I have to assume the extremely positive reviews below are for rooms facing the canal (which is what I’d thought I’d reserved). My $599 for one night in room 506 (booked through American Express six months in advance) purchased a room that was much too warm when we checked in and could not be cooled down. This was bad in mid-April, must be a nightmare in the summer.
If the air conditioning functioned, and the front desk assured me it was, it was not apparent and it had no effect. Two separate trips to the front desk to plea for help accomplished nothing, other than an assurance they could manage the temperature from their computer, which was at best inaccurate. This top (third) floor room had a high ceiling, which doubtless added to the problem, and might be an issue in other top floor rooms.
The staff was pleasant. The terrace was nice. Breakfast was perfectly ordinary, but satisfactory. Having a vaporetto stop at your doorstep is awesome. But your hotel is first of all a room.
The temperature problem might have been mitigated, at least in April, if the windows would open, but they don’t. The view is virtually non-existent, as there’s no glass on the bottom half of the windows. If you don’t stand at the window to look out, you could just as well be in Kansas (or Frankfurt or Belo Horizonte). My vision of a room with an open window or balcony overlooking the Grand Canal wasn’t even close.
The angled beams inside are attractive, but a threat to your head, especially in the bathroom, where using the toilet becomes a risk. The shower is European high-tech, a bit baffling to an American, but equipped with overhead spray, handheld spray, and jets on either side. Except for the handheld intermittently leaking purely hot water on my hand, the shower was fine.
There are other technology quirks, like in-the-wall audio that nominally provides five pre-selected channels, but these seldom worked. The TV had few channels. It took a while to match switches to lights. Few outlets are available (we only found two) for those with many phones and iPads. These are not serious problems, but potential annoyances for some.
Based on this experience and the other reviews here, I would expect staying in a room facing the canal might well be worth the cost. My AVERAGE rating overstates my experience, which was poor, but to rate the whole property as poor would be misleading. However, if you stay here, I suggest requesting the hotel to close the drapes before your arrival, just in case the day is warm and you are assigned room 506.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Palazzo Stern is an historical Moorish Palazzo on the Grand Canal. The location is very convenient: easy to reach, close to the main attractions and at the same time in a very Venice area. If you are looking for a unique venetian experience in the real Venice and far from the crowd of the mass tourism we are the right place to choose. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Palazzo Stern Hotel
- Palazzo Stern Venice