Mysterious and magical in the middle of winter…
Gondolas, tourists, and Santa Maria della Salute make for a classic Venetian sight
Dancing Gondolas and San Giorgio on an early Venetian morning…
Location! Location! Location! and the Europa & Regina has a prime one along the Grand Canal with waterfront views of the Santa Maria Salute church. From their terrace you will take in one of Venice’s famed iconic views and be almost close enough to touch it.
From the hotel’s private dock you walk into a baby grand hotel with polished marble harlequin patterned floors, golden murano glass lighting fixtures and fanciful floral arrangements. The decor in the main entrance is classical as one would expect, yet freshened up ever so slightly with a light touch of modern clean lines. As guests walk through the great hall they step back a little bit in time to 18th century Venice and right to the reception desk. Check in was quick and the reception staff and porters got us settled into our rooms with minimal fuss.
Rooms with view of the canal come with a high price tag but even with that said the hotel was near capacity and we stayed in one of the interior courtyard rooms, which unfortunately means no view of the water. However our room was not dark or stuffy and we had a surprisingly amount of light coming in which is rare in many Venetian land locked rooms. Also our rooms had a decent amount of space -everywhere, including closets and bathrooms, also a rarity for Venetian property. My one, small complaint was that this being run by the Westin hotel chain, the room did very much feel like it had that generic commercial hotel decor in the rooms which was a bit of a let down in a hotel of this caliber and in such an opulent city. Even the designer Etro bath products could not mask the standard feel of the bathroom which had a door that needed fixing and a bit of a noisy toilet. The bed though was very comfortable, with crisp sheets and mattresses you can sink into, and after a long day of walking that really is the most important thing.
The staff as one would expect were highly professional and accommodating. Reservedly friendly yet not overly engaging which made for efficient and non fussy service. The Concierge desk was very knowledgeable in just about everything including the up to the minute vaporetto schedules and changes. But when it came to restaurants, they did tend to keep to more predictable tourist hot spots in their gastronomic recommendations, yet could book you a table just about anywhere one might want. There is also a restaurant and bar in the hotel both offering great views over the Grand Canal. Evening drinks on the terrace floating over the water and with a magnificent view of the church is an ideal Venetian experience.
Back to the location, if you decide to travel by land, you are half a minute’s walk to Piazza San Marco and in the heart of all the popular shops. And if you do want to travel by water, there is a Gondola pier waiting just outside. Venice awaits…
View from the terrace
Hotel Europa & Regina
San Marco 2159 • 30124 Venice, Italy
Phone: +39 041 2400001
Pros: One of the best located hotels in the city and spacious rooms.
Cons: Part of a large chain hotel which shows in its unimaginative room decor.
Extras: Terrace bar with fabulous view right on the Grand Canal, and a private dock making taxi arrivals easy.