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“Great location, decor, staff - but should be 3 star, not 4.”

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San Sebastiano Garden Hotel
Ranked #187 of 384 Hotels in Venice
Reviewed 7 November 2011

Our trip was to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary and we stayed for 5 nights at the beginning of November. We'd asked for a room overlooking the canal - room 21 on the first floor - nicely furnished, if a little small. The bed was rather hard for our taste so our sleep quality wasn't great, but that might have suited others so not really a criticism. The only criticism on the room was that they advertise satellite TV with international channels but the only English channel was CNN. We had hoped to watch the odd late film but that wasn't possible. Breakfast was fine - typical continental - and the staff very friendly and attentive. We had a quick look at the garden on our first morning. It did look a bit neglected but could imagine it being lovely in the summer and a real bonus in Venice. The main reasons I think the Hotel should only be 3 star is that it has only a very small lounge/bar area in the reception area so very limited space to relax in if you don't want to be confined to your room after a long day sightseeing (though of course in the summer there is the garden), and there is no restaurant, just a breakfast room, so facilities are limited. This is a great time of year to visit Venice. We were really lucky with the weather, bright sunny days and not too crowded. We walked miles through all 6 'sestieri', booked the 'Venice in a Day' tour - 4 parts, but actually spread them over 2 days - gondola ride, motor launch trip along the Grand Canal with lovely American guide who explained Venice's fascinating history and architecture, and guided tours of both the Bascilica and the Doges Palace. We took the Vaporetti over to San Giorgio - amazing church and best view of Venice from the top of the bell tower. We went to a Vivaldi Concert in San Vidal, the Accademie, the Museo Correr in Piazza San Marco. We found a restaurant quite close to the hotel that had such a fantastic menu that we went back 2 more times (their seafood was incredible, especially paella that was well worth the half hour wait while it was cooked fresh - and the 30 Euros each for the dish!!). We had a ball! I would certainly recommend the San Sebastiano Garden Hotel to friends - as others have said, it was nice to come back to in the evening. One tip worth mentioning. To get to the Hotel on arrival we took the Alilaguna boat (turn left immediately out of the airport and walk 10 minutes along canopied path to the ferry - buy your ticket in the airport before coming out - 15 Euros), but it took over an hour and was dark by the time we got there, taking the magic out of arriving in Venice from the sea. The day we were leaving we simply walked the 10 minutes or so to Piazza Roma and took the bus - only 5 Euros - back to the airport. That way meant crossing about 5 bridges so only really suitable if you've smallish suitcases on wheels. All in all, a great trip. Expensive, but worth it because there simply is nowhere else in the world like it.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank mainlandgranny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 November 2011

The hotel was like a little palace with its own charms and a nice garden in the back perhaps to sit and enjoy reading a book; it was about 10 minutes of pleasant walk to the crowded tourist districts (San Marcos). The staff provided an excellent service, always very helpful with pleasantry. The room was small but cozy:-) the bathroom has a big bath tub. Breakfast was complete with all the essential food groups to start the day. It was not quite expensive but could be cheaper; but of course, it is the one and only Venezia.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank embcn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2011

My partner and I stayed here for 3 or 4 nights. We loved our time in Venice and this hotel was mostly part of the nice experience.

The staff were friendly and even though our reservation (from Hotels.com) said check-in time wasn't until 2 pm we we checked in at around 1 pm without any problem. All the desk clerks were very helpful and friendly with directions or any help they could give and all spoke good English, which was good for us since we attempted to speak some rudimentary Italian, but wouldn't be able to get very far with it.

We had a room near the elevator on the top floor that had a nice balcony that overlooked the garden in the middle of all the houses. The bed was not exactly super-fluffy luxurious like in the high-end US hotels, but it was just fine. I find I sleep just fine as long as the bed is not too hard.

One day we were incredibly tired from our travel schedule and slept through breakfast and everything was already cleared away, but Maria was very kind to give us some food and even make us espresso, even though we were hesitant since it was our own fault for missing the meal time.

The bathroom had a comically narrow toilet and bidet, but it all worked out just fine.

We absolutely loved this location near the south side of the island since it was close enough to many things to do and wasn't too much of a bother to get anywhere, yet it was far enough away from both the train station and Piazza San Marco that we weren't inundated with the bustle of the area around the train station or the relentless annoying herds of tourists all the time. It was probably only a 15 or 20 minute walk to Piazza San Marco. The southern promenade near the hotel also was enjoyable to walk along and it was very close to a Vaporetto stop. There is a grocery store along the promenade around the corner from the hotel and a lively neighborhood with interesting nightlife and places to eat north (or maybe north north east) about 5 or 10 minutes walk.

The price for this hotel was very reasonable for Venice compared to things I saw online in other nice neighborhoods there. We were there over part of the holiday weekend before May day and it was hard to find reasonably priced rooms, but the price and the experience were both mostly good.

The only bad part of the hotel was the typical European habit of never, ever believing in screens on the windows. You really don't find them anywhere and in Venice it's extra bad because there are mosquitoes that are waiting to drink your blood if you leave the window open, even for a few minutes to cool off.

