Hello from the bottom of the earth! I hope that you’ve had a wonderful Women’s Day with your friends and family. Since it is ALSO #TravelTuesday and I’m a woman who loves to travel, I thought I’d share with you my experience at Apostoli Palace in Venice.
On our second trip to Venice, Mr John and I couldn’t return to the original AirBnB apartment we had stayed in (the first time around) as that had been for 6! So we found a hotel nearby, in our favourite suburb Cannaregio, that would allow us to wonder around the more authentic alleys of Venice as well as easy access to all the touristy bits. I used Booking.com and found Apostoli Palace.
Apostoli Palace is set in the quiet back alleyways of Cannaregio, with only a few hundred feet away from the busier pathways. I liked it as I could sleep well at night without any noise, yet could join the hustle and bustle of Venetian life with ease.
When I travel overseas I prefer to stay in places that showcase the culture. While modern hotels are great, I don’t want to feel like I could be in Cape Town. I want to feel like I’ve travelled far away and embrace the environment. The Apostoli Palace is perfect for this. A small hotel that has family owned, with the original building dating back to the mid-fifteenth century. Naturally, since then, it has been upgraded to include most mod cons although still simple in its offering. “Each room is dedicated to one of the apostles in honor of the nearby Church of the Holy Apostles.” – Apostoli Palace website.
From our first visit, we’ve learnt that Venetians aren’t very friendly nor helpful. So we were really pleasantly surprised when we were kindly greeted at the hotel. While our small talk did go totally unnoticed (AWKWARDDDD), the host was welcoming and happy to answer questions. Our room was a well appointed double room on the second floor, near the breakfast lounge. Small, but all we needed.
I loved that our window opened onto a little courtyard where I could hear Venetians talking, see them pulling their laundry in and that the room’s lampshades had been cut in half! So random! I guess space is at THAT much of premium in Venice! We were also left with a beautiful bottle of Prosecco, a sparkling wine my Mom had been raving about since last visiting England. I cracked it open and had a little toot before heading out for dinner. It was delicious!
The Apostoli Palace offers the basic amenities, including towels, soap and moisturiser (I’ve heard of hotels not really doing this in Europe, although it was not my experience), a shower and en suite bathroom.
Breakfast is also included which made a good start to the day, although we asked for a snack at 9:45am the one morning and the lady said no, even though breakfast was meant to be until 10am! LOL! (Our room was to the right of the mirror.) Italian breakfasts are quite weird as they have a lot of baked treats, like cake! You can literally have cake for breakfast! This wasn’t only at the Apostoli Palace, but also at all the cafes, you can buy baked goods for breakfast every morning. The hotel also offered toast, croissants and cereals though; a small but adequate selection.
Apostoli Palace was a really convenient place to stay because the closer you stay to St Mark’s Square, the more EVERYTHING costs! This includes city tax (we had to pay 2 Euros a night, per person, to be in Venice, SO random!) and food. The lasagne I ate at the little cafe we enjoy was 8 Euros; at the Westin closer to the square – 25 Euros! So DO NOT be caught out by this if you travel to Venice! Rather walk a little further out (it’s all totally safe) and pay decent prices for beautiful food than get ripped off.
I love Venice because it feels like a movie set. After visiting the first time, I wasn’t sure I would return. But I am SO happy that I did! It’s truly magical and once you let your expectations go of friendly service (us South Africans do work really hard to be kind, helpful and welcoming to our visitors – the Venetians are the opposite, tourists irritate them) you can enjoy yourself more as your expectations are lower. That’s what I found the second time. Having said that, the people seemed to be far less grumpy this time too – maybe it was because it was a less busy time of year (March opposed to September when they were at the end of their season).
Mr John and I enjoyed cruising around the quiet canals at night and at one point found ourselves totally alone near the hotel! We couldn’t help feeling rather giddy like we were conquering the world!
If you’ve been to Venice or plan on going, please let me know in the comment section below. You can sign up to Disqus in the same way you would using Facebook comments (so easy). Thanks for reading my post! more travel stories next Tuesday.