I've just returned from a very, very hot time in Venice, but thought I'd report on the Boscolo. I had a very nice time there, but the hotel is not worth the 500 euros a night they were charging as of the time of my trip (I used points so it was fine). So here are the pros and cons.
I stayed free
The hotel itself is gorgeous, a former palace for diplomats (see somewhat blurred lobby photo)
The front desk staff is spectacular -- incredibly friendly and helpful, and able to let me into my room when I arrived fairly early - I cannot say enough about them
The gardens behind the hotel are some of the largest in Venice and adjoin Santa Maria della Madonna
Depending on your room, you will either have a lagoon view (I imagine far preferable) to a small canal view
No one asked me to pay more for a room upgrade like in Paris
They set up a special room for the Euro soccer finals between Italy and Spain, which oddly enough was filled with Americans, with staff occasionally stopping in
Wifi worked fine
Breakfast (35euros) would've been entirely free every day of my stay had I woken up before ten but I didn't. Tripadvisor people who've had it say it's superb. The staff explained there was so concierge lounge as such because of the historical nature of the building, but said of course as a result my breakfast in the restaurant would be free (listening in the US, anyone?
The bathroom (see photo) was stunning (almost bigger than the bedroom) except it was hot (see below)
There is a wonderful hotel boat (like a water limo) that goes several times a day to San Marco and back - it's worth it just for the fun of it
There might be some rooms worth 500 euros a night (though no hotel room would ever be worth that to me) but mine was not one of them.
The picture below of the bed is the whole bedroom, and while there is a step down to a desk and armoire area before the bathroom, it was a very small bedroom indeed.
There were no drawers anywhere. Plenty of hangers in the armoire, but I had to stuff all my non-dresses in a pile on the shelf inside
The A/C was very poor, not good during a heat wave. It was set at and kept at highest cool the whole time I was there but it was not very cool, and I had to keep the bathroom door shut to help as much as possible. This seems to be a pattern, though not for every room. I noticed on tripadvisor lots of people complaining about the A/C. I asked people at the hotel, and while some said their room was fine, others said fans had been brought in and others echoed my experience.
I ate my first meal at the restaurant and it was good enough, but not great and while the female server I had was super nice the lunch maitre d' not so much so
On the whole. I think I'd go back to the Metropole as I did last year (for about $200 a night), but you can't beat free. Here are some photos.
Thank you for the great review, as always. Like you said, free is hard to beat, but it really matters a lot if you're paying. The room does look small, but nice, as you said. The bathroom does almost give me a headache, but then if you're spending much time in there, your trip probably isn't going that well anyway . Still, it does look like a nice place to stay. So, would you choose that hotel again, or the Metropole, if they were both on points, and what category are the 2 for comparison of points?
Thanks for the comments - and yes, that was the bidet next to the toilet. I found the bathroom very beautiful (maybe it doesn't come across so much in the picture, but it felt soothing (except for the heat). I made the mistake of opening that little window hoping for a breeze and all it did was let in some black flies or other bugs that left a continuing presence on my arms and legs.
For the AC alone I would take the Metropole. I booked it on expedia last year, although I see its prices are up this year to only a little less than the Boscolo. My room there was also much bigger, with a king bed, so I'd go with that if both were free. And in both cases the staff were fabulous. Both hotels are 5 star.
Happy second Fourth of July weekend!
Welcome back, and I hope you had a good time.
I had the same climate control problem recently at my stay at Ren La Def, while the A/C worked great at MVCI Paris Disney, Venice Courtyard, and the Grand Flora. In times past, the A/C was a problem in warm/humid weather at the Rive Gauche, but not a problem at Champs-Elysees. We had some minor issues with the A/C remote at a non-Marriott in Florence, and during the course of the resolution process, I was left with the impression by our host (who was very kind) that Americans seem to have a reputation for having a love affair with air conditioning.
I've just decided I'm not going over there during the summer months. I've also decided that I need to go back one more time (Venice), and am saving some points for the Boscolo. I sure would like to know how you are able to obtain the Metropole for 200€, as I have not been that lucky. The furnished apartment that we stayed in was honestly really amazing, as was the price. I had some trepidation prior to our stay, but was really gratified once we checked in and got settled. I too think that the tile in your bathroom looks pretty wild! As far as the boat, did you get to be in the open air or did you have to be in the cabin? I would have wanted to have the wind blowing in my face for some cooling off. The alilaguna boats, while a fun way to get to the island, are enclosed (and much slower than the private water taxis), so there's no free-as-a-bird-wind-in-your-face thing going on there.
When you have time, let us know about your visit. Always interesting to hear your travel stories.
