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“Very promising - but does not live up to that promise...”
Review of Hotel Ai Reali

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Hotel Ai Reali
Ranked #38 of 384 Hotels in Venice
Certificate of Excellence
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
41 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Very promising - but does not live up to that promise...”
Reviewed 24 August 2014

Having read the raving reviews for this hotel in several sites, we decided to stay there for our trip to Venice, even though it is not exactly cheap (admittedly, some people may counter that 350 euros/night in Venice is actually a bargain, but I would beg to disagree...). My usual way of deciding whether to recommend a hotel or not, is simple - would I stay there again or not. This is one of the very few occasions where I have found it difficult to make my mind up. And here is why:

Pros - there is much that is in the hotel's favor:

- location, location, location - it is centrally located and quite convenient for getting around Venice;
- an excellent and tasteful renovation makes this both aesthetically pleasing and comfortable;
- (most of) the staff are very kind and helpful - they make you feel that they do want you to have a good time;
- our room was really large and comfortable, and so was the bathroom.

Cons - some seem to neutralize the pros, while others simply outweigh the pros:

- We had booked a water taxi from the airport to the hotel itself, through the hotel. On the day of our arrival, the company took us by van to the Piazzale Roma (that is, in Venice itself) and only then did they take us by boat, for the last short stretch. When I complained to the hotel and refused to pay the amount that had been originally agreed, they did talk to the company and sort it out, but I believe they should have checked that the company would welcome their guests as agreed in the first place. In addition, they seemed to be trying to make excuses for the water taxi company and I only got a satisfactory outcome when it became clear that I was not to be calmed down;
- While booking the hotel through a site, we had booked a room with a canal view. I had also confirmed this closer to the time of our visit, as this was our first trip to Venice and I wanted it to be really special. In the end, we were given a really large and beautiful room - but with no view (except if hanging out of the bathroom window can be considered a view). Not wanting to ruin my holiday in Venice, I never made an issue of it with the staff at reception, but it did disappoint me that the hotel should simply ignore what had been agreed in the first place and then pretend all was OK;
- As a result of the above, I did ask to speak to the manager - twice. I kept getting excuses that he was unavailable. Even worse - he never even tried to get hold of me. This is putting another definition to the concept of 'customer service' and is simply unacceptable when you pay that kind of money;
- The lack of a complimentary bottle of water in the bedroom - and in the month of August, at that - has been commented on by others, so that I will content myself with merely mentioning the fact;
- The breakfast is overall OK, but somewhat repetitive and uninspired. Again, what would have been acceptable in a 3* and at much cheaper rooms is not something that one is willing to disregard here.

In short, while this should and could be an ideal place to stay when in Venice, on balance I do not think that I would choose to stay here again, except if someone decided seriously to tackle such issues...

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Evangelos-Maxim... S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
39 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2014 via mobile

We had a lovely, two-room suite overlooking the canal. Decor was gorgeous, beds were super comfortable, and it was nice & quiet and dark for sleeping. The extra bed in our living room was comfortable too. Spotless bathroom with a good shower but no tub - if you want one, don't assume all suites have them.

Breakfast was good, with a good selection and excellent coffee. Didn't dine at Alle Corone but wish we had. When we asked for a reservation at Da Ivo, I really wish they had told us how low it has fallen - we spent a fortune on a mediocre meal there, and would have rather stayed at the hotel restaurant which we had heard was excellent - but they didn't say a word. Perhaps that's the Italian way - let the gullible tourists learn the hard way - but we would have appreciated a little more guidance.

We would also have enjoyed the property more if there were a comfortable outdoor lounge. They have a small interior courtyard garden, but one man smoking an obnoxious cigar ruined it for all of us - not to mention the dive-bombing pigeons which the staff utterly ignored. At least there were no bees!

The staff were nice enough but not particularly warm, and we declined the tour to Murano as we were certain it would be pressurized for sales. They sent us to a nice trattoria on our first evening when we were tired from traveling, which was a good choice as it was very near and we could sit outside.

Their hotel-provided map of Venice doesn't have enough detail to prevent your getting lost - although very close to the Rialto bridge, we got lost a couple of times before buying the more detailed map that finally saved us! The location is excellent for sight seeing.

There was no piece of furniture near the wall plugs, so we had to move a chair under the TV in order to avoid dangling cell phones and iPads from the wall. This may have been due to rearrangement of furniture since we had a rollaway bed in our loving room.

All in all, it was comfortable and very pretty, but seemed a bit immature or something. I can't quite put my finger on why we didn't fall in love, but if you are looking for a quiet, comfortable, roomy hotel in a great location, and don't mind the lack of a rooftop lounge or need much guidance from hotel staff -- this could be a good choice for you!

Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank SherryB88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stratford upon Avon
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2014 via mobile

My wife and I are presently stating in this magnificent boutique hotel in Central Venice.

But beware. Unlike any other hotel property we have ever stayed in across the globe They do not provide any free water in the room.


In fact these rip off merchants charge you five Euros for a litre bottle of still water.

This is totally unacceptable.

