Places to Stay

New pages: Directions to Venice Hotels

Directions-screen-captureOn our travel-planning site, Venice for Visitors, we've just launched a preview version of a new section: Venice Hotel Directions.

The pages have step-by-step walking directions to individual hotels from nearby transportation points, such as Alilaguna airport-boat stops, the Santa Lucia Railroad Station, or airport buses and taxis at the Piazzale Roma.

Each page has a customized Google satellite map of the area around the hotel, with icons for the featured hotel and others in the neighborhood that can serve as landmarks.

We've also included links to Venere hotel pages (featuring TripAdvisor reviews), hotel pages, and the hotels' own Web sites for the convenience of readers who haven't yet reserved rooms and want to compare rates, reviews, and availability. 

As of February 10, 2013, we have about three dozen Venice Hotel Directions pages online. That number should grow to at least 100 by the end of the month.

We hope you'll find our new Venice Hotel Directions pages useful, either for printing out and taking with you or for viewing on your smartphone or tablet after you arrive in Venice.

Again, you'll find the preview version of our new section at:

Directions to Venice Hotels (

'How many bridges to cross?' hotel listings

 Calatrava Bridge in Venice

ABOVE: The Ponte di Calatrava is higher than most of Venice's bridges, but it has shallow steps and a gentle incline, so it's more manageable with luggage than you might guess.

We often get e-mails from readers who are worried about struggling over Venice's footbridges with luggage and other gear. Their concern isn't unwarranted: Venice is a city with more than 400 bridges--nearly all with steps--and few of those bridges are equipped with ramps for wheeled suitcases, strollers, or wheelchairs.

To make life easier for readers who'd like to minimize the up-and-down aspect of reaching their hotels, we've added a new feature to our main Venice for Visitors travel-planning site: "How Many Bridges to Cross?" hotel listings.

The listings consist of more than 20 pages, organized into three categories:

Popular areas (Piazza San Marco, St. Mark's Basin Waterfront, Rialto Bridge).

Transportation hubs (Piazzale Roma and Santa Lucia Railroad Station).

Cruise terminals (Marittima, San Basilio).

Alilaguna airport boat (individual stops on the Blue and Orange Lines).

On each page, you'll find hotels grouped by how many bridges you'll need to cross to reach them from the nearest transportation point: e.g., "0 bridges to cross," "1 bridge to cross," or "2 bridges to cross." (In most cases, we stop at two bridges, because the point of the "How Many Bridges?" guide is to help our readers limit their step-climbing.)

Click on a listing, and you'll be taken to a page at Venere or where you can see photos of the hotel, read reviews by paying guests, and check availability and prices for the dates of your visit.

Note: There are many fine hotels in Venice that aren't within a bridge or two of public transportation. If you're traveling light, you may not mind a long walk over multiple bridges. But if you're wrestling with heavy bags, a perambulator, or a wheelchair, check our "How Many Bridges to Cross?" hotel listings before booking a room in Venice.

Hotel Crowne Plaza Venice East - Quarto d'Altino

View Larger Map

ABOVE: As this Google Map shows, the Crowne Plaza Venice East isn't in Venice. It's miles away on the mainland.

Over the last year or so, we've had a number of inquiries about the Crowne Plaza Venice East, a hotel that isn't in Venice at all: It's in Quarto d'Altino, a town on the Venetian mainland about 16 kilometers or 10 miles from Venice as the crow flies.

We have nothing against the Crowne Plaza Venice East per se. Its user reviews are mostly favorable, and we're confident that it's a decent place to stay if you have business in the surrounding area or want to organize a conference away from Venice's distractions. It's also handy for the cruise lines and tour companies that use it, since it can accommodate large groups and tour buses.

But again, the hotel is not in Venice. It's out in the sticks. Naming it the "Crowne Plaza Venice East" makes about as much sense as using the name "Crowne Plaza Manhattan West" for a hotel in the Meadowlands of Northern New Jersey.

Our advice:

Unless you're being hauled around in a tour bus and have no control over where you're staying, book a hotel in the city of Venice--or near the Mestre Railroad Station (10-12 minutes from Venice by train) if you prefer a modern hotel at cheaper rates. After all, as we point out in our No. 1 Warning! article, location is all-important when you're visiting Venice.

These articles and pages at Venice for Visitors will help you find a hotel that's comfortable, in your price range, and--above all--close to the canals, palazzi, and other sights in Venice:

Venice Hotel Guide

Venice Hotel Maps

Venice Airport Hotels

Venice Cruise Terminal Hotels

Venice Mestre and Marghera Hotels