A trip from London to Venice, one night on the Venice Simplon Orient Express (see separate review) was an experience we had been talking about for some time and then combining this with a relaxing holiday on Venice Lido for 11 days from 29 June - 8 July.
We left the train at Venice's Santa Lucia station and although we could have taken a water bus this would not have taken us anywhere near to the hotel, it would have involved a bus journey or a 30 minute walk. So with searing temperatures of 45c we got a water taxi directly outside the station for 80 euros door to door - money, we felt, very well spent.
The journey of 35 minutes took us to the hotel's private mooring which is off the Grand Canal. The first view of this launch is absolutely stunning, a beautiful vibrant colour splash of many flowers, disembarking and walking along a red carpet and up an imposing marble staircase to the reception and concierge.
We had opted for a superior room but without a balcony or sea view as this would have increased the cost of our stay by almost £1,000. The room was very spacious with a fridge and dressing room with plenty of storage and a safe.
There was a very nice large bathroom with two basins, bath robes and slippers but cheap horrible smelling toiletries.
The air conditioning was super efficient and kept the room lovely and cool which was much needed with such high outside temperatures. The ceiling was covered in beautiful padded fabric, however there were very large dirty marks from the air conditioning unit.
The bed was extremely comfortable and when we asked for extra pillows they were brought immediately. We were also missing a bedside lamp and again this was attended to straight away. Our room was kept spotlessly clean by our chamber maid.
The lounge and terrace areas were spacious and pleasant with photos around the corridors of the hotel in bygone days as well as famous film stars who had stayed in the hotel.
We did not dine in the hotel and we did not see the dining room in use once for those who did. The room looked quite depressing & neglected and the original chandelier, as could be seen in photos, had been replaced by a more modern tacky one which seemed a real shame.
There were a number of shops in the hotel selling newspapers & drinks, Murano glass items including jewellery, Ferrari merchandise and women's & men's designer clothing & shoes.
The pool area was lovely with plenty of sun loungers and towels laid out for you. However the pool itself was in a bad state and needed to be replaced with tiles missing and broken stone work.
The gardens were magnificent and well maintained, they lead down to the hotel's private beach which can also be used by people who are not staying there. We had thought that for residents there would be no charge; how wrong we were. To hire two beds and an umbrella at a daily rate of 20 euros pp is affordable but a cabana at about 260 euros/day is somewhat excessive, hence the pool was always busy and the beach quiet.
Breakfast is served until a very respectable 10.30am and is taken in an open but covered very pleasant area parallel with the gardens. Although there is a good choice of food; pastries, breads, cheeses, salamis & hams, smoked salmon, yoghurts and hot choices, the 'fresh' fruit salad was often not fresh (mushy strawberries & kiwi perhaps from the day before) and very watery, cheap juices. When the manager overseeing breakfast was told this, he was defensive and denied there was anything the matter with the juice. The cappuccino was one of the best we have ever had.
The hotel operates a free shuttle in one of its passenger motor boats on the hour to St Marks Square, a 10 minute ride. It drops you by the Danieli Hotel. To return it is on the half hour.
As we were staying at the hotel on a b&b basis, we found a number of good restaurants to eat within a 20 minute walk from the hotel. The walk to the centre of the Lido takes about 30 minutes along the coastal road (Lungomare) or you can get a bus there. You buy bus tickets from the tabacchi opposite the hotel. From here you can also buy a large bottle of water at 1.50 euros, alot cheaper than the 8 euros around the pool.
All in all, we were comfortable in our room and enjoyed the pool area but for the very high rates the hotel charges there are a number of areas that need attention; it would be interesting to see if in a few years time were we to return, that changes had been made.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located right on Venice Lido beach, the Hotel Excelsior is a masterpiece of Venetian architecture dating back to the early 1900. An exclusive 5 star Deluxe Resort, of Moorish style and recalling a fabulous Venetian Renaissance palace, the Hotel Excelsior is ideal for family holidays, romantic getaways, conferences or special events in Venice.Stunning halls overlooking the sea, highly creative, contemporary Italian cuisine and competent, skilled staff, become ingredients of the hotel’s recognition and awareness among the best wedding and special events locations. Welcome to the Hotel Excelsior, for more than one century the best match of luxury, history, tradition with comfort and service, carefully built around you. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Westin Excelsior Venice Lido Hotel
- Westin Venice
- Venice Westin
- Hotel Excelsior Venice Province Of Venice, Italy