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Hotel Palazzo Stern
Ranked #21 of 387 Hotels in Venice
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 May 2014

My wife and I stayed at the Stern for 3 nights in May 2014 which was part of my wifes 40th brithday present. Having had an unusual 7 hour flight delay we arrived late and very tired. The first room we were given was lovely but we wanted a view so politely requested this. The receptionist immediately moved us to a Junior Suite for the first night at no extra charge and then arranged a different room for the remaining two nights which had a balcony overlooking the canal, again at no extra charge. He then advised us of an area locally where we could eat late at night and the restaurant we went to was superb and very reasonably priced. Breakfast was very good and lovely to eat outside overlooking the canal (though we were lucky with perfect weather). The rooms we were in were perfectly clean and fresh and the staff couldn't do enough for us, responding to our every request with a smile. The location of the hotel is brilliant with very easy access to the rest of venice whether you choose the public taxi or hire one privately. All in all, faultless, thank you for being so welcoming and making our short stay so memorable.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Nick C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robertino3, Direttore at Hotel Palazzo Stern, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Buongiorno!

I'm happy you enjoyed your stay with us and I look forward to welcome you again here in Venice.
Have a great day,

Roberto

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 May 2014

Once again a really good 7 night stay at the Palazzo Stern.
We chose to stay there again because our last stay was great and it's location is easy to get anywhere.
The staff are friendly and helpful and Dennis with one N "which he pointed out" was a laugh and the thing is ,he didn't mean to be.( bless him.)
I've just read in another review that the hotel had a complementary boat to those who booked directly with the hotel ? Well if they have, it wasn't pointed out to us at the time and it would have been very helpful.
We thought we would take a bit of time out from Venice and had a day trip to lake Garda and we were offered a drink and a bite to eat before breakfast.(Which was nice)
We can't recommend this Hotel enough. Great Hotel in a great location.
Well Done Palazzo Stern.

Room Tip: Don.t book a standard loft room. Go for a Deluxe Room at the rear of the hotel. Sometimes you can he...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Wayne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robertino3, Direttore at Hotel Palazzo Stern, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Buongiorno!

Thank you for your very kind review, I'm happy you enjoyed your stay!
I confirm you that we have a private boat free of charge for the guests who book directly with us. The service is limited and unfortunately we are not allowed to go everywhere, but we are usually able to fit the needs of the most.
I'm sorry if you were not aware of this service, I'm sure you will have the chance to use it during your next stay here!

Have a great day,

Roberto

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Reviewed 28 May 2014

We loved this place on the Grand Canal. Watching the vaporetti etc with our morning coffee was a special treat, also late afternoons with a nice drink. A lovely boutique hotel, the rooms were great, and the service was special. Location is perfect.
A wonderful romantic getaway.

Room Tip: Suites are the best
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Marian N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robertino3, Direttore at Hotel Palazzo Stern, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Buongiorno!

Thank you for your very nice review. I'm happy you enjoyed your stay with us and I look forward to welcome you again here at Palazzo Stern.

Warmest regards,

Roberto

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Reviewed 27 May 2014

My wife and I stayed at the Stern for several days in early March. We're American academics in our early sixties. We've stayed near San Marco before and we prefer Dorsoduro. The location is particularly good if you are interested in the Guggenheim or the Academia. The Stern is a beautiful, small hotel on the Grand Canal. Our lovely and comfortable room was in the back, looking along a side canal, and on a upper floor. The hotel service was very good and professional. Breakfast was excellent. The bar and patio are very comfortable and beautiful places to relax. Dennis, the bartender, has some great specialty drinks.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Chris P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robertino3, Direttore at Hotel Palazzo Stern, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Buongiorno!

Thank you for your very nice review. I'm happy you enjoyed your stay and I look forward to welcome you again here in Venice.
Have a great day,

Roberto

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2014

Venice can be a challenge to get to and from with luggage. A hotel location, in my opinion, is important in Venice, as a location far from a waterbus or taxi stop means carrying your luggage or arranging with your hotel to meet and carry your luggage for you. You can’t take a vehicle taxi to your hotel, you have to walk. Hotel Palazzo Stern was right at an ACTV stop making arrival much easier. While the hotel was not in the most “central” location, it was away from the noisy busy areas, in my opinion a big plus.

The hotel itself is located in an old house with a very nice terrace were morning breakfast is served. It is a cold breakfast with cold cuts, fruit and only boiled eggs.

Our room was very nice with a king bed facing the canal. The room and bathroom were very clean. Wifi worked fairly well in the room.

Summary: The hotel offers four-star comfort, excellent service AND a great location. While four-star hotels on the canal are costly, Hotel Palazzo Stern was worth it.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank LMC_Canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robertino3, Direttore at Hotel Palazzo Stern, responded to this reviewResponded 26 May 2014

You are completely right, the location is VERY important.
It's not easy to find an hotel with a private dock for the taxis and so close (really steps) from the public boat stop. No more bridges with bags and children!!!

Please remember that we actually have a private boat, free of charge for all the guest who book directly with us.

Have a great day!