It is better to go in fall or spring if you can to Italy, Greece (but never earlier or later there because there's nothing to do in winter), and the Middle East because of climate, though the latter has sandstorms (totally unpredictable).
Actually I got the Metropole about this time last year for less than $200 not euros, through expedia. It's often useful to have a cancellable hotel and then look at the last minute (unless you feel tied to any kind of rewards, which I no longer do) and you will often find quite cheap rates. I think I paid a total of about $600 for the Metropole for four nights, so about $150 a night -- again significantly less than they're quoting now. It really does depend on when you're going.
The hotel water limo was enclosed though a few people could sit with the captain and it holds 12. Actually, last week was SO hot and humid (dew points way above 70, never before for me in Venice) that the vaporetti and other water transport helped not at all. The only really good one was the 8 vaporetto from Murano (which stopped first at San Zaccaria), and thus sped through the lagoon. There I was out on the deck and there were hardly any people to make it hotter.
PS - If you love Murano jewelry or glass, the island of Murano should be your LAST stop. Look around San Marco, inland from the Rialto, etc. first, and also inland in San Polo and Santa Croce. The prices are usually cheaper and nowadays, sadly, the assortment greater. Also, though they may have it under control, many Murano glass-sellers told me that they have had serious problems (they told me last year as well, and there are signs in the doors that say
"No Chinese glass here") with Chinese replicas. You'd think a relatively small island like Murano would not have a problem but it does, and it's trying to police itself. Still, the same objects are often cheaper EVEN around San Marco.
PS - I bought a lot of jewelry.
That's a huge pro, ProfC. I noticed that too on my recon excursion to the property on my way back from the airport one morning. While our apartment was wonderful, we had to schlep our luggage over the Rialto bridge to the other side of the canal from the alilaguna stop. We ended up paying a porter 30 euro upon arrival (we had A LOT of luggage, plus the babies and strollers - no matter that I had previously told both of my girls over and over to pack light for Venice, but noooo, they both showed up with huge, heavy pieces of luggage) and were so grateful to pay every penny of it, we asked him if he could return to our apartment on our departure day for a repeat, and he returned right on schedule. So while that was an extra 60 euro we hadn't budgeted, we were glad that we could hire him.
So glad to help! AC shouldn't be an issue in September. But try to get a larger room than I had and a lagoon view (which would also provide much heat relief if it gets hot). While the staff was great about everything else, there was no question of a room upgrade (it said on their homesite that all 'deluxe rooms' were sold out). At least I got a full rather than a twin bed, but that's still less than I'm used to.
It depends what you're taking. If you're talking about a camera, computers, or other electronics, curling irons, battery chargers, etc., most are dual voltage and all you need is an adapter to fit into the circular holes. It should say right on your plug whether it is dual or not. I can't remember the last time I had to take a converter. But make sure to have a couple of adapters. If you have something that doesn't say 110/240 on it then it probably will require both a converter and an adapter.
Hope this helps!
I would piggyback on what the Prof said with one thing... I don't believe electronic hair appliances are dual voltage (unless you specifically buy one), and would use a converter as well as proceed with caution, putting it on the lowest setting and testing it on a small amount of hair in an inconspicuous location. My mom literally melted her hair with a curling iron this summer at a Marriott in Paris. Her hair was crispened black and melted around her curling iron rod. We went out and bought a european curling iron and flat iron as a result.
Did you buy it from a common retailer? (like Target, for instance?) And if so, did you have to search the brands and models for one that specifically said dual voltage?
(And yes, poor Mom. It was her bangs, and she already laments how little hair she has! She's an unbelievably good sport and good natured, which makes her an excellent travel companion.)
I bought it at CVS and it said on the unopenable plastic container it came in that it was dual voltage. I definitely didn't look out of my way but when I saw that I bought it so my older one may not be. Still it's fairly old since it's traveled everywhere with me. I figure if CVS has it most other drugstores and places like Target and Walmart would. Next time I go near my suitcase I'll see if I can find a brand. (I can't stress Leelee by doing that too soon after a trip, especially since it's Paris next month ).
My wife and I arrived in Venice, Nov. 10, in worse flooding there in some 200 years, according to local news. We took a Vaporetta (water taxi) from airport to dock near Boscolo and walked several blocks only to realize that the canal in front had spilled over onto the walkway and into hotel lobby. We waded through it all, received numerous apologies from front desk and also a room upgrade for the trouble, and since have had much fun telling others about it all. Ate at our favorite restaurant in Venice - Poste Vechi - but also enjoyed breakfast buffet at Boscoli next morning.