Time of year: March, 2017
Purpose of trip: We visited Venice as the second half of a two-city Italian spring break.
Our accommodation: Corte Realdi Suites Venezia consists of 4 carefully restored suites located in a 17th century “palazzina” in the San Polo residential district of Venice. We stayed in the ‘Leila Suite’ – a two bedroom duplex apartment that could have slept five. As well as the bedrooms, the apartment had a kitchen/diner and bathroom. We decided to sleep downstairs. The king-sized bed boasted good quality linens with a range of period furniture, which suited the room perfectly. The dining area had a dining table that could have seated six and the shower-room retained the apartment’s period feel, with shower, toilet, bidet, sink and great Italian toiletries.
Service: Like the rooms in Verona at Corte Realdi and Cinque Rooms, the ethos is to offer a personalised concierge service.The on site team-member, Nere, was happy to walk down to the San Stae vaporetto (water bus) stop to meet us and guide is to the suites. We were glad that we accepted the offer, because, although it’s not far, in the backstreets of Venice it’s easy to lose your bearings.
Location: The apartments are best reached by vaporetto, with San Stae being the nearest stop. It’s a short walk down to the Rialto bridge and the neighbouring fish and produce markets. If you were to walk to Piazza San Marco without getting lost (but getting a bit lost is so much part of the fun of Venice), it would take less than 15 minutes.
Food: No food is included as standard, apart from some bottled water and a fruit bowl. However, if you wanted the suite’s kitchen filled with goodies for your arrival, the on-site ‘concierge’ team member would be happy to oblige. There are plenty of options for eating outside the building nearby if you prefer. Around the corner, we had a lovely cappuccino and almond croissant in the sunshine for breakfast.
What we paid: We received one night’s complimentary stay at Corte Realdi Suites Venezia in return for writing a review. Depending on seasonality, expect to pay around £320 per night for the Leila Suite (but remember, it can sleep five!)
Activities close by: Venice is Nigel’s favourite city in the world and this visit was the fourth time he had been. it was Jane’s first visit and I think it’s fair to say she was bowled over by the place. It’s important to ‘knock off’ the standards – the Doge’s Palace, St Mark’s Basilica and the Campanile in Piazza San Marco, a stroll across the Rialto bridge and a vaporetto ride along the Grand Canal. But the real joy is exploring the backstreets, finding that cosy Osteria for a spritz sundowner or devouring some wonderfully prepared seafood in a trattoria that you’d have no chance of finding again.
What empty nesters might really like about this place: Corte Realdi Suites are a great base from which to explore this amazing city, without the rigidity of a hotel. Given its proximity to the most wonderful markets, it would be delightful to rustle up some magic in the kitchen. The location is more residential, but therefore doesn’t have hordes of tourists trooping by. You can come and go as you please here, as you would in a hotel, but the company’s friendly, professional, discreet concierge-style team is there to answer your questions or arrange a more bespoke tour, shopping or ticket booking service if you need them.
What empty nesters might not be so keen on: If you prefer to be ‘in the thick of things’, the location of these suites might not be for you, as they are tucked away. And if we had one criticism of the place, it would be that you could hear voices from the apartment below (probably due to the 17th century floorboards, rather than the concrete of a modern hotel!). But that’s a small price to pay for having all that Venice has to offer on your doorstep, with an elegant abode to come back to after a busy day exploring.
In the interest of disclosure, we received one night’s stay at Corte Realdi Suites Venezia on the promise of writing a review. If we had had criticisms about any aspect of the accommodation or the service, we would have written about it. For more on our disclosure policy, read here.