Roberto

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Reviewed 24 May 2014

when we arrived at this hotel we were amazed. before we left we took pictures of it (inside and out) as if it was a restored museum. Also, not all rooms have them, but we had a room with a small patio that was facing a narrow quieter canal (which was better for relaxing time (i.e. afternoon drinks) at the end of a long walk during the day)... the hotel also has a large beautiful deck looking out onto the main canal. I would highly recommend. they also have a hot tub up top.... you have to reserve it a few hours before you use it, but it is an amazing site and an amazing thing to be on a rooftop in venice in a hot tub looking over the city

Room Tip: pick bottom floor with a deck....
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Thank Jeff G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robertino3, Direttore at Hotel Palazzo Stern, responded to this reviewResponded 26 May 2014

Buongiorno!

Thank you for your very nice review.
I'm happy you enjoyed your stay with us. I look forward to welcome you again here in Venice!

Have a great day,

Roberto

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2014

I selected this hotel for our 5 night stay in Venice in mid-May on the basis of a rigorous comparison of highly rated hotels on Tripadvisor – and was very pleased with the choice. Palazzo Stern is a fabulous place, and despite a few niggles (which I’ll come to later) this place is perfect. I’ll describe the main themes separately and in some detail – location, building & rooms, food & beverage, and service:

Location:

Roughly half way up the Grand Canal right next door to the Ca Rezzonico Vaporetto stop, the hotel is a perfect distance from everywhere because it’s not close enough to any of the main tourist hotspots to be noisy / crowded, but not far enough away to be inconvenient. If you fly in and arrive before the public Alilaguna airport transfer boat stops running at midnight, then it’s a 55 minute easy cruise from the airport costing 15 Euro pp, which beats the 110 Euro for a private water taxi – but we arrived late and the ride to the hotel across the lagoon and up the nearly deserted grand canal in our own boat James-Bond style was a very very cool experience…

During the day, once you get to grips with the Vaporetto system (and it’s dead simple), you’ll find this a quick and easy way to get around. Even walking, the Accademia Bridge, Accademia Gallery, and Peggy Guggenheim collection are all only 5-10 minutes away and Piazza San Marco is only 20 minutes by foot. Despite this, the Dorsoduro area is mysteriously quiet and relatively untouristed, and there are several nearby restaurants which are excellent (reviewed separately) – the best of which by far is Enoteca Ai Artisti, with Oniga a distant 2nd, and Casin Dei Nobili coming in with the bronze medal. L’Osteria San Barnaba gets the wooden spoon so avoid that place, despite recommendations from the crew at Palazzo Stern.

Building and Rooms:

You can’t help but be impressed with your first sight of Palazzo Stern, both from the outside and also inside. It really looks fantastic and explains why so many people in passing Vaporettos snap photos as they pull up at Ca Rezzonico or pass by…you’ll feel like royalty sitting out on the terrace in the morning enjoying breakfast right on the Grand Canal as the nearby – yet oh so far away – floating horde observe you with a little green tinge of envy (mwahahahahaha…)

Inside, the place is chock full of beautiful architectural features, arches, columns, wooden staircases and furniture. Palazzo indeed. We booked a Deluxe Double and asked for a room with a courtyard view, and were extremely happy with it. At 450 Euro a night that was about all I wanted to spend, and the room was excellent. I respect the opinion of travelers who say that if you’re in Venice you should splash out on a room with a Grand Canal view, but frankly, you’re going to spend half your time on that canal and see it from every possible angle during your time in Venice – including languishing right on it during breakfast and in the evening if you choose to sit out and have drinks (theirs or yours), or a BYO picnic as we did one night – and if I’d paid the premium for a Grand Canal view room I would’ve considered it wasteful in hindsight.

The double room we had was beautifully appointed in lemon fabric wallpaper, plush curtains, and chandeliers – and although (as many other writers have stated) the size is not as big as elsewhere in Italy or abroad (it would be considered small by U.S standards) it was perfectly big enough for the two of us and several large suitcases. The double bed was a good size, and super comfy, and the bathroom was really nicely decorated and big enough for all the usual action – including a combined bath / shower to accommodate soakers. The room was also very quiet, and although the hotel has 24 rooms and was allegedly full when we were there, it didn’t ever feel busy and we really didn’t see many people around, even at breakfast.

Food and Beverage:

The breakfast here is very good – but not great. There’s a decent selection of cold meats and cheeses, a cooked (scrambled) egg and bacon station, and a ‘boil your own’ egg pan, plus a good selection of fruit (the baked apples are awesome) including stewed prunes. There’s also some salady items, decent bread and a selection of croissants / cakes. Basically everything you need for a good hearty breakfast except for good coffee. The ‘house coffee’ which is the one you get if you answer yes to the question “would you like coffee” is practically undrinkable.

It’s strong and strange tasting, and deeply unpalatable. We resorted to nipping up the alley to Bar Ai Artisti for our morning Macchiato until we discovered that we could actually ask for hand made coffees at breakfast. The espresso / macs were better than the ready made stuff, but still not great. And, having stayed for 5 nights I would’ve appreciate some small variation in the meat / cheese / eggs / pastry / cake offerings – these were the same every day. No biggie, but the same ham, same salami, same cheese and same apple cake every single day gets tired after day 3.

