This review of Gardena Hotel may not be a completely accurate for 90% of the rooms of which the hotel offers. Let me explain. I booked a four night stay for myself and my wife many months prior to our mid July trip and booked the cheapest room option available on a travel website. I expected to get one of the standard rooms which I had viewed in the pictures on tripadvisor but wasn't expecting much more due to my choosing the lowest price option. Upon arrival at the hotel we were greeted by a friendly gentleman at the front desk who took down our information and checked us in. He then informed us that our room was ready (we were a bit early for check in). The employee then walked us down the hallway of the main level, walking through what appeared to be the breakfast area, and while walking explained that we would be staying in the "Garden Villa" which is "very romantic". We were then lead outside and walked a short distance through the outdoors eating area to the back of the property where there was a small building which honesty looked like a nice shed where they may keep their patio furniture during the winter time. I really don't know what I was thinking at this point. Then the employee told us that we have our own private air conditioning unit and wi-fi. When we walked in to what probably once was a storage area, my wife and I were shocked to find what appeared to be a newly renovated space with a good sized bed, television, mini refrigerator, armoire, and even laminate wood flooring. There was a good sized bathroom with tiled stand up shower, bidet and single vanity with hair dryer. The ceilings even had exposed wood beams. The air conditioning was as cold as you could ever possibly want yet adjustable, and the wifi worked great. We were stunned at what we figured was luck. The room was extremely quiet with no one above, below or next door to us. The only negatives of the room were that the ceilings were sloped, and if you are taller that 5'10", you may hit your head in the shower on a beam a few times as I did. Also, if there are early risers eating breakfast in the garden in the morning you may be woken up. Both my wife and I absolutely loved the space regardless.
As for the accommodations, we found the front desk staff friendly and helpful. The common areas were comfortable and clean. The breakfast in the morning was simple, offering bread, cold cut ham and turkey, salami, different flavor yogurts, cereal, fruit, orange juice and pastries. A simple breakfast that kept us going until a late lunch. The lady who worked the breakfast area in the morning was extremely friendly and helpful every morning, and would prepare fresh coffee as you wished.
As far as the location goes, I couldn't imagine staying anywhere else. The hotel was an approximately 7-10 minute walk from Piazza Le Rome where the airport buses and land taxis drop off. It was also about the same distance from the train station. These are HUGE selling points in my opinion because if you have never been to Venice before, you WILL get lost trying to find a hotel in the middle of the city. There are SO many small streets and alleys that it's bound to happen. And if you are arriving after dark it will be 10X worse because most places close up and it will be dark. We saw so many tourists mid day near San Marco or in Cannaregio or near the Rialto bridge who were carrying luggage, completely lost, sweating and miserable with map in hand trying to find their hotels. If only they had stayed at Gardena they would be checked in and out exploring already. We didn't have any trouble finding the hotel at all. It was great being away from the HUGE crowds that Venice draws this time of year and Gardena was located along a small canal with a few bars/restaurants nearby.
Even though we will probably never be back to Venice, we loved our stay at Hotel Garden and would highly recommend it, especially if you somehow land the "Garden Villa".
An extra tip for beer drinkers. Pretty much everywhere will charge you approximately $3.50 PER BOTTLE for Peroni beer. You can find a grocery store on the way to Rialto selling Peroni at three bottles for $2.50. Take advantage of this and stock your hotel mini fridge. Also, the water that you see flowing from the fountains all throughout the city is DRINKABLE COLD WATER. Buy a bottle water somewhere cheap and refill at these stations. It is cold, safe and delicious.
***BONUS TIP... DO NOT EAT OFF OF THE "TOURIST MENUS" AT RESTAURANTS IN VENICE. THEY ARE OVER PRICED, LOW QUALITY, SMALL PORTIONS AND GENERALLY BAD TASTING FOOD. IF THERE IS SOMEONE OUT FRONT TRYING TO GET YOUR BUSINESS, AVOID THEM. YOU WILL NOT FIND LOCALS EATING AT THESE PLACES FOR GOOD REASON.
DO HOWEVER EAT PIZZA AND GELATO PRETTY MUCH ANYWHERE. IT HONESTLY ALL TASTES THE SAME.
Another dining tip, especially for Americans. If food is put on your table and you don't refuse it, you are going to pay for it. There is no such thing as complimentary bread and butter or free water. Bread will be brought to your table and if you eat it, you will be charged for it. And most restaurants charge "coperto" which is basically a service fee. Usually 10%.
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- Also Known As:
- Gardena Hotel Venice