Imagine being given the keys to a museum and spending the night, that’s how Rachel and I felt after being taken to our room at Palazzo Paruta.
Last year when we were booking Italy, we found ourselves in a situation we had never experienced before. We both had jobs, we had vacation time, and we had enough money we didn’t always need to choose the cheapest option. Years ago I read that Venice was sinking and I started worrying that I might miss my opportunity to see such a unique city in all its grandeur. Venice quickly rose to the top of my list of must see destinations and largely influenced our decision to go to Italy. One thing that most people who have been to Venice realize though is that it is really expensive! If you want to stay near the canals (which you really should) a cheap hotel that looks about on par with a Super 8 can easily be 200$ Canadian. Once you start looking for a room with a canal view the price climbs dramatically.
We wanted a nice stay in Venice as it was the city we looked forward to most and began looking but really were unimpressed with the value of the rooms available at the cheap end. We wanted a canal view and a uniquely Venetian hotel. But, while looking at rooms, we noticed the price difference between some of the cheap rooms and nice rooms wasn’t far off the difference you would expect in a cheaper location. Then we saw the Junior Suite with a Canal view at Palazzo Paruta and it spoke to us (or maybe screamed, it is a pretty loud room). Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely an expensive 3 nights that we spent here, but Venice was looking like it would be pretty expensive anyways. We decided to cut our costs at our hotel in Rome in order to be able to afford our room in Venice, and I have no regrets.
We arrived in Venice by train and dragged our luggage from the station to the hotel (I don’t think I can recommend this as there are a lot of stairs and it was a pretty long walk with a short trip on the vaporetto). Alternatively, you could arrive in style taking a water taxi, but let’s face it, we were still recently students. Upon arrival, the hotel staff was extremely polite, though we felt out of place covered in sweat and wearing what probably weren’t the cleanest clothes at this point. We checked in and the bellhop grabbed our bags and showed us to our room. We gave him a tip and after he left we looked around in shock that we were left alone in this palatial room. We sat down and enjoyed our complimentary sparkling wine and snack (benefit of Expedia gold status) and felt like royalty. The room is large with two windows overlooking a canal. Though I loved the view, be aware that the canal is small and is no replacement for the Grand Canal.
Our room was clean and comfortable. There were some signs of wear on some of the upholstery so don’t go expecting a brand new antique couch. The furnishings definitely appear to be old, but to us, this was a large part of the appeal. We had all the amenities we needed including Wi-Fi. The washroom was spacious but the shower was a bit smaller than I would have thought given the size of the suite.
Each morning, a spectacular breakfast was included. This buffet was far beyond any breakfast I had ever gotten at a hotel and included such delicacies as freshly made doughnuts (not gluten free L), custards, omelets, breads, and fruit. Rachel didn’t go hungry here, and enjoyed knowing that she had a hassle free meal. It wasn’t the best gluten free breakfast at a hotel this trip, but it was still dependable which counts for something. It was served in a beautiful room with instrumental music. It was a very peaceful way to start the day.
If you decide to do a gondola ride while in Venice, you can be picked up directly from the hotel. The only downside to this is it is 5 minutes shorter than if you book it elsewhere. I am assuming this is to account for the time it takes to get to the hotel. You have the option to order room service, which if you are in the junior suite, may be worth it to spend some more time in your room.
All in all, we had an amazing experience at this hotel and would not hesitate to return. The room was pricy, but it was unlike any other hotel that we have stayed at. If you are on a tight budget, or if you need to have a view of the Grand Canal, this hotel is not for you. But if you have the money and want to stay somewhere unforgettable, consider the Junior Suite at Palazzo Paruta.