Cocktails are worth having if only for the experience of chatting with Dennis, the house barman / comedian / quirky dude. He makes great drinks that are strong and full of attention to detail that you don’t get up the road. But then again, at 13 Euros for a G&T and 9 Euros for a Campari Spritz (which cost 5 Euro for both at the 100m proximate Bar Ai Artisti) then they really should be good!

Service:

I found the service here to be universally excellent. The breakfast staff are super friendly and helpful, the reception concierge guys are all very good – most notably the genteel Francesco - and Dennis is a laugh. The room cleaning was impeccable and there is nothing to fault here. But I do have a few minor niggles…

Minor Niggles:

The first involves the unrepentant recommendation of a restaurant which is ordinary at best - L’Osteria San Barnaba (see other readers reviews of this place) - which I told Filippo about and said was pretty crap. I suggested that he should be recommending Enoteca Ai Artisti instead and he countered by saying that Ai Artisti is always full and Saint Barnaba isn’t (hardly a good reason), but that is untrue. We booked Enoteca Ai Artisti late on Saturday for Monday night (it’s closed Sunday), and then on Monday we promptly rebooked for a return visit on Wednesday. It does fill up fast though so be sure to book ahead. Filippo also said that if Palazzo Stern call ahead and book then San Barnaba give their guests extra special treatment, but again not true – we told the proprietors that we were recommended by P.S but that didn’t make our experience any more rewarding. Two strikes equals two strikes – there is obviously an ulterior motive but I never did discover what it was. Just give that restaurant a wide berth.

The associated problem is that I asked for another recco for a high end dining experience and was recommended a place near St Mark’s Square by Filippo, but after the San Barnaba experience I just didn’t trust his opinion, and rebooked at Enoteca Ai Artisti, which was fabulous (again). It’s a sad state of affairs when you can’t rely on your concierge guys to give you the best steer.

The second niggle was that our Nespresso-style (CaffItalia) coffee machine in the room didn’t work, and we said so on the first morning. It was never fixed – although the missing magnifying makeup mirror was swiftly replaced – which pleased my wife no end.

The final niggle, and the one that irked me the most was the fact that although the rooms are stuffy and warm, the air conditioning was ‘not available’ as it’s only turned on in summer. I wouldn’t have minded so much except that leaving the windows open means returning to a room full of mosquitos – and nobody wants that…so why have individual room controls for A/C if it can’t be turned on? Guests should be able to control their own levels of comfort, not be dictated to - that struck me as a poor choice by the management for what is an otherwise outstanding place in virtually all other respects.

There’s also the crappy coffee at breakfast but I’ve chalked that one up already…

Niggles aside, I still give Palazzo Stern 5 stars because there really is no other place like it that we saw – even the famed (much more expensive) Gritti Palace had to build their own terrace for their guests, whereas Palazzo Stern’s is original and has plenty of character, just like the rest of the place.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Johnlisa27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robertino3, Direttore at Hotel Palazzo Stern, responded to this reviewResponded 26 May 2014

Buongiorno!

Thanks a lot for your very nice review. It's one of the best I've ever read!

Please, let me clear a couple of things.

Arrival / departure transfer. Please remember that we now have a private boat available free of charge for all those who book directly with us! We are not allowed to go everywhere unfortunately, but we are usually able to suit the need of the most.

Cofee. You are right, our "american cofee" is not the best, but it's actually the best you can find here in Venice! Unfortunately this thing is like the pasta outside of italy, maybe you will find an acceptable one but it's not pasta... ANyway yes, we have also espresso, cappuccino, etc. AND should you need something we don't have don't be shy, ask! If possible we will prepare it.

In-room cofee machines. Unfortunately those machine doesn' last for long time. The broke very quickly. Sometimes we have the replacement in house and sometimes we don't, that's why we are not always able to replece them immediately (as for the mirror). When it's not working cofee is free of charge from the bar, just let us know when you want it and we will bring it up to the room.

Air Conditioning. You are right when you say that everybody should decide when to turn on the AC and when the heating. Unfortunately this is almost never possible in Venice. you need much more space for a sistem like that, and in an historical building like our it's not always possible to find that space unfortunately. Anyway the AC is now turned on, we don't wait a specific date, it depends on the outside temperature.

I hope to have the chance to welcome you again here in Venice, have a great day!!!

Roberto

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Additional Information about Hotel Palazzo Stern

Address: Dorsoduro 2792-2794/A-2792/B, 30123 Venice, Italy
Phone Number:
Region: Italy > Veneto > Province of Venice > City of Venice > Venice > Dorsoduro / Accademia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Venice
#5 Family Hotel in Venice
#15 Luxury Hotel in Venice
#15 Romantic Hotel in Venice
Price Range: £150 - £423 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Palazzo Stern 4*
Number of rooms: 24
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:
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Palazzo Stern Venice

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