Review: Boscolo Venezia, a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel
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To The Point
Renovated in 2011, the former Rizzo-Patarol noble palace is now a magnificent boutique hotel. The Pros: Friendly staff, beautiful gardens and it’s located in a quiet part of town. The Cons: Small rooms and there’s no gym or executive lounge.
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Marriott Autograph Collection hotels are known to be top-notch, and this property is no exception. The building Boscolo Venezia resides in was originally built in the 1500s and thanks to a renovation in 2011, has been perfectly preserved. Here’s what it was like to stay in the most historic hotel I’ve ever visited.
When I first started scouting out hotels for my three-night stay in Venice, rates at this hotel were going for 460 euros per night (~$544), which was higher than I was willing to pay at the time. Eventually, I tracked down and successfully completed a Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) for this property, something that I always try as a last resort, since these have become harder to find recently. Because I found a better rate and it was approved, Marriott matched it and I received a 25% discount per night off the lower rate I’d found, making this the most rewarding Best Rate Guarantee I’ve completed to date. In the end, I paid 220 euros (~$245 at the time) per night — $735 for three nights — and charged it to my Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, which gave me 3x points for the travel purchase.
Since this hotel is a Category 9 Marriott property, I would have needed 45,000 Marriott Rewards points to redeem for a free night. By paying cash this time around, I earned 7,350 Marriott Rewards points for the stay, plus a 25% bonus thanks to my Marriott Gold Elite status, for a total of 9,188 Marriott Rewards points.
Check-In and Lobby
There are several ways to get to the hotel from Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE). To mix things up, I took the orange line public water taxi for 15 euros (~$18) there and a private water taxi back. Note, however, that there was a 45-minute to get on it and had I known this, I would’ve just splurged for the private water taxi both times — 120 euros (~$142) each way for up to four people. To reserve, you can email the hotel at firstname.lastname@example.org or arrange one at the airport when you get there.
The private water taxis drop passengers off directly at the hotel entrance, but since I’d taken the public one, it dropped me off at a spot that was about a five-minute walk away. It wasn’t much, but with luggage, it was an inconvenience.
The bell staff welcomed me and offered to help with my bags as I made my way inside.
As I was checking in, I was offered a glass of Prosecco, which I thought was a very nice welcome gesture. The check-in process was swift and efficient, but unfortunately an upgraded room wasn’t available, even with my Marriott Gold Elite status. I was given room 102 one floor above the lobby, but it would’ve been nice to have had a room on a higher floor.
The staff was very pleasant, helpful and offered many suggestions for things to see and do — they all spoke English very well, too. Throughout the day, the grand piano in the lobby area doubled as a snack stand and offered complimentary bonbons.
To the side of the lobby was a table offering hot and cold refreshments throughout the day.
This vantage point looking out over the lobby shows the hotel’s true classical architecture.
There were two small elevators, one on each side of the lobby. The small size was inconvenient, especially with luggage, and if additional guests wanted to go up, it was a tight squeeze. On the other hand, the stairs to the side of the elevator were always available for use.
As I entered, I quickly realized the 323-square-foot room wouldn’t be very spacious. Of course, this is common in European hotels and something I had expected when I booked my stay at this 66-room boutique hotel.
To the left of the entryway was a golden-colored bathroom with a single vanity.
A bidet was also available between the toilet and combination shower/bathtub .
Here’s a look at the the toiletries that were provided.
The closest housed a couple of umbrellas, a safe and plenty of hangers, but I was only able to fit one of my two suitcases inside.
Though the rooms are small, they’re comfortable — let’s face it, you’re in Venice and probably won’t be spending too much time in here anyway!
Even though I was on the first floor of guest rooms, my view was incredible — I was always able to see the gondolas passing by, which added to the room’s overall ambiance.
There was a Phillips TV provided with channels in multiple languages. It was placed on the desk, probably because of the limited space available in the room.
The mini-bar was well-stocked with soft drinks as well as multiple alcoholic beverages.
I’ve seen this before at other hotels, but in order to have ice delivered to the room, I’d have to fork over an additional 5 euros (~$6). Instead, I headed over to the bar and got a complimentary bucket of ice. Here’s one more shot of the bed, from the other side.
Food and Beverage
The hotel bar — located near the lobby — was very small, but offered great drinks. It never got too busy since most people seemed to be out and about, exploring and enjoying the city.
The restaurant was also situated by the lobby. The food was good but the atmosphere didn’t seem very inviting compared to the rest of this exceptional hotel.
The inside dining area was small and as you can see, it was dark and not very well decorated.
The restaurant also had an outside patio, where I enjoyed my daily breakfast. Service was quick, the food was excellent and the beautiful gardens made this a special place for a meal.
Thanks to my elite benefits, I was able to enjoy the buffet and order an à la carte entrée free of charge.
Dessert items, like cakes and cookies, were offered at the buffet, too.
Breakfast was exceptional and since there was no executive lounge, getting it for free each day was a great elite status perk.
The à la carte pancakes I ordered were small but flavorful.
A large assortment of bread, charcuterie, smoked salmon and cheeses were also available at the buffet.
My favorite amenity was the complimentary water taxi from the hotel to Piazza San Marco, which ran about six times daily in each direction and required a reservation at the reception desk. Otherwise, there was public transportation via water taxi or you could splurge for a private water taxi for about 70 euros (~$83) each way to reach the city center in style. Walking around is another, more scenic option if you’re up for exploring the city, and there were several restaurants and shops just a few blocks away.
Unfortunately, there was no gym at this hotel, but it’s understandable considering the size. The in-room Wi-Fi was not good either, and it was frustrating to even complete simple tasks online.
Adjacent to the lobby was a small business center with a computer and a printer.
There was a beautiful garden area near the back of the hotel with a trail that led to an open space where weddings and other events are sometimes held.
There was a wedding reception taking place when I walked there one day during my trip.
Just beyond the bushes, you’ll find a few more guest rooms and the hotel spa — the doors were locked when I went to go see it and unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to test out the facilities this time around. Lounge chairs were laid out so guests could relax in the sun.
My first visit to Venice was even more incredible since I was staying at the Boscolo Venezia. Between the beautiful rooms, incredible views, delicious food and impeccable service, it was hard to board the water taxi back to the airport. The next time you’re planning a trip to Venice, consider staying at this hotel — the rates may seem high, but for me, it was well worth it!
Have you ever stayed at the Boscolo Venezia? Tell us about your experience, below.
All photos by the author.
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