I never thought I'd write such words (and would never say them out loud), but I find not only with my dissatisfaction with Marriott leading me to other hotels, but also in general I have developed into a "won't take no guff" personality. I had reservations at my beloved Pesaro Palace which gave me such spectacular views and a huge Grand Canal room last time starting this Wednesday for 5 nights. I wrote a note to them in Italian (once again complimenting them) asking for a canal view room again. Since this time I booked a higher-priced junior suite, I didn't think it would be a problem. It was. They informed me that they could not give me a canal view because 'those rooms were taken.' Since I made my reservation with free cancellation on booking.com, I promptly cancelled it. I will now be staying at the Hotel Ai Reali near the Rialto bridge (same price, junior suite, with canal views and an excellent reputation on tripadvisor).
Ottima! I am glad that it worked out for you in the end. Venice is such a great place to visit and what a bonus to be able to get a room on the Grand Canal. Your experience provides a good lesson for all us when booking lodging. Maybe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
Assolutamente! I've also noticed in the months since I was there, Pesaro's ranking in tripadvisor has gone down, and some people complained of the junior suites that looked over 'the beautiful back garden' (that many said was a small plot of land near the kitchen). What was amazing about it then were my three windows looking out on the Grand Canal and my room. I had to spend most of the morning finding a new hotel that I could afford and happened upon the Ai Reali, which apparently is relatively new. But only a few fair reviews and no bads or terribles, with the vast majority being excellent. Venice is such an amazing city that maybe it's for the best -- I've found where I stay in the city makes all of the difference on how much more I come to love it, which is different from most other places I visit. So this will be a new place for me, and the first time in Castello despite about 9-10 trips to the city.
I will certainly report back. But I'm getting rather proud of the fact that even though I am extremely polite, I'm not willing to take bad service, an unpromising room, etc.
I'm interested to hear your reviews. Been to Venice twice and 8 hrs is about my limit. It just seems so touristy, over priced and, compared to all the wonderful places in Italy, it has great visual appeal but little else. Surprisingly, the best meal I have had to date in Venice, was actually at the very nice restaurant at the Courtyard near the airport.
Venice has actually become my favorite city in the world, though I hated it the first time I was there. Yes, it's touristy, depending on season of the year, but it's also easy to get away from the crowds on Murano, Burano, Torcello, Guidecca, etc. and the museums and churches are amazing. Next time you go I can suggest some amazimg restaurants to you, most of which I found by mistake (off the beaten past). The one thing not to do is eat along the string of hotels near San Zaccaria, except maybe the Londra Palace. My all-time favorite is L'Oliva Nera, along with al Fontego dei Pescatori.
Yeah, have only scratched the surface the two times we were there. If we end up going back I will definitely reach out for advice. We are going to Italy next April but just Rome. We are on this 'stay a week' kick, so we can really dig in to a location. It also makes for a far more relaxing vacation, when you aren't rushing to get everything in over a 3-4 day stop.
That is really the way to do it. While I have taken some in city and excursion tours, I have always tried to stay long enough in one place to get to know it. I lived in France for years, mostly Paris, so probably won't go back much since my research is more Italy/Greece oriented now. If I've counted right, this will be my 10th trip to Venice and it went from (as I mentioned) hatred the first time to absolute bliss the last several. I LOVE being around water, so once I found the right places to stay the rest seemed to fall right into place. And the best places to go for lunch if you're wandering around is where you see gondoliers eating. That means it's good and local and not a tourist trap.
And I must take exception to 'just Rome' (just kidding I know what you meant). Rome is my second favorite city in Italy. Ask me more then unless you've been many times before.
psudad, and Professor,
I also agree with both of you! I leave on Saturday afternoons and arrive on Sunday in Europe. Then spend six nights at one location and return on Saturday, as late as I can. Gives me Sundays, on both ends to relax. Like to use my points on rooms in Europe.
Am in London for the week, and you both have me looking forward to the trip in December to Grand Flora in Rome! Already have some great dining booked!
Something so funny happened I had to tell all of you. I wrote the Hotel ai Reali in Venice to confirm my arrival time and date and kind of room, and I IMMEDIATELY got a reply, with directions, thanking me for my upcoming stay and looking forward to welcoming me. But I have saved the best for last -- she signed it, Chiara.
(It actually means Clare or Claire in Italian.)
Indeed it does, Shoeman! I was also very impressed by the nearly immediate reply on a Sunday no less. This brings up a problem that has always concerned me with Marriott. I like to tell a hotel when I will be arriving, confirm what kind of room I have booked and (in Marriott's case if an upgrade is available, etc), but there is no way on Marriott to do that with individual hotels, whereas every independent hotel I've dealt with and a number of chains DO provide this information. The only way is if the hotel contacts you about 5 days before, as Athens Ledra always does, but that's hit or miss.
To me, it's important not only to make sure my reservation didn't get lost in the shuffle, but also to make me human and not a number to the people at the other end. It has almost always worked very well and I usually get the royal treatment on arrival.
Nope - I didn't. But I cancelled immediately after I received their email saying they could only give me their courtyard view, and they apparently were notified very quickly because they cancelled the hold on my credit card. I will always treasure the experience there in January but now I am really looking forward to Ai Reali after reading the reviews on tripadvisor and getting such a quick response when I wrote them.