It ruined an otherwise perfect stay. We will not return.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Irving007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, UK
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2014

Thanks for our lovely stay here. the hotel was beautiful and spotlessly clean. If you look at my other reviews you'll realise I am not one to say this easily but there was honestly no fault with this hotel. the room was lovely, the staff were friendly and helpful and overall the service was excellent. Our balcony was a terrace garden with a beautiful view.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Ellsbells3032
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay at the hotel. The hotel is very beautiful and very clean. The decor is lovely, the rooms very spacious (biggest 4* we've stayed in) and luxurious and the location very central - 5 min walk from the Rialto bridge and 10 minute walk from St Mark's square. Breakfast was excellent - a wide variety of both hot and cold foods.

The hotel organised a private gondola ride for us which picked us up outside the hotel which was lovely (100 euros for 30 minutes, note it is 20 euros more to get picked up & returned to the hotel compared to the rides that start at the rialot bridge). We didn't bother with a private water taxi to the hotel from the station - taking the vaporetto was easy and very cheap, with only a short walk from the rialto bridge stop to the hotel, no issues with our heavy luggage.

We also used the free boat to Murano that the hotel put on, which included a glass factory trip. We really loved this! Yes, it is all an extended sales pitch really, but we just enjoyed the demonstration and looking at all the fabulous glass pieces (cheapest was a drinking glass for over 100 euros!) and made it clear that we were in no position to buy anything that expensive, which our guide excepted. Do be aware, most of the things they sold there and in the gift shop were cheaper elsewhere on the island.

The reason we are not giving this hotel 5 out of 5 is there is something missing in the service from the reception staff. When we asked for advice for good local places to eat the lady seemed to be a bit stuck, and then recommended somewhere that had no customers in there every time we went past. To us this is a very basic and common request and all reception staff should be able to answer and be helpful. Pointing out the tip line on the invoice at the end we felt was also a bit forward. Furthermore, the hotel, unlike the other two we stayed at in Italy, did not do anything extra to make our stay a little bit more special for our honeymoon.

Overall though a luxurious hotel that I would recommend to others.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rebecca R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2014

We stayed here as a group of 10. Prior to our arrival we made a variety of requests through the hotel and found them to be very accommodating.
On arrival our rooms weren't ready but we had booked lunch on the terrace so it was suggested we proceed to the terrace. The table was laid out ready for us but we had drinks at our leisure first without feeling rushed into sitting down.
All our rooms were different but everyone was impressed with them. Our room opened into a spacious sitting area which you accessed the bedroom from. The décor was beautiful, the bed comfortable and we had a choice of a bath or shower. We were genuinely impressed with our room.
The hotel is in a great location and we very quickly came to Venice's main attractions. The hotel were happy to arrange water taxis for us so we visited Murano, Burano and also ate at Cips Club.
I read there are only 31 rooms in the hotel, and it is a quiet hotel, the most people we saw was at breakfast.
Our first evening meal was in the hotel and was the best so I'll write a review on the restaurant.
In summary, a beautiful hotel in a great location which I would not hesitate to recommend and would certainly return to.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mrs_Arty75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Key Biscayne, Florida
Level Contributor
37 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2014

We stayed at the apartment they manage close to St. Marks square. It was impressive, the views the space and the comfort. Great option for big groups or families with kids.

The only thing to consider is that you to go upstairs 4 floors, as the building has no elevator.

When in there, you can see the top of the Basilica and the square clocks from your window! Awesome!

Room Tip: This room was not at the hotel per se, it is big apartment steps from St. Marks!
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alexandre P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Ai Reali

Property: Hotel Ai Reali
Address: Castello, Campo della Fava 5527, 30122 Venice, Italy
Region: Italy > Veneto > Province of Venice > City of Venice > Venice > Castello
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 384 Hotels in Venice
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Ai Reali 4.5*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Ai Reali is located in Campo della Fava, a small quiet campo, few steps away from Rialto Bridge and only 5 minutes away from St. Mark’s Square. It’s a fantastic central location for who wish to discover the most real Venice. Experience the thrill to visit the old fish market early in the morning or have a cappuccino staring the Rialto Bridge, walking only moments from your hotel.The palace has been the residence of family Reali, a noble family who became rich with the trade of the sugar. The seal of the family is a double crown, the same crowns you find in the hotel logo. The Hotel is overlooking a canal and it has its own water entrance. Customers can easily arrive or depart by private transportation. In case you prefer to user the public transportation, the ferry stop of Rialto is only 150 metres away. Ferry line “Alilaguna” arriving and departing from the airport also stops in Rialto.The Hotel Ai Reali is a 4 stars hotel S offering all the services you normally find in a 5 stars, including the restaurant “Alle Corone” serving Venetian food with home-made pasta and pastry, a comfortable bar, a bar in the garden (open in summer),A wine cellar, a gym, a great “Reali Spa” with Jacuzzi, steam bath, sauna, emotional showers and a massage center. The products used in our Spa are provided by Vitalis a brand “total nature” well known in Italy.Regarding business, Ai Reali, offers a congress center with a big salon for 75 people, with wifi internet connection and if your dream is a great wedding in the most romantic city of the world, don’t miss the chance to ask our assistance, we are ready to arrange the wedding of your dreams, including the ceremony in the beside church, reception, gondola or boat transportation, lunch of dinner in any style, wedding make up and spa treatments. The decoration of the hotel and the rooms is classical Venetian with a lot of antiques and all bathrooms are full marble in different and elegant colors. The floors have been totally restored, you will really feel like to be in the 18th Century. ... more   less 
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