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Reviewed 13 July 2011

I stayed 3 nights here while visiting the Biennale. There are a few oddities to the place, but I had no major problems and enjoyed the balcony room. I like the cozy atmosphere of a smaller hotel, and I thought the price was reasonable for the amenities and location (about $100 per night through hotels.com.) I had booked a single room but was initially placed in a double room and was asked to pack my bags the next morning so the staff could move them to the single room. The double room (#101) had no appreciable view and was overcrowded with excessive furniture. However, the bath was a decent size. The single room (#108), in which I spent the last two nights of the reservation, was smaller, especially the bath, but had much more natural light. This room also has a beautiful tiled balcony with potted plants, a metal table and two chairs. The balcony overlooks a quiet side canal and the fondamenta onto which the hotel fronts.

The Good: The hotel is quiet and clean with a helpful English-speaking staff. The air conditioning works well. Some find its relative proximity to San Marco to be an advantage, though I am not among them. I usually find lodging farther away from San Marco when I am in Venice. Fortunately, however, Locanda Canal is still far enough away from the square not to be caught up in the commotion and crowds. A pleasant discovery for me was that one can walk from this location to the Biennale in the Giardini Pubblici and Aresnale in 20 minutes, though it’s also only two vaporetto stops away, if you’d rather not walk. There are a number of excellent street cafes, restaurants, and other smaller places to eat within easy walking distance, and on my first night in the city I enjoyed a wonderful late supper sitting outdoors at a restaurant a few corners away from the hotel. I slept well in the beds, and the linens, pillows, and towels are of acceptable quality. The hotel provides pressed linen hand towels and terrycloth bath towels. The bath towels are of modest size. As is the case in Europe generally, if you like to bathe with a wash cloth, bring your own from home. Hot water was prompt and plentiful. Rooms are (over)furnished with ornate pieces, and I found the old silver-backed glass wall mirrors fascinating (possibly they are antiques). Breakfast is not robust, but I found it to be quite adequate. It is served in a small room with four tables. (The locanda is so small that some of the guest rooms open directly onto the breakfast room.) The morning meal consists mainly of the usual small basket of bread slices and rolls and a choice of coffee, caffe latte, or tea. Additionally, a boiled eggs is available along with a cold item such as sliced meat or cheese, as well as fruit juice. At one end of the breakfast room a computer with internet connectivity is available for guests to use free of charge. The tiny lobby and front desk are on the canal level, and all the guest rooms are upstairs from there. Theoretically there is an attendant at the front desk 24 hours a day. (One night, however, I woke up a gentleman who was snoozing behind the counter with the lights off as I came in late from a concert. We were both startled.) In practice, the front desk is vacated regularly during the day so that the attendant can cover another property elsewhere that is managed by the same folks. I presume from the hotel stationery that the other establishment is the Casa Pisani Canal. There is often a sign on the door indicating an imminent return; however, guests are given keys to the front door and may come and go freely, regardless of the level of staffing. One of the best things about Locanda Canal is the balcony, if you can get a room with one. This was a delightful, quiet place to relax at the end of the day, and a couple of times I had my evening meal there after buying a couple of panini and a bottle of wine.

The Bad: As has been noted, this hotel is hard, but certainly not impossible to find. I discovered the best way is to start on the west (San Marco) side of the Hotel Danieli, which faces the sea, and press persistently inland (I used the Calle de Le Rasse). You’ll need to make a couple of ticks to the left along the way, preferably while fondling a St. Christopher’s medal for good luck. In only a few minutes you will indeed see the modest sign of the Locanda Canal. A larger hotel called Ca’ dei Conti is nearby and may serve as a helpful landmark. After the initial pioneer experience, I found getting to and from the hotel to be easy. The place has some quirky aspects to it. They apparently got a good deal on chairs, and as many as possible have been placed in the rooms. Chairs also line the hallways, so there’s no shortage of places to sit. Though I was not shunted off to their other property, as has been reported by some guests, I was not able to occupy my reserved room the first night and had to repack and so I could be moved to a nearby room the next morning. This was not a major disruption for me, however. For some reason the bedspread on my bed disappeared in the midst of my stay and was never returned. Possibly it was needed more elsewhere. I just chalked it up to the eccentricities of the place, which up to a point, add to its charm. The bathroom in my single room was so cramped that one literally steps from the shower into the basin of the bidet. The shower cabinets are very small affairs constructed of rickety plastic. They are outfitted with a panel of numerous jet spray heads mounted on one wall of the cabinet, but I would have preferred having a little additional interior room in the shower rather than the water sports.

Notes on staff and service: For the most part the staff are a cheerful and well-meaning bunch, if perhaps a bit bumbling on occasion. It was no problem at all to leave my luggage there when I arrived before check-in time and again to leave it at the hotel for several hours after check-out. A day clerk was also helpful in booking me a ticket to one of the baroque chamber concerts offered at the Chiesa San Vidal by the performance group Interpreti Veneziani (recommended, and a good deal for 25 euros). I encountered two breakfast matrons during my stay. One was exuberant and generous with offers of second helpings of everything; the other was reserved and had a decidedly more restrained concept of hospitality. Maid service was adequate, but I noticed that after the first night I received no replacement for the modest squeeze packet of shampoo provided in the bathroom. The bedside tip I left was, however, very efficiently retrieved.

