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Italy Hotels - Rome, Florence, Venice (2017)

cp73

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Booked our flights now looking at hotels. Do you have any hotels you would recommend in these cities. I have been looking at trip advisor and thought I would like to hear from Tuggers. Has anyone stayed at the Boscolo Venezia in Venice? Thanks for any input or recommendations. Must be in safe areas my wife really doesn't like to travel!
 

WalnutBaron

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I recommend the Westin Excelsior in Rome. Located in the heart of the city, a spectacular old world hotel. We enjoyed the Westin Excelsior Florence as well. Both hotels can be had for about $300/night.
 
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Haven't been to the Westin in Rome however it does look very nice. Stayed at the Marriott Grand Flora just up from the Westin on a couple of occasions and loved it. Received an upgrade to an amazing suite once and the breakfast is very good. It's opposite Harry's Bar and overlooks Villa Borghese and the rooftop bar/restaurant has some fantastic views. A very safe place, on Via Veneto which is a very expensive, high end street and easy to walk down to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Trevi Fountain etc (the Westin is even closer).
 

VacationForever

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Haven't been to the Westin in Rome however it does look very nice. Stayed at the Marriott Grand Flora just up from the Westin on a couple of occasions and loved it. Received an upgrade to an amazing suite once and the breakfast is very good. It's opposite Harry's Bar and overlooks Villa Borghese and the rooftop bar/restaurant has some fantastic views. A very safe place, on Via Veneto which is a very expensive, high end street and easy to walk down to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Trevi Fountain etc (the Westin is even closer).
Our experience with Marriott Grand Flora is quite the opposite - while roof top breakfast had wide variety but also included food that was subpar - lukewarm (at best) premade omelete, cut up hot dogs labelled as sausages, bacon that was strange and very salty. Requested to borrow Italian plugs for our power cords with an immediate answer of we don't have any, until my husband said but Westin in Florence..., then suddenly they had some. Shower that would not drain and their repairman could not fix it after coming up each day (4 days) - standing in cooling soapy water was unpleasant. Regular room was even smaller than a stateroom on a cruise ship. Did you try Harry's Bar opposite? Talk about lack of service. Too few staff working too many tables and several of us had to keep trying to get their attention and even so, another long wait after putting in an order or a request. We were stuck at dinner for 2.5 hrs. Then someone else showed up with the bill at the end indicating gratuities were not included in their bill. Every guest in sight, including us, spoke with American accent, so they were expecting tips. We tipped everywhere else in Europe, including Florence and Rome, our usual 20 percent and the wait staff was usually surprised and happy. This place we left without leaving a tip.

In Florence, quite a different experience. Westin Florence, we got upgraded to a junior suite with amazing view of the Arno River, but that was not the point. Staff was always helpful. An example being we wanted to borrow Italian standard plugs and they immediately sent a concierge up to our room with several. We had several questions on how to get to our meeting points for various prebooked tours and the concierge was very helpful, including that for one of the tours, he would call them to pick us up instead of our needing to catch a taxi to get there, as the hotel had a good relationship with the tour operator.. There is also a Harry's Bar next door and both food and service were night and day from the other non-affliated Harry's Bar in Rome. Everything was home/restaurant prepared, from sauces to butter to breads. Fantastic service too.

The comparison can be longer if you want us to get into gluten free food between the 4 establishments that I have listed above...their grades were consistent..Westin Florence good, Harry's Bar in Florence good, Marriott Grand Flora in Rome downstairs great, and Harry's Bar in Rome was a joke - gluten-free bread = here is a packet of rice crispies. One huge plus of the Marriott was that the restaurant and bar downstairs. It is supposed to be a full restaurant at the end of the month. Their assistant manager Luca would modify and create new dishes on the fly and the kitchen chef is a star. They have a limited menu and each night they were serving me food not on the menu. I have bad allergies and Luca suggested making me a pot of fresh ginger with lemon tea from the bar. I had that for my next 3 meals. I had seafood pasta, spaghetti bolognese, all gluten free and not on the menu. Their gluten free bread supply (both upstairs and downstairs) was an issue, which they addressed it by the 4th day. The chef also made the best gluten free desert cookies.
 
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sheweeble

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I will give you some options for smaller hotels and B&B's which is what we usually use in Europe.

In Venice, Hotel Ca' Dogaress overlooking Canale di Cannaregio. We had a view of the canal from our room and breakfast canal side in the morning. It is walking distance with luggage from the train station. There are good restaurants close. About a 15 minute walk to St Mark's Square. Really everything in Venice is walking distance. A wonderful city to get lost in.

