If one is in love with the views of Venice, and who wouldn't be, the Europa & Regina arguably is positioned to have the very best views among the top tier hotels. To the right it faces Santa Maria della Salute, with its beautiful, theatrical facade and dome, and to the left the triangular Dogana (now the Palazzo Grassi museum) on the point of the Dorsoduro. Beyond, one can also see the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. We've stayed in canal rooms at the Gritti, the Danieli, and Il Palazzo (Bauer), and this view surpasses them all.
Our room, #206, a "grand canal room" in the Tiepolo/Europa part of the complex of buildings that make up the Europa and Regina, had a narrow Juliet balcony that ran the width of the room, and from both the balcony and inside the room, the vista was nothing short of spectacular. See photos. We started in another smaller canal room on the 4th floor, and weren't really happy with it, so they moved us to 206, which is what we had actually booked. It would have been nice not to have had to ask, but it worked out fine in the end. It seemed as if the Regina building might have more direct views straight across to Santa Maria della Salute, and that might be preferable, but it is also over the dining terrace, and which could possibly produce additional noise, though this is just a guess. I would highly recommend our room. The only flaw, if one is searching for flaws, was the giant flag waving outside with the word Westin on it. Somewhat irritating, both visually and the flapping noise.
Breakfasts are buffet in the ground floor restaurant that fronts the canal, and they are full of choices for all tastes. The only thing we found objectionable is that the hotel seemed to cater to large tour groups, and they would often take over the dining room and speak so loudly across to other tables that we took to finding a quiet corner to avoid them. (Americans, I'm sorry to say.) We found that the later we had breakfast the quieter it was, filled after 9:30 with late-rising European couples rather than the early-bird American groups.
We also had both lunch and dinner at the restaurant, and the food was delicious (dinner $$), and the service lovely. I would recommend lunch over dinner, because this is truly the best daytime view from a restaurant on the Grand Canal, and dinner was a little chilly, even with the heaters on (this was late September). We always used to have a lunch or two at the nearby Monaco hotel, but its canal-front restaurant, while it has a nice view to the right of the Dogana and S.M. della Salute, is bordered on the left by a vaporetto stop, which is neither scenic or quiet.
We found the service to be a little below par compared to other top hotels in Venice. The concierges were not quite as magical in securing difficult dinner reservations as they are at Il Palazzo (Sunday and Monday always particularly difficult since virtually all restaurants are closed those nights), and we moved our own bags when we changed rooms, after waiting quite a while for someone to show. There seemed to be so many travelers in the hotel who were unfamiliar with Venice, the staff was a bit overwhelmed by helping them, and they all seemed to congregate noisily in the lobby. This is the disadvantage of being in a hotel that seems to cater to groups rather than individual travelers, so we spent as little time as possible in the public rooms, which was really no hardship, with a beautiful room upstairs and all of Venice to explore outside.
One more word about location; it is possible to walk almost everywhere because of the central position. We walked up to the public gardens to see the Biennale, to the very nearby Fenice opera house for a performance of Carmen, to the Accademia, Guggenheim, Ca Pesaro, and Fortuny museums, and to all but one dinner, which was far enough to require a boat ride. It's a great base from which to walk the entire city. Like the other top hotels, they have their own little dock out front, so if you take a boat taxi in from the airport or the train station, it puts you right in the lobby. A little pricey, but very convenient, particularly if you have luggage.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Superbly positioned on the Grand Canal with sweeping views of the city's most iconic landmarks, The Westin Europa and Regina places guests right in the heart of the city's artistic and theatre districts, in a discreet setting just off the fashionable Calle XXII Marzo and steps from Piazza San Marco. Our unmatched selection of rooftop terrace suites, Grand Canal rooms, restyled accommodations, and Grand Canal-side venues with nutrition-rich proposals are settings of relaxed indulgence where guests can be at their best. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Westin Hotel Europa And Regina, Venice
- Westin Venice
- Westin Hotel Europa Regina Venice
- Venice Westin