professionalism, skill and knowledge, elegance and style to give all of us high end travellers hope that it is indeed possible to provide high end facilities and style without pain to the Amex card. It's all about value.

We were upgraded when we arrived as our room was not ready - great touch. Room furnishings sophisticated, elegant, bathroom fantastic, small casement windows opened onto 'mock' balcony with views along a good length of the canal looking over the Ponte Balbi. Breakfast surprisingly good - in fact, how long since you've actually looked forward to a breakfast bar experience in an Italian hotel - anywhere? Front desk extremely helpful - example (1) made a reservation for us at a Michelin rated restaurant which they (restaurant) mismanaged. Aqua Palace front desk rang the restaurant to resolve it, checked next morning that reservation still confirmed, made a point of contacting us to re-confirm. All as you would expect from front desk of a 5-star hotel with tons of resources. These guys are good, very very good. We will stay there always when we're in Venice and have emailed other travelling buddies to do the same. It's a gem.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank gianbernini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
26 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2010

Arrived early around 10am in the hotel and it was an easy 5 minutes walk to the hotel from the water bus stop at Rialto Bridge. Even with our luggages, it was alright to get to the hotel, though it was tricky since we had to cross a bridge a narrow and quiet alleyway. Might take a while for some people to find the hotel but they have a dock for people who takes the water taxi. The hotel lobby is very nicely decorated in the Venetian style and since our room wasn't ready, the receptionist provided us with ideas to spend the morning. He arranged a private pick-up for a demonstration of glass making at the island of Murano.

Hotel room is very spacious and as I am travelling with my parents, we had an extra sofa bed. Room faces a small side canal which was quiet even in the afternoon, ensuring privacy yet allowing one the sights of the canal of Venice. Bathroom was also spacious, and they had toiletries in a nice handy bag for guests. Being a small boutique hotel, it was quiet and every floor has a seating area outside the room with a small balcony providing canal views. One good reason to choose this hotel would be for its small quiet feel and the beautiful furnishings of the room. Being relatively new, the rooms are also very clean, fresh, and fitted with modern conveniences like LCD TVs.

Breakfast was served at a small eatery behind the lobby and was limited in choice due to the small space. The food quality, though was great, and really satisfying. Walking to the St. Mark's Square or Rialto Bridge is easy from the hotel once you get the hang of it, and there are lots of shops along the way to keep one occupied during the short walk! One of the largest grocery store in Venice is also located close to the hotel which is convenient for guests planning for a longer stay!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank althaus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hook, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 24, 2010

We have just spent 2 nights at the Aqua Palace as part of a celebration trip. The hotel was everything we could have hoped for, from the moment we arrived. On checking in we were offered the chance to view a couple of rooms before choosing which one we had. (We chose 204 as it has dual aspect & overlooked the canal). Every time we asked any questions either at the desk or breakfast, the staff were extremely helpful and helped us to maximise our time in Venice.

The room was very spacious and clean, the breakfast buffet was full of variety & plentiful and the whole hotel was immaculate.

It was a special holiday for us & this hotel certainly helped us feel very special!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank dubbie72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth
Level Contributor
54 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2010

My husband surprised me with a six day trip to Venice for my 50th birthday. The whole experience was amzing. The hotel is situated haf way between St Mark's Square and the Rialto Bridge ... just a five minute walk to each. The hotel has only been open for a few months and is in immaculate condition. The managing director and staff couldn't have been more helpful, from helping us to find good restaurants nearby, organising a free boat trip to Murano and organising water taxis to and from the airport. I would definitely recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AFCBcherries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
63 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2010

Aqua Palace Hotel is beautifully tucked away in a quieter quarter of San Marco, and yet within a few blocks of both Saint Mark's Square and Rialto. In fact it is easy to get to just about anywhere from this location.

Having stayed in hotels all over Europe we are accustomed to small rooms in hotels, but the junior suite we took here was both stunningly decorated and huge.

The staff, and in particular those at reception, couldn't do enough to help. We were given great recommendations for restaurants.

Venice is not a cheap place to stay, but Aqua Palace is good value for money.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nt80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aqua Palace Hotel

Property: Aqua Palace Hotel
Address: Calle de la Malvasia 5492/a, 30122 Venice, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Veneto > Province of Venice > City of Venice > Venice > Castello
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #42 of 385 Hotels in Venice
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Aqua Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the Castello quarter, the atmosphere of ancient Venice awaits you at the luxurious 4 star Aqua Palace Hotel, a hotel that symbolizes the new Venetian hospitality for those in search of charm, seduction and comfort, in a perfect balance between traditional and modern. With a contemporary touch, the finely furnished rooms and suites interpret the distant past of Marco Polo's Venice, suspended between the west and the east, with soft lighting, fine curtains and special materials. Scalfarotto Palace is home to the passionate work of the Caputo Family, hoteliers for two generations, at your service and ready to give you the perfect welcome to Venice's historic center, where "Aqua" means life, history and culture. ... more   less 
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