We stayed at the Al Ponte Antico in March 2013 for two nights.
Before our visit I’d contacted the hotel and asked for confirmation of what was the best room to see the Rialto Bridge in all its splendour, helpfully and I guess somewhat expectantly, the hotel had said it was their suite - Room 108. They were right but what welcomed us when we arrived was just about as far from a perfect view as you can ever expect (please see picture...). In fairness this was not the hotel’s fault as it was a municipal building next door that had erected the monstrosity; however the fact that there was no offer of explanation or apology (or heaven forbid price reduction - which only after asking for we were given) was very disappointing and extremely poor for the top dollar room rate.
The suite was just about acceptable but not at all great. Looking back I am left wondering why other reviews do not see what to me sticks out like a sore thumb about the hotel. As a picture paints all the words I’ve attached a few photos to make my point and balance a little from the ‘best hotel in Venice’ et al Tripadvisor backdrop.
Issues to me included the large pile of office chairs and discarded oddments in the corner of the corridor close to our suite and in full view, large chips out of the ‘period’ furniture, a stained modern 1980’s style sofa in the 'period' suite, the bedding which is clean but a long way from comfortable with its woollen sheets, uncomfortable pillows and no mattress topper/protector. An old dirty electrical wire hanging down from the ceiling with nowhere to go adds to the unhappiness as does the old very small, dated ‘don’t look too close’ bathroom ... and sadly much more more besides.
All the above may seem harsh but it needs to be said, I can only feel that with the hotel flying high on the Tripadvisor reviews it has lost sight of what was perhaps once much better. Another reviewer suggests that in order to not cause offence to the hotel staff people don’t feel they can look behind the helpful smiles to post an honest critique which may just be true.
The good bits include the position of the hotel, the view of the Grand Canal and the aforementioned very happy to help staff. Venice, which is of course what the visit is all about, is something special and a must seen. We also enjoyed a night at the Jazz Club which is a little basic on amenities but the music was fine and great value for money.
There is not much in the way of a bar scene near the hotel but plenty of restaurants with varying prices depending on how close you were to the tourist attractions. Murano is worth a visit for the world famous glass. Jumping on and off the water buses is also a cheap way to travel once the feet start to ache (which trust me they will!).
Would we stay at the Al Ponte Antico hotel again? With a heavy heart, no, sadly not, would I recommend it - again no. It promised much but delivered something that was simply ordinary and to be frank shabby in parts. Three star perhaps but never four star. For the money there must be better hotels in this beautiful city.
So Mr, Mrs or Ms Tripadvisor don’t you see what I see.....?
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- Also Known As:
- Al Ponte Antico Venice
- Hotel Al Ponte Antico