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“Perfection in a Small Package”

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Al Ponte Antico Hotel
Ranked #1 of 385 Hotels in Venice
Certificate of Excellence
Jacksonville, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Perfection in a Small Package”
Reviewed 6 May 2014

Let me start by saying you will not find friendlier, more attentive, and more personal service anywhere. Mateo and his staff were absolutely wonderful. The hotel is small, nine rooms in total, so there is a feel of intimacy. Within minutes of arrival you are on a first name basis with the staff. You have the feeling that the staff is looking for any opportunity to make your stay better. And then there is the location. Close to everything yet away from any noise. But nothing prepares you for the view from the terrace. Spectacular! My wife did not want to leave. The Rialto bridge to your left, the Rialto market across the canal, and a beautiful view of the canal to your right. Plan to spend a good deal of time here.

Our room was small but nicely appointed and fully functional. The breakfast buffet was very good, everything from cereal and fruit to made to order eggs. There is no restaurant on site but this is hardly a problem. the hotel will find you excellent dining nearby. They do have a bar and small lounge and are happy to serve you virtually 24 hours a day.

With the ambiance of a 16th century Palazzo, this is the perfect place to experience the magic of Venice. If you like intimate boutique hotels, you won't do better than this.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Jaxnomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 May 2014

The other positive reviews are correct - this is a small and very friendly in a 500 year old palazzo on the edge of the Canale Grande, less than 5 minutes from the Rialto Bridge, and within 15 minutes walk of San Marco, the station and innumerable restaurants of every type and budget

The staff are the friendliest and most helpful I have ever met in a hotel, anywhere in Europe or N America. Always ready to help / advise / arrange, and very appreciative of my feeble attempts at Italian.

Breakfast is simple but good quality and good quantity - fruit, pastries, eggs if you want, proper coffee - and served on the terrace overlooking the Rialto and the Canale. The coffee machine is to do die for.

Yes, it's small and compact, and the rooms are odd shapes and sizes. but of you want a Holiday Inn style hotel, don't go to city centre Venice.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Hugh C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milford, Connecticut
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2014

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.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank gmbecker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2014

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights in April. We were greeted by Matteo and his team who made us feel very welcome. Al Ponte Antico is a small boutique hotel on the grand canal with probably the best view while at the same time having a quiet and relaxing feel. The palazzo dates from the 1500s and is very tastefully decorated with Murano glass chandeliers and Venetian furniture. We loved the terrace so much, it was so relaxing to just sit there and watch the world go by. Breakfast was amazing as well, Matteo would at times personally cook for the guests.
It felt like home away from home and missing it already.

We will definitely love to stay here again.

I recommend this hotel for couples without children as it is small to accommodate unhappy babies ;))

Room Tip: There are only 9 rooms. 109 is with canal view, we had 106 which overlooked the inner courtyard but...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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4 Thank beiruteater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2014

This hotel is just wonderful. Not only is it situated in the perfect location with a view to die for from the terrace, but the warmth of the welcome you receive makes it utterly perfect. Mateo and his team ensure that you have the experience of a lifetime from the moment of arrival until the second you check out. There is nothing at all to fault here and I recommend it whole-heartedly - just go, and leave the rest to Mateo, Oliver and the others. You will not regret it.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank MaxineC57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moorpark, California
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2014

Al Ponte Antico sits on the grand canal with a view a 5 star view of the Rialto bridge. We were so graciously upgraded to a grand canal view room, that despite the location was quiet and peaceful. The hotel is a work of art that is as lovely as the beauty of Venice. The best expresso in Italy! Even if it was an ok lodging, I would go back just for the expresso.....but the breakfast was as good as the coffee. You are greeted by name every time by various staff members that graciously help you navigate their city. The hotel is so beautiful with huge Murano glass chandeliers, rooms are wallpapered with brocade fabric, and my husband claims they serve a 'mean' limoncello which I am sure tasted even better with a view of the Ponte Rialto

Room Tip: The rooms facing the grand canal were very romantic and lovely.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Erin D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2014

Our family of four recently spent two stints on two nights each at the Al Ponte Antico. It is absolutely fabulous. Staying in a palazzo that dates from the 1500s is an experience in itself. But the warmth of the hospitality from Matteo and his team will make your visit truly memorable.

Both times we stayed we had rooms overlooking the Canal Grande. The outlook provides an excellent view of the canal and its passing traffic, as well as the Rialto bridge. Even if you don't have a canal view, there is a small balcony off the first floor that provides an excellent opportunity to take in the view. We ate there every day for breakfast, and then also returned there after a day of sight-seeing for a few pre-dinner drinks as the sun went down. This is an experience not to be missed.

Being located close to the Rialto bridge, it is pretty much a short walk to anything from the hotel. Location wise, it would be difficult to be more central. And even though we got lost many times, there are invariably signs pointing you to the bridge, so it is hard to stay lost for too long.

Both rooms we had were large easily large enough for a family of four. The bathrooms, no doubt constrained by the shape of the building, were small, but otherwise perfectly fine. The decor is perfectly suited for a 16th century palazzo - no Hilton beige here!

By far the most noteworthy aspect of this hotel, however, is the hospitality. Matteo and his team are superb - you cannot be made to feel more welcome. Throughout our stays, all the staff greeted us by name, and were invariably friendly and helpful. I have stayed at many hotels, but none rate higher than the Al Ponte Antico in terms of the genuine sense of hospitality on offer.

This is a boutique hotel, so it does not have all the bells and whistles of a large international chain. But that is exactly its charm. In short, if you are looking for a unique Venetian experience, a great location, and absolutely wonderful hospitality, this is the place for you.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank 007Sydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Al Ponte Antico Hotel

Property: Al Ponte Antico Hotel
Address: Calle dell'Aseo | Cannaregio 5768, 30131 Venice, Italy
Region: Italy > Veneto > Province of Venice > City of Venice > Venice > Cannaregio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Venice
#4 Romantic Hotel in Venice
#8 Family Hotel in Venice
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Al Ponte Antico Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 9
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Also Known As:
Al Ponte Antico Venice
Hotel Al Ponte Antico

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