Before I get into the details of the Hotel Canal Grande (which was great, by the way!), I thought it would be useful to mention some factors that make Venice unique and require special consideration when choosing your hotel. Venice is, as you no doubt know, built on multiple islands, so once you cross the causeway into Venice on your car, bus or train, your options to get to your hotel are limited to (1) walking, (2) Vaporetto (public boat transit) or (3) water taxi. Options 1 & 2 require schlepping your bags on crowded streets and boats and often include going over arched bridges with multiple steps to reach your destination. Option 3 will get you right at or close to your hotel but they are extremely expensive – we’re talking 80 euros plus baggage fees. The obvious solution to this dilemma is to pack light. Wheeling one reasonable size bag along with a handbag is certainly doable, but if you, like us, have more bags, then factor Venice’s unique problems into your hotel selection.
We were going on a cruise out of Venice and decided to arrive a few days early to visit the city. Thus we had to pack for a cruise vacation and about 15 days- worth of clothes, so the “pack light” recommendation was not feasible. When looking for a hotel, I narrowed my search to an area near the Piazzale Roma, which is the arrival square for public transportation and near the people mover that takes passengers out to the cruise ship area. I reasoned that a hotel in this area would enable us to walk to our hotel and then back to the people mover when we started our cruise. I did realize the challenge of toting bags, so I limited my choices to hotels that were well reviewed by Trip Advisor and within a 15 minute walk of the Piazzale Roma.
Hotel Canal Grande immediate caught my attention and seemed to meet all my requirements, so we booked there, opting for a canal-side room. Communication and reservations with the hotel were prompt and easy and I had a good feeling about the hotel even before arriving. Navigating the narrow streets and alleys of Venice is a challenge, but with the help of Google Maps, I plotted my walking course in advance for the estimated 12 – 15 minute walk.
We arrived at the Piazzale Roma by airport bus as scheduled, but worn out by the rigors of the overnight flight, subsequent connecting flight and the bus transfer to the city. Unfortunately, our challenges were not over at this point. The hotel was, in fact, only a 10 -15 minute walk, but that assumes that you are just walking there. We had 2 airplane-max weight bags (50#) that we could hook together, a 25# roll-aboard suitcase and two hand bags. Negotiating level ground with this combination was not a problem, but once we go to our first bridge, the challenges started. I did know that there were bridges between the Piazalle and the hotel, but for some reason, I assumed they would be level or at the least have some sort of smooth pavement for handicap persons. Well, we all know what “assume” stands for! The bridges were arched with only steps. So getting all our bags over the bridges required multiple trips carrying the bags rather than pulling them. Multiply this by 4, throw in the crowds on the bridges plus the unseasonable hot weather in Venice (90 degrees +), and by the time we got to the Hotel Canal Grande, we were “all give out” as we say here in North Carolina. My faithful traveling partner and good sport, Barbara, was ready to divorce me at this point, had we been married!
Once we entered the hotel, however, all was well. We were ushered into a lounge and given cool drinks while we waited for the receptionist to finish assisting other guests. The hotel is located right on the Grand Canal, next to a scenic plaza and blends in perfectly with the historic Venice buildings. Once inside, however, it is all modern. Marble floors, attractive furnishings and tasteful décor greeted us, along with the much needed air conditioning. Mercifully, our room was ready on arrival, and it was a beautiful one. We stayed in the Doge room on the third flow, which was a corner room with views of the Grand Canal out of the side and front windows. The room was light and airy and decorated in a Venician style. I was bit concerned about noise coming from the activity on the Grand Canal, but the room had modern, double pane windows that shut out the noise just about completely. Room costs included unlimited WiFi (not common in Venice), and a very nice breakfast buffet. Perhaps the best feature of all, however, was the cheerfulness and helpfulness of all staff members we came in contact with.
I always try to point out negatives in a hotel since few are perfect, but I really had to think to come up with something along these lines for the Hotel Canal Grande. About the only thing I could come up with was that the air conditioning had some problem keeping up with the record Venice heat in our third floor room that got lots of sun, but closing the drapes in the morning when we left kept the room in the comfortable range.
The Hotel Canal Grande sported a “Trip Advisor” award plaque on its check in counter and it is richly deserved. You can eliminate the bags problem by packing lighter or taking a water taxi which will take you right up to the hotel front door. Yes, the water taxi will cost you a bunch, but the Hotel Canal Grande is worth it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Canal Grande is a charming boutique hotel located in Ca' Polacco, an elegant little palace which has just been restored. The furniture of the hotel is characterised by the elegance of Rococo style, typical of 18th century Venice. The lobby with its rose marble fireplace, the breakfast room with its golden mirrors, and the bar with its Venetian red velvet armchairs overlook the Grand Canal and are the best places where to begin and end a day! The small terrace on the Grand Canal gives our Guests the possibility to have a drink in a special setting and to "breathe the air of the canal"!! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Agoda, TripOnline SA and HotelQuickly so you can book your Hotel Canal Grande reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.