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Reviewed 9 October 2013

My husband and I along with our 3 adult children recently traveled to Italy and The Netherlands. Because I had 7 hotels to book, and although I am extremely detail oriented when booking anything online, checking all reviews, etc. I made a huge error when booking this hotel. To be fair, the hotel is quite beautiful, an old,very charming former Venetian palace. Our room along with our kids room were very nice. They did look as lovely as the photos you see online. However, we were shocked and disappointed to see the bathroom situation with our room. When I booked the room on Bookings.com (whom we were very pleased with), I reserved 2 rooms for 2 nights, with my husband's and my room stating it was a superior room with "private external bathroom". I should have questioned this further, but looking back I felt I saw the amazing ratings, photos of gorgeous rooms and thought that the bathroom must be nothing more than maybe walking out our bedroom door and the bathroom door being right there? What else would one imagine in such a beautiful hotel? BEWARE, we had to go our our door, up 2 flights of stairs and into a supposedly "private bathroom" which once you opened the door you were literally walking on the roof, which they tried to somewhat disguise by white tarps on either side, then you reach the bathroom door. My husband and I immediately went downstairs to see about another room, as this was just ridiculous. The clerk said with a smirk that there were no other available rooms and we certainly could tell that he must dread renting this room as there are obviously many people returning to the desk after realizing the bathroom situation (which they of course deny!) We were stuck with this room. On top of this, when I had to get up to use the bathroom while it was still dark outside, the hallway lights were off and I had to literally hold on to the banister going up and back down....a bit scary and dangerous! On the second evening, I went into our "private bathroom", only to hear something outside the door. I was alarmed and thought that maybe it was the tarp blowing, because I knew my husband was in our room sleeping. When I looked out, it was the clerk going into another door, which I found out is the employee room in which to change and leave their belongings. This scared me to death as I was half naked and felt humiliated and angry. I was shocked and speechless, and was only able to say to him "so much for a private bathroom" A minute later I heard another sound, and it was someone I had never seen and asked him who he was and what was going on. He tried to explain that he was passing my "private bathroom" to get to the employee area. In the end, I went over this with situation upon checking out the next morningwith the manager, Caterina, who had been made aware of my complaint by these 2 employees I had encountered. She tried to wiggle her way out of it by saying I could have locked the first of the 2 doors to get to my bathroom. This was never mentioned during our check-in and she did say that she was sorry that this was overlooked but stood fast that this was still a "private bathroom" and that if the outer door had been locked then the employees would have know to come back later to get to their employee room. I told her that I questioned the employee who checked us in, asking him if this was truly private and he said, "yes of course, as you see only you have this key". Caterina gave me the story which we're sure is repeated to every customer in our shoes, "this is a very old palace and that we had a big, beautiful room which they offer at a reduced rate because the bathroom is external. ( I did not even realize this room was less expensive when I booked it, which in reality ended up being 40 euros less, which is barely anything when you consider the price per room) because we wouldn't care about saving a few euros with all that is spent over the course of the trip. In the end she charged us 40 euros less, big deal! We had to leave and didn't have time to continue arguing about the horrible, deceitful setup of this room. I have taken the time to write this, so others will not make the same mistake, as I follow tripadvisor religiously when booking trips. The lesson I have learned is to carefully first chech out the customers who had a less than happy experience. We travel often and are very easy going people who enjoy staying in higher end hotels, so we are not cheap, but expect professional, fair services to be given by the establishments we book. Tripadvisor has ranked this hotel far too high. This hotel needs to brush up their skills on customer satisfaction. This room should not be sold and should have some other type of function. Will all that happened with this bathroom situation, a fair gesture would have been to have given us a much more fair reduced rate for all of the issues we encountered, but they are well trained to "play the game" to cover themselves. Shame on you. You have a lovely hotel, you just need to learn how to treat your customers in a way that reflect that you're in the hospitality business.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
    • Service
7  Thank wandanava
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2013

The room at Hotel Al Duca was spacious and thats a great feeling after being in crowded spaces. The bed is comfortable, pillows fluffy, and the noise level low. Breakfast in the morning is good and our friends loved being greeted by the fresh brewed cappucinos in the morning. For me the victorian suroundings are just right and fitting for Venice. The staff is kind and helpfull. The walk into the hustle and bustle is quite short (be sure and get directions and a map, as it is easy to get turned around in Venice) Also make sure you get good directions in getting to the hotel ( trust me my muscle strength was tested carrying luggage over three bridges going in the wrong direction) we were given several suggestions for the taxi stop and I don't believe that they worked as well as I would of liked (grumpy group arrival, not fun) be careful in reading the yellow signs and make sure they are giving you correct directives (don't guess at it) ask someone.

Room Tip: We were great with the rooms that were booked on first and second floors.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CheriG7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2013

Spent 4 great nights here, Very comfortable, spacious room on second floor, decor may be a bit much for some but it fit the Venetian feel beautifully. really got us in the mood for the city. The elevator to the floor is small but we both fit with our suitcases. Loved the front desk staff, really friendly and helpful. Loaned us the hotel copy of the Rick Steves book after we said we seemed to have left ours on the plane (Anyone find a 2011 copy formerly stamped from the Radnor Library?). Also booked concert tickets for us. Room very comfortable, quiet and modern bathroom. Breakfast was pretty much what one would expect in Italy, some meats and cheeses, yogurt, croissants and pasteries. Cooked items could be ordered and paid for separately.
The first morning we had apple cake made the way my mother always made it. Good coffee and cappucinos.

The location was great, easy access to two Vaporetti stops, its actually across from the casino stop and was once a Gondola crossing spot, so I would guess a private taxi could stop there at the end of the street. It is right next to the Natural History Museum, so directional signs do point the way. As to moving suitcases, we were advised by a local at the San Stae stop to go back to the prior stop which we nicknamed The Riv, as that way involved only one bridge, the other way was two or so. We found it easier to do one and get it over with than do it twice. The local piazza, further away from the Canal, had a convenient COOP store for whatever you might need, and several nice restaurants that were not dominated by tourists Always felt like we were coming home after the busier areas of Venice. What better than sitting on a saturday night on a side canal, warching the boats go by when a boat ties up and a local gets off with his fish catch for the night?
A staff member is present all night so there was someone to let us out at 5:30 AM to catch our vap to the train station. Perfectly safe that time of morning and we met a 93 year old man who was also catching the Vap to go fishing!

Room Tip: The top floor may have some type of strange bathroom arrangement, check that if you have to book that level.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank andrew p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2013

The hotel went a long,long way in ensuring that we celebrated our 31st anniversary in style.A surprise up grade to a warm, cosy and appropriately done up superior room made our two night stay very memorable indeed.A terrific team of Michelle,Prateek and Shirmon ably led by the chirpy Christine has left us wanting for more.The only drawback is the absence of a restaurant.

Puneet Sud
PO Box 33999,Dubai,United Arab Emirates

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the stair way to avoid being too close to the reception and the lobby.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank dilmangemore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2013 via mobile

Lovely stay away from the hustle and bustle of San Marco, only an easy ten minute stroll to all major sites. Quiet and quaint hotel, light airy rooms, attentive staff. Thanks for making our stay in Venezia a good one.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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Thank LennyBruce1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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