We stayed here for an entire week in April 2014. It is perfectly situated on the Grand Canal with a spectacular view of the Rialto Bridge from the terrace in one direction and a long stretch of the canal in the other. We enjoyed sitting out there for breakfast, drinking cappuccino and watching all the boat traffic. In the late afternoon, after a long day of wandering around Venice, it was so nice to relax with a glass of prosecco, write in our journals and again enjoy the view. With only 9 rooms in the entire hotel, there were only ever 2-4 other people on the terrace while we were there, and we were often alone. People on the passing boats took photos of us sitting out ton the terrace, and I imagine the main thought passing through their minds was "Damn, why didn't I stay there?"
Even though it is so close the Rialto Bridge, the hotel is discreetly tucked down a small blind alley, so it is quiet and isolated from the hordes of tourists who crowd the bridge area every day.
This 14th century palazzo is wonderfully restored inside. Among the other treasures is the original painted ceiling in the breakfast salon. Our room was the most interior room in the hotel. It had no view, but we did not mind at all. Except when we were actually sleeping, when we were at the hotel, we spent the majority of our time out on the terrace. There are four (I think) rooms with windows opening onto the Grand Canal, but they are understandably more expensive and, in any event, were not available when I booked (A quick word of advice: because it is so small, the hotel fills up quickly; book well in advance of your trip). We found the room to be spacious and comfortable, with a king sized bed (firm mattress), large armoire, writing desk, couch and coffee table. The bathroom was small and the shower would require bending down if your are over 5'10". But it was clean and adequate for our needs. Given the exigencies of fitting a bathroom in a 700 year old building, it was fine. Even though our room was over the entryway, it was quiet at night and we had no trouble sleeping, a benefit of the hotel being set back off the beaten path.
The proximity of the Rialto Bridge also has another benefit, in that it is where the Alilaguna waterbus from the airport stops. As most tour books will tell you, when picking a hotel in Venice, it is wise to pick one close to the boat stops, because hauling your luggage through the narrow streets and over the bridges is no picnic. This hotel is no more than a 5 minute walk from the boat stop and requires crossing only two small bridges.
My review would not be complete without giving the highest possible praise to the staff. The owner, Matteo, set the tone from the moment we arrived. He greeted us warmly by name, and gave us a tour of the hotel, explaining how he opened and restored it in 2007. He is obviously proud of his hotel, and for good reason. I am also amazed at his work ethic, for he was there at all hours, and I know that he owns several other hotels as well as this one. The entire staff at the hotel is multi-lingual -- I heard them speaking fluent English, French and German with the other guests. Every member of the staff greeted my wife and I by name every time they saw us, from the fellow manning the desk late at night to the lady serving us breakfast every morning. They were attentive to what we did and quickly learned our preferences. Most days, we asked for a restaurant recommendation, which always turned out to be excellent, and in each case, they called ahead and made reservations for us, and then sketched out our exact path to the restaurant to ensure that we would not become lost. Even if one were forced to stay in the prisons at the Doge's Palace, the staff of Al Ponte Antico could make that stay enjoyable - they are that good.
One last tidbit. When we went to the Accademia Gallery, we saw a 1496 painting by Vittore Carpaccio called "The Healing of a Madman". Painted from a vantage point on the other side of the Rialto Bridge, it clearly showed, right under the center span, the palazzo in which the Al Ponte Antico is located. It is not everyday that you sees a 500 year old picture of the hotel where you are staying. Just another one of the benefits of going to Venice.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Ebookers, Agoda, Odigeo, Priceline, TripOnline SA, Traveltool, S.L.U., Evoline ltd and HRS so you can book your Al Ponte Antico Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Al Ponte Antico Venice
- Hotel Al Ponte Antico