In Florence, Antica Dimora Firenze, this B&B only has 6 rooms, with lots of "Florence" character. The bustle and noise of the city is replaced with classical music, burgundy sofas, freely available tea, coffee and cake, and an honesty bar proffering Vin Santo and biscotti. Each room is uniquely decorated, We had a little balcony. Breakfast, a good buffet of cold meats, tomatoes and cheeses, cereals, fruit, yogurt, bread, cake and toast and jams in addition to fruit juices, endless tea and good coffee! All served in a lovely sitting/dining room It was so nice to sit and chat to other guests around the breakfast table. But if you prefer some privacy in the morning, there are trays to take your breakfast back to your room.
About a 15 minute walk to the Duomo.

In Rome, Hotel Santa Maria,a former convent, in the charming district of Trastevere. The Travastere area is like a small ancient Italian town within the City of Rome. Most of Rome's tourist sports are a 20 to 30 minute walk. After spending all day touring the great sites of Rome, returning to the Santa Maria Hotel at night felt like coming home. Each morning a breakfast was spread in a lovely room with linen table cloths and soft classical music in the background. Scrambled eggs, thinly sliced meats and cheeses, strawberries, peaches, kiwis and other fruit, also pastries, cereals, juice, and your choice of coffee, tea or a wonderful cappuccino. Two courtyards lie at the centre of the rooms and are shaded by dozens of orange trees to form the perfect place to enjoy breakfast (as an alternative to the dining room) - or enjoy a drink from the bar before going out to dinner in one of the many superb restaurants and pizzerias literally around the corner. Rooms were cute and clean, bathrooms spotless and have a great shower.
 
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Our experience with Marriott Grand Flora is quite the opposite -
Consistency clearly isn't their strong point!

Breakfast on the terrace is different to the one in the restaurant, the one downstairs is much better. I don't know why there is a difference. The rooms we had were fantastic but then we were upgraded to the best suites so I can't comment on what the standard rooms are like. The service has always been good.

Harry's Bar is your typical tourist trap. I've only had one drink in there whilst waiting for my wife, service was fine but it wasn't particularly busy. I only mentioned it because it's quite popular with Americans. As for tipping, I'm afraid I have no sympathy there. I really disagree with the American tipping culture, in Europe staff are paid a proper wage and tipping is not expected, bills are usually rounded up with a few coins but because most Americans visit and leave big tips (20% is ridiculous) staff are now expecting it even from those of us who are not American.

Part of the problem is that both hotels are on one of the most expensive streets in Rome and therefore bars and restaurants along that route feel that they can charge exorbitant prices and not bother much with service. I learned this the hard way but at least there are far better options a few streets away.
 

cp73

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Thanks all for your comments. At this point I have booked 4 nights in Rome at the Boscola Exedra Roma (Marriott). Also have booked two night in Cinque Terra. Next I need 4 nights for Florence and 3 for Venice. This will be our first trip to Italy.
 

silentg

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We used hotel points for Crowne Plaza in Rome. There was a shuttle bus to take us into the city, we were also on the bus line right outside the front door. We have HICV that we use for hotel stays. The hotel was very nice and it was very hot in Rome when we went, June , so the outdoor pool was refreshing. We just stayed in Rome so I can't advise any of the other cities' hotels.
Have a great time!
Silentg
 

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We stayed at Boscolo Venezia for 5 nights in October a few years ago and thought it was great. The building was very nice. There was a garden in the back. Breakfasts were excellent. They have their own boat that will shuttle you to St Mark's Square. The Cannaregio is a great place for walking. It's a short walk to a dock on the lagoon that is a quick ride to the airport.
 

Bill4728

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Thanks all for your comments.

Next I need 4 nights for Florence and 3 for Venice. This will be our first trip to Italy.
We are both Marriott and Westin hotel people BUT the Westin hotels in Venice are in great locations The new Marriott is on a island a 15 minute boat ride outside of Venice Great hotel but so so location.

The Westin in Florence is a great location and a great hotel. We walked the 4 blocks from the train station. Wonderful restaurant on the roof. The Hilton is new and beautiful BUT too far out of the city center.
 

WalnutBaron

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This will be our first trip to Italy.
You're going to love it. When my DW and I traveled there the first time in 2012, all we kept saying to each other was "what a privilege it is to be here and see all these amazing sights".
 

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I think Italy is the best part of Europe...unbelievable history, scenery, food, art, etc., etc. The people are wonderful and cater to tourists (Rome menus are in Italian and English).

