We are trying to plan a 10 day Italian vacation for our 26th anniversary. We have 3 nights scheduled for Venice and trying to book the hotel. Hotel Flora, Hotel Serenissima and Hotel Pensione Guerrato all have availability for our dates. Which would you recommend? Are there other options that would be better? Thanks for any help!
We stayed at the Hotel Flora many years ago. We were economizing at the time and got the smallest room. Yikes, was it small! There are larger available. We did have a charming view of the inner courtyard. I'm an early riser and loved walking to St. Marks, just a few minutes, and having it all to myself (except for the pigeons). Good for some great photographs.
We stayed at Hotel Flora on one of our trips to Venice. The hotel was nice, charming and we enjoyed having breakfast in their pretty courtyard. It was a quiet respite in a very busy area near San Marco which we usually avoid..
Stayed at Guerrato a number of times and will do so again. If you decide to stay there, let me know and I can give you a "short cut" way to get there that will eliminate a lot of walking with luggage.
All three choices are very different from one another. Of the three, Hotel Flora wins on glamour, charm, and location, but one of their better rooms will cost a lot more than the other two.
The worst hotel of the three to get to with luggage is Hotel Serenissima. Plenty of walking, and you'll need a very good map. It always amazes me whenever any tourist wishes to book lodging in Venice's Mercerie section. The Mercerie is a fascinating district to explore, much like a visit to Macy's in Herald Square on Black Friday. The Mercerie is heavily congested with buildings and people. The calle are very narrow and receive little daylight. The buildings in this district do not get much daylight either, which means hotel rooms can be excessively dark (you can't trust the website's photos). I'm a traveler who needs light. Getting to the Mercerie with luggage can be a nightmare. For first-time visitors, finding a hotel in this area can be very difficult.
At least there's room to breathe and move around at Hotel Pensione Guerrato, but the location is smack in the Rialto Fish Market. If you don't mind the smell of fish and all the crowds who think the Rialto Market is a must-see event while visiting Venice, then you might enjoy staying in this area. Personally, I wouldn't go near any of the Rialto stops with luggage. This is a very difficult area with lots of stairs and steps, after you get off the vaporetti.
Calle Marzo XXII is a busy street, but it's fairly wide for Venice. Hotel Flora is set back from Marzo 22, so no matter how crowded you find Calle Marzo XXII, the Flora offers refuge and some quiet. The Flora is fairly easy to get to from the Vallaresso dock, the walk is basically an L. The closest water taxi pier is Trinita on the Grand Canal. You'll need a map to find the hotel from this pier, unless they agree to send someone to meet you.
We've stayed at Hotel Pensione Guerrato many times and love it. Yes, the location is near, but not smack in the Rialto Fish Market. In fact, there is a small vegetable market between Guerrato and the fish market. I do not recall ever experiencing the smell of fish nor crowds there just to see the market. There is definitely a way to get to Guerrato via a short walk from the vaporetto without encountering any stairs or steps just by getting off at the correct vaporetto stop. Been there done that many times.
We stayed Hotel Serenissima in Venice on the RS My Way tour and really loved it. The location was ideal and we went all over Venice and took a boat out to the islands ( Cemetery, Burano, Murano) loved it.
Much like the poster above - TC - I have never had any issue with stairs approaching the Guerrato, although the building does its fair share and no lift but help from the desk, and I have never had any fish smell in any room I stayed in or the breakfast room, and I have stayed in various of their rooms. No crowds either - the door is on a small calle not frequented by market tourists...
One of the bigger rooms further upstairs does overlook the produce market which gets a bit loud on Friday and Saturday nights. It never bothered us, was always happy and well spirited and closing the windows removed it.
I don't have any experience with either of the other two.
Have you looked at the Best Western Hotel Ala? We go there fairly regularly now and there are several things in its favour.