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CROWNE PLAZA VENICE...NEARLY
Crowne Plaza Venice East (Italy)
Member Name: proxam
Crowne Plaza Venice East (Italy)
Date: 23/10/11, updated on 04/11/13 (120 review reads)
Advantages: Comfortable, inexpensive and convenient
Disadvantages: May be too far from Venice for some
Searching for a hotel in Venice is a nightmare. It's not that the choice is limited, far from it. There are as many hotels as as there are Gondoliers' oars (not that I've counted). But getting a hotel that suits your own personal requirements and/or budget isn't always as easy. Oh sure, it's possible to get digs that are right at the heart of things, or steeped in evocative history or even some that are plusher than a velvet cushion bought from plush'R'us, but there are drawbacks. Tiny, smelly, lack of a private bathroom and exhorbitantly expensive to name a few. Also, unless you're arriving by public transport, it's going to cost you an arm and a leg (and possibly another appendage that you really can't do without) just to dump your car in a multi-storey.
That's why we opted for an out of town hotel in the shape of the Crowne Plaza Venice East, Quarto d'Altino.
Which part of Venice is that in, I hear you ask. To which I would reply, no part. It's actually a few miles east of the city but the transport links couldn't be any better. In fact, one of the reasons we chose this hotel was the proximity of the train station - it's literally next door. Stepping out of the hotel main door, walking around the side of the building and under a subway will take you to the platform for the Venice train. 20 minutes and something like Euro3 later, and you're stepping out of St. Lucia station and crossing the Grand Canal. Trains are at hourly intervals all day although less frequent later at night.
For me, this is a better option than staying right in the heart of the city. We were there for four days and while Venice is an amazing place, it can be a little intense and it's nice to be able to escape the throngs and have a little peace and quiet.
Another reason that this hotel was attractive was the price. We paid Euro252 for 4 nights B&B at the end of June...practically free in that part of the world.
The hotel is well placed for visiting other attractions in the area too with Treviso just a few miles away and Padova around 20 miles distant. Not only that, but the beaches and resort of Lido di Jesolo are but a short drive away. It's also handy for the airport which is probably why the hotel provides a shuttle service.
The town of Quarto d'Altino doesn't have a lot to recommend it - not that it's scruffy or anything, just a sleepy little commuter town although there are a few decent restaurants around.
The hotel is situated almost out of town but it's well signposted and easy to find. But remember, although the hotel is next to the train station, don't follow the signs for said station or you'll end up on the wrong side of the tracks.
There's no shortage of parking if you're arriving by car (come to think of it, there's no shortage even if you're arriving by train) and to cap it all, the parking is free.
The hotel doesn't look out of place in the surrounding area of generally low rise apartment blocks and houses - it's not a huge gleaming edifice, just four floors housing 150 bedrooms and various meeting rooms etc.
Checking in was easy but timing could be an issue as there were a lot of conferences taking place when we were there and every now and again the reception area would be fairly crowded. The staff were, as you would expect in a Crowne Plaza, pleasant, efficient and friendly without being intrusive. Incidentally, you can buy train tickets at reception so all you have to do is validate it on the platform. The public areas are all very spic and span and gleaming in pink marble.
We had a room at the front of the hotel, so I can't vouch for how quiet (or otherwise) the rooms at the back closer to the railway were. At the front, we heard nothing. The bedroom was pretty much standard. No surprise really as we booked a 'standard' room. Fairly spacious, we had three large, single beds which were firm and comfortable, a table and chairs and a sideboard/desk which housed the decent sized, but old fashioned TV - complete with pay-for-view movies and games etc. There was also a well stocked and surprisingly inexpensive mini-bar. When I say inexpensive, I mean that comparitively - it was still a rip-off just a little less outrageous than most hotels. A rare thing in Italian hotels was the tea making facilities. Carpets, curtains and other soft furnishings were clean, new(ish) and of good quality. Not much of a view although the windows were massive and thankfully able to be opened. I hate windows that don't open. The AC was of the kind that encourages brass monkeys to seek out the assistance of a brazer.
As for the bathroom, well that was just dandy. Mrs p likes a bath and there was a nice big deep one but the shower was the business too. It was well lit and roomy with plenty of big fluffy towels and one bathrobe (what's with the one bathrobe in a room for two?). The toiletries were nothing fancy but pleasant enough and the floor was heated which was nice.
As for amenities, the hotel has a bar with informal dining and a more refined restaurant. We didn't use either apart from breakfast which I have to say was the dog's male bits. Service was impeccable and the choice, amount and quality of food could not be faulted.
There's also a gym and sauna but that didn't tempt me I'm afraid.
In conclusion, while this not be everyone's first choice of hotel, it's certainly a good choice if you want to stay somewhere modern and well-equipped at a very affordable price yet be just a short train journey from the hustle and bustle of Venice.
Summary: Far from the madding crowd