The Rome Boscolo looks wonderful but may be a little too modern if they used the same designer as the one in Milan....check that out carefully.

Our room in Grand Flora was the smallest we've stayed in and the bathroom almost not big enough to turn around...but we still loved it and the location...but hard to get in on points. I wasn't lifetime platinum then so suspect if we went back we'd get a better room.

The very historic Weston is two short blocks away from Flora but very big and impressive...the hotel was having major room upgrades when we were there 2 years ago...a disappointment for us as ours wasn't done...and the food wasn't as good as outside restaurants on that street. The Concierge there was incredible ... I left my movie camera in a taxi and somehow he got it back in an hour...not only that, there was a bus strike when we were leaving for a train to Milan and he sent his assistant to find a taxi and took us to the train, handled our bags and showed us our seating. Amazing. I'm sure the Westin decor change has been done by now and the hotel would be a real treat.

In Florence we just loved the Westin Excelsior...they gave us a penthouse with a large terrace overlooking the Arno River. In Venice...only one choice IMO ... the Danieli hotel...we got a 1 bdrm suite facing the canal. Wow...you'll see movie stars staying there too. http://www.danielihotelvenice.com/?PS=LGEN_AA_DEMA_CGGL_TPRP&SWAQ=7M96&audland=ENAudience&audbrand=HotelDanieliAudience&auddest=noneAudience

If you have time stay a few days south of Rome in Sorrento...we just loved the Hilton Palace. I was introduced to Limoncello there. Hire a limo to take you around the coast road. Take a boat to Capri and go 'blue'. Pompeii is close by too.
http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/italy/hilton-sorrento-palace-RROHIHI/index.html#content

Enjoy...you will be making memories anywhere you go. Take your girls too.

Brian
 
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pwrshift

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Couldn't get the first link to work. Didn't try the second one.
 

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Our experience with Marriott Grand Flora is quite the opposite - while roof top breakfast had wide variety but also included food that was subpar - lukewarm (at best) premade omelete, cut up hot dogs labelled as sausages, bacon that was strange and very salty. Requested to borrow Italian plugs for our power cords with an immediate answer of we don't have any, until my husband said but Westin in Florence..., then suddenly they had some. Shower that would not drain and their repairman could not fix it after coming up each day (4 days) - standing in cooling soapy water was unpleasant. Regular room was even smaller than a stateroom on a cruise ship. Did you try Harry's Bar opposite? Talk about lack of service. Too few staff working too many tables and several of us had to keep trying to get their attention and even so, another long wait after putting in an order or a request. We were stuck at dinner for 2.5 hrs. Then someone else showed up with the bill at the end indicating gratuities were not included in their bill. Every guest in sight, including us, spoke with American accent, so they were expecting tips. We tipped everywhere else in Europe, including Florence and Rome, our usual 20 percent and the wait staff was usually surprised and happy. This place we left without leaving a tip.

In Florence, quite a different experience. Westin Florence, we got upgraded to a junior suite with amazing view of the Arno River, but that was not the point. Staff was always helpful. An example being we wanted to borrow Italian standard plugs and they immediately sent a concierge up to our room with several. We had several questions on how to get to our meeting points for various prebooked tours and the concierge was very helpful, including that for one of the tours, he would call them to pick us up instead of our needing to catch a taxi to get there, as the hotel had a good relationship with the tour operator.. There is also a Harry's Bar next door and both food and service were night and day from the other non-affliated Harry's Bar in Rome. Everything was home/restaurant prepared, from sauces to butter to breads. Fantastic service too.

The comparison can be longer if you want us to get into gluten free food between the 4 establishments that I have listed above...their grades were consistent..Westin Florence good, Harry's Bar in Florence good, Marriott Grand Flora in Rome downstairs great, and Harry's Bar in Rome was a joke - gluten-free bread = here is a packet of rice crispies. One huge plus of the Marriott was that the restaurant and bar downstairs. It is supposed to be a full restaurant at the end of the month. Their assistant manager Luca would modify and create new dishes on the fly and the kitchen chef is a star. They have a limited menu and each night they were serving me food not on the menu. I have bad allergies and Luca suggested making me a pot of fresh ginger with lemon tea from the bar. I had that for my next 3 meals. I had seafood pasta, spaghetti bolognese, all gluten free and not on the menu. Their gluten free bread supply (both upstairs and downstairs) was an issue, which they addressed it by the 4th day. The chef also made the best gluten free desert cookies.
We are midway into our stay at the Gand Flora. I choose this hotel because of the location and the ability to get a two room suite for 200k points plus the cash upgrade. The service has been great. I am a little surprised about the small fitness area, but no big deal. As titanium members, we were offered breakfast for two on the terrace which has great views. I agree with the food quality. The fruit selection is fresh, but the eggs and omelettes are horrible, the bacon is undercooked and those chicken sausages are hotdogs. It’s hard to complain when it’s free but we are three people so to pay 30 euro for this quality of food is embarrassing for this high end Marriott.
 

