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...
- 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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