A Mediterranean Cruise and Four Days in Ireland
US Airways Business Class (Envoy) Philadelphia to Venice
Two Magical Days in Venice
Boscolo Venezia Hotel in Venice
Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam: Introduction, Itinerary, and the Pinnacle Suite
Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam: Katakolon and Athens
Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam: Istanbul, Mitilini, and Kusadasi
Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam: Santorini and Argostoli
Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam: Sailing into Venice
Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam: Cruise Review
Ryanair Economy Class Venice-Treviso to Dublin
Two Days in Dublin
The Aran Islands and Galway, Ireland
Driving the West Coast of County Clare, the Cliffs of Moher, and Bunratty Meadows B&B
Aer Lingus 757 Business Class Shannon to Boston
I normally don’t make it a habit to devote an entire post to a stay at one hotel unless it is truly an exceptional property and/or stay. Our recent stay for two nights at the Boscolo Venezia fits both criteria.
Situated in the quiet Carranegio neighborhood of Venice, about a 15 minute walk from the hustle and bustle of the Rialto area, the Boscolo Venezia is a wonderful escape from the crowds of tourists. The Boscolo is an Autograph Collection Hotel, and is part of the Marriott family of brands.
The front of this property is on one of the outermost canals, and the rear is located on the Laguna. Though it was a bit of a walk to all the major tourist spots, I feel this neighborhood is a better representation of the “real” Venice. A number of restaurants and small grocery spots dot exist every block or so instead of the wall-to-wall boutiques and restaurants that one may find in other parts of Venice.
The property itself was formally the French consulate, and it is simply a stunningly beautiful building. The lobby features a couple huge Murano glass chandeliers, which is fitting since one can see Murano from the pier in the rear of the property. Connected to the lobby is the restaurant, bar, and patio where breakfast is served daily — more on that later.
The highlight of the property is a massive garden that stretches a good 100 yards from the rear of the lobby to a smaller wing of the hotel overlooking the Laguna. Off to the side of the garden are a pair of garden rooms that each feature their own private patios in the middle of a separated rose garden. We were fortunate enough to be assigned both of these rooms when we checked in to the Boscolo after our flights from the States. Though the rooms were not available until about 3pm, they were well worth the wait.
The rooms themselves weren’t overly huge, but they were very nice inside with marble flooring, wood ceilings, and a marble bath with double sinks. Without question, the highlight of these two rooms were the massive patios. Each patio is roughly the same size as the interior space of the room. It is a stone tiled space with a table and four chairs. Directly adjacent to the patios is a grassy area featuring plush lounge chairs that can be used during the day for relaxation and sunning. About twenty yards away is the pier overlooking the Laguna where there was another table and set of chairs for a wonderful little happy hour spot. These rooms simply made our stay, as they provided a wonderful little semi-private oasis where we could relax and adjust ourselves to European time.
Service all around the hotel was prompt and friendly. Ice was brought to the room upon request in a silver champagne bucket without a problem. As Marriott Gold and Platinum guests, we received complimentary breakfast every morning. Breakfast consisted of quite an elaborate spread filled with breads, meats, cheeses, jams, fruits, yogurt, and an incredible selection of pastries. There were at least five different types of fruit juices available along with champagne for those mandatory vacation mimosas. A full menu with eight or so made-to-order warm dishes was also available. I enjoyed the poached eggs one morning, and another egg dish the second morning. My only complaint would be that this restaurant seemed to get quite busy and crowded on the second morning, and the staff seemed to be a bit overwhelmed. It wasn’t really a problem, as we were not in a rush, but some of the service did fall between the cracks that morning.
A great service offered by the Boscolo is a water taxi to St. Mark’s Square. Running four times daily in each direction, you can take a scenic, fifteen minute boat ride directly to St. Mark’s Square in a wooden Venetian water taxi. Space is limited, so you must sign up with the concierge, but we didn’t have a problem getting the boat we wanted. The hotel also offers a free daily shuttle over to Murano, but we did not partake.
All in all, I really enjoyed staying at the Boscolo Venezia. The massive garden provides a wonderful space in Venice to relax away from the crowds. I really enjoyed the quiet Carranegio neighborhood in which it was located. Though a bit on the pricey side, it is readily available with Marriott points, and because of that, I would certainly consider staying here again on a future visit to Venice.
How we booked it…
We originally planned on staying at the Boscolo for only one night, but about a week prior, we changed out flights necessitating an extra night. My uncle used Marriott Points to pay for our second night. The Boscolo is a category 8 hotel, and can be reserved for 40,000 Marriott points. Since this is the only Marriott family hotel in Venice proper (on the actual island), I consider this a very good use of Marriott points if the price is as high as normal (> €300). It would be quite the hassle to stay in the Mestre area on the mainland and have to train or bus to Venice every day, in my opinion.
We booked the first night with cash, as there was a last-minute special available for the property at about €180 per night. This is a pretty good price for a property of that caliber in the very expensive hotel city of Venice.