Apartment rentals are becoming popular as an alternative form of accommodations when you travel around the world these days. We’ve been lucky enough to stay in all sorts of accommodation over the years from cheap guest houses to five star resorts, and recently had the unique opportunity of staying in both an apartment and a hotel while visiting Venice.
We thought it would be interesting to compare our experience between our apartment rental and our hotel stay in Venice and give our readers some trip advice so they know which form of accommodation we think is better. At least in Venice anyway.
Lets start with the price.
Both the apartment and the hotel cost the same amount of money. Our apartment, booked through HouseTrip and our hotel were both $250 USD. That sounds pricey, but for Venice it is on par. Most people go to the city on day trips or stay on one of the nearby islands.
Property is at a premium on Venice proper so you will be a paying a lot if you want to stay in the heart of the action. So when you do shell out that kind of cash for a romantic couple’s holiday, you want to make sure that you make the right decision.
This photo of All’Angelo Hotel is courtesy of TripAdvisor
We stayed at the Hotel All’Angelo in San Marco very close to St Marks Square. It claims to be a 4 star hotel, but it felt more like a 2 to us. Our room had stains on the wall and even some sort of blood streak right by the key holder. The air conditioning didn’t work and the room had a downright dirty feel. To top it all off, the woman at reception was rude. We couldn’t get over just how horrible this hotel was. The frustration came when we thought about the cost.
We would expect more for $250 per night hotel, no matter what the location.
As we sipped on €9 Euro glasses of wine, which we were deceived into thinking were €3 glasses, we smelled the stench of the canal. We couldn’t tell if it was sewage or garbage but the entire lobby reeked of the sour aroma.
As Dave said though, “these people don’t care.” There will be another batch of unsuspecting tourists coming in the next day and filling up the rooms and they are not concerned if people have a good experience or not. They know that thousands of people come each year and will keep coming because it is Venice!
Renting an apartment during your vacation takes a little more organization and leg work, but it can be the better option. Normally apartments are owned and run by independent families so they care a lot more about customer service and making sure that their clients are happy.
Armed with a phone number and emails from the apartment, we set out to find our key pick up. Naturally, being Venice we got lost. After over an hour of searching we finally found our apartment.
It was clean and quiet and located in the neighbourhood of San Palo. We figured that it must be a good spot since tour groups stopped regularly in front of our building to check out the square during the day we arrived.
Comparing the price of the two places, the apartment was by far the better option.
While breakfast wasn’t included, we did have a kitchen to be able to make our own meals. Eating out is the most expensive part of travel for us and to be able to hit the supermarket and buy some cured meats and cheeses with a bottle of wine is a huge savings. We never would have dreamt of eating in our room at Hotel All’Angelo, it was too dirty, but here at our apartment, we had a spotless kitchen and traditional living room.
I felt that the apartment was a little dark but at least it was very roomy and spacious. We had a kitchen, living room bedroom and bathroom.
We even were able to do laundry! When traveling, it is an excellent perk to be able to wash your clothes. The managers apartment was a floor below ours so whenever we had a question or problem we could ring their bell. We didnt’ have any problems except trying to work the laundry. We always seem to have problems working the washing machines in Europe. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve locked our clothes in the washer!
Comparing the two places in Venice we were much happier with the apartment. It was farther away from the touristy area as we stayed in an area with a more local flair. Being off the beaten path and away from the crowds we enjoyed it more than being so close to all the crowds.
The owners of the apartment actually cared about us and talked to us. It had all the comforts of a hotel and more. They supplied us with towels, were available when we needed help and the location was central enough that we could walk everywhere.
While we do enjoy staying in hotels in many cities that we travel to, our vote is going to have to be for an apartment rental when traveling to Venice. The hotel just wasn’t up to par for the price. With an apartment rental you’ll have far better service and save money if you take advantage of the kitchen and laundry.