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Venice Travel FAQ:
Hotels and Vacation Apartments

From: Venice Travel FAQ

Hotel Ai Due Fanali roof terrace view

ABOVE: A view from the rooftop breakfast terrace at the Hotel Ai Due Fanali.

  • Where should I stay?

That depends. Venice's historic center is compact, and you can walk most places unless you're staying in Mestre (on the mainland), on the Lido (Venice's beach resort), or on the island of La Giudecca. This means you can book a hotel almost anywhere in central Venice without being isolated from the sights.

Still, a few guidelines may be helpful:

For more detailed advice and recommendations, see: Venice Hotel Guide

  • Should I use a booking service or reserve directly with the hotel?

Again, it depends. On our Venice Hotel Directions pages, we try to include links to three different resources (two of which are our handpicked booking partners):

  • Venere (owned by Expedia, and featuring TripAdvisor reviews).

  • (the No. 1 reservations network in Europe).

  • The hotels' own Web sites.

By comparing rates, reviews, and availability, you can get the best room at the best price.

Food for thought:

Some people think they'll be treated better if they book directly with the hotel.

Others are convinced that they're more likely to get a room upgrade or other special treatment if they use a booking service, because hoteliers know that hotel sites publish guest ratings and reviews.

As for us, we've been treated well by hotels that we've booked through Venere and, and we like the peace of mind that comes with using a secure reservations network.

For more information, including links to rental listings, see: Venice Vacation Apartments

  • Do Venice hotel rates include taxes, breakfast, and service?

Normally, rates on Venere and include breakfast. Any exceptions are spelled out clearly.

VAT is also included, and there's no extra charge for service (although you're welcome to tip the maid and porter).

Please note: The city of Venice now charges a tourist tax that varies according to the type and category of accommodation. The tax is modest, and your hotel may ask you to pay it in cash when you register.

  • How early should I reserve a room?

The earlier, the better. Many Venice hotels are small (fewer than two dozen rooms), so your choices may be limited if you wait until the last minute--especially from April through October, during Carnival, or on holiday weekends.

Unless you've booked a room at a special non-refundable rate, you can always cancel your reservations if your plans change.

  • Should I consider a vacation apartment?

Yes, if you'll be in Venice for several days to a week or longer. With a furnished vacation apartment, you won't have to dine out at every meal, and you'll enjoy the fantasy of living like a Venetian.

On the downside: You won't have a reception desk at your beck and call, you'll need to make or buy breakfast, the most desirable apartments are often booked months in advance, and payment can be a nuisance. (Landlords often require non-refundable deposits by wire transfer, and you'll typically need to pay the balance of the rent in cash when you arrive.)

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