a JW Marriott in another location ( private island) we are torn on where to book since we've never been. We are traveling with another couple who has also never been to Venice . We plan on throughly enjoying this location since it's a lifetime bucket list for both couples. We would love anyone's opinion on location , & experience in either hotel.a
I haven't stayed at the JW off the mainland of Venice, but have stayed at Marriott Boscolo on several occasions, most recently this past November. The JW is, I'm quite sure, the height of luxury, but you don't have as easy an access to the heart of Venice as you would at the Boscolo. http://www.boscolohotels.com If you're Marriott Platinum members, you'll likely get room upgrade and, for sure, free breakfast.
The Boscolo rooms are spacious, and the buffet breakfast is quite nice. It's not in the heart of Venice, and some 10-15 minute from train station on foot, and over 4-5 bridges. You can take a water taxi (public transportation) out front of train station to Porto Madonna del Orto, and then walk five minutes to Marriott, or if you're arriving in Marco Polo Airport, check on public transport (boat) - look for ACTV signs - for some 26 Euros from the airport to same, first boat stop. The least expensive transportation from the airport is to take a bus (approximately 6 Euros) from airport to the Bus/Car Park (Piazalle Roma). You can also take private taxi from train station and/or airport at much higher price. You can book these at desk to the left of arrivals at the airport.
If you're arriving in Venice by auto, you'll have to park at the Bus/Car Park (near train station), and use transport (as listed above) to the Marriott.
Another good feature of the Boscolo is they provide free water-boat transport out behind hotel to/from Piazza San Marco, the most popular place on the island, where you can see sights as below and visit throughout San Marco, such as the Palazzo Ducale - http://www.palazzoducale.visitmuve.it and the Basilica di San Marco (St. Mark of the Bible, Venice's patron saint), for whom the Piazza is named. Don't be surprised to have to wait in line to enter the Basilica.
Don't visit only San Marco; rather, wander around in the other areas (San Polo, San Rocco, Canareggio, etc.). Take time to visit the churches, where you'll find some of the finest art in the world, especially the Museo Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista on San Roco, and the Scuola Grande S. Roco, nearby (below), to see Tintoretto's masterpiece.
Another great museum is the Gallerie de l' Accademia, where you'll find the some of the richest paintings from the 14th century to the Renaissance. It's just across the canal from San Marco, and you can either walk back to San Marco over the Ponte de l' Accademia, or take a gondola ride for one Euros, probably the cheapest gondola ride in Venice, but not very romantic.
Bring comfortable walking shoes, as this is the best way to see Venice. Navigation throughout the city is a bit testy, but you'll get the hang of it. Here's a secret: look for the yellow signs posted on corner of the buildings. When headed to San Marco, look for the sign and keep following. If heading back to train station, look for "Ferrovia". The photo below is from Vaporetta (water taxi) en route to "Ferrovia".
This is the scene on Grand Canal showing train station in background, and the Vaporetta (Actv - Ferrovia)
Here's an important tip: You're not permitted to use the WC (toilets) in a restaurant or shop unless you purchase something. Therefore, it's helpful to know where these public toilets are located. There's one near the Rialto Bridge, and another just outside the Piazza San Marco. Make sure you have some Euros coins with you - if I remember, it cost 1 Euros to enter, but there will probably be a "chamber maid" present.
My favorite lunch/dinner spot in Venice is the Poste Vecie Restaurant, near the Rialto Bridge and fish market on San Marco (closed on Tuesday) (see photo & website below). There are also good restaurants near the Boscolo and the front desk can advise you and make reservations for you, if you'd like. If you'd like a romantic dinner cruise on old, galleon (ship) search here: http://www.galeoneveneziano.it
If you need any other assistance regarding Venice, let me know, and I'm sure there are many others who could offer help based upon their experiences in this "wonderland".
The map below will give you a general idea of layout of Venice. You can see train station on the left, Rialto Bridge in center of map, and Piazza San Marco (yellow) on the bottom right side. You can't see the Boscolo, but it would be at the top left of the map. You can maps like this at the train station or at the Boscolo.
You might find other helpful information here, especially if you want to pre-purchase some combination tickets (Venice Unica City Pass):
One other suggestion that has been help to me. If I'm leaving from Marco Polo Airport after visiting Venice, I book a room at the Marriott Courtyard, five minutes from the airport. They provide a free shuttle to/from the airport, and you can eat dinner there night before you leave.
Here's some additional information about Venice and a couple of nearby towns in website I created several years ago:
You'll likely be saving money on hotel costs - more to spend in Venice.
Some folks like to stay in nearby Mestre at hotel just across from the train station and take train in/out of Venice; this is also more cost effective, but you miss some of the charm of staying in Venice.
Yeah, price was basically what I was looking at when I booked. But, when I realized I was on another island that I have to take a boat too I was worried that it's going to end up costing me more. But, it looks like it's only 7.5Euro/adult each way. Not sure if there is a discount for kids.
I've stayed at that hotel using points. It's a great hotel with a wonderful CL if you have the status. Excellent food and free drinks of all sorts (beer, wine, hard liquor, appertifs, water, soda, juice, etc) in the CL.
My stay included free breakfast in the dining room which was also good.... along with some Prosecco and OJ to start the day! ;-)
I was upgraded to a suite and received 2 full-size bottles of very good Bellinis (my stay was under 2 different reservations so I guess I received 2 welcome gifts!).
The hotel has a free shuttle boat that leaves hourly (I believe) and goes to a number of stops. The pay-for-ride vaporetto stops are a short walk away on either side of the hotel. You may want to consider a multi-day travel ticket:
Have a great trip!
We've stayed at http://www.locandaorseolo.com/ which is a family owned beautiful hotel about a three minute walk to Piazzia San Marco, a few minutes farther to the Bridge Rialto and highly recommend. Cannot beat the location nor the personality and charm of the hotel. Both of our visits we found it very comfortable, clean, good sized rooms and a tasty fresh breakfast to start the day. Not sure of the rates, but you'll save on ACTV fares or other water transportation fares no mater how small. The convenience of being in the city is so much better I'd think.
Do make your way over to Lido and Murano as well.
You have been given a gold mine of information here.
Neither hotel property is near the heart of everything in Venice, but I think that's sort of the beauty of it. I don't think you can go wrong with either hotel. Both have amazing amenities. Boscolo has a lovely private garden and it's own water taxi if you don't want to walk to St. Marks Square, and to/from the airport, you won't have to schlepp luggage over canal bridges from the vaporetto stop at Madonna del Orto. If you stay at the JW, since the vaporetto doesn't service that island, you'll have to take their (JW's) shuttle service to/from Venice, which runs regularly between 9am and 1am. So you can't just get up early and wander the canals of Venice (my favorite time of day to enjoy Venice) from JW. On the other hand, you'll be forced to take to their water shuttle everyday, and the view will likely be spectacular. I don't know how one gets from VCE to the JW, perhaps the vaporetto from the airport to St. Marks and then catch the hotel shuttle across from there.
So it just depends on what kind of experience you are looking for. The new JW is on my wish list.
Have a wonderful time!