New limits on cruise ships
AC Hotel Venezia by Marriott
In this review, we'll introduce you to an attractive and modern hotel on the Piazzale Roma, near airport buses and the People Mover to the Marittima cruise terminals.
Not long ago, we had a 6:30 a.m. flight out of Venice Marco Polo Airport, so we decided to spend the preceding night at the Piazzale Roma, where we could catch an ATVO airport bus to VCE at 4:20 a.m. We decided to "eat our own dog food" (a phrase that I first heard at Microsoft in the 1990s) by staying at one of the hotels described in our articles, 10 Hotels Near Airport Buses and 17 Hotels Near Cruise Ships.
The hotel we picked was the AC Hotel Venezia by Marriott, which had rooms available on short notice and was less than a minute's walk from the airport bus. In this review, I'll describe the hotel and share captioned photos from our stay.
The AC Hotel Venezia is in an almost perfect spot for air travelers and cruise passengers: It's on the western side of the Piazzale Roma, the gateway for visitors who arrive or depart by air, bus, tram, cruise ship, or car.
From the hotel's entrance facing the square, it's a short walk to Marco Polo Airport buses, Treviso Airport buses, land taxis, and the People Mover automated tram (which runs to the Marittima cruise terminals and the Tronchetto parking island). Several parking garages are also directly on the Piazzale Roma.
Although the main entrance is next door to transportation, the rest of the AC Hotel Venezia overlooks an interior courtyard, a quiet side lane, or a pretty canal behind the hotel. Once you're inside the AC Hotel Venezia, you'll forget just how close you are to motor traffic on the Piazzale Roma.
The AC Hotel Venezia has 79 rooms in three styles: queens, twins, and queen rooms with water views. All are clean, modern, comfortable, and well-equipped, with a stylish contemporary decor.
We were a bit concerned about the frosted glass between the bathroom and the bedroom (which has become a cliché of modern hotel design), because it can be annoying when your companion gets up in the night and turns on the bathroom light on the other side of a frosted-glass partition. In practice, this wasn't an issue, thanks to a softly-glowing border around the bathroom mirror that functioned as a nightlight.
We also liked the wooden floors and the duvet on the bed, which accentuated the feeling of cleanliness. (We were less happy with our mattress, which was overdue for replacement.)
On the ground floor beyond the reception desk, you'll find a spacious seating area with books to read and a lounge bar where you can order drinks and light meals. Breakfast is also served in the lobby, although we weren't able to sample the buffet breakfast because of our 4:10 a.m. departure.
Glass doors lead to a landscaped courtyard with outdoor sofas and tables. The courtyard was quiet during our January stay, but it must be a lovely place to relax or enjoy a drink from spring through fall.
The AC Hotel Venezia boasts of facilities for disabled guests, and you certainly won't have any trouble fitting a wheelchair into either of the two elevators. The front entrance does have several steps, but if you go down the side street to the canal, you'll find a fully accessible entrance that you can open with your room's keycard. (It would be nicer if you could simply roll in through the front door, but maybe there wasn't room to fit a ramp.)
We were very pleased with the reception staff and the lounge-bar hostess, all of whom were friendly and helpful.
We booked a prepaid room without breakfast for an extremely reasonable price. As at most hotels in Venice, rates vary by season and demand. You can check the hotel's Booking.com pages to see what a room will cost for the dates of your stay.
BELOW: Here's another look at the hotel's canal side. The windows overlooking the canal are "queen rooms with water views."
BELOW: About half of the AC Hotel Venezia's standard rooms face a quiet side lane that leads from the Piazzale Roma down to the canal. The remaining standard queens and twins (including room 120, where we stayed) overlook the hotel's landscaped courtyard.
BELOW: The reception desk is just inside the hotel's main entrance on the Piazzale Roma.
BELOW: To reach the accessible back entrance of the AC Hotel Venezia, you walk or roll down the gently-sloping side street (shown above), turn left, immediately turn left again at the "AC Hotels" sign, and continue to the doorway.
BELOW: You'll find plenty of seating in the lobby and in the adjacent courtyard.
BELOW: A small library offers an eclectic choice of reading matter. Serial Killers of Venice: Killers, Sadists, and Rapists of the Serenissima wasn't our cup of caffè, but we might have delved into the history of the Garage San Marco if we'd had more time.
BELOW: Room 120 (a standard queen), was clean, stylish, and well-equipped, with a speedy Wi-Fi connection.
BELOW: Our bathroom was spacious and sparkling clean. The walk-in shower had both a fixed monsoon-style shower head and a hand-held spray.
BELOW: The decorative border set into the bathroom mirror did double duty as a subtle nightlight.
BELOW: The small refrigerator--not a minibar--was a nice touch. It contained two complimentary bottles of water (although we preferred Venice's excellent tap water, which comes from mountain foothills on the Venetian mainland).
BELOW: All guest rooms at the AC Hotel Venezia have electric kettles with supplies for making tea and coffee.
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