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One of the best hotels we’ve ever stayed in, and it's not even in Venice.
Hotel Panorama is a 15min boat ride from Piazzo San Marco on Lido island, the beach resort of Venice. Boats to Venice run 24 hours a day and you shouldn't be waiting more than 15-20mins for one.
Website doesn't do the hotel justice, making it look like the usual Venetian cheese fest of gold leaf, badly co-ordinated colours and cheap tacky paintings.
Instead it totally lives up to it's 4 star rating, with an attitude and demeanour from staff that would give most 5 star hotels a run for their money, doing their best to ease your holiday along.
Most of the rooms will have a water view of some sorts, although the best (and the most expensive) are right on the front of the hotel, giving unobstructed but distant views of the Palazzo Ducale & the Campanile. The Lido water bus stop is right next to the hotel which does distract a little from the effect, but noise isn't an issue and we enjoyed sitting on the balcony and watching the general commotion in the lagoon as vaporetto and skyscraper-sized cruise liners dodge each other.
Only the junior suites seem to have balconies, but anyone can use the fantastic terrace for views and you could probably sit here and drink supermarket-bought drinks.
Breakfast was the standard issue European nonsense of croissants, yogurts, and counterfeit cereals. An Englishman’s worst nightmare. Bizarrely (even the waitress seemed embarrassed to ask) coffee was an extra 2 euros. It's actually served on the ground floor, not the terrace as the website suggest so ask for a tray and take it upstairs for surely one of the best breakfast views in the world.
I doubt we'll ever stay ANYWHERE else in the future. BRILLIANT !
Unique Quality: No pool, but for about 7 euros a day, you can use a section of private beach a 15min walk away on the other side of the Lido. The Panorama will loan beach towels for a small deposit in a variety of lavish carrier bags that guests richer than us have left behind.
We booked through Venere for 170 euros (£117) a night. A quick search on google should turn up promotional codes for this site that takes a further 4% off any bill. Check the hotels own website for short stay deals.
Ignoring the usual imbeciles, Tripadvisor backs up my gushing review but before you suspect I’m the manger in disguise I’ve got to find something wrong with the stay so, nit-pickingly, the only irritations I can think of were:
No ice machine to chill supermarket bought drinks at 10% the price of the mini-bar.
Reception can’t change travellers cheques, leaving a long and frustrating search ahead as banks are generally closed and some restaurants won't accept credit cards.
Like the rest of Europe, striking is a pastime for the ACTV water bus staff. These usually run for 24 or 48 hours, and could leave you at the mercy of costly water taxis that would murder your holiday budget. Check the ACTV website for news of any impending action - they're fairly infrequent, although when they do happen I doubt you will get more than a few weeks notice.
Directions: Right next to the Lido vaporetto stop
Panorama Hotel (Lido Island)
Our room at the Panorama Hotel on Lido Island was a good choice. Its very convienient to the dock and the vaporetto ride to St Marks was only 10 Min.Its a small boutique hotel very comfortable and much cheaper than the hotels near St Marks. Also Lido Island provided an escape from the crowded tourist areas in Venice.This was especially evident when Cruise Ships stopped by.
Unique Quality: The staff was very welcoming and were very helpful in assisting us with our plans to see Venice.The rooms were small by american standards but they were very nicely appointed. Breakfast which was included with our plan was served in a dining room overlooking the canal. From our room you could see St Marks.
Directions: Lido Island right at the vaporetto dock.
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