I returned from Venice last night (29 Jan 07) having stayed two nights at the Carlton Grand Canal Hotel which was perfectly situated for access to the Bus Station/Train Station.
I was a little dubvious about going in January since I heard horrors of flooding etc. We were lucky with the weather which was very sunny but bitterly cold so do take a hat/gloves/scarf - chic goes out of the window and replaced with thermals!
I found there to be mainly italians in January which surprised me. I don't think I personally would have wanted to visit during the high season due to the number of tourists. It was ample to walk around, St Mark's Square 1/3 full of tourists which was pleasant. I feel in the heat and having to queues for everything in the summer would have taken the shine off the trip. Plus with the amount of walking you will end up doing, you soon warm up.
We caught the blue bus No 52 for 5 euros each which took around 20 mins to get to Piazza Roma - the yellow buses have many stops along the way so don't bother with them. To get to the hotel after arriving at the Bus Station walk straight ahead - walking down some stone steps (to the left of the location map on the wall) and then over two small bridges. The hotel is directly on the Grand Canal on the right hand side.
Check is in usually around 2pm and you will be given a map by the receptionist together with information about breakfast times etc.
The lobby area/bar was very grand on arrival but having paid for a superior room I was a little disappointed. The room (455) was on the fourth floor overlooking the courtyard with views of the venice roof-tops but, the smell from the canal simply filled the room constantly. There were no tea/coffee making facilities but we had plenty of hanging space and an LCD screen tv (not that we used it). Decoration was typically venetian elegance - although you could say it was a little dated but, contemporary wouldn't work here.
On checking out I overheard another Brit complaining about the standard of her superior room and asked to see a "standard room".
Breakfast did offer a good range of rolls, cold meats, cereal, pastries, bacon & scrambled eggs etc which was from 7am - 10.30am.
To obtain a water bus pass you simply walk over the bridge in front of the hotel. I believe 3 day passes cost 25 euros each. However, we bought a 72hr pass allowing you to travel constantly for that duration but we hardly used it. We found walking the streets much more enjoyable and don't worry about getting lost - it adds to the fun.
Walking around at night appeared very safe indeed and I was amazed at the number of women wandering the streets on their own at 11pm.
Do keep away from St Mark's Square when eating. There are many restaurants up side alleys offering a wide selection of fayre. We went to San Trovanso in Dorsoduro. Here we had 1/2 litre of wine, 1 bottle of water, 3 course meal for two of us for £45. But, it does get incredibly busy so turn up prior 8pm. Another area to try is Cannergio - the Jewish Quarter. Al Vaporetto in St Luca is ideal for lunch and inexpensive but, beware, a lot of restaurants do close on a Sunday.
Signage around Venice was reasonable with the major districts i.e St Mark's Square, Rialto, Accademia etc signposted.
Do take very comfortable shoes and a hairdryer if staying at this hotel! The hairdryer provided are those found in public swimming baths so they have no power!
The Doge Palace is worth a look as well as taking the lift to the top of the Clock Tower for views over Venice. We also visited the statue of Madonna at C'dor as well as the Picasso Musuem - all of which can be directed to you from reception who were extremely helpful.
Overall, due to the location of the hotel I would recommend it. It was simply a base for us to explore Venice. Definately not terrible by any means and the rooms on the ground floor overlooking the courtyard appeared to have been decorated recently. Some building works are being carried out at the moment so you will hear the odd banging during the day but, you should be out in Venice anyway! This is a hotel for you if you are seeking a good location for exploration.
Hope some of this helpful if a little long-winded!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Elegant and welcoming, the Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal has been run with passion for approximately 30 years by a Venetian family which loves to pay its guests attention, by providing them with valuable advise on how to capture the city’s true essence.Pastel shades, Venetian stuccoes, glass wall lamps made in Murano, furnishings which, while being functional, recall the glorious Serenissima epoch: these are the elements of the new hall and bar, completely mirrored on marvellous Istria stone. Right at the centre of the hotel is an original glass cupola creating light effects which highlight its sophistication. The recently restored, characteristic internal patio onto which some of the rooms look out and where guests can enjoy breakfast or relax, using it as a peaceful open-air lounge, has a notable impact on guests. The elegant Bar Carlton Café offers you the chance to taste excellent drinks and whet your appetite with unusual snacks both in the internal room and in the open-air, enjoying an unforgettable stay on the Grand Canal.The hotel also offers its guests outstanding opportunities to discover all of Venice’s magic, by organizing personalised itineraries and excursions: boat tours to the lagoon islands, guided tours of the city, romantic itineraries followes by a candle lit dinner and much more. For further information on “special” packages, check out our online booking now or send your request to our booking centre.For conferences and meetings we can provide the “Galileo” room, fitted with update equipment and capable of holding up to 60 people.Some of the services offered to our guests include: free entry to the Casino, free baggage surveillance, baby-sitting, restaurant booking, theatre and concert tickets.Restaurant “La Cupola”Elegant reflections, inviting aromas, brilliant colours and exclusive tastes: these are the defining features of our restaurant “La Cupola”, a jewel of refined style in newly renovated surroundings, boasting harmony in its menu selections inspired both by innovative cuisine, as well as the genuine traditions of the territory.The distinct, welcoming atmosphere and the fine cuisine will envelop you and capture you, transforming your “mealtime” into an exceptional experience.You will be greeted with warmth and courtesy, and given expert advice on your menu selections.The typical and international specialties are served with refined simplicity, elegant and genuine at the same time, accompanied by an exclusive wine list. Our Maitre, Filippo Nocerino, will be at your disposition for any special requests.Perfect for any occassion or simply for a romantic evening, our restaurant “La Cupola” will live up to your expectations and your appetites!TOP OF THE CARLTON SKY LUNGE & RESTAURANTLet “Time Out” steer you upwards to the finest sky lounge in Venice for enjoying cocktails in the clouds and Grand Canal view dining .Stylish evenings begin and end at TOP OF THE CARLTON, the rooftop terrace perched on the 4th floor of the Carlton on the Grand Canal Hotel. Impressive views from this spacious terrace take in both the ancient majesty of the Grand Canal and its noble palaces and the modern Constitution bridge, the newest structure that pierces the motley Venice skyline full of domes, bell towers, arches and spires.Choose from a multitude of cocktails, snacks and light-dining while you sit and enjoy a romantic sunset or experience the gentle lapping of the Grand Canal waters as a gondola passes by.When it’s time to unwind and relax, choose Top of the Carlton.TOP OF THE CARLTON can be exclusively reserved for private events and functions, such as wedding receptions, birthday parties, corporate events – in fact the sky is the limit.Open from mid May to end of September, weather permitting. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Orbitz, Booking.com, Priceline, Cheap Tickets, Agoda, Despegar.com and Jetsetter so you can book your Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Carlton Grand Canal Hotel
- Hotel Carlton Grand Canal
- Canal Hotel Venice