This was a problem because the hotel was not running any kind of air conditioning. It's totally understandable not to run it since the day wasn't too hot and the evenings were pleasantly cool outside. However, this is a big problem with a room with no air circulation on the top floor and all the heat rising. Without the windows open, it was ridiculously hot and stuffy; and with them opened enough to cool off, we were dive-bombed by mosquitoes all night and woke up with a number of itchy mosquito bite welts. Not a very pleasant choice: either roast to death from the heat and not sleep or have mosquitoes buzz by your ears and bite you and wake you up.

I'm sure the situation would be different at a time of year when the air conditioning was on, but the hotel either needs to provide some kind of screen to allow people to cool off without the mosquitoes getting in or circulate some kind of cooler air, even if it's just cool outside air run through the air conditioning system. (We tried running air but it just blew hot air which made things worse.)

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank holodan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2011

Lovely location a bit off the beaten track of the Grand Canal, but worth views of the Lagoon and the restaraunt just along the canal towards the Lagoon. Rooms were the smallest in our tour of Italy but had a nice balcony overlooking the garden as redemption for size of room. The Staff on the first day were great could not do enough then went down hill considerably till we left as an after thought they happened to mention general strike and trains might be effecte d. No water Taxis so carry case to Train station not amusing as lots of bridges . Venice try the alleyways you will find some treasures shops and restaraunts , Bridge of Sighs is how it came across in my history lessons Rialato was disappointing to commericial, but everyone has to make money... Great place to stroll............

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Upalia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2011

Due to the contradictory comments on previous reports,we were a little aprehensive about our stay...four days at the start of October.The hotel is over-rated and should be one star less.It seems that the room you are allocated determines your overall view.We had room 37,which was on the second floor.It was of acceptable size with comfortable beds and nice crisp bed linen.Storage space was limited,the wardrobe was hangerless, but did contain a safe which was free of charge.Everything was clean and presentable.We had a large walk-in shower with good water pressure.The view was a little limited, but not a drawback.The main problem was the air conditioning....quite a common problem aparently.It was very hot during our stay and the air conditioning was not working properly.Two requests for someone to take a look at it brought no response.Sleeping was not always comfortable. The hotel has a garden which is quite unusual in Venice.It is an obvious plus, but is clearly in need of some care and attention...an opportunity missed I think.We didn't take the chance to have breakfast in the garden,but many other guests did. The hotel is on a canal side,very close to bars and eating places.Also, a big plus, is its nearness to a vaporetto station (San Basilio) from where all of Venice is available to you.Make sure that you purchase a 'season ticket' for boat use, as individual journeys cost 6.5 euros, an expensive way to see a magical city.Slightly disappointed with the Grand Canal 'cruise' by night,but each to his own. Back to the hotel....breakfast was good and compared well with other continental breakfasts we have had. Coffee was really good and the service was excellent, efficient and friendly. Reception staff were all friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank BettyandTony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2011

We choose this hotel from the reviews we read on TripAdvisor, however after 2 nights at this hotel we would not recommend it. We booked 2 rooms for 4 people (two couples) on Orbitz. The reservation indicated that check in was at 12:00 pm. However when we arrived at around 12:35 pm, the woman at the front desk informed me that check in was not until "2 or 3" and that Orbitz was wrong and a check in at 12:30 was impossible. Very curt and that was the answer, no offer to take my luggage or offer up the lobby restroom. Once I asked if them keeping our luggage was an option, she did agree. So we went to see some sights and eat lunch. When we got back to the hotel at 3:30 (just in case) we may have been the 2 worst rooms in the hotel. Rooms 10 and 11. Room 10 is the first room to the left when walking into the hotel within the lobby. Room 11 is the door in between the staff lobby restroom and the guest lobby restroom. Room 10, the air conditioning was lacking and was full of cob webbs and mosquitoes. Room 11 was just noisy from being mistaken for being the lobby restroom. Both rooms, the shampoo and bath gels provided were open and used, there were dead mosquito smudges all over the walls and ceiling, and the plaster in the bathrooms was moldy and falling down. Lastly upon check out we needed to pay the city tax in cash, not credit card, which was never communicated to us prior to check out. Luckily we had reserved just enough euros to pay for it with getting back to the airport to return home. While the continental breakfast included was minimal, the breakfast waitress was very nice. If we return to Venice, we will definitely take our chances on another hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jennifer C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2011

Highlights were cozy, clean rooms, extremely helpful staff, great breakfast, and the somewhat secluded location (everything in Venice seems to be within 30 minutes walking distance; but only 3 minutes to a vaporetto stop). Can't say enough about how helpful the staff was!

  • Stayed: September 2011
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Thank davidpryan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about San Sebastiano Garden Hotel

Address: Fondamenta San Sebastian Dorsoduro 2542, 30123 Venice, Italy
Region: Italy > Veneto > Province of Venice > City of Venice > Venice > Dorsoduro / Accademia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#92 Luxury Hotel in Venice
#110 Family Hotel in Venice
#140 Romantic Hotel in Venice
Price Range: £89 - £323 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — San Sebastiano Garden Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
San Sebastiano Garden Venice
Hotel San Sebastiano Garden

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