If you’re thinking about traveling to Venice, you’ll be happy to hear that you’ll have plenty — and I do mean plenty — of choices. Whether you choose a worldwide branded hotel, a smaller independent hotel, a B&B, or a vacation rental, the abundance of options can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it. For me, the vast array of choices meant that I would research each one until I the perfect option. Since we know that doesn’t exist, I ran myself ragged until I finally decided to stop trying to overthink my hotel decision. Since I had also waited until about three months before the trip to look for a hotel, I quickly learned that I had further limited my choices as many hotels were already booked solid. What would’ve been acceptable for any other trip probably wasn’t the best for Venice because a) August is high season and b) other travelers had chosen all my first choices. Damn you organized people! Damn you procrastination!
TSG Tip: If you were skimming the first paragraph, you might’ve missed my saying to research and book your Venice hotel far in advance. No skimming allowed here!
I have to admit that I think I made a pretty good hotel choice with Hotel Arlecchino. With only one bridge to cross from Piazzale Roma after taking the ATVO bus from the airport, the hotel’s location is absolutely perfect. Located in the sestiere (district) of Santa Croce and only minutes away on foot from Piazzale Roma as well as the cruise port (Marittima cruise terminal), Hotel Arlecchino is a great choice for anyone looking for a hotel, but especially first timers to Venice like myself.
After the one bridge you’ll need to cross to get to the hotel, turn right and walk down the steps with the hotel on your left. Walk all the way to the end of the building and before you arrive at the next hotel, the Best Western Olimpia, sister hotel to Hotel Arlecchino, make a sharp left. The entrance has an awning with “Hotel” written on it and a small lobby, but it is the hotel – I promise. We had arrived for check in much earlier than I expected and I fully anticipated having to store our bags and wander the streets of Venice until check in time. Marco at the front desk greeted us warmly and then made my day by allowing us to check in. Islam, the bellman, then assisted us with our bags to the second floor. Islam was like the Energizer bunny and I learned that he not only worked as the bellman, but also handled breakfast the next morning AND he also worked next door at the Best Western Olimpia.
TSG Tip: For Americans traveling abroad, the second floor in the US is the floor above the ground floor, but abroad the second floor is actually the third floor. You might want to make note of this to avoid getting lost in your hotel.
Venice is one of those destinations that requires a hotel with a view. You would never want to stay in a hotel facing a brick wall or one that was so far removed from the canals, such as a hotel near the airport, to miss out on all that Venice has to offer. I know that there are people who choose to stay in Mestre, which is about 15 minutes from the airport and 12 minutes by car to Piazzale Roma. But the price difference is so small I can’t justify the trek back and forth for a few dollars, can you?
Besides money, maybe I’m crazy, but when I dreamed of Venice, I dreamt of a ride in a gondola, walking along the canals, and dinner outside alongside the canals. Never once did I dream of a bus or train ride in and out of Venice so this hotel and its location suited me perfectly. Not only was it close to everything, but right near the hotel I could find somewhere to eat easily, shop, and of course, grab a gelato or a cookie if I wanted. Scroll through the photos above and tell me if I should’ve chosen a bus ride over walking along the canals.
Room 702 at Hotel Arlecchino is a Classic Double Room with a queen size bed and measures approximately 129 square feet. All of the rooms have air conditioning, satellite TV, and best of all, free WiFi. In addition, you’ll find an in-room safe (go to the front desk to pay a deposit to get the key for the safe), and other amenities one might expect in a hotel room such as a hairdryer, toilet, bathroom, telephone, and minibar. For a little more money, I highly encourage you to opt for a room with Canal View as the views are well worth it. Other room size options include triple, quadruple, or single rooms. Our room rate also included breakfast the next morning which was served on floor one of the hotel. The breakfast spread included pastries, meats and cheeses, juice, coffee/tea, cereal, yogurt and more. Breakfast is served on the weekends from 7 am until 10 am and when we showed up around 9 am, all of the tables were taken so we had to wait for people to clear out. But then we were able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view so you really can’t complain, can you?
Everyone has a different threshold of what they consider acceptable when traveling. When traveling abroad I prefer to stay in non-branded hotels and quite often I choose to utilize an option like AirBnb. Maybe you’d prefer a luxury hotel instead. Believe me, so would I, but I can’t always stay at the Ritz Carlton. In fact, the personalized attention I received here was far superior to what I anticipated and while the mirrored cabinets and traditional decor might be a turn off for some, I found it charming. The room and area were quiet, I never heard other guests in their rooms nor did I hear sounds coming from outside unless I had the windows open. The bed was comfortable and there were extra pillows and blankets inside the mirrored cabinet. The room key is what operates the lights and TV inside the room and isn’t like any other room key I’ve seen before. When considering I wasn’t going to spend all of my time in the room, the hotel was more than adequate and this is coming from someone who has stayed in both hostels (like the hostel with the vomiting cat in Belgium) to five star luxury properties. Clearly Venice had a hold on me already because I could’ve been propped up in a tent on the Grand Canal and I would’ve been ecstatic.
I’m not telling a lie when I say that the very first thing I did in the room was open the windows, throw open the shutters, and lean out to take in the view. Our room had a view on one side of the side canal as well as another window with a view of the larger canal, including a spectacular view of Tre Ponti (Three Bridges). It was only the next morning that I noticed I could see straight from my room to Piazzale Roma and the entrance for the PeopleMover to the port. No matter where I turned, I saw the most idyllic views and that continued throughout my stay in Venice. I reluctantly began to pack up my belongings to venture off for my cruise, but all the while knowing that I would be back in Venice and hopefully in the future for a much longer stay. We were able to store our bags in the lobby under the watchful eye of the front desk clerk after checking out, which allowed us more time to wander and explore Venice.
One of the best parts of my stay was that I had prepaid for my room, which meant less out of pocket during my trip. I only needed to pay my € 3 city tax per person per night at the front desk when I returned the safe key and received my deposit back. I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the Hotel Arlecchino or recommend it to anyone on a future trip to Venice even with all of the choices visitors have to this amazing city.