One of the things you’ll need to figure out when planning a trip to Venice is whether to stay in Lido, Mestre or on the island. On the last trip to Venice, we stayed in Mestre but this time around, as we had just a couple of days at hand, we decided to stay on the island to make the most of our time. After doing a bit of research, we decided to find a hotel in Castello, and picked Aqua Palace. (You can read here about Venice, Italy with Kids: Top 9 Things to Do, Top Attractions & Places to Eat).
Aqua Palace is a luxurious hotel situated in the Castello Quarter of Venice. Venice is divided into 6 districts, Castello is the closest to San Marco (that houses St Mark’s Square, St Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace).
Overlooking a typical Venetian canal, Aqua Palace is housed in a historic palace dating back to the 1700s. The facades of most hotels look like just every other building in Venice, blending them into the surroundings. But as soon as you step foot inside Aqua Palace, you can see the luxurious touches. In fact, that’s what I love about Venice (island), every building has character. Spread over four floors, Aqua Palace hotel offers a grand view of the Venetian Canal and even has a private Gondola Pier.
The Rooms & Suites at Aqua Palace Venice
The rooms and suites are stylish and luxuriously furnished. That having been said, read the persons per room clause carefully as the hotel is pretty strict with their max guests in a room policy. We were told that since we’re a family of 5, we could not stay in the Family Suite which accommodated upto 4 people. So we booked a Junior Suite and a Double Room. The rooms were just across the hall from each other, so if you have older kids, the arrangement would work perfectly. However, since the rooms are not interconnected, this is not an ideal solution for those with younger kids, so go for the Family Suite instead.
The rooms are well appointed, fully equipped with all amenities and essentials. The Junior Suite is quite spacious, with a large comfy bed, a nice couch and a writing desk. The Double Room wasn’t as spacious but the huge, luxurious bathroom made up for that.
Of course, opt for a canal facing room, if possible, as the other rooms can be dark. This is common in Venice as the buildings are built rather close to each other, allowing little sunlight between buildings.
Location of Aqua Palace Venice
The location is fantastic, we could not have asked for a more centralized location. The hotel is just a few minutes’ walk from Piazza San Marco and Rialto Bridge. The area is bustling with lots of restaurants around. There are also several shops and a supermarket nearby.
The Airport is a 30-minute water ride from the hotel. You can also take a vaporetto from San Mark’s or Rialto to get to Santa Lucia Train Station or Piazzale Roma.
Dining and Facilities at Aqua Palace Venice
The hotel serves a buffet breakfast every morning with a great cappuccino. During our stay, vegetarian options at the buffet included a variety of cereals, breads, jams and spreads, cheeses, pancakes and plenty of fruit.
Do note that the restaurant doesn’t serve lunch or dinner. But they have a nice menu for in-room dining and there is also an onsite bar.
Since the hotel is housed in a building from the 1700s, Aqua Palace doesn’t have a spa or swimming pool. But you’re not being shortchanged here, pools and spas are not the norm in hotels on the Island and most hotels do not offer these.
Aqua Palace has a private Gondola Pier, so if you take a private water taxi from Piazzale Roma or Marco Polo Airport, you can practically cruise up to the hotel lobby. At the end of our stay, we took a private water taxi to Marco Polo and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the 30-minute boat ride.
If you’re short on time when in Venice, it is worth the extra dough to stay at a nice hotel on the island and experience the no-holds-barred Venice.
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