Notes on shopping in the area: If you would like to buy a bottle of wine to have in your room or on your balcony, you might consider purchasing it from the canal-side vendors out on the Riva degli Schiavoni or at popular crossing points such as Accademia. I was surprised to find good quality wine available for 9 or 10 euros from these vendors, and many of them even have refrigeration to keep the white wine chilled. (The local pinot grigio can be wonderful.) The panini and other food options in the “bars” are very reasonably priced and very tasty, but the same wine there often costs twice as much. For this reason I ended up often purchasing my take-away food and my wine in different places. Also, there are a number of shops only a few corners away from Locanda Canal that sell popular items such as glass from Murano and lace from Burano. You might check the prices in this area or even in other more distant parts of the city before migrating to the shops in the immediate vicinity of San Marco. My experience is that the farther away from San Marco one is, the less expensive such items become.

All things considered, I had a wonderful time at the 2011 Biennale and in Venice, and the Locanda Canal is part of that positive experience.

Room Tip: If it meets your size requirements, I recommend a balcony room--very charming.
  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled solo
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6  Thank Glenmere7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2011

I'd read that people arrived and then got bumped to another hotel so I emailed ahead of time and told them i'd heard this and was certain they wouldn't do it to us. And indeed, everything was fine, but later i saw someone in the lobby being sent to a different hotel. The location is very convenient to San Marco. They arranged for a free water taxi to Murano to a glass factory and we expected sales pressure but got none. The breakfast was very nice.

Room Tip: email hotel ahead of time to confirm
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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Thank MarcRockvilleCentre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2010

I thought long and hard about writing this review and basically had decided not to "have a go" at this hotel and not write a review, but the final comment from the receptionist/housekeeper/waitress made my decision for me.
We arrived in Venice and tried to find the hotel from the map that we were given on the hotel's website. We got terribly lost. Every shopowner we asked looked at the map and said "no this map is terrible, its wrong". After walking around for about twenty minutes and asking loads of people, we eventually found the hotel. Yet, it wasn't the hotel. We were met by an empty reception and had to holler up the stairs for someone to come down. We were met by an extremly flustered man who told us "everything is going wrong", not a great start, and that our booking was mixed up. No, it wasn't but we, like a couple of other reviewers, got taken on a journey to the annex hotel. An extremly small hotel, interestingly further away from St Marco (did we pay to be nearer - I think we did). We had to lug our luggage up the very narrow stairs with carpet tread on it which was, nothing short of filthy, with the carpet tread up in places which would have had a Health and Safety Inspector having kittens. We came to our room, the Junior Suite, which was basically a double room with a put up bed in the corner for our son. At this point, I lost my temper and felt that we had been conned on the location and conned on the room. The bathroom itself was tiny and it had pink plastic soap stands! There seems to be a theme running in these reviews here, so if you book this hotel, be very wary. They seem to move people around for no apparent reason.
The Junior Suite had a four poster bed. Basically, some curtain material held together with velcro. We were shown the balcony that we could sit at - oh, sit on those cushions which are ripped - no thanks. One of the windows had a net curtain, the other did not. I went to open one window, and the frame nearly fell on my head!
The breakfast was so so.
The reason for writing this review - when we went back to get our cases, I asked if I could use the toilet - the answer - a resounding "No". This, all for the extortinate price of £113. Three star, do not think so, two star at the best - a horrible nasty hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank mang0jam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2010

Despite having written instructions and a map this was a very difficult hotel to find. Venice is a maze of tiny alleyways and with luggage in tow it was a little frustrating. However once we found it it was a gem. It is decorated in an older Venetian style but that just added to the charm. We had read previous reviews about the bathroom/shower and they were not wrong, "phonebooth" is an apt description of the shower stall but the jacuzzi shower unit within made up for the lack of size! Breakfast was nice, there is a friendly, attentive lady who serves you and will heat up croissants and bring more coffee if you need. "Jr Suite" is definitely a bit misleading when our room turned out to be one room with a double bed, a single bed against the wall and a cot folded out in the middle of the available floor space. That said, all the beds were comfortable, the A/C worked fine and the location was right in the centre of town. We would be happy to stay there again.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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Thank atwied
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2010

We were booked for five nights as part of our 50-year anniversary trip. Upon arrival, thanks to a good map, we were told that, even though we had a reservation [which they did not deny], there was no vacancy. Instead, we were to stay in their annex hotel just a few blocks away - a 5 minute walk.

So, we pulled our own luggage and followed their bell hop for a 20 minute walk clear across town to a scary looking alley hotel. The inside was nice, but we stayed there virtually alone that night - not even a person at the front desk! Yikes! Then, of course, the next day, we had to drag our luggage back to the other hotel for the remaining 4 nights.

The last 4 nights were fine - it's a nice clean hotel, but everyone should definitely beware of the "annex".

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Dave44535
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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