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Our experience with Marriott Grand Flora is quite the opposite - while roof top breakfast had wide variety but also included food that was subpar - lukewarm (at best) premade omelete, cut up hot dogs labelled as sausages, bacon that was strange and very salty. Requested to borrow Italian plugs for our power cords with an immediate answer of we don't have any, until my husband said but Westin in Florence..., then suddenly they had some. Shower that would not drain and their repairman could not fix it after coming up each day (4 days) - standing in cooling soapy water was unpleasant. Regular room was even smaller than a stateroom on a cruise ship. Did you try Harry's Bar opposite? Talk about lack of service. Too few staff working too many tables and several of us had to keep trying to get their attention and even so, another long wait after putting in an order or a request. We were stuck at dinner for 2.5 hrs. Then someone else showed up with the bill at the end indicating gratuities were not included in their bill. Every guest in sight, including us, spoke with American accent, so they were expecting tips. We tipped everywhere else in Europe, including Florence and Rome, our usual 20 percent and the wait staff was usually surprised and happy. This place we left without leaving a tip.
We are midway into our stay at the Gand Flora. I choose this hotel because of the location and the ability to get a two room suite for 200k points plus the cash upgrade. The service has been great. I am a little surprised about the small fitness area, but no big deal. As titanium members, we were offered breakfast for two on the terrace which has great views. I agree with the food quality. The fruit selection is fresh, but the eggs and omelettes are horrible, the bacon is undercooked and those chicken sausages are hotdogs. It’s hard to complain when it’s free but we are three people so to pay 30 euro for this quality of food is embarrassing for this high end Marriott.

It's because of random negative and inconsistent experiences at Grand Flora as discussed above which caused us to look elsewhere.
For many years GF was the place to be in Rome, but then it went downhill. Then suddenly it was back, and receiving good reviews.
Now I'm beginning to read so-so reviews again.

So, for our first trip to Italy in October of 2018, and naturally flying into Rome first and staying a few nights,
I chose the old Boscolo Exedra Roma, now the Palazzo Naiadi. There were many reasons I chose it.

After our stay, I'd say it was a 5-star experience, as advertised. The hotel was superb----everything was exquisite,
the staff was outstanding and always went the extra mile in every facet of service (especially the concierge desk which
was the best I've ever experienced anywhere), and our special trip to Rome (and Italy) will now leave only lasting,
wonderful memories.

It's slightly more expensive, but what the heck! There's only one chance to impress, and we weren't into "giving a hotel a try" for the sake
of a few dollars. THIS is why we went to Rome----not for cheap rates and
deals and hiccups in service and/or facility,
but for a trip of a lifetime. For those who accept less, I'm so sorry.

BTW, I used half cash and half Rewards Points, and it turned out to be very reasonable, far less than I thought.
And for the other two destinations, Monterosso and Florence, we used Airbnb's, and those were fantastic and actually
inexpensive for what we got....We traveled with another couple, so it was a heck of a trip for half the cost.
We loved the accommodations, especially our 4 nights in Florence's city center...
a gorgeous, large 2-BR apartment with a private terrace all to ourselves.
 
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JohnB3

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I stayed at the JW Marriott in Venice (at the time as a platinum I got upgraded to a waterfront suite with a private pool ) The resort was amazing (but that upgrade may have colored my view :)) . It's on a private island with a water taxi to take you to Venice so very safe and quiet. I'd go back there in a heartbeat
 

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And here’s the flip side of glam travel:
Ihg crowne plaza at vce airport. It’s not really at the airPort, but a lovely 20 minute ride thru Italian countryside on their free on call shuttle. About 120euros or less a night. Quarto d’altino Train station next door. Easy 3 euro train ride Into Venice historic area. Easy to connect for other Italian train destinations. Nice rooms, great staff. We rebook noncancel rate a few days out to also include great breakfast. Staying again next year. Saving at least 300 euros for 2 nights vs 3* hotel in Venice. We travel to Europe for 3 weeks and stretch our bucks to come back again.
 
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