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Hotel Reviews from Recent Trip - Venice - Turin - Le Langhe - Cogne

Sorting my thoughts for a large trip report, I thought I would put together the hotels from my recent trip as they are the simplest.

In Venice, we stayed at Rick Steves Recommended Casa Di Sara, in the Dorsoduro neighborhood. I chose this due to price, as Venice is quite pricey, and location, as we had stayed closer to the Rialto bridge on our first visit, and got so lost getting from hotel to anywhere that we were too tired to do anything by the time we got there. Dorsoduro is a wonderful place to stay, with easy access to the Accademia museum, some nice places to eat, and away from the insanity that is the San Marco area. Casa di Sara is a nice place. The breakfast is pretty basic and limited to an hour, the room is similarly basic but completely adequate. I don't always put a high premium on anything but the bed, as I don't intend to spend a lot of waking hours in the hotel. We spent 4 nights there, missed breakfast once, slept I guess I rate CdS as adequate, but not superlative.

From there, to Padua, where we quick trained to Turin, staying at La Maison B&B. La Maison was a bit hard to find, as it is located in an apartment block that is over a Banco Popular. After a mild bit of confusion, a phone call got Antonio, who came down and showed us the lift (which is tricky to use). Antonio's rooms are wonderful and he is a charming and knowledgeable host, particularly when it comes to restaurants and fine living. Wife said, at the time, this was the nicest hotel room she'd ever stayed in, including corporate hotels in the US. I agreed. La Maison is not actually a B&B, as there is no breakfast, but there is a recommended bakery around the corner, where I had the best croissant/cornetto I've had since Poilane in Paris five or six years ago (this includes other Parisian bakeries, good French bakeries in Chicago, and several places in Prague). We got a very nice tray of fruit when we arrived, and he switched us from the unairconditioned room to the AC'd room when we arrived, as the AC room was unoccupied. As we were checking out, Antonio made several restaurant and winery suggestions for the next phase of our trip to the Langhe. Very highly recommended, though he only has two rooms.

We stayed just outside of Alba, technically in Treiso, at Ada Nada Winery and Agriturismo. Ada Nada had a fantastic breakfast spread, served buffet style, featuring an assortment of cheeses, fruits, meats, frittatas, savory tortes, pizzas, pastries, cakes, yogurts and more. I really liked the Ada Nada house made grape juice as well. This consumed either in the breakfast room or on the patio. We did five breakfasts on the patio, because the view of the valley and the vineyards was breathtaking. Breakfast available from 8-10, which is also a plus if you want to sleep in. Rooms were nice, maybe adequate plus, but not spectacular. But location was great and that view. Also, a generous wine tasting was had one day, where we sampled 12 wines. Hosts were great, though we didn't take full advantage as she was undergoing some kind of medical treatment and not as available as reported by others.

Last, in Cogne we stayed at Les Trompeurs/Chez Odette. Absolutely amazing B&B. Wife liked it so much she asked if we could sell all our stuff and just live in our room, La Siffleuse. Two hour breakfast, wonderful spread of local honeys and jams, cakes and cornettos, glorious cheese and meh hams. Beautiful room with huge bathroom and giant (by Italian standards) shower. Wonderful location on Rue Dr. Grappein. Close to everything in Cogne. Wish we'd stayed more than 2 nights.

Bonus: We spent 6 hours or so sleeping at the Maldron Dublin airport. Not recommended beyond proximity to airport. Bit of a dump. expensive.

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