My wife and I stayed for a week in late September-early October. All the really good things the other contributors have said are true. This is a great hotel in a great location. It has terrific charm and its decor fits perfectly with the notions of almost indulgent opulence that are associated with this historic city. The collections of artefacts on display around the hotel are fascinating and add to the special atmosphere. This is certainly not the place to come if your preference is for the minimalist modern boutique hotel! But there are plenty of those places around nowadays; the Metropole, though, is a one-off.
The Riva degli Schiavoni, upon which the hotel stands, is often very busy with day visitors. As soon as you pass through the hotel doors, however, it feels like walking into a oasis of calm and order. This impression is largely given by the hotel staff who seem to have effortless control over all the functions of the hotel. No one needs to run or shout here. The service we received was very efficient and immediate. For example, there was no waiting for the receptionist to finish with another guest. If we wanted attention when this was happening someone else appeared. At the same time the staff were not so proud of their establishement that they had the sort of imposing presence that stifles the atmosphere of many grand hotels. Instead, it felt like they were in the background allowing us to enjoy the freedom of the place. I suppose this is the essence of what luxury hotels like the Metropole aim for in terms of service but don't always manage to deliver.
We had a suite on the third floor overlooking the Bacino St Marco. Of course the view is amazing and you clearly pay a premium for this. The suite is decorated in middle eastern style with luxury Fortuny furnishings and light fittings. There is a turkish bath (surely unique?) from which you can watch TV or listen to music. The bed is large and comfortable, as was a sitting area. The bathroom was scrupulously clean and beautifully tiled. It has a walk-in shower with seating and it doubles as a sauna. Everything in this place is set up for relaxation and we took the opportunity fully!
The breakfast was a highlight, served in the courtyard or an adjacent room. The breakfast staff were particularly charming. So often hotel breakfasts are functional affairs served with little care and attention. At the Metropole, the opposite is true. We also enjoyed the hotel bar, where we sometimes dined. It is as wonderfully eclectic as the rest of the hotel. The bar manager Bruno is friendly and chatty and the menu is good. I have one criticism (about the only thing that I found to criticise about the hotel), and that is the music in the bar can feel too moody and overbearing. I think this maybe results from trying to be just a bit too cool. Something a little more upbeat and uplifting would create a far better atmosphere.
Not about the hotel but a Venice tip: the shops in Murano all sell awful tourist rubbish. You ask yourself 'is this really the world famous Murano glass?' The answer is no. They keep the stuff that they made their name with in private showrooms upstairs or around the back. Amazing stuff in fact. If you are interested in the real Murano glass, go to a good maker and ask to see the showroom that is not open to the public. And make sure you look like you might spend a lot of money.
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- Also Known As:
- Metropole Hotel Venice