Hotel San Moisè
Our stay at the Hotel San Moisè
My son and I walked to the Hotel San Moisè from the Zaccaria vaporetto stop above the Piazza San Marco, arriving just before 11 a.m. Our room wasn't yet ready, so we left our bags at the hotel and headed for the Lido.
When we returned at 2 p.m., we were given the key to room 107, which turned out to be in a separate building around the corner from the hotel entrance. The receptionist opened a wooden gate, and we stepped into an attractive courtyard-garden with tables and chairs for lounging. We entered a door, climbed a stone staircase, and arrived in a lounge that was pure Venetian: a large space with beamed ceilings, a Murano glass chandelier, and antique wooden furniture. (One of the tables was covered with magazines in several languages.) Our room was on the same floor as the lounge, but a wooden staircase led up to a gallery with more guest rooms.
Room 107 turned out to be large by Venetian hotel standards, with a slightly trapezoidal shape, terrazzo floors, a beamed ceiling, and multicolored light fixtures of Murano glass. A sleeping niche contained single beds arranged as a queen. The non-sleeping half of the room was furnished with armchairs, a small writing desk, a built-in armoire, and a large dresser with a minibar. (To our pleasant surprise, the minibar's prices were far more reasonable than most, so that we didn't hesitate to take bottles of mineral water for the plane on our departure.)
The large tiled bathroom had modern fixtures, including a bidet and full-size bathroom with shower.
The shutters were closed, so I opened them and discovered the room's best feature: a view of a canal junction from three large windows (two in the bedroom, one in the bath). From an earlier stay at the nearby Hotel Kette, I remembered that the canal was popular with musical gondola tours, and--sure enough--a flotilla of gondolas with musicians and a singer came into view as I leaned out to take a picture.
Gondolas continued to pass our windows into the late evening, lingering for a moment or two as the gondoliers turned their boats in the canal basin. (Noise wasn't a problem, however; we simply shut the windows when we'd had our fill of tenors, baritones, accordions, and guitars. And at night, the room was almost eerily silent, since air conditioning wasn't needed during our visit.)
The next morning, we went down to the breakfast room, which is located in the main building's former water entrance. The San Moisè's breakfast was generous by Italian three-star hotel standards: A waitress brought the traditional basket of rolls and cornetti (apricot jam-filled croissants), and there was a large buffet with juices, coffee and tea, chilled mineral water, toast, cereals, and other items.
The Hotel San Moisè isn't cheap (our €150 canal-view room would have cost us €330 in high season), but its rates aren't out of line for a three-star hotel within a five-minute walk of the Piazza San Marco and the Alilaguna airport boat. If you can afford it, splurge on a canal view: Your memories of passing gondolas, musicians, and singers will be with you for a long time.
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