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Sunday 13 July 2014

The best address in Venice? Style, great service and fab location

Venice can be an intimidating city for first-time visitors. Brash, alive, full of history and colour but very different with its waterways serving as the main transport arteries and its myriad of laneways, many leading nowhere. 

That makes choosing the right hotel even more important than usual. 

No one without intimate knowledge of Venice wants to stay on one of the outer islands, or in a remote suburb from which its takes an eternity to reach key tourist destinations like St Mark's Square and The Rialto Bridge.

So if it is position, position, position you are looking for let me present the gracious M Gallery Hotel Papadopoli. 

At the intersection of the Grand Canal and the smaller Tolentini canal adjacent to the Papadopoli Gardens, this grand hotel is just a short walk from the bus station and one stop, or an easy walk across the the Constitution Bridge to the Piazzale Roma vaporetto stops and the main Santa Lucia railway station. 

Lines 1 and 2 on the vaporetto (water bus) system take you to the Rialto market in around 10 minutes and St Mark's in 20 minutes.   

Gondola excursions can, of course be arranged with the concierge, with picks-ups directly at the front door.    

I described the Papadopoli on Twitter as "brilliantly situated and very well equipped" which might be an understatement, even in a city with plenty of beguiling locations. 

There are some excellent wine bars and trattorias within just a short stroll and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco with frescoes by Tintoretto is similarly close. Those aiming on shopping can find Murano glass outlets just around the corner. 

Set in an 18th-century mansion, the hotel has a boutique feel with just 97 rooms and suites, some with magnificent views like this one from room 328 (below), where I felt very comfortable indeed.

The rooms offer all life's luxuries, with both air-conditioning and windows that open, TVs with a range of international channels, a multi-device charger, safety deposit boxes, bathrooms with bathtub and shower, bathrobes, hairdryer and classy Culti bathroom amenities.

There is a rather grand restaurant serving regional specialities for lunch and dinner seven days a week, a bar that makes a pretty decent Bellini (this is Venice after all), served with some snazzy little snacks, and a computer in the lounge area for those keen to catch up on emails.

There is also, however, free wi-fi throughout the property - a nice treat. 

As you'd expect with an MGallery property there is a multi-lingual workforce well versed in hospitality - and local knowledge - although the breakfast servers (and there is an excellent buffet breakfast in the European style) did seem a little distracted.  
Prices here start from a very reasonable €155 per night, which seemed very fair to me for such stylish digs.   

M Gallery Papadopoli Hotel Venezia, Giardini Papadopoli- S. Croce, 245, 30135 Venezia. +39 041 710 400.   


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