Venice is the tourist mecca of Italy and is definitely worth a visit for anyone in the vicinity. The city is surrounded by water, interlaced with canals, lacking in severe winter weather, friendly people and a rich history. It is not a big city but for the senior traveler, it’s best to stay in a central location so you’re able walk everywhere without becoming too tired.
Read more about Accessible Venice in an earlier article. There are plenty of hotels in Venice in all price ranges. If you are planning to take a water taxi, vaporetta or gondola from a hotel further out from the city center, it can get a little pricey at times and the gondolas can be slow in arriving at your destination.
It goes without saying the best places to stay in Venice are the central area. Venice has its share of luxury hotels but it also has cheaper accommodation available in the monasteries, hostels and pensiones. There are many luxury hotels in Venice, once palaces of the aristocrats but you’ll pay a pretty price for the experience of living like royalty in Venice. In the vicinity of the Santa Lucia Train Station, there are many hotels to choose from and prices to fit every wallet. From $75 a night, hotels and apartment hotels such as the Mercure Santiago Centro, the Hotel Plaza San Francisco, the Park Plaza Apart Hotel and the San Ignacio Suite Apartments are safe bets with good reviews. On the downside, you’ll be further from the center of Venice where many of the most popular Venice tourist attractions are located. If you are not up to walking, you’ll need to hire a gondola or take a vaporetto (water taxi or bus) to get into the center of Venice.
In the south west corner is the old Venice with its small narrow streets, you’ll find it is much quieter. A number of three star boutique hotels are located here, including the Palazzo Odoni in the Santa Croce district at 151 Fondamenta Minotto. Depending on the season, a room goes for about 140 Euros a night including breakfast and Wifi. This charming boutique hotel is quaintly decorated with antiques, tapestries and offers a lovely breakfast.
Central Venice is the San Marco district, which has all the beautiful cathedrals, high end boutiques and museums of Venice. A lovely hotel in Venice to consider is the Hotel Colombina. The Bridge of Sighs can be seen from the Hotel Columbina. It’s a 4 star hotel with rooms and suites from about $300 US a night. Delicately decorated with handmade Italian furniture and subtle colors and a view of the canal, the Hotel Columbina comes with all the modern amenities a traveler needs. The lounge offer exquisite fining dining and a breakfast buffet based on Venetian and Mediterranean cuisine. Dining al fresco with a wonderful view is available on the rooftop of Hotel Columbina.
The Castella area close to St. Mark’s square (Piazza San Marco) is home to the 5 star Hotel Metropole offering a memorable view of the Venice lagoon. Hotel Metropole’s 67 suites combine an eclectic mix of antique, Oriental and art deco furnishings. This Venice luxury hotel’s restaurant the Met presents some of the most creative cuisine in all of Venice to please demanding palates that hanker for the extraordinary in their food choices.
Overlooking the Orseolo Basin where the gondoliers tie-up and rest is the Best Western Hotel Cavalletto & Doge Orseolo. It’s a pretty scene to watch and photograph, the gondoliers sitting in their sleek black gondolas, chatting on their cellphones and to each other and smoking cigarettes. So if you are seeking a name branded hotel, this one is recommended. It’s also within walking distance of San Marco Square, so it’s close to the main tourist attractions of Venice. Rates start at 274 euros per night for a room for two people at the Hotel Cavalletto & Doge Orseolo (at time of publication). There is a lounge in the hotel as well as room service and all other amenities expected at a Best Western hotel.
The Best Western brand name also owns another hotel in Venice called the Hotel Ala, centrally located and only a short walk from Piazza San Marco, close to the main tourist attractions. With a wonderful rooftop terrace, a tea room, whiskey and wine tasting at Tarnowska’s American Bar and the expected amenities of a Best Western hotel, Hotel Ala is another example of some of the good hotels in Venice.
Hotel prices skyrocket during the high tourist season in Venice from May to October. The most comfortable times for senior travel if you want to avoid the higher prices, the humidity, the crowds and extensive waiting times of lineups would be to travel outside of this time frame. Dining is a delightful mix of Venetian food, pastas and home made pizzas which can be bought almost everywhere. Try to avoid the tourist trap restaurants and check out our article on dining on a budget in Venice if you’re looking for some deals on food. You can travel to Venice by plane, cruise ship, trains, buses and cars. Most travel agents and airlines offer great discounts if you book air and hotel accommodation at the same time. For more to see and do in Venice, check out “Things to do and See in Venice.”